PreSonus Blog

Tag Archives: Podcasting


Heartcast Media in Washington, DC and the StudioLive 16

Heartcast Media is a dedicated full-service studio in Washington, D.C. that works with clients to create high quality, authentic podcast content that inspires, educates and connects. Molly Ruland and her team specialize in working with entrepreneurs, visionaries, and businesses of all sizes who have an impactful point-of-view.

Woman-owned Heartcast Media is the vision of Molly Ruland who is dedicated to helping individuals and organizations bring their authentic, original content to life through podcasts. A sister-company to One Love Massive, Heartcast Media clients range from go-go bands to conservative political commentators.

They’re also PreSonus users—and have recorded 85 bands and 150 podcasts in the past 11 months alone!

We think Molly’s business idea is genius, and of course we’re glad that they’ve chosen the StudioLive 16 for their time-sensitive workflow. From the Heartcast website:

We have fully embraced technology and have figured out how to eliminate post production with real time video editing and audio mastering. We deliver all files within 48 hours of recording, typically within 3-4.

We’re proud to be a part of their process, so we wanted to hear more about how this whole operation works. Read all about Molly and Heartcast Media….

Tell us about your background. How long have you been in the audio industry? 

I have owned and operated a multimedia company for the last 20 years. I was primarily focused on artist bookings and events. Creating an aesthetic has always been my passion. 

How has the audio industry changed since your early days?

Everything is so streamlined now, and the gatekeepers have been removed. I love the idea of accessibility and practicality. Information is readily available which has opened doors for people who weren’t always welcome at the table, and I think that’s great. 

How did Heartcast Media come about? 

After recording 85 bands and 150 podcasts in 11 months, I realized that my passion and vision align perfectly through podcast production. I love amplifying voices, I always have. I saw a need in the market for high-quality turnkey podcast production, so I created the business to solve that problem. We do things differently—we embrace technology, and by doing so we are able to eliminate the need for a lot of post-production. This saves people time and money and our clients love that. 

What’s your favorite podcast right now? Are you allowed to have a favorite? 

Tom Bilyeu’s Impact Theory. No question, hands down. Game changer for me. 

Tell us about your podcast. Where did the idea for your podcast come from? How does your first podcast compare to your most recent? 

I have just launched The Lower Third Podcast because I know so many amazing people whom I garner so much inspiration from, and I wanted to interview and talk to them about mindset and passion. It’s a work in progress. I am looking forward to producing more episodes. However, my passion is producing other people’s podcast and helping them be successful. 

There are so many podcasts these days. How do you stand out? 

Having a plan for your podcast is imperative. Every podcaster should examine how and if their podcast is providing value. If there isn’t a clear answer, you don’t have a podcast yet. 

What challenges do you face recording a podcast?  

I am positive that most people don’t understand how much work goes into creating and producing a podcast. It’s a lot of work. It’s not cheap either, and anyone who tells you can start a podcast for $100 is delusional. If you are going to start a podcast you have to have a lot of resilience and a strong sense of self, because it will be a heavy rock to push uphill until you get momentum. It will not happen overnight. 

What advice do you have for someone who wants to start a podcast? 

Have a plan, understand the workload, and always be open to being wrong. 

How did you first hear of PreSonus?

I learned about PreSonus through Adam Levin at Chuck Levin’s Music Center in Wheaton, Maryland. It’s legendary. 

What PreSonus products do you use?

I have the StudioLive 16 in my studio, and we love it. It’s a little more than we need for podcasts, but we also produce live music events so it’s great to have a board that can do both. It’s a solid piece of equipment with really great features that fit our needs. It’s a beautiful board, what’s not to love?

Recent projects? What’s next for you?

My goal is to produce the best podcasts coming out of the East Coast by elevating and amplifying voices in my community that will make the world a better place, one conversation at a time. Every city should have a Heartcast Media. 

Stay connected with Heartcast Media on Instagram! 

Learn more about the StudioLive family here! 

