Podcasting from Home

Photo of my basement podcasting setup

I shared my work from home setup in a post earlier this month, but I’ve since had to set up a second workspace at home too—this one for podcasting. That’s right, quarantine measures or no, we’re hard at work on a third season of “Wireframe,” the documentary series on user experience design that I host for Adobe. (Find all the previous episodes at adobe.ly/wireframe.)

As much as I enjoy sitting at my desk, there was never a hope that I’d be able to record good quality audio there. My home office is on the ground floor and faces the street where the sound of passing cars, buses and, sadly, ambulances is too frequent to be avoided. So I retreated to a corner of our basement where the ambient noise is considerably less problematic. I know nothing about sound production but the fine folks at Pacific Content, with whom we’ve partnered to produce this upcoming third season, shipped me exactly what I needed.

The heart of the setup is a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB audio interface which essentially allows my 2016 MacBook Pro to capture high quality sound. (The two are connected by USB-C, which may actually be the first time I’ve ever actually connected two USB-C devices together.) I have a Shure Beta 58A microphone (with a windstopper) connected to the Scarlett, and it’s propped up with an Amazon Basics tripod mic stand with boom. During sessions I capture my own audio with QuickTime while also talking with the rest of the production crew via video conference. That pretty much monopolizes the screen real estate on my MacBook, so I also like to use my 2018 11-inch iPad Pro to read from episode scripts and to take notes. And I listen to the whole thing with my trusty Sony MDR-V6 over-the-ear studio headphones (which are debatably the same as the more easily found MDR-7506 model), also plugged into the Scarlett.

This all sounds like we’ve been doing this podcasting-from-home thing for weeks but in truth we’re just getting started and still working out the kinks. I do miss the feel of a real recording studio and the ability to interact in person with the crew, but I’m really enjoying the convenience of being able to do pretty much the same thing from home. I’m also grateful to be able to continue working on “Wireframe” despite being in lockdown. We’ve got a great season planned, with lots of great stories about design and how it shapes technology to fit into our lives—including stories about how design, technology and living have changed since pandemic set in. If you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. Our third season kicks off later this year.