Magic Mic has produced 1500 plus podcast episodes across different time zones and countries. He's interviewed massively big CEOs from airlines and big companies. And even Facebook has had him work for them and the National University of Singapore and just all over the place, 1500 plus. That's really awesome. And he hosts the Magic Mic podcast, where he speaks to podcasters globally about the trends in the podcast industry. And we're so thrilled to have him on from Singapore today.
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 578
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See Tom's Stuff – https://linktr.ee/antionandassociates[03:17] Tom's introduction to Magic Mic [05:38] Podcasting from 30,000 feet [08:40] Moving podcast listeners to action [10:42] Have good equipment but plan as well [13:29] What works well to market your podcast [15:25] You MUST have a good microphone [19:15] Difference between condenser and dynamic microphones [22:14] Audio editing for beginners [25:53] What normalization does for your audio [27:57] Using a podcast host [29:07] Building an audio studio
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Michael DeLon – https://screwthecommute.com/577/
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Episode 578 – Magic Mic
[00:00:09] Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money, with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire, Tom Antion.
[00:00:24] Hey, everybody, it's Tom here with episode 578 of Screw the Commute podcast? I'm here with Magic Mic. This guy is one of the world's most experienced podcast engineers. His actual name is K Bharath, and he's the chief engineer at the podcast agency. Pikkal and Company. And that's, I believe, out of Singapore. He'll he'll correct me if I'm wrong. So we'll have him on the minute. We'll talk about podcasting and all the great things that come of it and a little bit of technical stuff. So you know what to buy and what not to buy and all that stuff. All right. I hope you didn't miss Episode 577 Michael Dillon was here. He's a credibility building expert and uses a book as the start of that. But he's got lots of methods so that you increase your credibility, which helps increase your fees and your sales and all that. So that was episode 577. Any time you want to get to a back episode, you go to screwthecommute.com, slash and then the episode number. That was 577. Now pick up a copy of our automation e-book. We actually estimated it about two years ago and found that just one of the tips in this book has saved me seven and one half million keystrokes.
[00:01:47] And we're not exaggerating. Probably 8 million by now. And. I want you to take in your time with customers and prospects and not fighting with your computer. So there's all kinds of cheap and free automation techniques right in front of your face if somebody just showed you how to use them, well, that's what this book will do. Show you how to use them. So pick up your free copy, which we sell it for 27 bucks, but it's yours. Free for listening to the show at screwthecommute.com/automatefree. Now we've got this great program going on for persons with disabilities to get them scholarships and Internet and digital marketing. And we'd love to have your help. It's something you can really be proud of to be involved in. So check out the campaign we have going at IMTCVA.org/disabilities and you can see the Go Fund Me campaign we have there and you can see video updates from the people in the program. It's just so inspiring to see them.
[00:02:56] Two of the people are blind and they're doing internet marketing stuff and they're shooting better videos than I do. Right? So, so check that out. And then, hey, why are you ever getting your copy of your e-book? Pick up a copy of our podcast app at screwthecommute.com/app and you can put us on your cell phone and tablet and take us with you on the road.
[00:03:18] All right. Let's get to the main event. Magic Mic has produced 1500 plus podcast episodes across different time zones and countries. He's interviewed massively big CEOs from airlines and big companies. And even Facebook has had him work for them and the National University of Singapore and just all over the place, 1500 plus. That's really awesome. And he hosts the Magic Mic podcast, where he speaks to podcasters globally about the trends in the podcast industry. And we're so thrilled to have him on from Singapore today. Magic Mic, are you ready to screw? The commute? How are you doing here? I know it's early in the morning over there, so I thank you for getting up to be on the podcast. But boy, 1500 plus episodes, how long have you been doing this?
[00:04:17] I've been doing this for about 3 to 4 years, that's all.
[00:04:20] Wow, you must do this. How many the day is that? Gee whiz.
