21 Sep Podcast Kits for Check-Out: In Time for the Circuit Breaker
By Robert Nelson
Robert J. Nelson here. As head of Media Studios at the Marriott Library, access to the Audio Studio – located in the Faculty Center – has been a prime resource for students, faculty, and staff at the University of Utah. The lion’s share of usage in the soundproof space has been for the creation of podcasts.
Covid-19 has necessitated changes for Audio Studio users.
- Unmediated user access has been suspended. Tap-cards will not gain access to the locked Audio Studio.
- All studio reservations will take place between 9AM-5PM; Monday through Friday.
- All reservation requests submitted to email@example.com.
- No drop-in requests allowed.
- Media Studios staff will ensure that the Audio Studio is properly sanitized one half hour before recording.
- Bookings need a half hour between sessions for proper sanitization.
- Media Studios staff, with limited exceptions, will record the session in the Control Booth.
- Audio Studio patron remains in the Performance Space.
- Patron and Staff will wear masks in the setup and completion of recording.
- Sound file will be exported in a contact-less delivery fashion via Ubox, Google Drive or Dropbox, etc.
Temporary Podcast rules:
- One person recordings will use a microphone, with a disposable cover, without mask.
- Two or more person recordings will need to be distanced at six feet apart. ALL will be required to wear their masks during recording.
- Two person podcasts should expect that one person is in the Audio Studio while another calls into the Audio Studio phone-line.
So, a month in, how are things going?
Nothing. What was once a bustling space, which could accommodate trained/approved users 7 days per week – all hours the Library was open – has flat lined.
In my month back to campus, Tuesdays and Thursdays, I have observed how few people are physically in the Library. There are issues of convenience if a normal two or three person podcast require masks to have a discussion. Even though I have offered a phone call-in arrangement, so far no takers. (Covid-19 was an opportunity to upgrade our analog studio phone to a VOIP digital one.)
If people are working remotely, they have no reason to come to campus. Five months of quarantine has allowed people to adapt to a work from home productivity routine. Maybe experienced podcasters have traded professional recording for “pretty good” home production.
I know that during the lockdown, I had advised people on how to podcast from home. Enough requests that I crafted a LibGuide:
The Snowball USB mic is the microphone I used for home broadcasting for KRCL during the Spring shutdown at the local community radio station. I like it because it is on a tripod and has less “moving parts”. It is a decent mic for a two person recording.
Until we “return to normal”, if you want to demo the Snowball for your homebound podcast production, I have ordered and placed four microphones for check-out at the Knowledge Commons Desk on Level 2. It comes in a sturdy plastic case with instructions.
Faculty/Staff can check out a kit for 3 days. Students can have one for 30 days. Spend the two week Circuit Breaker producing media at home.
In the meantime, the Audio Studio still has relevance: Teaching and Learning Technologies is using the studio for online course development.
Robert Nelson | Head of Media Studios
Creativity & Innovation Services / Media Studios