Nicole Welch Transcript
Ilan and Guy Ferdman Interview Transcription

You know to consume a podcast and produce a podcast, it's still not the two easiest things that you can do and those are barriers we've been breaking down since we've started.

Harry Duran:

Podcast junkies episode number 26. Like I mentioned in 24 and forget to mention in 25, we are now sponsored by prdcnf.com. That sounds for productivity conference. It's something I'm really excited about putting together in 2015 and expecting even more in the coming months about it, but yeah, sign up now. There's a launch page there and it's being built as the most productive conference in the world, so if that's your thing, then I encourage you to head on over there, sign up, and I'm expecting to have a website page up in the coming weeks as well. So, this week's sponsor prdcnf.com. Get on over there and make yourself productive and sign up!

So this week we talk to Ray Ortega. He's the podcast helper or on Twitter at @podcasthelper. He's someone I've been dying to get on the show for a while. Long time listeners will know that I've had Daniel J. Lewis, Dave Jackson, and Elsie Escobar. Folks that I really admire that have been doing this for a long time and Ray is no exception. He's just as passionate about podcasting as I am and I'm always fascinating about some of the older stories about how folks got started. Interestingly enough he was a produce clerk and that lead to his first podcast, which was produce!

It was needless to say the technology bug in him sort of kicked in and he moved on to what is now his more well known podcasters, which is the Podcasters' Studio and Podcasters' Roundtable. Interestingly enough I was actually invited to appear on Podcasters' Roundtable after we've recorded this episode. So, if you listen in to episode 37 of Podcasters' Roundtable, you'll hear me as a new guest to the roundtable. That was a really awesome week. We got to interview Ray and I got to appear on Podcasters' Roundtable, which had always been a dream of mine as a podcasters.

So, Ray is an avid Giants fan, so you'll hear some mentions about that at the beginning of the show and this was recorded during the world series which was he was on the edge of his seat hoping his Giants will pull it out. He's, I'm sure, happy to say that they actually did, so congratulations to the Giants and to Ray.

The other thing that happened is, about 50 minutes in, Ray was flagging me down because we were on Skype and he was getting a delivery of a package, so you'll hear some sort of a cut, which hopefully won't be too obvious, but he was expected a package he'd been putting together about some video production he's got going on, so naturally I was curious about what was in the bag. We geek out a little bit with all the gear that was actually in there that he put together specifically for traveling, which was fun as well.

We also take a deep dive into his interviews and how he takes pride in really, really getting into the heart of a subject that he's passionate about. So, if you listen to his show, you know he did a deep dive on alphonic. He also did a deep dive on equalizing audio, vocal audio, just for vocals and making it sound as great as possible. That's a 2 parter as well, but you can just hear the enthusiasms in his voice and that's something he's really proud of. I think he's going to be doing more of that, which is really something to geek out on if you are into the technical aspects of podcasting, which I am.

We also touch on the money coming to podcasting and how that's affecting the medium as well. So overall, a ton of interesting stuff that I just was fascinated to ask him about and between the two back to back days have of having conversation with him, I'm really happy to get to know him a little bit more as I believe you will after the end of this conversation. So, enjoy!

Thanks for coming on Podcast Junkies.

Ray Ortega:
My pleasure, Harry.

Harry:
Ray Ortega, otherwise known as The Podcast Helper.

Ray:
Yeah, I should get @thepodcasthelper, because everyone does say The Podcast Helper. It's just Podcast Helper, but I guess if you typed in one, you'd probably find the other.

Harry:
Yeah, I think I typed Ray Ortega podcast and it shows up.

Ray:
Yeah. I do own Google for Ray Ortega, which is nice. There's a lot of Ray Ortegas, but I guess most of them aren't active online the way I am.

Harry:
Is there a Latino background in that name?

Ray:
Technically.

Harry:
*Laughter*.

Ray:
Yes, the name is very Latino, but you know, I tease people all the time, if you go to a family reunion, you'll wonder where the Ortegas are. Yeah, all the Mexican male men for the last, you know, 4-5 generations married Western, European, Dutch, Irish, Welsh women and what you get is me; just a kid from California who doesn’t speak Spanish, which I really wish I could. Trust me, I've tried.

Harry:
Yeah, my background is Spanish too. I've always thought of that, because every time I ran across your name, I just, “Is he Latino? I've never seen him drop any Spanish words on his podcast.” *Laughter*.

Ray:
I don't because it'll be embarrassing to Spanish people every and Latino every where and myself included. There are people that say, I've been on interviews where they've pronounced my last name better than I do.

Harry:
Okay, just wanted to get out of the way. So, podcasting since 2007. Started out as a produce podcast.

Ray:
Yeah, the first podcast was a video show called Produce Picker Podcast and you know, when you're starting a podcast, one of the questions you should ask yourself, or at least back in the day I used to myself, “What can I podcast about?” Right, a lot of people ask themselves this question and really should be about what you're extremely passionate about and I won't say I was extremely passionate about produce, but I was passionate about learning how to podcast and that show was my vehicle to learn how to become a podcaster back in 2006-2007.

Not a lot of info out there to create a podcast, especially a video podcast, so I just needed a subject, because we are often times a one-man-band and you gotta figure out, you know, I've got to put myself in front of the microphone or in front of the camera, what can I talk about? All through highschool and college, I worked in grocery stores and produce departments and I had all these tips. Every day I could help people pick out watermelons and avocados and all of this stuff. I couldn't cook any of it, but I could sure as heck pick it out. So, that was my vehicle. I did basically 5 minute video tutorials about how to choose perfect fresh fruits and vegetables and in the process I'd learn podcasting.

Harry:
So who was inspiring at time? Was it Leo Laporte? Probably around..

Ray:
No, I wouldn't say it was anyone. I'm not sure when I listened to Leo Laporte. Like, I wasn't into in the podcast, sort of the techie stuff. Sure, I listen to the tech podcasts. In fact, it was GeekBrief or GeekBeat, which ever one it was back then, that was a video show I watched all the time. It stemmed out of the fact that I found podcasts on iTunes after we all sort of been booted out of Napster. I was just amazed when I discovered it that this was possible. That you could actually pick up a microphone or a video camera and just publish to the world.

