Corey: Dave and Geri have been waking up West Michigan for over 20 years. Then, you were off the air. What happened?
Dave: Pretty typical story, but it certainly didn't make it any easier to swallow. They just didn't want to pay us anymore. Our contracts were up at the Regent AC station and it was bye-bye Dave and Geri. We then did 10 months for Citadel at 105.3 HOT-FM before Farid decided HE didn't want to pay us anymore. Ya gotta love those spreadsheets, right? They don't have faces.
Corey: Now you're doing a daily show via podcast. How are you creating this show? (Many readers would be interested in the equipment you're using, etc.)
Dave: We thought about this for about a year before really moving on it. We are fortunate to have Jerry Del Colliano as our advisor and mentor. We speak every week with him and discuss not just how the content should be presented, but how to monetize it as well. Jerry knows that we're a local "brand" and so doesn't really dictate to our daily content or presentation UNLESS we ask for it. After all, this is not radio. There's no music. But there can be "bits" and phoners and interviews since those are the things that keep any audience engaged. Geri's the best at finding really compelling content every single day, both local and otherwise.
We use GARAGEBAND to record each show on a (now aging) Dual G5 Mac. I have an 8-channel Alesis MultiMix USB 2.0 digital mixer I picked up for just under $300 online from Musiciansfriend.com along with two HEIL PR-30 mics which sound very warm, a couple of clamp-style booms and shock mounts for the PR-30's. I also have an older analog Mackie 10-channel mixer that I can use for additional inputs as well. We also have a SKYPE-IN phone line as our "studio line" for messages from our listeners and general phone recording. It's only $60 a year for a LOCAL phone number and has been terrific for the call in interviews. I have a JK Audio Inline Patch Telephone Audio Interface for dial-out recording on the way. They retail for $270 but you can sometimes find them cheaper on ebay or by looking around online. Mine was $240 new, I think. (See end of article for price comparisons on Dave and Geri's equipment.)
Yes, we've spent a few dollars for our home studio, but you don't HAVE too. A decent sounding USB mic can work just as well straight in to whatever computer and software you use.
Like I said, all of this feeds into GARAGEBAND which does a nice job at assigning each mixer channel to a different track. I mix it down to an 160 kbps mono mp3 file, and sweeten it a bit with a program for the Mac called Sound Studio. Then I down sample it to 64 kbps mono mp3 and it's ready to go. I use a program called "Feed For ALL" to create the .xml file, to add each days content to the feed and to upload it to my servers. I worked with my ISP guy (Jim Miles at dotcomproductions.com) who hosts daveandgeri.com in Florida to sell me some extra bandwidth in case we need the head room and the downloads really pick up. Bandwidth can get expensive if you go over your ISP's limits. I keep as much of this stuff in MY control as possible so I don't get any surprises later.
I'm no computer genius but I do know my way around one. Most of this stuff I learned as I went long, not without a lot of PAIN, I promise you.