[00:04:25] It's like 15 hour episodes. Shows. It's all combined. It's. It's yeah, it's crazy.
[00:04:31] I'll bet. Now, are you doing it all remotely or do you go on location or what?
[00:04:37] When we started off, we started off with a studio, so we had a mini studio in this place called Bukit Timah. It's a small play place in Singapore. We actually did most of our recordings there. Then what happened was before the pandemic hit, we decided, Hey, let's just work from home. Let's not do the studio. So what I did was we built up like a road studio, we call it. So we have the podcast approved.
[00:05:09] So you're talking Road. Road, right?
[00:05:12] That's a that's a catch in the name. It's actually like a road studio. Oh. But but it's filled with road equipment. Okay. You know, so we we got a audio-technica a beeps one, those other headsets and those are like the go to studio. It's like a we'll bring the studio anywhere to you because it made more sense. Easy. Mm hmm. So, yeah, that's how we started. Then it went to the road studio, and here we are.
[00:05:38] Well, I hear that you've done them, like, 30,000 feet in the air, too.
[00:05:46] Yeah. Yeah.
[00:05:47] Tell them about that. How did that come about?
[00:05:49] So we were doing a gig where we were going across countries and recording some artists, recording some of the talents for a podcast show. And while commuting me and my colleague, we were thinking, Screw it, why not just record a podcast while we are on air? So I had the Zoom Hitch six with me. I had a couple of audio-technica beeps once.
[00:06:16] Let's tell everybody because they're not real conversant this when he says the zoom h six he's not talking about zoom the the online thing that we do is a zoom is another company that makes digital recorders. So H six is one of the one of the models.
[00:06:31] The audio zoom I'm talking about the that's like a recorder audio recorder that you use to record like nature sounds a lot of nature sounds recorded via that podcasters it's a very popular podcasters mixer mixers, that mini equipment that you use to connect your mics. And it's it's a fantastic piece of equipment. So and it doesn't require any power. If you've came across one, you're just going to use batteries and memory card. It's good.
[00:07:03] It does eat some batteries. I will now I have an H four and an H five and the H 4/8 and batteries pretty quick. So you can get the the AC adapter for them too.
[00:07:16] So you can connect them to your laptops to power it up with a USB. That's perfect. That perfectly works. So yeah, what we did was brought it up in the air. It's like, let's just record there. So hooked it up and started recording a couple of pieces. I still remember the look the lady gave beside me. She was pretty, pretty annoyed because she was having a good sleep. And then these two guys talking about their experiences and and she goes, she was she looked pretty unhappy.
[00:07:48] Well, did you edit it when you got down and have to do a lot of noise reduction or what?
[00:07:55] Not a lot of noise reduction. We kept the noise at the background because it was, you know, authentic. Right. And I fortunately wasn't sitting near the engine. And and luckily, you know, the beep ones, they are pretty good, uh, dynamic microphones, so they don't really pick up a lot of the background noise. And it worked. To a certain extent it worked and it was actually quite an awesome piece, actually.
[00:08:21] Yeah. So that's really great. Even though they won't let you back on that airline anymore.
[00:08:30] Yeah, it was true. Yes.
[00:08:33] Were you wearing your mask when you did?
[00:08:36] No. This was actually pre-COVID before COVID. Pre-covid, yeah.
[00:08:41] Now, you've you've been into this a long time. What? Yeah. I'm wondering, how powerful do you think it is for when people are listening to podcasts that interest them to to move them to action and motivate them and so forth?