I was watching and listening to podcasts from everything from like ultra light backpacking, something I've never done, it was just fascinating, because they'd like, often times they'd go up to the Appalachian trails, the Pacific Crest trail and they'd podcast along the way. I mean to one where they'd climbed Everest, they used to have a video show. GeekBrief, all of these shows I really just consumed anything that was out there. Once you find podcasts, you tend to just like go on this binge of, “Oh my gosh.”

Harry:
That's true. *Laughter*.

Ray:
What was cool about iTunes back in the day, it still exists now but we don't spend..lot of people are not in iTunes searching, although it's still the number one place to get podcasts. You know, you select one podcast underneath it if you're in the application on your desktop it says, “People who watch this one, also like this one.” So that just lend me down this path of subscribe, oh subscribe to that, subscribe that, and I've never seen anyone do it better than that. So, that's what happened. Yeah.

Harry:
It's interesting because I've always seen podcasts as a way to deep talk about things I'd like to learn about. In the past it used to past it used to be audio books and I was doing audio books for a while, but now it's almost like you can do..I think Elise described it as actually going to a specific episode when you want to learn about a specific topic, which I think is fascinating.

Ray:
Yeah, you know what's fascinating and she may have mentioned it, she may have mentioned something about this. You know, I heard it some where, that I don't know why Google is not prioritizing subjects, podcast subjects, in search results. I mean, most of us write show notes and if you do good show notes you can tell somebody the topic and here's inside it. So, Google, you would think, would be really happy to say, “Oh here is some really hard to make content that takes a deep dive into the subject.” It used to show a video, right, a little video clip from YouTube. That used to rank very well, it may still, but I don't think as much. Why not with podcasts?

We know Google, as Rob Walsh would say, is not a friend of podcasts, but they are a friend of search. That's all they care about is search and getting ads in front of people, so I would hope that podcasting will become like a really critical element in search, because there is so much content and that would help people find new shows. It would be so awesome, such a boost I think for podcasters because you'd be introduced to podcasts, different podcasts, as a result of doing a simple Google search.

Harry:
I think that's a really important topic and I know there's schools of thought about whether you do detailed show notes or you shouldn't and a lot of people feel like, “Well no one's using them, no one's reading them, so I don't think we should do it.” But I think at some point Google will leverage the SEO of the texts that's in people's show notes and for people who do transcriptions, I mean, that just get more and more powerful. I think they even transcribe some of the YouTube videos that they post online, right?

Ray:
Yeah, Google's been working on, a lot of people have been working on for a long time, sort of being able to hear what's in the audio and then make a transcript out of that. Google has done it better than anyone else, but it's still pretty wonky. That said, you can usually get the jist of what's in audio through even a Google transcript. Yeah, they do it for video, I don't know if they actually..I don't know how much it factors into search rankings right now, but why not? Why not do something like that for audio?

Harry:
Speaking of Google, what I've noticed with your show is that you've basically honed in on Google, Google pages as your platform of choice.

Ray:
For one show.

Harry:
For Podcasters' Studio. Roundtable, sorry, yeah. But a lot of your interactions as well are with Google. I know you are one of the people I see that make a lot of use of the Google link, which is the + to your profile and your emails and when you're notifying people of the shows. Was that the conscious effort to say, because of the fact that its got hangouts, you wanna leverage ever aspect of the Google platform for Podcasters' Roundtable?

Ray:
So, well, okay. Podcasters' Roundtable was built around the specific tech that Google came out with, which was hangouts on air. When I knew that they were opening this up, they first said they were going to open up to celebrities and different singers and stuff like that and I knew it was coming for everybody, so I said, “Hey, I've got a show for that platform specific and I'll just try it out.” It's done much better than I imagined it would, because it's really just me and my friends, which are podcasters, geeking out, but everyone seems to love it. It's great because it's the most fun show that I do.

So, I've always sort of stayed inside the platform for that show in terms of, you know, that it lives streams there, we chat there, I make an event page there, because they, I think the success of getting so many people into a live stream hinges upon the fact that I can create an event page that people can RSVP to and that RSVP tells them, hey, your live event is about to start. The number one thing that happens with live stream, at least for me, I sign up to an event and I forget.

Harry:
Yeah.

Ray:
It's over and I see a tweet and I'm like, “Ahhh, I wanted to attend that.” Right? I mean, I'm seeing 50-100 people attend these live hangouts on air, sometimes in 24 hour notice. If you podcast long enough and you've done any kind of live, that's incredible numbers. I mean, I'm not even really trying. I'm just making an event people, inviting my circles, and there's been a little difficulty with that, sometimes I can invite everyone, but sometimes I can not, but that's the bugs with growing with anything.

So, there's not a lot of conscious effort in just that, I had a show prepared for this platform that they were going to release, it worked out. I don't move things on a website, I like playing in that sandbox for that specific show. Partly because it's new tech, so I like using what they have so I can teach other people how to use it, but other than that, I don't really use Google + that much.

There's the podcasters community, which is awesome, so I'm pretty active there. I'm a moderator there, so I'm pretty active in terms of seeing stuff and commenting and plus one all the stuff, but I spend most of my time, you know, interacting, I'd say, on Twitter and that's because I enjoy it. It's simply because I enjoy it. It has nothing to do with it works best for my show. There's literally no plan there other than that's how I like to communicate.

Harry:
Well I think if the people that do Twitter and do it well are able to refine their lists and create additional lists they want to follow and really stay in close contact with the people that they care about or they have a topic that they'd interested in and I think those are the people that really see the value. People who complain about Twitter don't have a strategy for how to use Twitter.

Ray:
I've always said I don't think they use it right, because there used to be a craze, like everyone, I'll follow you, if you follow me. It's like, that's great but you're following people who are posting content that have no relevance to you. So, there are ways around that, creating lists and stuff like that, but you know, if you're on mobile, you've got one stream. I want to see stuff that's important, relevant, to me so that I can share that with my audience, because, for me, they want to see stuff about podcasting. I mean, my name is @podcasthelper, so you know, I follow other people. I have my own personal account for other things, but you know, yeah, you're not going to pay attention if it's a bunch of, if it's a fast moving river of stuff you don't care about.

Harry:
So, how have you seen your..just to finish up on Podcasters' Roundtable, it's about 36 episodes in, I think, how have you seen the platform itself mature, because I'm sure you had a lot of stuff you were trying to work out, bugs and quirks wit the hangouts itself. Now with 36 episodes in, what are you seeing and how that's maturing?

