Summer is a great time of year to search for new podcasts. Whether you are walking the dog, setting up a show or taking a cross-country drive, podcasts can fill your mind with ideas without tying up either your hands or your eyes. Following up on my previous article, this summer’s podcasts are all about obsession and sound - and the people that bring it all together.
Podcast #1: The Audio Programmer Podcast
https://theaudioprogrammer.com/ We’ll start with a dive into the ultra-geek: The Audio Programmer Podcast. This relatively new, often-weekly podcast lives in the deep pool, where audio programming is normalcy and C++ is a mainstream language. While not completely relevant to most Max programmers (unless you are diving into the Max SDKs), you will hear a lot about people that are making a living from audio programming - and you’ll hear about the variety of things it takes to be successful in that endeavor. The host, Joshua Hodge, does a great job of pushing for details while still remaining fascinated with the basic of audio programming. This podcast could easily go into The World Of The Obscure, but Hodge does a good job of reining it in when necessary. If you’ve ever thought about audio programming as a profession, it’s good to hear from people in the field - and this is one of the few podcasts where that happens.
(Available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify)
Podcast #2: Source Of Uncertainty
The opposite of “reining it in” is found in Source Of Uncertainty, A Buchla Podcast 4U. In the first episode of this new podcast, the hosts (Robert and Kyle) talk about their own journeys, spend some time patching (and explaining the work), and interview a guest (in this case, Todd Barton). The ‘cast clocks in at nearly 2 hours, but is presented in a way that allows you to listen for a while, then re-engage whenever you’d like. As a monthly podcast, it can afford to focus on very tweaky stuff; you won’t get exhausted by discussions about Buchla gear through over-exposure. But, in fact, the process that they (and their guests) describe their work easily translates into whatever kind of sound design work you can imagine. It helps to have the Buchla site open when they describe their work; they often talk about Buchla modules by model number only (for instance: “take the output of the 284 into the second input of the 266…”); so you need to know what they are describing to get value from it. But it’s a fascinating listen, and may draw out a different kind of thinking about sound.
(Available on most podcasting platforms)
Podcast #3: West Coast Fog Radio
Taking a completely different approach to podcasting, we have West Coast Fog Radio, brought to you by Erik Bluhm - a long time proponent of all things California. This podcast is the opposite of technical; it surfs the world of West Coast counterculture through its music, and presents everything from early-era computer music through folk-tinged New Age in a seamless mix of obscure oddities. Erik is producing something that feels almost like Californian ASMR, with heartfelt odes to pelicans followed by a buzzing electronic drone, and smooth flute+synth tracks mixed with spoken word punk poetry. Much of the work is either self-released or from small labels, so each episode will open doors to new artists - or at least reveal works that you’ve never heard before.
(Available on most podcasting platforms)
Podcast #4: Field Trips
Taking a different angle on ‘location’ is Mola (Chase Lynn), with the Field Trip series. This 14-episode podcast is a specific location, with a short narrative by the producer along with a lengthy listening-only section for your enjoyment. This series is all located in England, from Picadilly through the sea, and is impeccably recorded and presented. The commentary is wonderful: a relaxed chat about technique, motivation or the location itself. There is no sense of promotion here - it’s a passion project by someone that knows how to effectively capture a place via sound. This was a binge-listening extravaganza, and makes me really wish for Field Trips Version Two!
A "Greatest Hits" compilation of this work can be found here: https://mola-recordings.bandcamp.com/album/souvenirs
Quite an array of podcasts, right? Some may not be to your taste, but all of them can open doors to interesting ways of thinking about your work, and about learning how others have approached their work. Rack ‘em up, and listen your way through the summer!