Behind the Scenes at Beyond the Berm

Every now and then, someone will ask me, “Hey Steve, how do you guys record your podcasts?” That is a good question, considering that I live in Tennessee and Matt lives in California. Unfortunately, our Beyond the Berm budget does not allow for one of us to fly to the other’s location for a few hours every other week. We are still saving our dollars for our first corporate jet. Just a few million more to go.

So how do we do it? Easy – we just talk on the telephone. Yes, when you listen to a Beyond the Berm podcast, you are eavesdropping on our phone conversations. But don’t worry – we know we are being recorded, so nothing illegal is going on there.

But here is the catch: While we are both talking on our phones, each of us is also talking into a microphone connected to his computer, which is recording what we say. Matt records his side of the conversation, and I record my side. If you were to listen to just my recording, it would sound like I am talking to myself. Which may or may not happen in real life. And Matt’s recording would sound the same way. But through the magic of computers, we combine the two recordings, and it actually does sound like we are talking to each other. As long as we do everything right. So now you know how it works.

As we were getting ready to record Episode 9, thunderstorms were moving through Arkansas and approaching our area. They said we could have thunder, lightning, and strong winds, and those elements aren’t always good for electrical systems.

Sure enough, about a third of the way through our chat, the power at my house went off. Complete darkness, and of course the computer shut down, too. Which mean that I had just lost everything that I had recorded up to that point. Sounds pretty bad, right? Matt really would be talking to himself for a while in that episode.

But fortunately, I was prepared. Our church has a small battery-powered recorder that we occasionally use to record Bible classes, and I just happened to have it at home to download the recordings off of the memory card. I had checked the radar to see that the storms were arriving soon, and I had thought it might be a good idea to have that recorder going as a backup, just in case anything happened. It turned out to be a lifesaver! Or at least a podcast saver. Now I’m thinking that having some sort of a backup might be a good idea every time, just in case. Although I’m not sure what that might be.

Sometimes the things that go on behind the scenes are almost as interesting as what you hear on the podcast. Although maybe not quite as exciting.

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