Rich Mahan Discusses Podcasting and the Quantum

We recently had the opportunity to hear from Rich Mahan who is a guitarist, singer-songwriter, podcaster, and a PreSonus user! If you’re not familiar with Rhino, we’re excited to introduce you to it. It is important and very well-respected reissue label, the label home of Warner Music’s legendary catalog. Currently living in Nashville, Rich where he records his podcast titled the Rhino Podcast. This biweekly podcast dives into classic artist and albums, interviews with musicians and lots of behind the scenes stories about some of the most legendary music. Their latest episode discusses Prince and it’s very entertaining!  Read all about his thoughts on the growing a creating a podcast, the industry, gear and the Quantum 2!

 

Tell us about your background. How long have you been in the audio industry? 

I started recording in the mid 90’s on a Vestax 4 track cassette recorder, moved up to a Tascam 388 reel to reel, and then to computer-based recording around 2003, starting originally using Vegas.  I’ve been working in Pro Tools now for about 15 years.

How has the Audio industry changed since your early days?

The gear keeps getting better and better.  The quality you can capture in a home studio or out in the field is unreal, and digital editing has changed everything.  You can repair audio problems now that you simply couldn’t before, problems that would necessitate re-recording a part.

What’s your favorite podcast right now?

I love Cocaine & Rhinestones, by Tyler Mahan Coe (No relation).  It’s about 20th-century country music, it’s really well researched and produced, and I’ve learned a ton listening to it.

Tell us about your podcast. Where did the idea for your podcast come from? How does your first podcast compare to your most recent? 

The idea for the Rhino Podcast came from both Rhino and me and my co-host Dennis Scheyer.  We pitched the idea to them and they said, “We’ve been wanting to do a podcast…” so it came together pretty easily.  The format since the 1st episode has changed here and there, but basically, it’s still the same.  Every once in awhile Rhino will want to add or take something out, so it is a living, breathing thing that progresses as it goes.

There are so many podcasts these days. How do you stand out? 

There are a number of reasons why the Rhino Podcast stands out. First and foremost, we are fortunate to be working with the greatest musicians and artists of our time.  Rhino Entertainment is the catalog arm of Warner Music Group, so we cover any classic recordings from Atlantic, Warner Brothers, Reprise, Elektra, Sire… there’s a wealth of musical riches to explore, and it’s been thrilling to interview the artists who have created the soundtracks of our lives. On the production side of things, we hold ourselves to a high standard of audio quality; we fight hard to avoid using telephone audio for production purposes.  If we can’t interview an artist in person, then we get them into a studio or send a recordist to them to capture high-quality audio for production, and just use the phone to talk with each other, everyone wearing a microphone headset or phone earbuds so there’s no monitor bleed into the mics. I spend a lot of time removing background noise and cleaning things up, removing lip smacks, getting fades perfect, and generally being a perfectionist. I don’t let anything go. If I hear an issue, I fix it.

What advice do you have for someone who wants to start a podcast? 

Really learn how to record and edit well to make a professional sounding product.  Record and edit as often as you can, and practice, practice, practice. Record your friends’ bands or your own music, interview your parents or grandparents and clean up the audio by removing ums, uhs, stutters and stammers, click and pops.  Learn how the room you’re recording in affects the sound of your recording. Experiment with different microphones, and buy the best gear for the job that you can afford. Garbage in, garbage out. There’s a saying that you need to get 10,000 hours of experience to really start cooking, and there’s something to that.

How did you first hear of PreSonus?

I first heard of PreSonus when I was building my first ProTools rig.  I wanted better preamps than my Digi002 offered, and I scored a PreSonus Eureka channel strip on the recommendation of a friend.  It was great to get a good clean preamp, compression, and EQ all in a one-rack space unit. I liked the sound of it so much that I then bought two PreSonus MP20’s for tracking drums.  That improved my recordings at that time dramatically.

What PreSonus products do you use?

Currently, I’m using a Quantum 2.

Why did you decide to go with Quantum? 

