Tag Archives: audio

SoundCloud Meet On SoundCloud Premier Partner Star Talk Radio’s Jeff Simons

On SoundCloud premier partner Star Talk Radio is a podcast and radio show hosted by the brilliant Neil deGrasse Tyson, the American astrophysicist, cosmologist and author. Star Talk is a radio show where science meets comedy and pop. Neil and his guests talk astronomy, physics and anything else related to the universe! Today we have an interview with their Social Media Director, who runs the SoundCloud account – Jeff Simons.

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Introduce yourself to the SoundCloud community.

I’m the Social Media Director for StarTalk Radio, a podcast, radio show and, starting on April 20, 2015 a weekly late night talk show hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. It’s the best job in the world – and that’s coming from someone who worked at Marvel Entertainment back in the days when that was saying something! One reason working with StarTalk is so great is because our community – wherever it lives, on SoundCloud, Twitter, Facebook, etc. – is really interested in science. They are not only intelligent, respectful of our brand and each other, but they also let us know what they like and don’t like. It’s a social media director’s dream. Plus I get to work with Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye the Science Guy, and our great guests and comic co-hosts like Eugene Mirman, Chuck Nice and Leighann Lord.

How do you use SoundCloud?

We use SoundCloud as our main podcast hosting platform. We have SoundCloud players on all of our episode pages, plus the home page of our website, www.startalkradio.net. When we post our new episodes or our shorter, appetite-whetting teasers, we use the native SoundCloud link to let mobile users enjoy the benefit of listening to us while still cruising around SoundCloud. SoundCloud is our RSS feed, so everything we post on all of our partners like iTunes and our website starts with SoundCloud. We’re really just starting to increase our engagement with other SoundCloud users and properties, partially because we’re a small organization with manpower challenges. But our volunteers Sam and Rob who work with our SoundCloud account have made more sharing and more engaging a priority, so expect to see more of that in the future. We use playlists, of course, and intend to add more moving forward. We use our stats to improve content offerings and monitor our channel performance… and can’t wait for the statistics functionality to continue to improve. Finally, SoundCloud musicians frequently offer their music to us to be used on the show, and we are working towards opening this opportunity up to more of the SoundCloud creative community.

Describe your creative process. What is your set up like?

When I joined the StarTalk team a few years ago, we weren’t really engaging with our community. Neil was a great tweeter, of course, but the show itself wasn’t communicating with our fans. So we took a cue from Neil, who, if you’ve ever seen some of the videos on YouTube or seen him in person, treats everyone he meets with respect and consideration. So we do the same with our community. And we’ve been repaid by the community with respect and consideration in return. Another lesson of Neil’s we’ve tried to stick to is to make sure that what we’re putting out on social media delivers real value to our fans and isn’t merely self-serving. We may not succeed at that 100% of the time, but it is our #1 goal.

What does it feel like to become a Premier Partner? Where do you want to take your career next?

We’ve been a SoundCloud partner for a while now. It’s been a great experience being able to provide feedback that matters to a great group of people who are building something valuable and unique. Like any technology project, there are going to be glitches and growing pains. But our contacts at SoundCloud listen, and they care, and that is the core of any meaningful and successful partnership. We look forward to being an important part of SoundCloud’s promising future.

Who or what is inspiring you creatively? Are there people that you’d like to collaborate or work with?

The universe, and everything in it, is our inspiration. These are exciting times for science, from the exploration of space to the discovery of the Higgs boson. They are challenging times too, with plenty of resistance by science deniers towards everything from climate change to evolution to the value of vaccines. So there’s never a lack of material to be explored. Our unique formula of blending science with comedy and celebrities has allowed us to have guests from outside the world of science, like Joe Rogan, Jon Stewart, Seth MacFarlane, Bill Maher and Nichelle Nichols. But we’ve also gotten to interview science and technology leaders like Dr. Carolyn Porco, Elon Musk, Richard Dawkins, Peter Diamandis and more. Are there people we haven’t worked with yet that we’d like to? How much time do you have for me to list them?

