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Sunday, June 6, 2010

BTS of Knights of the Guild Podcast

Many have asked how I go about making Knights of the Guild podcast so I thought it would be fun to explain how I do it step by step.

Pre-Production: Having a podcast isn't just recoding a show and posting it on itunes. It's managing and promoting a product. I manage Knights of the Guild's twitter account @knightsofguild, Facebook fan page, WatchtheGuild Group, KOTG forums threads at Treksf, Geekerdome and Anomaly. I maintain the KOTG blog and podbean website. I commission people to create music and logos for KOTG. I manage the donation, mail off autographed pictures, t-shirt and other KOTG Shwag, as well as purchase all KOTG shwag. I purchase the urls, the websites, podcasting equipments and other operating materials. I do most of this stuff on a daily bases.

Now to the podcasting part:

First thing I do is set up a date to record with Jenni, once we determine that I start creating show outlines for both parts.

This includes having to decide on where our location is going to be. Recording in the studio is the easiest as it doesn't require any sound effects. When I pick a location it requires me to find sound effect for that location, and sometimes it's tough to come up with what kind of SFX you would hear.

I also have to figure out who we are going to interview for our Cast or Crew interview, we alternate back and forth with each episode. I also have to find a fan to interview as well. Once I find these people I have to contact them and set up a time that we are all available and able to record on Skype.

I then determine which segments go where as our podcast has grown over the year and we have split it into two parts. It's important to me to see both parts balance and entertaining.

I send emails out to cast and crew and notify them of the upcoming podcast and if they wish to get any news out to the fans.

I manage all the contests, create spread sheets so I can pick random winners. Maintaining all the contest is a job unto it's self.

I manage all the listener comments, Sean Questions and Cast questions if we have any. I create word documents with all the questions to make it easier when we record.

I normally get all this done a few days before we record. On record day I started about two hours before Jenni arrives and go over everything again. Make sure the equipment is working correctly. Make sure our interviews are set (if we are doing them that day. Sometimes we do Cast, Crew and Fan interviews beforehand or after we record, just depends on everyones schedule).

Production: When Jenni arrives we go over notes for a few minutes, get comfortable and then we began. It normally takes between 2 to 3 hours to record an episode, both parts 1 & 2.

Post-Production: Once we are done recording the editing process starts. I normally go though the recordings with Audacity (it's what we use to record them) and I'll edit out long pauses, or stuff that isn't to air. I'll also edit out mistakes (especially when I'm reading listener feedback). Editing just 1 part can take up to three or four hour. And then I have to do the same to part 2. Once those are edited I then start Avid to assemble the pieces together to create the podcast.

In avid I have all the bumpers, promos and other podcast elements. I import the edited podcasts along with listener feedback audio and any other audio that is going to be used in the podcast. I start with a vorkism, cut in an opening then cut the edited podcast in. I then go in and cut in all the bumpers between segments. I also cut in promo during the commercial breaks and other elements. Once everything is roughly assembled I do another pass and make sure everything sound smooth. I'll add dissolves or fade in and such to make it sound good. Once that pass is done I do a SFX pass, if we are at a location I go through and add SFX here and there. Once that is done I do one more final pass to make sure I got everything. This editing process take about six to seven hours.

Once I'm happy with it, I export an AVI and import it into Levelator which levels out the audio. I then import the leveled AVI file into Audacity and do a quick check to make sure the levels sound good. Once I'm done with that I export it as an MP3 file. I then import it into Itunes and add the artwork. Now the file is done and ready to be uploaded to podbean. So I start to upload the file to podbean and as I'm doing that I create a blog post with all the show notes and pictures for that episode. This whole process take about three hours.

When a show goes live I have to post the show notes on the KOTG Blog, my personal blog, Twitter, Treks in Scifi Forums, Anomaly Forums, Geekerdome website and forums, Watch the Guild. com Group and the Facebook group.

By the time I get done with both parts I'm already planning the next episode. As you can see it's a big job creating, maintaining and promoting this podcast. I have said in the past that this has become a time consuming hobby. Folks ask me why I do it if I am not getting paid, I tell them I enjoy it, it's fun being part of the Guild family and I like spreading the Guildie love around.

Hopefully this gives you a little taste of the behind the scenes of Knights of the Guild Podcast


  1. Thanks Kenny for all your hard work! Your description made it clear just exactly how dedicated you are to all us guildes :) I wasn't too sure about what exactly went into creating and producing a podcast but now I can see it's waaaaay more work than I can ever imagine.

  2. I'm so glad you posted this, Kenny! It's a real eye-opener to see all the steps involved.

    Thank you again for all the hard work you do and I hope you realise how much people appreciate it.