Ray:
Yeah, it's funny because if you watch any one of those 36 rounds, as I call them, they..a lot of them have me in the beginning announcing what is new from the previous week, because they're constantly tweaking on it. That's what I enjoy, they're constantly improving it. I can't point to one thing. They improved like, I think, the audio quality and yeah, at one point they went to HD, it used to be SD. Looked terrible, because we all had bigger screens than SD. You know, technical improvements like that. More stable.

There was a period where I could invite all my circles and then I couldn't. You know, things work and things break and that's just tech. So, I've been most happy to see them improve the quality as a podcasters, some who podcasts about podcasters I care about the quality of production. I'm a little anal about that. I enjoy that and you know, some like apps and things you can do, you have a little bit more control over audio and video, even inside the hangout itself. So, all the stuff I point to usually ends up being production stuff. It seems like they're always constantly evolving that platform, which is something I enjoy.

Harry:
How about the format of the show, is that how you envisioned it at the start that it was just going to be you and your friends and you pick a topic of the day, is that what you'd thought it would be like and what it's evolved to now?

Ray:
Yeah, exactly. I also tell people it's even more formal than I wanted it to be and it's not really that formal at all. The only thing I mean by that is we have a topic for one round, which is about an hour long that we use as sort of a jumping off point and then I'm cool with it going anywhere. For me it's also, like I said, it's a playground, it's a sandbox, it's a place to have fun. I hope that we get all kinds of different opinions. I hope that it is, if you opened up, you know, the door in a room where there's just a bunch of podcasters who happened to be sitting around talking to each other, I hope that's what it is and it's pretty much what it is.

Like I said, you know, heck, if I had my way, I'd probably just flip on the cameras and we'd just talk about whatever, because sometimes the best conversations come with that, but I find in podcasting it does help to have a little structure. It helps for me to plan ahead and all of that stuff. I think most recently we did one, beside the national podcast one, I did one called, iTunes.

Harry:
iTunes, yeah. *Laughter*.

Ray:
Just iTunes. The whole intent was, I'm just going to throw out a word and we're going to talk about everything that comes up the top of your head about iTunes, right. The only rules it should be about iTunes, but really I don't care where it goes. It helps me keep the conversation on track, but it's completely the way I envisioned it. I just wanted to have like, sitting around the campfire, talking to my friends. I mean, something that I was already doing. Like you and I could be on a Skype call and maybe we got on for one thing, but we like spent an hour talking about just other stuff. That's what I want, except I want to do it with every podcasters possible.

What's really cool about it, the couple of things I didn't expect, is you've got..it's the connections that are made outside of the show. So, people meet other podcasters and they go off and do really cool stuff. So, the whole point is you come and you watch the show and you get opinions from podcasters who have been doing it for maybe a month or maybe 6 years, 10 years, whatever it is, and you take the pieces of that that you like and you agree with and you apply those to your show.

Now, not everyone has a podcast about podcasting, but however, lots of people have this incredible experience about producing podcasts. So, this is a chance hopefully for me to give podcasters a voice to come on and share, “Hey, this is what I've learned.” because they don't have a show for that. That's the whole point and it really has kind of, yeah, it's really evolved to be exactly how I kind of envisioned it.

Harry:
What's awesome is that you do get the variety of opinions. I think sometimes some of the new folks are little bit intimated. I think you were giving Lou Mongello a hard time. *Laughter*. He wasn't talking, he wasn't saying anything.

Ray:
I know Lou a little bit and if you know me, the bigger, the better friend you are, the harder time I'm going to give you.

Harry:
I think that's awesome. Yeah, you wanna give people a hard time, because it's what you do. If there was no recording being done, like you said, it was you around the table, you guys would be giving each other a hard time.

Ray:
Just be jamming, right. It's just literally just friends. Some of those friends might be brand new, but I want it to be friends and open and go ahead and erupt. I mean, it's literally just, I'm trying to make it a roundtable on all aspects. I'm a guy. I try not to be so much a host as just sort of facilitator of the conversation.

Harry:
I think that's a good strategy when you just throw out the one word. You know maybe you could try something down the line where you throw out a word, doesn't have anything to do with podcasting, *Laughter*, and see what it triggers and be like, “Okay, the world today is palm trees.” And like run with it, you know? *Laughter*.

Ray:
It's a good idea. I often times have Dave and Daniel on as co-hosts and I tell them all the time, like, we'll talk on emails, I'll say, “Hey, how about this?” It's literally an experiment. I want it to be an experiment. So, yeah, ideas like that, slam dunk for me. I'm into it, let's do that, it's cool.

Harry:
I think the key is to have engaging personalities who can run with the conversation and obviously I've interviewed both Daniel and Dave and I could talk hours with them about podcasting, because it's something that they're passionate about as are you. When you have people like that in the room, it's contagious and it gets other people motivated to talk about things and gets the creative juices flowing.

Ray:
Yeah, it's a blast. You haven't been on the roundtable yet?

Harry:
Not yet.

Ray:
So, maybe that's our thing. You could come on and you could be the throw out word guy and we could do for a whole round, like Harry's going to throw out a word and we're going to go from random word to random word and we'll see where that takes us.

Harry:
That would be awesome.

Ray:
Yeah, I can't wait, let's do it.

Harry:
So, you've got two other podcasts as well, right?

Ray:
Uhhh. Technically.

Harry:
You started a brief podcast with snippets of tips, right?

Ray:
There's one that's called Podcast Quick Tips, which has not had anything published to it for a long time. It was sort of an experiment in the short format. I wanted to see, “Hey, would a podcast that's 3, 5, 7 minutes long, how would that work?” I thought, so my main show after..So it was Producer Picker podcast, that went away because my expertise and passions became podcasting, right. So, I started the Podcasters' Studio, which is really, if you look at my work, most people know me from that. That's my flagship show and Podcast Quick Tips is kind of a spin off of that show where it's really learning podcasts one tip at a time, that was the goal of that. I thought, in theory, most of the Podcasters' Studio audience would follow right over there and consume it, but they didn't. It just wasn't as popular. I let it go a little bit.

It's nice about podcasting, I can fire up that feeding and there's an agreement there like, “Ugh, what about the people who used to listen and stuff?” I try and have conversation and hopefully they're in the community and we're already talking, so they get it, but it's there. It technically exists, but I guess you could say it's a bit of pod faded a little bit.

