Welcome to behind the scenes of Data Couture!
Here you will get an intimate view of the life of a podcaster (Jordan) while he continues to improve his journey making a world-class podcast covering data culture at work, at home, and on the go!
Let’s start with some of the gear and setup that Jordan uses to produce Data Couture three times a week! Each of the links to products below allow us to participate in an affiliate marketing program through Amazon (we get a small cut each time you buy the items by going to the link, which allows us to fund the show)!
Let’s kick off this backstage peak into Data Couture by touching on all the gear we use (and love!) to make the show. There are so many options available as alternatives to these products, but we trust everything listed to perform (while sounding great) without any hassle. We highly recommend everything in the list!
We use the MacBook Air as the hub for our recording studio, YouTube studio, social media management, and creative endeavors. While this is neither the most powerful nor the fanciest of MacIntosh products, we feel as though this satisfies everything we need. You will find our solution for upgraded data storage solutions below!
We use the G-Technology 8tb External Hard Drive as our way to dramatically improve the storage capacity of the MacBook Air. With its USB3.0 connection, transfer speeds are sufficient for our regular workflow! This has allowed us to keep using a relatively low-power mac while maintaining and organizing all our data!
This is the engine for the crystal clear sound for the podcast. The Shure SM7B microphone is the absolute industry standard for vocal recording, and it can be used in so many different applications. The perfect reproduction of voice, extreme sensitivity, and hardcore durability makes this mic a no brainer for the avid podcaster!
Our preferred guest microphone is the Shure Beta 58a. It delivers wonderfully realistic and accurate reproductions of guest’s voice without being overly sensitive. This is a similar mic to the classic Shure 57, but it is tuned specifically for voice reproduction in broadcasting and podcasting settings. This mostly cheap and cheerful little microphone will be an essential part of your kit for years to come! We highly recommend this workhorse.
We use the Samson Technologies adjustable microphone arm to hold our Shure Microphones above! They can handle the weight of either the Beta 58a or the SM7B. And, they create very little noise when moving them around, which is essential during recording with these super sensitive microphones. Plus, the arms easily attach to almost any desk setup, and they can be moved out of the way while editing!
Our mixer is the Mackie ProFX4 V2, which is a fabulous (and desktop-sized) mixer that has 16 onboard effects as well as multiple settings to get your voice to absolutely sing! We plug in our Shure SM7B and Beta 58a into the mixer, and from the mixer we connect our audio interface (below). From there we’re ready to record!
The interface between our Mackie mixer and the MacBook air is our Focusrite Scarlett Solo. Even though this has only a single XLR input, the mixer covers everything else. With an extremely low noise floor, we get crystal clear audio each and every time!
For various additional production elements – from music to sound effects – Jordan uses the Akai Professional MPK Mini midi keyboard. This little unit is infinitely programmable and customizable to allow the creator to produce music and ambiance to their heart’s content!
Our portable recording setup is based in the Zoom H5 4-Track Portable Recorder. This has literally saved our butts multiple times when recording interviews and sounds out in the field. The interface is extremely user-friendly, and you can record with either the microphone pods (included) or otherwise with any mic with an xlr input! This is one of our favorite pieces of recording kit.
We use a pair of these Movo LV-6 Pro Lav Microphones along with the Zoom recorder above for all of our interviews and background sounds out in the field! They have a fantastic sound, they’re very durable, and the come with a nice golden finish!
We deploy this Jackery Giant+ 12000mAh portable battery to supplement the battery power of the Zoom H5 above. This little workhorse will let you record for two straight days, charge your phone, and charge your guest’s phone without a single recharge. It is absolutely essential
Along with the traditional audio version of the podcast, we are preparing to release the Monday episodes as fully-fledged YouTube Videos. For this we are using the Canon G7x Mark II Powershot Camera. While many vloggers these days prefer something like the Canon 5d Mark IV, we’ve found that this super portable G7x does everything we need without the crazy price tag!