[00:08:58] So podcasts are actually are easier to listen and easier to consume. So at least in Singapore context, you know, you can it's easier to listen into an audio than, you know, watch a video or something like that. So I'm a mega fan of actually audio podcasts and I have seen use cases where people have listened to a show and like, hey, you know, thanks all. Thanks for recommending me that show. Thanks for. I reached out to the host. Thanks for actually producing this kind of thing. So you've taught me something. I have experienced that with other shows, even with Magic Mic, to a certain extent, people actually reached out to me and say, thanks for teaching me about this, did didn't know this existed. An example is actually somebody one of my guests edits his podcast while actually taking his dog for a walk. So he actually edits it while he's walking. And, you know, when when he hears like a pause or, you know, he wants to edit that he stops, just takes out his stylus and just cuts it and yeah, he's done that. Yeah. Yeah. So, you know, there are a lot of learning points in podcasts and it's it helps you multitask because I'm a multitasker. Usually when I'm doing stuff in the background, I have a podcast running in the background. It's in a way, it doesn't keep you lonely as well. Actually.
[00:10:28] I'm just I'm just thinking walking the dog and editing is probably okay. But if you were on a date with a woman or something, it's probably not the best thing.
[00:10:37] I'm more likely to do that, you know, given how I know what you your I should say.
[00:10:43] So we know that and we will talk about equipment some, but let's give that as a given. You should have good quality equipment and a little bit of technical knowledge. But but a lot of people don't plan very well for their podcasts. And why do you think like content and marketing and things like that are important when they plan it?
[00:11:04] So. Producing a podcast is easy and it's become easier right now, especially after the pandemic. Access to content are easy, but the key trick here that people need to learn is how are you going to. Sort of. Create that storyboard, create that architecture that your fans are going to understand, your listeners are going to get hooked on to, and how are they going to relate their experiences to you, to your show? That's what people need to sort of unlock, if that makes sense. They need to sort of like relate that. They need to keep in mind that they are talking to somebody else rather than talking to themselves. That's what matters the most. So actually having that content plan, that matters more. Of course, having good equipments also plays a huge part in this, in my opinion. Then comes the marketing. You can say like you can do like snippets and all that, but how are you going to create a stickiness? How are you going to keep fans coming back, you know, seeing your audio, seeing your seeing your your stuff? That's what they sort of need to correct because that's the only uncrackable part right now in the podcasting industry.
[00:12:31] I won't say uncrackable. People have cracked it, but there are more podcasters who are producing podcasts then you know the famous one, if that makes sense. You can hear, but you hear about Joe Rogan's. You hear about celebrity podcasts, but you don't hear about that low lying groups who eventually produce good shows. But the they don't get that reach in that sense. The key to that would be actually producing it consistently if you're producing it on a Sunday at 10 a.m.. Keep pushing it out on Sunday at ten because there you have a consistency and people know this person is going to release it. Then I'm waiting for the show and it's not going to come in like six, seven episodes. It's going to take time. It's going to take time for you to build that audience. It's going to take time for you to hustle and, you know, gather that community. It always will take time. So consistency is answer for that.
[00:13:31] So what other thing? And that's a very important consistency, persistency. What other things have you seen that have worked well for podcasters to market their podcast?
[00:13:43] One probably important thing I've came across recently is actually going on like Facebook, Reddit, you know, just talking about just just being authentic there, talking about your podcasts, you know, saying, hey, check out the show if you're interested, especially those with huge group numbers. Those those those tend to work this this I found out actually last. But to be honest, it's quite interesting how they tend to move in that sense. Reddit, especially Reddit is actually quite an interesting space. And moreover, like TikTok, I'm not sure if you're on TikTok.
[00:14:25] But if I get on TikTok, I'm there for 2 hours before I know what hit me.
[00:14:32] TikTok surprisingly is actually doing well for certain podcasts. You know, those that that's quite explicit or they're quite open in that sense. I see podcasters producing on TikTok and I like they get good numbers in that sense. So that's an interesting space I'm looking at on.
[00:14:53] And you've got to be careful on Reddit, because if you push too hard.
[00:14:58] Reddit, Reddit, people will come after you.
[00:15:01] No, I mean that there are channels specifically for podcasting. I mean, it's where you talk about it's not going in and promoting hardcore promoting your podcast. It's more of like, hey, you know, check out my show or, you know. It's engaging and communicating with that community. So it's like aligning your message with that community that works.
[00:15:25] Now. You've got to have a good microphone. I mean, people try to do this with those darn iPhone earbuds with the microphone hanging on their shoulder and bouncing around. So so talk a little bit about the quality equipment people should have to do podcasting.
[00:15:46] I'm in microphones, at least in Singapore right now. Within a decent microphone is within 100 bucks. And that's actually pretty good. Even the Blue Yeti to a certain extent, it's not the best in my opinion, but it's a decent mic. It's actually like $180, the cheapest you can find here. And this is actually a very important thing. And why why I see this is better than Airpod is because. We're doing a podcast, especially an audio form of podcasts. Your audio is what connects you to your audience. It's what delivers your message, your content to the audience. So imagine having like a hollow audio audio coming out from a bathroom. I'm just going to switch it off. People people forgive a bad video, but they'll never forgive that audio. Exactly. So. So. So I would rather the host invest at least a bit in a proper microphone. I mean, if you're starting out, a $50 microphone is good enough. Even if you decide not to continue your podcast for whatever reasons, maybe you can still use it for your calls. You can still use it for any other stuff you can you can do online. And I think that's a pretty good investment. It's it's good to have one. It's a decent quality start off somewhere. So to me, if you're starting out a podcast, look into buying one $50. One is good, is good enough, better than the AirPods, better than the Polycom. It's better than using your desktop. Audio is way better in my opinion.
[00:17:34] You know the Atari 2100.
[00:17:36] Yeah. That's that's 2100 X is what.
[00:17:40] The newest one. Yeah. Yeah. 2100. Yeah. So one of my students got one for $62 on sale on Amazon and it's just excellent and it's a nice thing about it. I think it's it's USB and excel and excel.
[00:17:55] Exactly. I have the Samsung Q to use as a backup and it looks like a gem. Yeah. It, it's decent enough. It it's good enough. It, it does the job.
[00:18:06] Yeah. Now, now, when you. I didn't catch everything you said about the zoom when you were on the airplane. Were you using the internal mics in the zoom or you plugging in?
[00:18:19] So with that. So with that microphone set up, you need like a proper dynamic microphone. So that cancels the noise to a certain extent. What we were using is this microphone called Audio-Technica VHS, one that comes with the road studio. So, I mean, that was built in. We built it with the road studio. We mixed and matched. That is like, you know, you know that broadcast of microphones you see on TV. Yeah. Yeah. So basically that is one or one of those kinds where you have a headset and it comes up with a boom microphone and it sort of does a very decent job, in my opinion.
[00:18:59] So you were sharing it with the other person or.
[00:19:02] No, no, we had we had we each had one, actually. Yeah. So we we have like a few of those. It's a SLR with a 3.5 Mm. Output for audio.
[00:19:17] Can you, can you tell them a little bit about the difference between condenser microphones and dynamic?
[00:19:23] So dynamic microphone is basically microphone that picks up audio within a bubble. So imagine like I believe you're using this should be right now. Yeah. So all these microphones that we are using right now, it picks up audio within a bubble. So I'm going to show an example. So right now, I'm actually away from my mic and you can hear the audible difference that, you know, I'm a bit softer, I'm a bit coming up, a bit softer, and now I'm really close to my mic. You can hear the difference on audio quality, right? Now, this is a dynamic microphone with a condenser mic. It's more or less it picks up almost everything. There isn't like a bubble. There isn't. There isn't say. I mean, the closer you get, the better you sound. But it's more it picks up basically everything from a wide range. So I have a fan running in the background with a condenser mic. That would be pretty audible. It's still audible now, but it's not as audible if you are using a condenser.
[00:20:29] I can't can't hear it and I've got good headphones on.
[00:20:34] A good condenser mic would be the root anti USB in my opinion, anti USB and eight 2020. The Audio-Technica 2020.