Harry:
I love that term.

Ray:
Yeah

Harry:
I love all these terms that you learn when you start podcasting. *Laughter*. So, now you're focusing on Podcasters' Studio. Were you always a fan of technology? Like you said, your interests were produce so you did the produce podcast, but then there had to be some sort of interest in technology or learning a new technology. I mean, you could have done just a blog. Why a podcast? You could have done something on YouTube. Why did you gravitate to this medium?

Ray:
Yeah, well, like I said, when I discovered podcasting, I decided A) I loved it and B) I have to learn how to do it. So, that's what Produce Picker podcast was. I got to do it and learn it and then as my life shifted, you know, I gradually I went out of that industry of produce. Again, not my passion, just sort of a vehicle. My passion was the tech because I've also been a bit of a geek. I've had Commodore 64 when I was a kid. I had Pong, Atari. I've always been involved in tech.

So, the Podcasters' Studio was my entry into audio podcasting. I wanted to do an audio only show, then my expertise at that time I had been doing podcasting, I launched in 2009, so I had been doing podcasting for almost 3 years at that point and I had something to say. I felt like I had something to teach, to share, and bring those experiences of what I've learned to how to podcast genre.

So that is what that podcast came out of. It literally was, this is what I've spent all of my time doing. That one was my passion. It was podcasting and podcast production, so that's how that one came about and, of course, I made it audio because I was like, “Alright. Now I need to learn mixers.”

Harry:
Yeah.

Ray:
You know, all the different stuff you use for audio podcast that you don't necessarily use for video. I wanted to get into that as well. I've always had this sort of underline it's my vehicle to learn this thing, but yeah, it really was that podcasting was my passion and it was what I had knowledge about, so I created a whole show around that.

Harry:
What's interesting is that once you have that vehicle, you can use it as your education process and, you know, you're 87 episodes in and I produced electronic music and I did the same, so you know, I went to school to learn how to master, because I was like I gotta figure out how to make all these instruments and everything sound good together. So, you start learning things that help you hone your craft, I guess, is what I'm trying to say. Have you seen that evolution in your education over the years with your show?

Ray:
Yeah. Well, I am completely self-taught. I call it YouTube university. *Laughter*. Everything has always been a hobby for me as far as production goes. I used to shoot video, then I edited video, so all of..any kind of video and audio production, all born out of a hobby, all born out of spending countless, literally countless hours in front of YouTube, in front of every webinar, every blog, you name it. I just consume constantly. It's all I look at.

Anything that has to do with production techniques. I'm usually looking into that kind of stuff. Now these days it's always like, you know, how do you market. Whatever it takes to put together a podcast. So, I grow, I always tell people, grow as you go. Learn some basic things and get out there and start producing and grow as you go. You'll learn through experience and through knowledge how to make your audio better. Your video look nicer with better lighting. You'll learn these things.

I'm constantly still learning. I'll never stop learning and every time you record, I think you're banking some new experience, which is certainly going to help you in the next one.

Harry:
What are you planning for episode 100?

Ray:
*Laughter*. It's funny because if you look at how long I've been doing it, it's sad that I'm not at episode 100 on that one. I'm a very irregular podcast. I'm a do as I say, not as I do type of thing, because I know the answer. The answer is consistency, but for various reasons I'm not, I don't do it every week. I don't know. Every, I have sort of, every, I think I was doing every 50 episodes was 0 and 50 were both sort of designed for the podcaster who's just starting out. Like, who's the basics. Here's what you have to know to launch your show.

Harry:
Okay.

Ray:
So, 100 should just be a refresh of that. I need it too, because there's stuff in the 50 and 51 episodes that I did, which is the podcasting basics or whatever it's called, there's some stuff there that I wouldn't recommend anymore. So, it feels like, we always have this like, “Ooh, it's 100. I should do something more.” Right? I don't know. I don't know any special. I have no plans for it specifically other than it's suppose to be a refresh of that content, which I need. I love having specific episodes that I can refer to that say, “Hey, go listen to this first, get this, and then come back and ask your questions or come back and check out the rest of the catalog.”

Harry:
So, which episodes would you recommend if someone's getting started and they're listening and they said, “Well, this is pretty exciting, I want to at least get the ABCs down.”

Ray:
Yeah, that would be 50 and 51. However, I caution people all the time, especially with, you know, most of the content is evergreen, but things change, especially in technology. So, listen to 50 and 51. Ignore the parts about FeedBurner, I don't recommend that anymore and ask me questions. That's what the beauty of have Twitter or Google +, being able to reach out, email, whatever it is. Ask questions before you buy gear, before you pay for a hosting service.

You know, “Hey Ray, heard you recommend this, still the best choice?” You know, even if that episode was 2 weeks ago, things change. So, 50 and 51 are great to start with, but there's some old information in there, but you'll get the jist. You'll understand I need XYZ to start a podcast. I need a microphone. You know, in fact, even the microphones have changed. The one I'm holding right now and in fact the one you're using, it's the ATR 20100 is a killer starter mic. I say starter mic, but it could literally be the only make you ever have. I'm using it. Here I am using and you're using it too. So, things like that have changed.

There are podcasting “kits” that you can buy or some podcasters' will recommend get this gear, but you know, it just drives me crazy because ask me, because it really depends on what you're trying to do. Gear needs to be customized to what you're trying to do, right. You might be able to spend $25 on a headset mic. It's not something I'd recommend, but you know, often times everyone's got different needs where they need to do it for free or they want to really put some, a little bit of money into it, invest in their show, and make it sound as good as possible. Everyone’s got different needs, so you definitely want to ask those big questions before you want to commit something like a year or money.

Harry:
Yeah, I think people are afraid to ask and the tend to go down these paths of the popular podcasters recommending these, what ends up being $2,000 of equipment and then 6 months later it's still sitting in the corner of their room. They haven't launched. They don't know how to use the equipment and they're probably ready to give up on podcasting.

Ray:
Yeah, sure, you can easily be overwhelmed and it doesn't need to be overwhelming at all. If you have a smartphone, it will podcast almost, I mean..

Harry:
It's getting there.

Ray:
And you can do it with quality. If you know how to use the tech. It might be more difficult, but you can still get a quality episode. I just recorded something on my phone that I'm planning on releasing.

