Every day I get to shape the sound of the #1 drive show in Australia, Nova’s Kate, Tim and Marty.
It’s a fast-paced, high-pressure environment that requires absolute attention to detail, focus and passion for creating production that ensures our audience is both entertained and excited by the production they hear.
This love of creating production started early for me. At 14 years old, I convinced my school to let me go into my local radio station once a week so I could learn the craft. At 17 David Konsky gave me the call up for my first full-time gig and I went from looking up to my heroes which included Konsky, Brendan Tacey and Sidey to working with them and winning awards for it!
After crafting Breakfast radio shows around the country I then got the call up from the legendary Matt Dower to become Nova’s National Drive Producer to ensure the success of Kate, Tim and Marty and it’s here that, at the same time, I took on a whole new challenge - The world of podcasting.
With the vision to bring the same high standard, creative level of production to the podcast space I took a chance and started my own business on the side — Pro Podcast Production which is a complete production solution for brands and individuals looking to make a professional podcast. I quickly learned about the incredible opportunity that awaits all of us in the podcast space and the differences and similarities between creating radio imaging vs crafting podcast production.
Radio is this wonderfully fast-paced environment which has a very structured approach to creating content, which is important when multiple teams and people are involved in the process. Technology has also changed how we make radio reaching our audiences in new ways by streaming live segments, delivering content directly to their phones and never before have we been able to so easily capture and craft incredible audio in the way we do today.
The exciting opportunity for podcasting is that the ability to capture and present audio to an audience is no longer reserved for radio stations and now anyone can utilise the same hardware and software used by stations to share stories and ideas with people all over the world, in a completely unrestricted medium. It’s a blank canvas to create and now there are over 750,000 podcasts! This also means it’s an open invite for all of us to utilise the skills radio provides and apply this to a whole new medium. I’ve learned first hand how this can give you new skills and the chance to challenge your production style.
There’s still that same sense of pressure and hard work that radio requires each day, but what I love about creating podcast production is each project is different. Some projects require production that is fun or silly, others have a more corporate tone and feel. There’s still the same technical knowledge required, I’m using Pro Tools for both my radio and podcast production, but the difference in style each project requires creates a wonderful creative challenge.
I saw this when I worked with IKEA to create their first-ever podcast. They wanted a quirky, relaxing podcast that helps people get to sleep which is the complete opposite of CHR Imaging. The result though resonated with people and it was a wonderful experience to not only see it talked about on TV and across all forms of media but to see the podcast I made from my little studio in Sydney, Australia reach people all over the world including wonderful places like Brazil, India, Mexico, and Japan!
Being part of a different medium also allows you to build your skillset beyond learning new production styles. I also had to learn how to promote myself and what I have to offer. Squarespace is a great way to do this, so I built a simple site followed by a post of Facebook letting people know that I was open for business. I then learned how to better network utilising tools like LinkedIn but also sending emails to people I looked up to within the industry. This approach worked and I was able to then welcome a talented executive producer and a graphic designer to the team and saw how others were able to also easily apply their radio skills to podcasts.
My typical day also changed. I look after all of the production needs for my clients which includes recording, sound design, editing and creative consulting so my day starts at 7.30am so I can touch base with my clients in America. Then, if I’m not recording a podcast I get straight into editing which takes me up to 9.30 am. This is followed by any sound design projects all the while I’m keeping up with the emails from clients where I’m giving advice, updates or booking in meetings. I jump in the car at 11.30am to arrive at Nova at 12.30am which is where I switch into radio mode creating all the production required for Kate, Tim and Marty which includes writing and making intros, montages, promos as well as editing and developing the strategy to ensure, as a show, we sound the best we possibly can. I finish at 8 pm and then I’m usually home by 9.
The biggest thing I’m learning is that organising your time so you can focus on one thing at a time is key. I like to think of how we feel inside being represented by a bucket. If we don’t take the time to ‘feel our bucket’ with the things that bring joy, fun, or fulfilment, the bucket runs out and our creative self runs on empty. So I use iCal to block out time for family, friends, and downtime and I use Wunderlist (a free, incredible task organiser) to ensure I know what I have to focus on and I don’t start the day feeling overwhelmed.
Helping people build new podcasts each week has served as a wonderful reminder that the production we build each day actually reaches real people regardless of the platform. It has the power to evoke emotion or tell a story, be it in a 30-second promo or a 60-minute podcast and ultimately that production is an incredible skill that’s learned by few but experienced by many. Here are some of my favourite pieces that I’ve made recently.
I’m passionate about seeing others build their skills and create magic, so if you need any advice on navigating the wonderful world of radio or podcast production say hi via email - firstname.lastname@example.org