Microphones and Friends: How You Can Hit Record on Having Fun
Former listeners of the long-defunct WRBU campus radio station have new options for tuning in, with students from all walks of life coming together to produce ear-friendly content.
“We are actually one of the oldest organizations on campus,” said first year advertising and public relations major Myla Barz. “The earliest record I've been able to find was from the 1960s, when we were still radio broadcasting.”
Like most members of The Edge, Barz was inspired to join because they and a few friends had an idea for a podcast. Barz is on the executive board for marketing at The Edge, Bradley University’s newly reworked podcasting student organization. Reformed from the former student radio station, Barz and their cohorts have armed themselves with an exciting array of new and vintage audio equipment and begun producing podcasts. With topics running the gamut from cybersecurity to gaming to bizarre history and beyond, there’s something in their repertoire for everyone in the Bradley community.
“We want to focus on people on campus, but it doesn't have to be about campus,” Barz said. “We had our treasurer come on and talk about breaking into a building as part of a test for a company's security.”
When sophomore political science major Kevin Lynch and sophomore computer science/game technology major Cooper Denault met on campus, their mutual love of baseball blossomed into a fast friendship. In following their passion for the sport, it wasn’t long before they had an idea for a podcast. Joining The Edge to get the ball rolling was the natural next step.
Watching Lynch and Denault set up for a recording session is an impressive lesson in patience. Troubleshooting everything from cable arrangement to software issues to “Frankenstein microphones” and beyond, the two often spend the first 30 minutes of any session echoing “I can hear you, can you hear me?” ad infinitum.
Following their signal chain from mic to mixer to audio interface to computer, they do their best to discern any audio stoppages. Taking in the process from the sidelines feels like watching an investigator gather clues to catch a killer, tension building with every new discovery. Finally, when everything appears to be in working order, they hit record and launch into dialogue. A few days later, a new Diamond Weekly episode is born.
The Edge functions as a platform to create any kind of podcast they want, game design major and secretary for The Edge Brad Dixon explains. The only prerequisite is a penchant for collaboration.
“One thing I've found to be consistent across everything I've been a part of is that proper communication makes everything easier.”
Still in his first year, Dixon has already flexed his communication muscles as an executive member of the Activities Council of Bradley University (ACBU), as well as in preparation for the interactive media showcase FUSE and the release of his video game. With all that already on his plate, what drew him to The Edge?
“Me and a couple of friends had an idea for a podcast.”
— Jenevieve Rowley-Davis