Harry:
Yeah, you've done some stuff with iPad and BossChuck and some stuff on your iPhone. You do those more as tidbits though on YouTube, right?

Ray:
Yeah, I have a YouTube channel. So, my YouTube, for me, is as much fun as my podcast. I've managed to get a really nice following right now. It's like 16,000 people and I actually make money there. We are always talking about podcasting, I make a few 100 dollars a month on YouTube and obviously there's different ways to do that from ads to affiliates and stuff like that, but yeah, I teach people how to shoot really high-quality video, really what's most over there. So, that's over there and that does really well, but I also have Podcasters' Roundtable, which lives over there, because when you do a hangout everything gets recorded to YouTube by default. So, that lives on that channel and that does really well.

It's amazing how many people will video the podcast through YouTube DLR videos and DLR videos through podcast. So, it's a nice mix. I also do podcasting tutorials, maybe a screencast about how to submit a podcast to iTunes, right, or maybe, like you said, how to use this microphone and iPhone and app to produce a really high-quality videos. So, yeah, YouTube is sort of a one off type of thing, but it is a channel I do produce there. Try to be a regular basis, but again, no schedule. I just focus on producing really high-quality content and I put that out when I have it. I don't force it. It's like, I don't have anything this week. Well, don't put out garbage. Save it until you've got something good.

Harry:
Yeah. Interesting AV3. You had that mix mind, I have to go back in there and deep dive on that, but what was interesting is what I hear a lot of sometimes, folks getting started, is they have their speaker on the laptop and that speaker feedback is going in and you're in the room and you're hearing them, but through a mix minus, you can kind of route everything so that people only hear what they're suppose to be hearing, which I thought was pretty cool.

Ray:
Yeah, one of my best videos are..the ones that gets passed around or shared most is how to setup a mix minus video and it's really how to produce, it's just really nice shot with good audio and tries to break it down to exactly what it is, because it can be a complex subject, so it's not once you get it, but it is hard to wrap your head around.

I was finding just every tutorial I find on YouTube was some dude who had his webcam and he sort of twisted around the back of his computer, then he'd remove it, his audio was terrible. I was just like, “This needs a nice video.” When I was doing, I thought, “Oh, maybe it's actually too slick and people won't learn.” But, people say, “I finally got it. I understood mix minuses because of you.” That was the number one goal. Yeah, so when I see like that and, this is good for other podcasters too, when you see a need or something that people are asking for or isn't done well in your own whatever your niche is, there's an opportunity there to create content around it that will do really well.

Harry:
Yeah, that's really cool. That routing I think resonated with me, because I do DJ, like electronic music, and I use Traktor and there was always the issue of getting the audio routed to your laptop to your mixer and I think some of the tools that they were suggesting in the past were SoundFlower and some other software based routing tools. It's probably, I'm sure a lot of that keeps maturing like you said, like stuff you're using now is going to be obsolete in two months.

Ray:
Yeah, probably.

Harry:
So, what's one of your favorite episodes from the 80+ that you've done so far?

Ray:
Man, that's a tough one. You know, you hinted at the beginning, I think you talked about the two hours that I did with Rob Williams literally just on EQ. Equalization. How to use EQ for podcasts. That one I'm pretty proud of just because so much research went into it. I got so many questions that I wanted answered, right. A need that I found, so you do music, a lot of the stuff out there if you're looking for post-processing techniques, it's for music and this is podcasting dialog only and it's got it's own special needs.

I really wanted to distill the information from an audio engineer about vocal only, not singing, I'm talking spoken word dialogue. I remember at the end of that interview, I was kind of like, “Yeah, I got it.” I got everything I wanted. It's extremely long and that's the beauty of a podcast. It can be as long as you want it to be, it can be short, it can be whatever you want it to be. So, without digging through my own catalog, that one sticks out in my mind for those couple of reasons.

Harry:
I think it's fascinating because you can also tell when a podcasters, either through a solo show or a guest that they have on, is extremely passionate about a subject and you could hear the excitement in your voice as you were going through the checklist and you were like, “Oh, I want to ask you this, I want to ask you this.” And, it's true. Having studied a bit of mastering, we touch on vocals on a little bit, you know, how to make the vocals fit into music, but just to have the whole shows about EQ just for vocals was fascinating, at least for me. I was geeking out a bit.

I do admit, I was starting at the two hours on overcast and I was like, “How am I going to consume this?” I was like, “Try one shot. 2x.” Obviously there's a lot of it. 2x. There was stuff where I just had to stop and was like, “Okay, no. I gotta listen to this a regular speed.” There's a lot of information in there.

Ray:
And that's it, again back to do as I say, not as I do, like I can give you the formulas, right. Here is the typically what works best in a podcast, right. Whatever it is, 32 minutes is your typical commute and have your intro and outro and make sure you're there every week, but it just depends what you're in it for and I'm in it to make good content. I want to make a good library of stuff that people can refer to and yeah, doing a two hour episode is not always the best route to getting the most people listening.

I know people like yourself who are interested in the way I'm interested in it, that's who it's for. They'll consume it, whether they consume it in pieces, come back to it later, but the most important thing is that's..the information that's in there is exactly what I wanted to get into that episode and it's there. I think that podcasting can be a little selfish. A lot of us get into it for ourselves.

I hope you are, because it's such hard work and you're probably not going to make money from it, not much money. So, you gotta have something more to be motivated by and eventually that becomes you get motivated by your audience, but you don't have an audience when you start, unless you're some Adam Carolla that comes to this with an audience. You have to produce for yourself first and then the best part is you can do whatever you want.

Harry:
That's exactly what I tell people. It's like, “Should I do this, should i do this, my show's too long, I gotta cut it off.” I'm like, “Who says you have to do that?” Like literally I tell people, “It's your show. You can do whatever you want.” *Laughter*.

Ray:
The single worst thing I ever hear and it makes me upset every time, “Oh well, we're out of time. We gotta go.” Really? Why? Because the producers going to walk through the door and shut off your microphone?

Harry:
Yeah.

Ray:
Because it's a commercial and the next episodes coming? I don't get it. Why do we have to stop?

Harry:
I love that.

Ray:
Yeah, it kills. It will kill a good interview. It's like, “Noooo. Tell me more.” Man, yeah, it just makes me laugh in podcasting, because there is no body and in some cases someone might be under some constraints, but for the most part, no, no one is stopping you.

