All posts by grittybirds

REVIEW: SPOTIFY’S SOUNDTRAP

This week Spotify unveiled their latest development in their buildout in the podcast and audio world, Soundtrap.

The big piece they unveiled for podcasts is a transcript and audio sync that allows you to delete audio straight from the transcript.

I specialize in narrative so this was very appealing. The program has a free trial that allows for 30 minutes of audio.

I uploaded my interview with artist Billy Strings from Pickathon in 2017. I already have a transcript for it from Amazon’s AWS service which is now offered for free in the next year if you using Auphonic, but it fit in right at that 30 minute mark.

First looks:

An online software at this point, it feels like a fusion between Garageband and Canva(an online graphic design tool). Uploading was very simple. The transcript took about an hr to be created and as advertised, you can absolutely delete audio straight from it.

The program also has audio integration including a large library of royalty free loops that come with a couple of levels of the subscription.

Soundtrap is making waves for podcasting but it’s main application when you enter the site is music production.

For podcasting, the delete tool is great, but it hasn’t really fleshed itself out yet to truly be effective for storytelling.

Where it can improve:

First, there is not an option for using plugins. This means that you cannot do audio clean up in here.

Second, it does not have space yet for clip saves. In narrative, being able to save small chunks and then reassemble them is important. Hindenburg and Audition are still far superior for both of these first two reasons.

Third, there is not yet a way to edit the transcript other than deletion. This means you can’t make a quick script and note when voices change without listening.

Final take:

Overall, it’s a pass for this editor currently. My current stable of programs are more effective. That being said, I hope they continue to develop this technology and I’m interested in seeing where it develops in the next year. If they are able to integrate plugins and clip save or if other programs are able to develop this technology themselves, it would be a wonderful tool for storytellers.

http://www.soundtrap.com

Lets Talk Content: PT 1

Lets talk Content.

As an audio producer, editing is far from the only part that matters. If we aren’t looking at what we’re making intentionally, even great audio can lose a listener.

Yesterday I spent my day working on my podcast, Grittybirds, which has been hiatus while I was focused on launching the company side of my life as a podcast editor and producer.

My show is a little different than some. While it is developed from interviews, it’s also narrative and works best in seasons. Looking at how I want to put it out, I’m spending a lot of time thinking about a few different things and it’s a perfect time to share some thoughts over the next weeks on creating great content.

What do you want to say?

First, you can say anything you want. I mean anything. I can’t promise people will listen, but you can do whatever you want.

But in content creation, really taking a minute to know what your core story is and building around it is really important.

We’re talking episode archs. One thing I appreciate about my show is that there is no rule that says that you need to release your episodes from those guests in the order you recorded it.

Say for example you are a comedy show and your topic is wine and the Bachelorette(ps this is a shoutout to a couple different friends who have some great shows in this realm).

What if for the month, you threw in a segment about wines from certain regions the tv show favs are from? And then, match them with guests from those places who have opinions! You could then use those interviews as the show favs have big moments, while adding your own personal commentary to the intro and outro to keep it fresh.

How fun would that be? Plus it’s built in content for your ‘gram and more. At the end you could ask people listening is to give their favorite wine picks in a march madness style game.

Like I mentioned before, you can say anything. But setting it up in a thought out month-long concept lets you dig and create a conversation with the people who are in the show.

Someone once told me that storytelling is about shining a light to guide your listeners to the next part.

That’s what this is. You’re capturing the strength of content in whatever your niche is, to keep the conversation with your listeners going.

Check out my youtube video from the FB live the other day!

Podcast Production for the Podcast Boom

A couple years ago I applied for position doing audio for Iowa Public Radio. My family was stoked when I got the first interview. It was on a college campus a solid hour from the main freeways, much like the small town I grew up in, Fort Dodge.

I didn’t get the job and was torn. On one hand, I was not ready to leave the NW and go back to my home state. On the other hand, I loved producing audio and my mind was set on the process I’d assumed was the way people could work in podcast production: network positions.

Guess what, I was wrong.

Today, there is an entire growing industry around creating great audio for podcasts. Whether you are looking to hire someone, or want to get those skills in your own pocket, the fact is that the Podcast Boom is finally here.

How amazing is an era where you can use youtube for in-depth tutorials on sound issues, take an inexpensive workshop or join one of dozens of FB, Google, WeMe, or other communities that give whatever guidance you are curious about in minutes.

The podcast Boom is here.  And after 4 years since releasing my first show, I’m here FT.

Are you in for the boom?

If you’re in the Portland Area, join in next week on Friday May 3, for the launch party including music by myself and a DJ set from DJ Pacemaker, 8 pm at the Barrio in the Portland Mercado.

The Silent Protest: Music’s Revolution with Wild Ones, Reptaliens and Priests

The Silent Protest: Making Music Today with Wild Ones, Reptaliens and Priests

 

“People think because we’re outspoken, or because we have opinions about the fact that like a fascist is running our country, we’re a political band. But I think that that binary of political non-political music ignores the fact that there’s a political dimension to almost any kind of art.