There are a few reasons I went with the Quantum. Firstly because it has 4 mic inputs, along with a ton of other I/O options, which I need when interviewing multiple subjects simultaneously.  Another huge feature is that the Quantum has 2 Thunderbolt ports which allow me to plug in my bus-powered thunderbolt drive into the Quantum, and then the Quantum into my Macbook Pro. Thirdly, I love the smaller footprint, its’ not as wide as a piece of rack gear, so it fits easily into my messenger bag making it really easy to carry onto an airplane.  And last but certainly not least, it is dead quiet, and there’s plenty of gain in the preamps to drive a Shure SM7B, which is my VO microphone of choice. The Quantum sounds awesome.

What do you like about PreSonus? What caught your eye? 

The folks at PreSonus really are the best to work with.  If you have an issue or need to figure something out, you can get help and get back up and running quickly.  But another great thing is their gear is intuitive and easy to use. It’s easy to get great tones with their gear.

Recent projects? What’s next for you?

I just released a new album entitled, “Hot Chicken Wisdom.”  I was able to put the Quantum to use while tracking parts, especially when I was traveling and wanted to have friends lay down parts away from my studio.  I think if you listen to the record you’ll hear that we got some great tones, besides it’s the perfect summer soundtrack!  

Next up for me is some touring to support Hot Chicken Wisdom, and I have a second Podcast in pre-production that I can’t announce quite yet, but I’m really excited about it.   Anyone who wants to keep up with me can check me out at richmahan.com.

 

Follow Rich on Facebook Here! 

 

The Manly Hanley Podcast chooses Studio One and StudioLive Series III

Randy Hanley is the founder and host of the Manly Hanley podcast. He’s been using Studio One and a StudioLive mixer to produce the show, and sent us a TON of info on his production method and why he’s chosen PreSonus. If you’re looking to get into Podcasting, this is a great read.

 

Give us some background on yourself. Who are you, what do you do, and how long have you been podcasting?

I started out as a drummer, professionally teaching at music stores for 12 years. Drums lead me to learn about computers and technology through my interest in recording. I received a certificate at the Recording Institute of Detroit, back when we were still using mini ADAT Recorders, just when a software that rhymes with “Mo’ Jewels” was becoming “the thing.” There was just something about Mo’ Jewels that I was never able to become comfortable with.

I heard of PreSonus, when a music store colleague of mine mentioned that he was going to buy the ACP 88 Compressor. I didn’t even know what it was at the time, but he explained it to me, how it offered all of this compression/multiple channels, at an extremely great value. That’s basically the very first time I heard of PreSonus.

I started a Podcast back in 2011 called “Getting Android,” but I never followed through with it. After I bought my PreSonus FireStudio Project rig for recording music, I realized that I have way more than enough power/setup to do a simple podcast, so why not give it a try? Well, I eventually got around to it, in 2019 and I’m glad I did. I’m more of a reborn podcaster, so technically, I’ve been doing it (consistently) since January.

 

What PreSonus products do you use?

I use Studio One 4.5 Artist and the StudioLive 16, Series III. I originally started with the FireStudio Project.

 

What features, in particular, make StudioLive and Studio One suitable for podcasters?

The Templates, ease-of-use, and the perfect integration between Studio One and basically ANY hardware interfaces.

For Podcasting, I’ve created my own template, which you can see below.

What I think really makes PreSonus Studio One accessible to Podcasters? It’s future-proof. For instance, many podcasters move into doing more with their podcast, and that often includes Video/Vlogging. With the Professional edition of Studio One, you have all you need to not have to jump between programs! It’s tiring to jump back and forth from Camtasia (because its audio features are terrible), just to grab the audio file from a DAW.  Studio One has it all there in one place. I won’t have to worry about sync issues, or format confusion, because the recent format additions in Studio One 4.5 are amazing and all I’ll ever need.

I also have noticed that Studio One is easy on the CPU/RAM resources–which I think is very important to us Podcasters–My machine isn’t a video-rendering beast–I just use it to record audio and Studio One is extremely fast, even on my somewhat modest machine.