Harry:
Yeah, obviously people got a hard stop or they've got something to do or they've told you you have an hour of your time. I'm sure, but a lot of the times and the reason why I very quickly transitioned over to a Q&A format in the beginning to just like, tossed it out. I tossed the questions out the window, I was just like, “I just want to talk to people.” Because if you're listening very closely to the person you're speaking to, the next question is just going to arise.

Ray:
Yeah, it does happen. I find it helpful to have an outline in case I don't have something to go to or maybe I got lost in thought or something, but after that, yeah, have an outline and hopefully you're listening and you go with the conversation.

Harry:
So with so much of your life built around podcasting, have you've even given thought to what you'd be doing if you weren't podcasting?

Ray:
Uhhh. It's a scary thought, because..well, now it's my career. I've been able to spin it. For the last 5 years I've been a podcast producer for a DC=based non-profit and it's really been a dream job for me because I turned my hobby into a paying career. You know, when I got that job, I used to always say, “Just hang on to this for 2 years, I can say this is what I do.” And, fortunately for me, I've been going on for 6 years and I still love the job. Again, it's still a dream job. At this point if I wasn't doing it, like, this is what I do, it's who I am, so I'd have to find a way to keep doing it, whether that's go out to another organization or do something for myself.

When I left college the first time with my bachelors, I was a police officer. A lot of people probably don't know that.

Harry:
Wow.

Ray:
Law enforcement was my other career. It was my first path. Well, being an artist was my first path as a kid, but that changed, the law enforcement, and I got into law enforcement and did well there, but it wasn't making me happy. You know, in that career, every time I dealt with somebody they certainly didn't want to be dealing with you.

Harry:
Yeah, yeah.

Ray:
Now every single person that I do with, actually does want to talk to me. I'm a people person, so that's what I like. So, if I wasn't doing this, I'd hate to think what I'd have to be doing to make the money, but..

Harry:
That's interesting. So how long we you in law enforcement?

Ray:
Just, actually less than a year.

Harry:
Was this in California?

Ray:
In California, yep, in the east bay.

Harry:
So I gotta ask you, were you Chips?

Ray:
No..

Harry:
*Laughter*.

Ray:
I was not the highway patrol, although man, how much fun. I even shot a little video intro when I took a road trip once just like and I set it to the Chips' music in my car and show the stick, showed the wheels. I love Chips growing up.

Harry:
Yeah, we're showing our age with that one.

Ray:
But no, I was city cop. Just your average mid-size city, 120,000 people, in a patrol car and everything that involves.

Harry:
Not as glamorous as Ponch and Chong.

Ray:
Not as glamorous, no. No cameras. Although everyone's got a camera on the cops these days. *Laughter*.

Harry:
Yeah, those are all over YouTube and some of them are really strange.

Ray:
It's a different world.

Harry:
Yeah, it's a scarier world too. So what's your thoughts on where everything is headed? Obviously you're one of the folks who have been around for a while. That's why I love talking to you, Dave, and Daniel, and Elise to just get that perspective. Like you said, everyone there was starting as a hobby, right, and now you go to the conferences and I've heard it discussed as a topic on Podcasters' Roundtable what's the focus on Podcast Movement was more entrepreneurial podcasts and then you get the people now-late just doing comedy specific. The majority of those folks were on comedy podcasts. So, do you see like a splintering happening? I just want to get your thoughts on what you've seen because you've been doing it now for 7 years.

Ray:
Yeah, I think we've seen these different waves, like different groups coming into podcasting. In the beginning it was all tech, we saw some comedians come in and dominate, we see the entrepreneur business stuff come in and it's doing really well. I think just more niches will dive into the space and grow the space.

We're still young. We like to tease, you know, podcasting is, what, almost 11 years old? We can't even drive yet. Podcasting can't drive.

Harry:
*Laughter*.

Ray:
So, I always tell new podcasters, you're still getting into early if you start now. People think, “Oh, that ship has sailed.” I can't catch up. That's not true at all. You'd be amazed. Start a podcast, do it well, and really soon you'll be that go-to-person in that space. Podcasting is going to pull up along side all the other traditional media. It's not going to kill radio. Radio could kill itself, but it's not going to kill radio. It's going to pull up along side. I think it's gaining more respect.

In the beginning it was geeks in their basement and Steve Jobs famously called it amateur hour at one point and I got his point and I actually embraced that point. A lot of us are amateurs, we don't come to this with training, it creates a different product. Sometimes it's ugly and sometimes it spawns brilliance. I welcome amateur hour to a level as long as you're learning how to do stuff as you go and so yeah. So, podcasting is just..the rage right now as we sit here in October 21, 2014 is that podcasts are back, they never really went away, but they're back and they're making money.

We've heard that before, but there is some real money coming into podcasting. Don't think you can start a podcast and get money, it's very difficult. Some of the best is still struggling to make a viable network, but it's happening. I think every few years it sort of makes a few steps and eventually…you know I use the terms podcasting and show interchangeably, because podcast is sort of the tech of how we deliver the content in one way, but at this point, you know, you really just making content and getting it to where ever people are living, where they're finding it, where they want to find it. I think it'll become less about the tech and people will just be producing shows.

I think the mobile screen, we're seeing these screens take over, the screen in your living room. So people online producing content, podcasters, YouTubers, whatever, when you're producing good stuff, it's just becoming a show and a podcast is just another way to reach people.

Harry:
Yeah, when you think about how hard it was to actually publish a podcast back when you started, you know, like you said, FeedBurner and feeds and all the different pieces you have to work together and how to get on a blog and how to get it on iTunes. It was science back in the days.

Ray:
Yeah. To consume a podcast and produce a podcast is still not the two easiest things you can do and those are barriers we've been breaking down since we started.

Harry:
What's the latest example of when you had to explain to someone what a podcast actually is?

Ray:
Oh man, see I run in the circle of podcasters, so I don't come against those people too often. Probably someone in my family. *Laughter*. Probably someone that doesn't live in my sort of bubble. I can't remember specific example, but I did re-post a video that Ira Glass made with his neighbor, who she's like 86 years old, and they explain how to consume a podcast. The point is like, it's not difficult. It's a great video teaching anyone how to consume a podcast, but there's a point there, I mean, Ira Glass. It's as big as it gets when it comes to public radio and he has to produce something that teaches something on how to consume a podcast.

