Welcome to Be Your Own Radio - a podcast about creating podcasts. Also a zine. Also a way of thinking about podcasts. (Also an academic exercise).
BYOR is a series of six podcasts detailing how to make a podcast from scratch. It will take you through everything you need to know in order to start recording and publishing your own podcast, with little or no monetary outlay. BYOR also approaches podcasting from a specific angle. If you just want to learn how to get started head over to the podcast section, download the zine and follow the links in the resources section for everything you need to start or continue your podcasting journey. If you want to learn more about the reasons behind this project keep reading.
There are three main aspects to the thinking behind Be Your Own Radio: Convergence Culture, Ubiquitous Devices and Open Source software. What this means in real terms is little or no cost, quick and easy podcast production. The BYOR method gives you everything you need to know to record, edit and publish your own podcast. The podcast, zine and this website provide all the resources you'll need.
Convergence Culture is the idea of new and old technology colliding, as outlined by Henry Jenkins1. This means the use of digital and analogue technology together. Smartphones and mixing desks, whatever it takes to get it done. Ubiquitous devices are the pieces of technology most of us now own (78% smartphone ownership in the UK as of 2019). A smartphone, for example, is a computer with built-in microphone which can connect to the Internet, i.e. everything you need to create a podcast. Open Source software is a way of creating and releasing software. The source code is published and available to adapt to one's own purposes. Usually Free (to adapt) as well as free, or low cost to use. The overriding driver, however, is pragmatism, and so some low-cost, non-open source pieces of software are also suggested.
Be Your Own Radio developed out of my experiences as a sound engineer, community radio practitioner and podcaster. Over the years I have trained 100s of people to use audio and broadcast equipment. I have delivered workshops in this methodology, and I thought it would be a good idea to collate this knowledge into a variety of media in order to make it more easily available to a wider audience, in the hope it can be a useful starting point. This also forms part of my research at Falmouth University, where I am researching ways to get more people involved in broadcasting and podcasting using different digital technologies. What excites me about podcasting and community radio is the D.I.Y. ethic and giving the means of media production to those who have not normally had that access. However, even with the democratising media of podcasting, certain people are still missing out due to certain barriers, and this project is one way to hopefully overcome some of those barriers.
Listen to the podcasts, download and read (and print and distribute) the zine. Find the resources mentioned linked to on this web page, and start creating your own podcasts. If you do use this methodology at all to create content, I would be very grateful if you were to get in touch and I will add you to the Podcasts section of this page. Any feedback also welcomed.
You can listen to the series of podcasts here or subscribe via RSS here. They take you through everything you need to know.
Episode One starts with the basics. What is a podcast? Why podcast? And where do I start...?
Episode Two teaches you about the recording process. From minimal setups just using a phone through to more professional equipment.
Episode Three deals with editing. You've recorded your audio - now what do you do with it?
Episode Four deals with advanced audio. Effects and processing. What if you want to include music & imaging in your podcast...? From open source libraries to everything you need to know to create your own music.
Episode Five deals with mastering. A thorny subject among podcasters. What's the best procedure and how do I ensure I don't ruin my podcast when it appears on a multitude of platforms?
Episode Six deals with everything you need to know about publishing. Which are the best (open source) platforms? Copyright, licensing and more. What else can you do with your new found skills...?
To accompany the podcast is a zine, downloadable in pdf format from here: Be Your Own Radio.pdf. The belief is that the two media can work together to provide a more clear route to creating your own podcast.
The zine is distributed under the Creative Commons license, so you can print and distribute it as you see fit, non-commercially.
Here is a list of useful resources to help you on your journey and links to download all the software used in Be Your Own Radio. Mostly free, but some not...
Get in touch to suggest other useful resources.
Here's a list of podcasts created using techniques outlined in Be Your Own Radio. Please add yours by getting in touch...
Be Your Own Radio is also delivered as a community workshop. I can be booked to deliver it if you get in touch. Details of workshops (past or future)...
Get in touch if you have any feedback or questions, if you'd like to list your podcast as one that has used the BYOR methodology, if you'd like to book or come along to a workshop, or if you'd just like to say "hello".
All materials are distributed under the Creative Commons License 4.0, you can freely use all materials and resources on this website for non-commercial purposes, provided full credit is given.