I never feel like I’m lost with the way I can label things. It’s easy enough for my co-host to sit a tablet on the StudioLive and remotely control the faders of the mixer if we need to fix levels. Additionally, the labels on the mixer can reflect what I’ve named them in Studio One. I feel like there is always a way for me to get the job done with PreSonus.

Before I purchased the StudioLive 16, I thought to myself that this might be total overkill to use for a podcast. But then I thought back to how many products I’ve wasted my money on over the years, such as cheaper USB microphones. All of the money I spent on those products easily cost more than just buying this mixer, which includes Studio One anyway. It was a no-brainer. (Incidentally,  I recently heard that PreSonus dropped the price on some of the Series III mixers as much as $200.)

Additionally, I was frequenting some Facebook podcasting groups, seeing which kind of problems users commonly had. Users were always running into issues setting up Audacity. Users also ask questions about “Where do I get my Podcast edited, produced, normalized, compressed…” the list went on an on. I realized I could do ALL of the above in Studio One. It’s a HUGE money-saver when it comes to producing my own podcast. I’m not paying anyone to do anything other than advertising and host my Podcast. The way I’m looking at it, I’m saving a ton of money each and every month producing it on my own. With my plug-ins and templates inside of Studio One, I don’t really have to do much editing, ever!

I heard so many good things about Studio One, especially that it was included with many of the hardware products that PreSonus sells and integrates well. Studio One can open projects from other DAWs such as Cubase, Pro Tools and others.

 

I also never have to worry about running out of inputs. I don’t know of a podcast that has 16 people talking at once 😊.

Also, with Studio One and my PreSonus hardware interface working with USB is the big sell for me doing this podcast. USB just works. I haven’t had to install any legacy drivers, etc.

 

What features are you most impressed with?

Ease-of-use and stability! Never crashes on me… EVER!

I am really impressed with how the StudioLive mixer has recall of the effects and fader positions–it doesn’t have to rely on my computer and Studio One’s project settings if I feel like just using the mixer as a LIVE MIXER. But then, if I want to jump into DAW mode, I can make the mixer follow the computer’s settings. There is so much flexibility, it’s crazy. I cannot think of anything I need. I’m also impressed that PreSonus uses AVB, an open standard that allows any vendor to support it. It’s not closed-minded and just feels like freedom. I’m an open-source guy whenever possible–it’s transparent and honest.

Oh, here’s a bonus feature: the community. The PreSonus forums are the best support you could ask for. When I started out with Studio One and my StudioLive mixer, I had a couple basic question. Embarrassingly, the answers were in the manual that came with the mixer, but the community was friendly and helped point me in the right direction. It’s like a small town of nice people wanting to help because they share similar passions, supporting this company that cares about its customers.

 

Any user tips or tricks or interesting stories based on your experience with PreSonus hardware and software?

I recorded some amazing bluegrass artists on some of the old FireStudio hardware and it still sounds phenomenal today.

As for tips, I’m a HUGE believer in templates. That’s the best way to be productive and save so much time. PreSonus templates are the best.

For Podcasting, I literally have to do zero cleanup. I have my effects set on the mixer (I typically use the Male Voice 1 or 2) and it applies just the right amount of compression and gating. I can do these effects on each individual Mic channel for each podcast co-host. I receive lots of compliments on how nice and clear the audio is. I share my experience often in some Podcast Support groups on Facebook, including this one.

 

What features do you want to see next in Studio One or StudioLive?

I’d like to maybe just a see a few more default templates, that are Podcast-specific, heck, I’ll share mine with any other Podcasters, just shoot me a message.

 

What’s next for you?

I hope to learn my mixer / DAW more. I want to do a live podcast eventually. I’d like to use the SD Card feature on the StudioLive mixer, because I know that Studio One makes it easier than ever to take those recordings, directly off the SD card, then opening the project, ready-to-edit on my computer!