Feel free to talk about anything else (seriously, we’re all ears)

We can’t wait until SoundCloud takes podcasts out of the corner, lifts them proudly over their head, and… oh, wait, am I confusing this with Dirty Dancing? Seriously, though, SoundCloud originally came to us because they were interested in bringing more science and more podcasts into the spotlight – and they’ve helped us grow into a leading podcast. Whatever we can do to help grow the category, and bring more and more people into the growing conversation about science and science literacy, the better the future will be for all of us.

Take a listen to their latest episodes here:

For more information on our creator partner program On SoundCloud, head over to on.soundcloud.com. To read more interviews from On SoundCloud Premier Partners, click here.

SoundCloud Meet On SoundCloud Premier Partner Jonathan Fatigate from Stand Up NY Labs

Jon Fatigate is one of the founders of Stand Up NY labs, a comedy post network out of New York which includes the likes of podcasts such as Tuesdays With Stories, The TFM Podcast and Rantin’ and Ravin’ to name a few.

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I created a startup called Stand Up NY Labs two and a half years ago. We’re a media company with a studio above Stand UP NY Comedy Club. The idea is that comedians can come to us with their ideas and we can produce them. Its a great way to circumvent the traditional industry. The first thing that hit was our podcast network and SoundCloud played a big part in that.

How do you use SoundCloud?

We use SoundCloud to host each of our more than 10 podcasts. We’ve found that the SoundCloud player is the best one available. Sharing and organic discoverability are also huge assets with hosting here. One of the real benefits that we’ve found is that we can help our fans discover more of our content with the reposting button and communicating through the comments page.

Describe your creative process. What is your set up like?

We’re lucky enough to have a great studio. We had an old black box theater above the comedy club that I converted into a recording studio. We are big fans of the Shure SM7B and love Adobe Creative Suite to take us from there. Not to get geeky, but I would recommend the Saffire Pro 40 to get you from mics into the computer if multi tracking is important to you. But we’ve done live shows from bars or the home of a celebrity. In those cases we just pack the stuff up or even grab a Zoom H4N and run a couple of SM58s into it (I guess this got geeky).

Describe how you reached certain goals or steps in your career.

I’ve found that being decisive and learning how to sell your vision is the best way to move forward. When I was starting, I had to convince my partner to believe in me and now I have a team of people who need to believe in my vision too. It all really comes down to doing your research, thinking things through clearly, making a decision and seeing it through. Failures are only set backs.

What does it feel like to become a Premier Partner? Where do you want to take your career next?

Its been great being a Premium Partner. I did a lot of research when I was looking for a home for our content. SoundCloud didn’t just offer the best interface and service with tons of users, they also wanted us to be a part of their growth. That felt pretty special.

Who or what is inspiring you creatively? Are there people that you’d like to collaborate or work with?

Being on top of a comedy club makes being creative pretty easy. I get to be around some awesome and hilarious people everyday. They kind of just stop into the office with ideas. Sometimes we’ll workshop it and sometimes we’ll just jump into the studio and try it out. I just love comedy, so being around stand ups is inspiring in itself.

Feel free to talk about anything else (seriously, we’re all ears).

We’re really excited to be with SoundCloud for the long haul. I think its a great way for content creators to share their art with the world.

Take a listen to the latest episodes of Tuesdays With Stories to get you started.

For more information on our creator partner program On SoundCloud, head over to on.soundcloud.com. To read more interviews from On SoundCloud Premier Partners, click here.

SoundCloud Meet On SoundCloud Premier Partner Chris Morrow from The Loud Speakers Network

Chris Morrow is the co-founder of The Loud Speakers Network – a podcast network which includes the likes of The Combat Jack Show, The Brilliant Idiots and The Read among others.

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Please Introduce yourself to the SoundCloud community

My name is Chris Morrow, I’m the co-founder (along with Combat Jack) of the Loud Speakers podcast network. My career has taken some unexpected turns. I’m Brooklyn based writer, probably best known for a series of books I’ve written with Russell Simmons including Do You! and Success Through Stillness. For many years I also worked as a producer in the radio industry, mainly as a way to support myself between writing projects. A few years ago I became a fan of the Combat Jack Podcast and linked up with Combat when he was looking for some help navigating the radio waters. But the more familiar I became with podcasting, I became convinced that’s where the future of audio was and we decided to start Loud Speakers podcast network. Today we have several popular podcasts including The Read with Kid Fury and Crissle, The Brilliant Idiots with Charlamange Tha God and Andrew Schulz and yes, The Combat Jack Show. It’s hard, at least we hope so, to label our podcasts as part of any specific genre, but it’s safe to say they’re coming from a hip-hop POV. And we hope they also stand out through giving a platform to the types of voices you might not hear on other networks.

