TMBA 347: Levelling Up Your Podcast

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Podcast 33:40 | Download | Stitcher | iTunes | Comment

About this time last year Dan and Ian were working on their annual DCBKK event in Bangkok, and finding themselves (as usual) strapped for time. To be blunt, they weren’t devoting as much time or energy to this show as they wanted to – and felt it deserved. They realized that they needed help.

So they put out a call for a new producer, which was answered by a former BBC producer named Jane Beresford.

This week’s episode is the story of what has been happening behind the scenes at the Tropical MBA podcast since then. You’ll hear about the new production process that has been put in place – and how this has enabled Dan and Ian to deliver a show every single week, something they were increasingly struggling to do. We also talk about how the process has freed up time and energy to be more creative and professional with episodes, as well bringing a greater diversity of guests to the show.


Listen to this week’s show and learn:

  • What it was like to produce the show before the recent changes. (4:10)
  • How we got to a point where we were not regularly publishing the show. (7:12)
  • Why production is so much more than just editing and publishing. (10:15)
  • The five steps that we use to produce this podcast. (12:12)
  • How long it actually takes to produce each episode of this podcast. (28:20)

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Thanks for listening to our show! We’ll be back next Thursday morning 8AM EST.


Dan & Ian

Published on 07.28.16
  • “It’s really the discipline of the process that can set free your creativity”. I love this. So simple, so true, yet so hard to realize about sometimes.

  • Jon Favale

    Hey guys, just letting you know the download link at the top of the page brings me to the bitcoin episode.

  • yikes! on it thanks :)

  • 100%

  • Ryan Nagy

    Damn. That was awesome. Thanks. Seriously. I had been wondering how you guys produced an episode a week. I could barely do one a month when I was podcasting. Podcasting gave me a great start in one of my micro-niches while I was a PhD student. But I quickly got away from it (ran away actually) because it was hard work AND I needed a way to make $$. So I turned my newly learned auditing and recording skill into making downloadable products.

  • cheers Ryan glad you dug it!

  • Ryan Nagy

    hey guys – I have a process question for you. At what point do you do the audio “massaging”? That is, when do you normalize the audio, do EQ, noise reduction etc. etc. Is that the last thing you do after the editor pulls together the session? Or is that done befor the cuts and edits of the words and such? I hope my question makes sense. I want to streamline my own product creation process.

  • makes sense, this is something done 100% by our audio engineer but I used to do this work myself and had a hand in creating the SOP for editing the audio of our eps. One new thing that I should have mentioned during this episode is that our producer recommends creating a “rough cut” based on the script before doing “subtle” transition edits. So that’s basically looking at the script at a high level and going through and splicing the basic ep together at the highest level (ie, drop in first VO, remove these 5 paragraphs, etc). then go back and make all the transitions smooth. Regarding noise gates, compression, filters, etc, this is all something our audio editors applies during this process (my understanding is that it could be done before or after the splicing, and that probably depends on the quality/character of each audio piece).

    The simplest answer is our engineer applies compression and EQ when he’s editing the audio (all at once). Programs like Audition make this easy. If we had a more sophisticated process, our producer might make a “rough cut” that would get sent to the engineer for interpretation/guidance, and then the engineer would send us back a version that’s polished for review, at which point the team would critique the edits/transitions. We don’t quite do that now but would like to the in the future.

    Not sure if that answered your question but happy to take another stab at it or point Arison this way if you want to ask in another way.

  • Adrian Edlington

    I had assumed that you began posting the transcripts of your podcasts to influence the organic Google-search ranking. It would seem like a real benefit to have the extra unique content available for the spiders to peruse..

  • This is perhaps true as well although I have no data / knowledge on it.

  • Ryan Nagy

    Transcripts do improve rankings, as google has no way of listening to videos and audios. But I think you would need to put the transcripts on the tropicalmba url. Right now I think google sees your transcripts as an external link. Better to do something such as: with a link in the transcript back to the original episode.

    Just an idea. I use to make my living doing SEO, but my knowledge is not up to date. I gave it up several years ago when I (finally) figured out how to make a living selling my own stuff such as (shameless self promotional url):

  • haha yeah we’ve got that on the to-do list actually, appreciate it. My gut on it (as a fellow out-of-date SEO) is that they’d help marginally but I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for rushes of traffic!

  • Ryan Nagy

    Thanks! That helps a bunch. Anything that can speed up the production of quality content is a good thing. Creating a “rough cut” sounds painfully obvious, but I had not thought of it. I am going to send my audios to my sound engineer before my final edits in an attempt to minimize my own editing time. cheers!

  • arisoncain

    Hey Ryan, as Dan mentioned I am the engineer that works on the show. What Dan wrote is essentially a fairly good overview of what I do. Typically speaking, the first thing I do is import all of the audio into a session and make a skeleton of what each episode is going to look like. Without going into too many details, I have equalization settings that I like to use for each voice on the track, and I will usually get those levels to where I want before I start editing content. Compression is one of the last things that I do. Feel free to shoot me an email if you have any questions of if I can help you out in any way at

  • Just wanted to chime in about your new interview then cut in approach. At first I wasn’t a fan but I think you guys/gals have sorted it out and now I am a big fan of this. As a listener of a bunch of podcasts, I think this is the first time I have seen this approach. Keep up the great work!

  • thanks Eric appreciate it! it’s defo a long term approach, looking for a way that we can sustainably make the show for years to come, so decided it would be worth it taking a few steps back in order to get better

  • Ryan Nagy

    Hey there – I decided to give it a go. I sent my sound files out to get the noise reduction and EQ done FIRST before editing them. And so far it has made a huge difference. I can edit the files much, much faster now. As they sound so much better, I do not have to make many adjustments on the fly. By far, this has been the biggest time saving tip of the year. Much appreciated!

  • wow cheers thanks for letting us know Ryan!

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