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Two Paths To Podcasting Leaves No Middle Ground
Episode 7527th January 2022 • Podcast Pontifications • Evo Terra
00:00:00 00:12:15

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The future comes at every industry hard, including podcasting.

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Should you learn bleeding-edge skills you hope will emerge in the future

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or relevant-now skills you hope will stay relevant in the future?

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Hello, and welcome to another Podcast Pontifications with me, Evo Terra.

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Overall, I'm pretty optimistic about the future.

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I truly believe that the moral arc of the universe is long,

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but it bends towards justice.

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It's a quote from Martin Luther King Jr.

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I have that same feeling, that same progressive, if you will, or advancing

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view, even better, of podcasting.

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Podcasting is getting better.

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Not just on its own because, but because we're helping, because of our help.

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We're the ones driving podcasting forward.

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But it's not just us.

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Assisting in that are these continued advancements in technology.

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Many of those are AI, machine learning neural nets, and some other

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weird sorts of advanced computing that we barely understand that

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is emerging out onto the scene.

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Podcasting benefits from all those advances in digital processing power,

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from hosting services, to listening apps, to even the software and

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hardware that you and I use to bring our creations to our listeners' ears.

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There's no doubt that the process of making a podcast today is

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easier and the experience better than it ever has been in the past.

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Barring any rogue space rocks that have us in their cross hairs, or

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the omega variant, who knows, wiping us all out completely, we're going

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to keep riding that train, and the process will get easier and the

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experience better for us podcasters.

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But predicting how that ease and betterment will manifest itself

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is far from an exact science.

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For the past few years, I've been making the bold statement that

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podcasters like you and me, who've been at this for a while, will be the

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last generation of podcasters to use DAWs - digital audio workstations,

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like Hindenburg Pro, Reaper, Audition, even Audacity, all of those are at the

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center of our creation processes today.

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But the next generation, I think they'll have a completely different approach.

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I think they'll be using text-based editing tools like Descript,

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for example, and put that at the center of their creation process.

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I still stand by that assertion, but what I'm worried about is the

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middle ground between the two.

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And by worried, I mean, I don't think there is one.

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But before I explain that, during my Long Winter's Nap of 2021, I decided

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to take the plunge, if you will, and really go all-in with this new

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text-based paradigm of editing content for one of my clients, specifically.

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We already had been using Descript's transcript feature as a part of the

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editorial process, not just to make the transcript, but actually to remove content

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from within her longer form interviews.

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She and I were collaborating on doing this.

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As we make her episodes, Descript was a part of that.

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So it would make sense for me to start there.

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I would just move all of the engineering work that I would do after the

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editorial work, all that engineering work I would just do within Descript.

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My goal was really to retrain myself there, acquire the necessary skills to

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use that new paradigm, and then shift more production work over to that system.

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All of it, if it made sense, including this, Podcast Pontifications.

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Because you know me, I love the future and I've gotta put my money, or I guess

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my time in this case, where my mouth is.

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So during that test, I produced three different episodes of my

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client's show in that new style, 100% inside of the new tool.

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And I am very happy to say that the episodes that I produced sounded great.

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I honestly cannot tell a difference in the sound quality between an episode

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that I fully produced in my DAW, Hindenburg Pro, or another episode

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I produced completely in Descript.

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And that's great!

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Also, the experience proved to me what I thought all along, that this

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really will be the way that the next generation of podcasters make content.

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But you might remember I said that I stopped after three episodes, or I only

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produced three episodes, and that's true.

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I certainly have not switched the production process of

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Podcast Pontifications.

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Hindie is still my jam.

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Which brings me back to the assertion that there isn't much of a middle ground here.

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I had thought, naively, that the experience was going to give me two

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vastly different approaches in my toolkit, which would then allow me

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to choose which path would be the most optimal for the job at hand.

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But it didn't work out that way.

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And I think it didn't work out that way because my brain is really

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hard-wired to work with waveforms.

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But that's a recent acquisition, actually.

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My brain had already made a paradigm shift long ago when I started

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working with waveforms about seventeen years ago in podcasting.

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Prior to that, I was editing audio with nothing more than

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studio monitors and a razorblade.

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I didn't even see a waveform.

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So, I've already changed once.

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But, arguably, my brain's not nearly as flexible now as it was then

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thanks to biology, not anything else.

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But look, my problem is not everyone's problem.

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If you're relatively new to podcasting and have a relatively young brain, or

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you have people on your team who are new and also have relatively young brains,

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I think the switch away from a DAW to a text-based editor is going to be easier.

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I'm still betting on the long form, on the long game, whatever I'm trying

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to say, on tools like Descript.

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And no, this is not a sponsored message for Descript.

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Just giving you my honest opinion of how things have been going.

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I still think that approach, text-based, is going to be the dominant way that

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podcasts are made in the future.

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How far away that future is is rather questionable.

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And the good news is that us old dogs, if you will, who have mad

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DAW skills, we're not going to be displaced by this anytime real soon.

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Again, the output can, and oftentimes does, sound the same.

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But as long as we keep making great audio, which makes all of podcasting

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better, we'll still be fine.

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With that, I shall be back on Monday with yet another Podcast Pontifications.

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Cheers!

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Podcast Pontifications is written and narrated by Evo Terra.

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He's on a mission to make podcasting better.

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Links to everything mentioned in today's episode are in the notes

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section of your podcast listening app.

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A written-to-be-read article based on today's episode is available at

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podcastpontifications.com where you'll also find a video version and a corrected

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transcript, both created by Allie Press.

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Podcast Pontifications is a production of Simpler Media.