How do you use SoundCloud?

SoundCloud is the backbone of our network. After we record an episode, we upload the audio file to SoundCloud and its’ RSS feed is how we launch other platforms like iTunes. One of the features we love about SoundCloud is its’ comment section. Some people have the misconception that listening to a podcast is a “solitary” pastime. But I think when you do to the SoundCloud page for a show and see a couple of hundred comments on an episode, it’s very powerful. Really gives you the sense that you’re part of a community of people who enjoy the same thing as you. Being able to see stats is another great feature. Before SoundCloud, as a podcaster it was very difficult to gauge your audience. Over and over again I’d hear people say, “I have no idea if people are listening to this thing or not.” Now, for better or for worse, we know. If the stats are strong, it’s a confidence boost. If the numbers could be better, it’s motivation to keep tinkering with the show’s format. I’ve always felt that you should tape a podcast because you have some information you really want to share, not because you’re chasing numbers. But having stats does help give you a sense of where you fit into the larger picture.

Describe your creative process. What is your set up like?

Well, as someone who heads a network, my creative process is different from musicians. But within podcasting, there are a lot of different approaches when it comes to recording an actual show. The Combat Jack Show likes to have a lot of ppl–interns, publicists, photographers–milling around the studio when they record. Plus there are always a lot of people crammed into the studio because they just want to be part of the energy. With The Read, it’s just Fury and Crissle in the studio by themselves–I don’t even come in. But that show has tremendous energy to it. So it’s really just a matter of creating your comfort zone and figuring out how to tap into the energy you need to create.

Describe how you reached certain goals or steps in your career.

I’ve basically worked really hard for a long time, a trait I picked up from my father, who’s my biggest influence. His example was also to put your head down and do the work, don’t worry about being validated or praised for it. In terms of my career in media, Russell Simmons has probably helped me the most. My name wasn’t that big when we wrote our first book together and he could have very easily gone with someone more established. But he saw how hard I was working (I had been hired to write some scripts for him) and gave me the shot. I was able to make good on it and since then he’s supported me in a lot of different ways.

What does it feel like to become a Premier Partner? Where do you want to take your career next?

It’s been great to be a Premier Partner. It’s given Loud Speakers the freedom to experiment with different shows and give opportunities to hosts who might not otherwise by in the mix for what we do. We might not have been able to do a show like Tax Season or Fan Bros without that sort of support. Shows that don’t appeal to “traditional” podcasting crowds, but are bringing new voices to the medium. I think that’s very important. We want to keep building Loud Speakers Network and make it not just one of the top podcasting networks, but one of the top media companies in general. We’ve been able to tap into an audience whose pretty much been ignored when it comes to long form digital and we want to take advantage of what some of the other players in the space have overlooked. In terms of what I’ve learned from our fans, it’s mainly been to respect them. Their comments on the page let me know that they’re paying attention. And if we drop quality audio on time, they’re going to support us. If we’re late with the shows, or the quality isn’t up to par, they might give us a couple of chances, but then they’ll be gone. You can’t ask someone to listen to a show every Thurdsay, but then not hold up your end of the bargain.

Who or what is inspiring you creatively? Are there people that you’d like to collaborate or work with?

I’m personally inspired by a lot of different people in the podcast space. Like a lot of people I started out listening to Marc Maroon and Bill Simmons’ podcasts; now my phone is filled with them. Outside of our stuff, I enjoy what’s happening on EarWolf and also Panopoly, which is Slate’s new network. I check for Jesse Thorn’s show Bullseye, as well as Joey Diaz’s show The Church of What’s Happening Now. I also check out Longform podcast from time to time and like everyone else got caught up in Serial. I’m excited for someone the possibilities it suggested for long form, scripted podcasts.

Hear the latest The Loud Speakers Podcasts here: