Why I’m Recording TWR with Trash Audio Gear

The Writing Record (TWR) was one of my favorite projects I started during the pandemic. I was reminded of the ability to process out loud and share my most pressing creative concerns. The show went away for a while, but new circumstances have allowed me to bring The Writing Record podcast back into regular production!

G.A.S.

I was a wedding and event videographer for a while. Gear Acquisition Syndrome (G.A.S.) struck painful blows over the years. Have you ever wanted to buy the coolest gear available? Have you any idea how many cameras I could have upgraded to in the six years I did freelance video work? Like a baker’s dozen worth of new stuff! And that’s just for the cameras! Never mind the shotgun and lav mics, tripods that get lighter with every iteration, and sick drones shrinking in size but not in price tag. Without fail, Panasonic would offer new versions of its flagship GH series every year. It was my preferred camera back in the day; a modest yet powerful piece of equipment when paired with the right lenses. It was enough. My kit was enough, and it got me through some crazy gigs. But yet, I would be sitting there watching the new promo video for a new camera with some gnarly bells and whistles, which inevitably led me to rage against the dying of my bank account. I wanted more gear, more branded accessories to lug around those ten and twelve-hour days. New gear solves nothing. I was a one-man band capturing things and at the end of the day, I realized I needed to keep things simple. New gear won’t magically make us better at what we do.

New Rules

  • No post-production of any kind. No editing or cuts. Record in one take.
  • Capture the podcast with what you already have. Keep it simple:
    • Zoom H1 (a 15 year old portable recorder).
    • A Movo Lav Mic (worth 15 dollars alongside a mono to stereo adapter).
  • Or…
    • Use a first-gen Rode VideoMic Pro that’s sitting in a drawer and adapt it to my phone.
    • Use my Tascam DR40 and Audio Technica shotgun mic when I’m at home.
    • I could just stop this charade and use the voice notes app, like an efficient, reasonable person.

Last Rule:

  • Be honest. Or be yourself. Those two should be the same thing.

I’m complicating this. Most definitely. Why? I guess I just want to put this old gear to good use and I really don’t like the clutter of audio files on my phone. Most audio professionals would look at this bargain-bin equipment and hereby declare me an unfit basement dweller polishing turds with turd solution. I accept my fate in the form of collective disdain and obscurity. But this seems like the most cost effective thing to do right now.

*Final Note to Self: I have a lot of gear already. I don’t need to buy a new portable recorder, or my dream form factor device like a YellowTec IXM or the newlyreleased RODE Interview Pro, or a wireless mic system with 32-bit float, or those sweet Sennheiser Monitor Headphones for a couple of hundies. Or three fiddy, more like. This is my final word. I have spoken.

So there you have it: that’s why I am recording The Writing Record with trash audio gear. It takes a long time to recover from G.A.S.