[00:20:43] Are pleased to have that one, but the darn thing was it was just too sensitive for home studio. That's that was the problem. I was editing extra hours to try to get breaths out and any little noise out even with noise gates and.
[00:20:57] So with the condenser mic, you need to have that pop shield and other pop filters, all that kind of stuff with the dynamic. Might not you still need them, but not as important in my opinion, because it's all about mic positioning.
[00:21:13] All right, so you test here since I got this superstar on the line here. So I'm about nine inches from the microphone right now.
[00:21:22] All right.
[00:21:23] So if I now I'm four inches, which do you think is better for. Oh, boy, I better. I got to move this over now.
[00:21:34] I mean with the sure same seven B it's a very minor difference but you got to have a year for it. The closer you are to the show, in my opinion, the better it sounds.
[00:21:43] All right, so here I am at 3 to 4 inches. I even hear it in the headphones. It's like more depth to the whole thing.
[00:21:51] There's a bit more bass to it, you know. It brings out the full range of the issue, as said.
[00:21:57] You know what though, Magic Mic, it doesn't make me look any better other than it covers my face more if I'm closer to.
[00:22:07] That's what podcast does it, it doesn't give you a face. I mean, it is good and bad to it, but it gives you a very good audio. It gives you a very sexy audio. Yeah.
[00:22:15] There we go. So now I've edited every single one of your episode 578, so I've edited them myself with Adobe Audition. But what do you recommend for beginners now? I've actually been on podcasts in and I ask them, I say, Hey, what do you edit with? And I say, I don't even edit it well. So I'm thinking, Do you think that's a bad idea if you want to compete at the highest levels?
[00:22:47] No. I mean, if you want to edit it, it's good to have, um, you know, a bit of groundwork done to, you know, know it's, know how it's edited, what are the elements involved? Of course, if you're not editing it, you're outsourcing it. You save a bit of time. You know, you focus on the content planning because I'm sure, you know, editing takes a lot of time, right?
[00:23:08] It takes less time. Now that I got a dynamic mic, because before I was having so many audible breaths that was killing me and any other noises. So, so now it takes less time, but I kind of enjoy it, you know, it's, it's fun to do and but it does, it does take time, but it isn't that hard. I mean, if.
[00:23:29] I mean.
[00:23:29] With a little bit of training.
[00:23:31] When I interviewed some guys on Magic Mic the they were they are thought process was like I want to save time on editing so I can focus more on the content on the marketing. So it's a trade off to them, some of them. But one tool I would recommend for beginners would be actually audacity. That's a free.
[00:23:53] Thing. Yeah.
[00:23:55] You can use it for your windows. You can use it for your Mac Linux if I'm not wrong as well. So it it's pretty robust. It's pretty it's almost quite similar to Adobe. Adobe audition, but it doesn't have the plug ins and all that.
[00:24:14] Yeah. Tell me about plug ins. Like I actually got a deep breath plug in from waves and it never worked because the breaths were different all the time.
[00:24:23] So I don't I don't usually use the plug ins because there are a lot of variables in a podcast, especially ever since we transitioned into online setting. There are more variables, so I don't really use plug ins that much. I use more for my hear and feel, if that makes sense.
[00:24:41] Yeah, well I use someone recommended to me in SE one noise reduction and it works way better than the internal noise reduction that Adobe has. And it's very simple and it was very cheap. And so so I use that and I primarily use that for my audio books where the quality really has to, you know, you have to meet the requirements of Audible and AC and if you're familiar with those.
[00:25:13] Companies, yeah, yeah.
[00:25:14] But yeah, they have very exacting requirements and it took me a while to learn how to to get the RMBS values right and, and then you change one thing and something else would change and you know, you had to, you had to normalize the three three DB and there's all kinds of stuff you had to do. But once I learned it, man, the audio was great and it got accepted right away. So that was good.
