Helen Scales

fish cake

How to make a podcast

Can it really be a year since I started making podcasts about the sea? 12 months have flown by in a blur of chatting with amazing ocean experts, getting to grips with microphones, recorders, editing software, and websites, and having a lot of fun talking oceans alongside the lovely Sarah Castor-Perry.

We’ve just put the finished touches on the final episode of Naked Oceans series 1. And I must admit to being a teeny weeny bit proud.

It’s been an awesome year and in a moment of quiet reflection I had a look back and realised there’s a heck of a lot went into series one.

So here is my retrospective recipe for making a podcast series about the oceans:

Ingredients

- 55 ocean experts – a mix of scientists, photographers, artists, and conservationists.
– 2 presenters – who no matter what will never get bored talking about the oceans.
– Recording equipment and a room to record in – preferably one without humming radiators, slamming doors, and flushing toilets upstairs (but you can’t always have everything…)
– 22 marine news stories
– 11 Critters of the Month
– 12 Critters of Christmas

Preparation – Starters (setting the scene)

- Get hold of 60 seconds of music (in our case, ask a talented musician friend to help you out)
– Write catchy intro, ending, and taglines and get someone with a great voice to read them.
– Mix them together in varying quantities and keep them ready to disperse throughout the show at appropriate intervals.

Main course

- For a regular podcast, pick a handful of oceans experts, a single critter, and a smattering of news stories (for special shows, festive editions etc pack in as many experts and critters as you can get away with).
– Fill in the gaps with 2 presenters (get them to ask questions and offer an opinion or two).
– Mix together in a preheated audio editing suite, keeping en eye out for unwanted mic pops and banging doors.
– Decorate with photographs.
– Listen to the whole thing and write down everything that’s said.
– Stand back and set it free into the world wide web and see if anybody notices.

And that, dear readers, is more or less how Naked Oceans series 1 came to be. We may change the recipe slightly for series 2. To find out how you’ll just have to keep listening…

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