The Backstory to Great Audio Storytelling, hosted by Rob Rosenthal, for Transom and PRX.
Getting Honest —The Editor, Producer Relationship
Typically, what happens between an editor and a producer is private. In this archive episode of the Sound School Podcast from 2014, editor Viki Merrick and producer Will Coley offer listeners a gift taking us behind the scenes for the production of Will's first-person documentary "Southern Flight 242: Bringing My Father Home." As Viki put it, she had to coach Will through "the emotional ditch" to fully tell the story.
Darts and Laurels Minus the Darts
In another installment of Sound School’s occasional episodes offering darts and laurels for exceptional and not-so-exceptional work, Rob is offering nothing but laurels. Two for This American Life's episode "Name. Age. Detail." Another for a piece reported in Poland by NPR's Ari Shapiro which used translation to great effect.
Two Years of Reporting Whittled Down to Fourteen Minutes – Elissa Nadworny
This is the first episode of the Sound School Podcast (formerly HowSound). It's still from PRX and Transom. Rob's still the host. And the show is still committed to digging deep on the backstory to great audio storytelling. Our first episode features NPR's education reporter Elissa Nadworny dissecting how she kept everything straight -- all the files, the notes, the story -- while reporting a two-part series about education in prison. Her insight is super helpful regardless of topic and length of time reporting.
Wolves, Horses, Boars, Birds, and Bugs
Field recordist Melissa Pons says one of the most important elements of recording soundscapes isn't the gear -- it's you. If you're humble and connect to how the landscape makes you feel, your recordings will benefit. Recording sounds around the world on this episode of HowSound.
Tips For Interviewing Shy People (Especially Nuns)
Some interviewees are shy. Others guarded. Yet, you need to talk to them for a story. How do you help them open up? Erika Lantz and Elin Lantz Lesser have a lot of ideas. They spent the better part of a year interviewing former nuns in Mother Teresa's order, the Missionaries of Charity, for The Turning: The Sisters Who Left. Their approach offers valuable lessons for any interviewer.
Nausea, Forehead Mics, and Immersion
Almost every reporting trip has its pitfalls. Andrew Leland's recent story for Radiolab had more than most: He reported people with disabilities participating in tests for travel in space. Along with the nausea and recording challenges in zero gravity, Andrew has lost much of his sight. On this HowSound, Andrew lays out how he navigated it all.
A critical and kind look at sound story.
Sound School Podcast is a story-centered sound universe that will almost certainly help you see whatever you are working on now more clearly. You’ll hear, “don’t stop.” And you really won’t want to stop. Because, our guide, Rob, shares stories with a balanced mix of deeply serious craft talk and criticism with his specific warm and focused kindness. Listen for the punk rock, for the crickets, for the quirks, and not only that. Listen for great stories and hear from the people who make them.
The Gold Standard
As a podcast producer, How Sound is my Bible. I have never listened to an episode without learning something helpful or hearing something that reinforces my nuanced practice. And it’s genuinely fun to listen to, every time it makes me smile or experience a moment of awe. I recommend How Sound to audio producers and storytellers at any level of experience.