I attempt to be a minimalist in most things. I operate paperlessly at work. I like organisation, clear space and things being generally clean, tidy, simple and hassle-free, yet also intentional and purposeful at the same time. It might be a bit of a cliche, but a tidy house/office equals a tidy mind.
Then you get a dog, a family and work long hours away from home, and everything falls into a shit heap pretty damn fast. That's a reality most of the minimalist YouTubers won't tell you. That's mainly because they're all in their 20's, child-less and work from home... But I digress...
An area of my life over which I'm able to maintain some minimalist control is what I do in the online space. Case-and-point - look at this website! I also try to stay mobile-only as much as possible. As such, when the time came to seriously consider a podcast, after some research, I went with Anchor.
I actually had a PodBean account once upon a time too, but I went for Anchor in this endeavor because I want to keep things simple. But there are some drawbacks. Anchor effectively owns your RSS feed. In other words, your content is their property. This is what makes Anchor "free." For a hobby podcaster, such as myself, this doesn't really mean a whole lot. What matters to me is the simplicity the service provides for a time poor individual such as myself.
The idea was simple. If I could get away with podcasting by using only my phone with just a few apps and maybe a teeny-tiny investment in a microphone or two, then I would do it. It turns out you can, so I did.
Aside from getting up and running with the Anchor app, the next step was playing with the microphones I already had at my disposal. I started with my AirPods. The exercise was a complete failure. I tried recording into first the Anchor app and then the native iOS voice recorder. Both times the quality was simply unusable. Next I tried just talking into the phone as if I were on a phone call. The quality is surprisingly good. I mean, really good. It's actually better than what I finally went with for my Podcast trailer, which was to use my Rode SmartLav+ and record straight into the Anchor app.
If you've listened to the trailer, I'm sure you'd agree the quality is okay at best. In hindsight I wish I just spoke into the phone like I did during the second test. I've since downloaded the Rode Reporter app and played around with that a bit. The results are a bit more promising. Something about Rode hardware and Rode software working together produces a better result. My workflow for actual episodes will likely be to use my Rode SmartLav+, record into the Rode Reporter app and then import the completed audio file into Anchor. This should make solo shows a pinch.
Interviews are the next challenge. During some late night Googleing, I discovered the Rode SC6-L. So I decided to pick up one of those and a second SmartLav+. Okay, looking good for face-to-face interviews now. But what about long distance interviews?
It seems the easiest way is by using the Skype app and making use of its in-call recording function, downloading the completed recording and import it into Anchor. I fear though this is where the sound quality might take a dip compared to my solo episodes. We'll see.
EDIT: Okay, so Anchor also seems to have this built right into the app!
I also know I've also committed some podcast sins. I've done this knowingly. I haven't really given my show a title. My show is simply named after my internet-handle. It doesn't really have a set topic or niche either. These are absolute cardinal sins of podcasting. Maybe these things will come with time? For now, I'm more than happy to simply experiment and see what comes naturally. I don't really want to force anything. I just want to be authentic and see what happens.
Besides, with such a ridiculous internet-handle, why not just lean into all the way and own it?
Something else that was a bit of a let down, although it’s a cool feature, is the trailer video you can produce in the Anchor app. When it only outputs a resolution of 360p, it’s a little embarrassing to put out there. But what the hell. It’s out there. Nothing I can do about it now.