[00:25:41] But that that takes time. But audacity works well if you're a beginner, in my opinion, you know, without any plug ins or anything. Yeah, just normalize, compress. And, you know, I usually do a hard limit just to make sure everything is smooth.
[00:25:55] Explain, to explain to them normalization what that means.
[00:25:59] So normalization is sort of like it brings the audio slightly louder. It's sort of like makes the audio more loud, if that makes sense. It's sort of like levels the audio compressor. On the other hand, it sort of like brings the small peaks into louder. It's sort of like matches the, uh, the louder peaks and the smaller peaks in that sense, so that it doesn't sound in balance because sometimes, you know, when, when you're talking like this, it's only go low and then suddenly you start coming up high. So it's just to match that in balance. A compressor doing a compressor on that, it helps.
[00:26:44] Yeah. In the compressor I was, I learned a long time ago that it makes your audio easier to listen to on earbuds and on airplanes and cars and everything, rather than because if they can't hear part of it, like you said earlier, they're going to leave. They're going to. Yeah, turn it off.
[00:27:06] And like normalizing it and compressing it. It's sort of like it does the job. It really does enough.
[00:27:11] How many? Recordings you think you'll do before you retire?
[00:27:18] I don't know. I don't know. I'm I'm slowly stepping away. Not not busy recording, but I am focusing more on how to get better data for the podcast, more on the marketing side. So that's something I'm trying to focus on and know the performance side of podcasts because there is a real demand there as to, like I was mentioning earlier, is it's slightly uncrackable, you know, how do you get proper data? How do you use that data to actually make better decisions for your podcast? So that's what I'm trying to sort of figure out and try to get my need.
[00:28:01] And how are you doing that? And I like for instance, we use Lipson as the podcast host and that's probably one thing we should talk about to people. Like they figure, Well, I'll just put this on my website. No, you don't.
[00:28:16] You know, you don't it and no, you don't. So I use Transistor to actually play around. Okay. I feel transistors data is pretty robust. What, what.
[00:28:26] What do you look for in data besides.
[00:28:29] It now how the episode is doing from the one that is something I look at. Where, where is it popular? What kind of platforms are people listening into, what devices people use to listen into? So all of these small things matter to me. So I'm actually looking at it. I'm still in the learning stage, I should say. So it it's still interesting how data impacts the listeners, how it impact it sort of gives you an avatar. It gives you it gives you a picture that this is what I need to do in order to get this. So so it's just a lot of experiments for now, I should say.
[00:29:13] Now, when you built the studio at home, how much effort did you put into sound? You know, the walls and the floors and the ceilings and and so forth to to to get the best sound you could out of your house.
[00:29:29] So fortunately, walls and stuff, I didn't spend much because I have a very packed room there. Yeah. So there's, there's a lot of like things to break up my audio. The what matters is you should have a lot of things like shelves, plants, the TV, maybe, uh, you know, a bit even a fan, for example, all this equipment, all this stuff, it should be there to break up the audio so that the audio wave doesn't bounce back and, you know, creates that echo that you hear, that you hear in a glass room music. So that's something that helps. In terms of mics, I have a route Costa Pro on my own, so I bought that. That was about 800 at that time. As And I have a root port mic which I'm using right now, so that's about 150 as it is. It costs me about a K, about one K with the miscellaneous equipment and all that stuff.
[00:30:27] Yeah. So it's been very informative. Thanks. Thanks so much for coming on. How do they how would somebody reach you?
[00:30:35] You can look up on LinkedIn, you can find me on LinkedIn Bharath K from Pikkal and happy to respond to any kind of messages.
[00:31:08] All right. We'll get that in the good in the show notes.
[00:31:10] It's a tough pronunciation.
[00:31:12] And that's LinkedIn, you mean.
[00:31:15] Beautiful. Well, thanks so much. I appreciate you getting up for us.
[00:31:20] Thank you, Tom. Glad to be on your show.
[00:31:22] Okey doke. We'll get you all in the next episode. See you later.