Of course, with all of this gear, you will need cables. You will need an entire snake pit of cables! We highly recommend MonoPrice cabling for all of your connections since they are very reasonably priced, and they work flawlessly. Hold off on buying expensive cables until you try out some of the many MonoPrice options!
Jordan produces the show by recording three episodes a week (typically on either Saturdays or Sundays).
The workflow to produce each episode typically has the flow below. Of course, every episode requires specific editing and production elements. However, what is listed below is highly indicative of what it takes to produce every single episode of the podcast.
- Open Garageband
- Insert pre-recorded Intro Clip
- Record opening stinger (welcome to the show and main topic for the day)
- Insert pre-edited Transition Audio (for Monday episodes)
- Record Act 1 of the episode (or the full episode if for Wednesday or Friday episodes)
- Insert pre-edited Transition Audio
- Record Act 2 of the episode
- Insert pre-edited Transition Audio
- Record Act 3 of the episode
- Insert pre-recorded Outro Clip
- Export track to local file share
- Open iMovie
- Insert looping movie clip
- Insert mp3 episode audio
- Paste looping clip to length of audio
- Export movie to local file share
- Open Chrome and tabs for BuzzSprout, Otter, DataCouture.org, Soundcloud, and Youtube
- Upload episode audio to BuzzSprout and write show notes/tags
- Copy/Paste Buzzsprout info to SoundCloud Audio Upload
- Copy/Paste Buzzsprout info to YouTube Video Upload
- Upload audio to Otter.ai (transcription service)
- Create new blog post for each episode with Otter Transcription Addition
- Upload Episode page with each new episode
- Open Pexels, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn
- Create episode-relevant content for each type of social media outlet
- Schedule posts for each social media page
- Monitor performance of every outlet through Google Analytics, Twitter Analytics, Facebook Analytics, and Google Adwords
- Upload ad hoc social media posts as required during the week
We are regularly looking for ways to improve the speed and efficiency of delivering high quality episodes. The workflow above is – in this way – fluid. We will be experimenting and changing the ways we produce the show as time permits. We would love to hear your production methods and flows so that we may improve together!
Recording on the Road Production:
Jordan has the privilege of working for a company in his full-time roll as VP of Analytics to attend multiple professional and industry-specific conferences each year. This presents an opportunity to interview lots of interesting people in the data profession as well as record the podcast from various hotel rooms.
However, being away from the Data Couture Podcast Mothership (Jordan’s spare bedroom) presents some challenges. To produce shows on the road Jordan performs all the same steps as above, but one must focus on preparation, i.e. packing the right gear. So, Jordan is sure to pack the following items to make sure that he can both record and interview in the field:
- MacBook Air
- MacBook Charger
- Bluetooth headphones
- Zoom H5 Portable Recorder
- Movo LV-6 Pro Lav Mics
- Jackery Giant+ 12000mAh Portable Battery Pack
- Relevant Cables
- Cable/Accessory Bag
These items are all made for heavy use, so there is not much to worry about if your preferred luggage gets banged around a bit. However, we usually pack the personal carryon with all the electronics, and then the larger carryon/checked luggage holds clothing and the rest.
We maintain multiple social media presences across the internet. Below are some feeds, but be sure to follow on your favorite platform to stay up to date on everything Data Couture has coming out!
Social media is an essential method through which Jordan markets the podcast. He has found that social media marketing is hard. Or, Jordan might just be really bad at social media marketing. Either way, he maintains Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Patreon social pages to get the word out on new episodes, interesting topics, and events that happen in his life related to the show.
You can find our Twitter page feed (@datacouturepod) further up the page and on the right. Here are a few excerpts from our Facebook Feed (facebook.com/datacouturepod):
And, here are a few uploads from our Instagram Feed (@datacouturepodcast):
Data Couture is the podcast covering all things data (and data-driven) culture at home, at work, and on the go.