Harry:
Speaking of famous podcasters, you had your fan boy moment when you got to sit in This Week In Tech podcast studio, right?

Ray:
I did and everyone else can have that moment out there in Petaluma, California. Leo Laporte, This Week In Tech and that probably biggest podcast studio that had been built to this point. It's a million dollar studio sitting out there and you can walk right in and watch him do the live stuff and if you go on Sunday, Leo's usually there and afterwards if you wait around, because they are a long podcast, you can sit in the chair.

The live stream is going on all the time, so I was able to run back home and capture that. I recorded it off my screen and got some good pictures. Bring a nice camera with you, have a friend click some stuff. Yeah, it was a great moment. I called it..it sort of made my podcast pilgrimage.

Harry:
Yeah, that would be the podcast mecha for us, right?

Ray:
Yeah, exactly.

Harry:
So, just a couple of last questions, what are your thoughts on our friend Dave Jackson being the director of podcasting for New Media Expo.

Ray:
Yeah, huge applause from me. Dave is both a friend and a mentor. I sort of called him my digital mentor, some digital audio podcast mentor. So, Dave, like I mentioned, co-hosts Podcasters' Roundtable with me all the time and we've become friends over the years because we're in the same space, which is podcasts about podcasting.

I used to live, back when I was working in produce departments, I used to have an earbud, like I'm wearing right now, in my ear. One of them snuck through my clothes and put it up here and I'd get in trouble for having it. It was Dave, because I was catching up with his hundreds of episodes, right. So, I'd get in trouble for Dave. I had to hear it, because at that time that's all I wanted to consume.

Harry:
You're probably laughing at some point too.

Ray:
Probably, probably. For me, I think Dave is the best person to be put into that, because no one spends more time sort of, you know, he just has his head down in the space of podcasters. He's really down there talking to podcasters, kind of like I am, but Dave is there every week and he's always testing out all the little tech. All these services I just want know part of, I just don't want to deal with it. So, Dave knows the space really well and he knows it wide. He does podcast review shows and stuff like that. He's, in my biased opinion, he's the best person that can be in charge of that right now. I'm excited to see what happens with him in charge.

Harry:
When I first heard about it, I just, like you, figured they got the right person for the job for how many years it's going to run. You know, Cliff did a great job as well and it's a great handing off at the time.

Ray:
Yeah, it's perfect. I think it's evolving exactly like it should and I'm excited for what happens.

Harry:
So, what's got you excited? What are you working on in the upcoming months?

Ray:
Can I interrupt?

Harry:
Of course.

Ray:
Do you edit this show?

Harry:
*Laughter*. Sometimes.

Ray:
Okay. People listening might actually have, I think I have to sign for this. I have a whole..So. I have a whole camera kit that's coming to me.

Harry:
Is it podcasting related?

Ray:
Yeah, it's a whole kit from Washington, DC that they sent me. I have to go and film…we're doing a live…one of our shows is live out at a remote location and I'm going to be filming that all with a couple of different setup with full blown audio. It's audio and video..well, we turn it into a video podcasts when necessary when we do these on-location things. So, again like a dream job, I literally get to fly somewhere beautiful, they're paying me to eat dinner, and stay at a nice hotel and film a podcast of all thing, but there's a bunch of expensive gear I have to sign for. I'll be right back.

Oh the Giants are up 3-0.

Harry:
Oh! There's the bell.

Ray:
There it is, nice. I gotta change that.

So, insanely, I didn't have to sign for it.

Harry:
Oh wow.

Ray:
He dropped it off. I mean, this is like a couple of thousand dollars of gear. I mean, you can see this, but that's it. The whole box is under one arm. It's really come down to this.

Harry:
So what's in there?

Ray:
It is a kit I created for our international department. So, it's meant to travel internationally. It's a backpack and inside it's a light, it's a nice small backpack that you can sling around your shoulder and unzip and get access to a Canon XA25, so it's a really nice camera, professional outputs SDI, so it's geeky stuff. It's got SDI out and we do a lot of live streaming into a live switcher that has SDI inputs, so it's got everything. It's got a nice quality shotgun mic. It's got an LED light. It's got, oh gosh, what else do you shoot with. Anything you need to be a solo person out in the field to capture high-quality audio and video, I packed it into that kit. I haven't even seen it. I've seen it once since I've created it. I ordered it online and set it out to DC and it's made it out to here in California. So, that's it. It's all meant to literally be able to carry on a plane.

Harry:
Is any of that technology that you're using going to make it into your show?

Ray:
You mean am I going to talk about it?

Harry:
Yeah.

Ray:
Maybe, I haven't thought about, but it's a good idea. I should talk about this sort of travel kit I created.

Harry:
It's fascinating. I'm sure it has to be deceit, like bag as well with all that expensive equipment in it.

Ray:
Yeah, especially so it's meant to travel internationally right, so I kind of make it look like you were a tourist. So, it is a small hand..I mean, the cameras have gotten so small these days, I mean this is the smallest camera you can buy with the SDI output, because it has to serve dual purposes, which is live streaming camera and sort of b-roll and interview. It's got to do so many things.

Oh, there's at tripod attached to the side.

Harry:
*Laughter*.

Ray:
Ultra light tripod. I mean, it would look like you were a serious tourist, but you wouldn't think it's like news or something like that.

Harry:
Yeah, maybe you could send the specifics on it, because I'm also looking for stuff.

Ray:
I'll have to take pictures and explain why each piece..because I literally picked out all the pieces.

Harry:
It wouldn't be an interview with Ray Ortega if we didn't geek out a little bit.

Ray:
That's right, that's right.

Harry:
So, I want to thank you for your time. I had a blast talking to you and I'm looking forward to being on Podcasters' Roundtable.

Ray:
Yeah, awesome. I can't wait. If you're a podcaster, if you're done one episode, you qualify. Get on the roundtable and it's just a blast. It's just to geek out. It's kind of like this, only with more people, and whatever. It goes anywhere you want. So, I certainly appreciate you having me on the show. It's always flattering to have someone say, “Hey, you wanna come on my show?” It's like, “Heck yeah, I want to come on your show.” The video worked out. We're on Skype here. I always talk about the Skype details, I can't afford it, but we did video. It held, I'm happy, we're on wireless. All the things I would not recommend, we are kind of doing.