Saying let’s keep politics out of this is a way to reinforce the status quo. So we shy away from from the label political band for those reasons about the world around us.”, say Katie Alice Greer, from woman for DC band Priests.

They are a post punk band in a post the rich asshole era, who just released their latest album in January. This feeling defined a large number of the perspectives from artists I spoke with this year for this Season’s interviews.

Wild Ones Danielle Sullivan shared, “I’ve always thought obviously going to concerts is a really special thing, but it’s felt like elevated in a special way since all of the upsetting and disturbing things have been going on for the last year.

Almost just the act of going getting out of your house going to a room to be with all of these other people that you don’t know.. and they could believe or think or like be different from you in every way. Getting sweaty right next to strangers, just to absorb an experience and be part of art feels so important right now. It feels even more important than before somehow.

Wild Ones new album plays with the ideas of anxiety, set to a pop and synth splattered canvas. In both Priests and Wild Ones albums, there is a certain escapism that folds in the message, a certain defiance. Despite all the darkness, we’re not getting held down from the light.

Reptaliens smooth and upbeat optimism, paired with the downright experimental stands against uniformity, taking challenges with their music and in their approach.

“It’s all about a serial killer and it kind of takes you through his life and like his childhood and then through… there’s this saxophone bass solo that kind of takes you through him killing somebody. So it’s a really intense song it’s called olive boy.  “oh this boy on everyone’s minds.. who is the olive boy,”  shared vocalist and shredder Bambi B about a track from a B sides record released this spring.

Stepping on stage with a dancing alien, singing music about serial killers, they called the attention of Captured Tracks. It was the only label they reached out to but they were quickly signed with the label.

For Wild Ones, Reptaliens and Priests, it’s a time to take risks with music and not be afraid to tell it how it is.

You can check out each other albums, which were released this year, on their websites.

Listen to the episode for more stories, set to music from their recent albums.

Subscribe now on iTunes

5 acts promising to surprise you at MFNW

As I was getting ready to write the preview for this year’s Music Fest Northwest/Project Pabst: Portland, Oregon’s biggest hometown Music festival of the year, it hit me that I hadn’t seen anything from weekend closer Beck in awhile.

It’s nice to be surprised. A quick google search revealed the artist just happened to drop the latest single from him upcoming album Colors an hour before

Music Fest Northwest has spent the last couple years finding its’ voice after making a huge shift from it’s empowering music industry city wide free for all to a contained downtown event on the waterfront. After competing in 2014 with Project Pabst, faith in the fest was spotty at best with tickets being given away like candy.

This year marks the second year that MFNW is partnering with Project Pabst and the festival is finally finding its’ rhythm with their most solid line up yet, including one of the first sets by Beck after the single drop. The line up features some of my favorite local artists including Lithics,  Last Artful, Dodgr andOregon/Chicago’s Whitney as well as legends like Iggy Pop.

They’re back and not afraid to take some risks. Like I said, it’s nice to be surprised.

As I get ready to take in my last big fest of the summer, here are 5 artists sure to leave you surprised this weekend down at the Portland Waterfront.

Father John Misty

Whether you are a fan of J Tillman’s ‘self important’ style or not, the fact is that he can put on one hell of a show. Expect no less from him Saturday night.

 

Lizzo

This entire article could just be dedicated to this powerhouse Minnesota Native who broke out in a big way this year. Lizzo has been pushing hard the last few years making a break with the track Good As Hell after signing with Atlantic last year. In a year that has not always been a “feel good year”, you will leave her set with a new frame of mind, leaving all the haters behind.

Filthy Friends

The Northwest was built on the backs of labels like Kill Rock Stars and the punk and grunge pop of artists like Sleater Kinney. From a scene that built around collaboration, comes Filthy Friends, the latest ‘super group’ out of the region includes Corin Tucker of Sleater-Kinney; Peter Buck of R.E.M.; Kurt Bloch of The Fastbacks; Bill Rieflin of Ministry, King Crimson, and R.E.M.; and Scott McCaughey of Young Fresh Fellows. It’s not nostalgia when it’s this good.

 

Beck

Beck has been teasing his latest album since last year and the time has nearly come for its’ release. He’s an artist that brings social commentary into some of the best composition of any artist out there today. As a super fan since the release of Guero and it’s subsequent Nintendo remix, I cannot wait to see what surprises he brings to his closing set Sunday Night.

Die Antwoord

The first time I heard South Africa’s Die Antwoord, I did not know what to think. TW for anyone watching any of their videos. They’re violent, tongue in cheek, riddled with drug abuse and sex and absolutely addicting. Audiences may not quite know what they’re getting into but it promises to be something magical.

Check back next week for a run down of my favorite sets of the weekend, I’m sure it’ll have it’s share of surprises.

Tickets are still on sale, check them out here!