Harry:
Yeah, it's more the do as I say, not as I do.

Ray:
Yep! More that. But it worked out and again, I met you at Podcast Movement so it's awesome that we met in person.

Harry:
Yeah, we met through Dave Jackson.

Ray:
That's right. It sounds like we're going to see each other again at more of these events, so that's also exciting. Yeah, thanks for having me on, it was a blast. You know, I have to, I don't do a ton of interviews, but I've done a few and you typically talk about the same stuff. You've done a good job. It's different each time and you've done a good job of that.

Harry:
I appreciate that, thanks Ray.

Any stuff coming up in terms of the episodes that we should be looking forward too?

Ray:
You know, I was just planning in my head my next sort of mega episode. So, I do have an episode coming out akin to the EQ stuff, there's an episode coming out on compression.

Harry:
Oh wow.

Ray:
With the former, like, 16 year guy who did all the Disney animation stuff, like you know, the Pixar, I think or is that Disney? Whatever, he worked for Disney. So, I think there's another two hours of compression and I did two hours on the loudness standard.

Harry:
Yeah, you had the guy from Alphonic on.

Ray:
Alphonic, yeah.

Harry:
That was another fantastic one. It's like you're getting the best of the best in the subject matter area and just deep diving.

Ray:
Yeah and the whole purpose of that, it's like, why am I suddenly having these massive interviews about this one specific topic, although I like to deep dive, but I did a talk out of podcast movement was post-production for podcasts, right and I could not deliver that in 45 minutes, so I had to hit on the things, but my whole goal…I did these all before that talk and the point was, “Hey, here's the talk, here's where we start, go out here and listen to this audio, because I talk about two hours about EQ, I talk for two hours on compression, about loudness standard.”

So, it was really to augment that talk and obviously you get dual things outta that, you get content for your site. You know, I think I found that I really enjoy the deep dive thing. I'm thinking about a deep dive on some podcast hosting stuff for free. So look forward to that. People are always asking me. So yeah, that's what's coming up.

Harry:
It's fascinating when you cover technologies like there's never a shortage of topics, stuff just keeps changing.

Ray:
Yeah and I cover podcasting and there's still no shortage of topics, right. Couple of things, you know on Podcasters' Roundtable, the big one that I still haven't tackled yet is monetization. I'm saving that one, because I want it to be really good with some of the best people in the space who are making money. So, that's coming up and we talked about iTunes is jumping off, the next jump off one is going to be beyond iTunes. So everything that's not iTunes is what we're going to talk about on the roundtable.

Harry:
Then I'll be on for the wildcard.

Ray:
Then we're going to be on for..Ooh, there we go. That's what we call it. Wildcard. You know what's fun about those, because I've done podcasting pet peeves, those are repeatable. So like, every 20 episodes, you do wild card. I like it.

So, we've got a subject and a name…like I have, if you go over to Podcasters' Roundtable and you sign up to the list, you get put into this form that says, “Hey, tell me what you want to talk about.” And that's where I sometimes get my ideas from for topics and that's who I decide who comes on. So, it's not in an order, it's literally based on what you've told me what you like to talk about and I pick a topic and I go and pull on those people who said, “Hey, I wanna talk about that.” And, you've kind of done it. A good way to do it is live in an interview, get your answers and your ideas in there right away. I like that, I like the Wildcard, one word, yeah. We'll have to try that, it's going to be cool.

Harry:
Just making episodes up live. So, where's the best place to follow up on what you've got going on?

Ray:
Yeah, probably the ThePodcastersStudio.com is the best website. There's more resources there, but you can also go to RayOrtega.com and that sort of a jumping off point pretty much for everything I do offline. YouTube channel one, even some hobby photography and all my video stuff, and all my shows. So, RayOrtega.com is a great jumping off point, but ThePodcastersStduio.com is also a good place to consume that show and find all the other stuff that I do.

Harry:
And, I just wanna mention Twitter. I just want to remind people you are active on Twitter. You do engage with people and I think it's always interesting when you have someone that you follow replies back and just is really keeping active in their stream.

Ray:
Yeah, as I said, it's my favorite place. I find it to be high effective. I mean, I'm @podcasthelper on Twitter so people, as you said, some people are scared to ask that name should invite you to ask anything, right. So, that's where I spend a lot of my time. It's just really easy to do when you're sitting on the couch.

I like to respond quick, even as a checker as a grocery store, people came to my line because I didn't do a bunch of chit chat, I just got you in and out and people really appreciate that. So, when someone takes the time to reach out to you, I like to give as fast response as possible and Twitter allows me to do that too and often time I can get to you, respond to a Tweet within, you know, certainly within 24 hours. It's usual within an hour or something. If you can't say what you need to say in less than 140 characters, you probably need to work on what you're saying a little bit. I like all the parameters.

Harry:
It's a great filtering system.

Ray:
Yeah, exactly.

Harry:
Alright, thanks, I've definitely kept you long enough. We'll have a follow up and if you're in town in LA, just hit me up and love to grab a beer or coffee or…

Ray:
Thanks Harry!

Harry:
Okay!

So, thanks again for listening. I hope you enjoyed that. Hope you're having as much fun listening to that as I am recording it. I'm really having a fun time with these conversations. As always, all the show notes at PodcastJunkies.com and again, it bares repeating, we live and die by reviews, so you can find them on the site or just go to PodcastJunkies.com/iTunes. That's probably the main where we get a lot of juice from Apple, if folks leave positive reviews. Either way, I'm loving the feedback that I'm getting and I definitely appreciate you taking a few seconds to go now. *Laughter*. Pause here and leave a review and just tell me what you thought of the show. I read them all and I really enjoy, like I said, the feedback.

The other the thing we fixed the speak pipe, finally. Speak pipe is on the site, so if you go to the site and you see a little tab on the right, it says contact us, you can leave a recording and I'll get that message and I'll read it back on the show! So, any comments or questions you have for me, go ahead and leave that there. It should be right on PodcastJunkies.com, right hand side, little tab, pops out, speak pipe, record your message, gets magically transported across the internet over to me.

So, I think that's it! Hope you guys have a fantastic week and stay tuned for exciting conversations with some of the most interesting podcasters I can find and if you have suggestions, don't forget to send those along. I'm not sure if I said that already, but just in case, why not repeat it. See you guys!

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