If you’ve been recording a podcast in your closet or feel like you don’t have good enough equipment to even start, Cambridge-based Public Radio Exchange has a new, professional yet affordable way for you to get that radio-drama passion project going. Or if you’re like NextView’s Jay Acunzo or Drift’s David Gerhardt, a podcast about startups. Or whatever it is you do.
“That’s our long-term hope: that it’s so successful, we can export the concept.”
PRX, which distributes This American Life and hundreds of other shows, recently opened what it’s calling the “Podcast Garage” in Allston, and for just $60, you can get a 4-person recording studio — full of high-end equipment from Shure, Sonos and Sennheiser — for one hour. It’s even cheaper if you want to use the one-person studio or use either studio for less time. And the studio’s production computer has a suite of high-end production tools available, including Pro Tools and Hindenburg.
But that’s only part of what makes it special place for podcasters. The overall goal is to give audio enthusiasts a community space, where networking events and workshops happen regularly, including one coming up with the host of PRX’s newest Radiotopia podcast. There’s also wireless internet and some desks available for those who want to edit and upload on the spot.
“It’s a way for us to provide a service that we knew is a need locally, a space for us to open it up to community and really support storytelling and maker culture here in the Allston neighborhood,” Kerri Hoffman, CEO of PRX, told BostInno.
Hoffman said the Podcast Garage came to fruition after urban placemaking advisory firm Graffito SP, which has been working on Harvard’s Zone 3 redevelopment project in Allston, approached her with the idea of PRX creating some kind of pop-up project in the neighborhood. But instead of doing something temporary, Hoffman said she gave a counteroffer for something a little more permanent and that could serve as a blueprint for similar projects in other cities across the U.S.
“I think that’s our long-term hope: that it’s so successful, we can export the concept,” Hoffman said.
Last Wednesday, PRX held a grand opening for Podcast Garage in conjunction with Aeronaut Brewing Co., whose space is located on the same lot right next door, and there were easily 200 people present, at least. The enthusiasm to support local podcast-making and audio production was infectious, with everyone from newbies to hobbyists and professionals expressing interest.
Audrey Mardavich, PRX’s director of special projects, said there will be a wide range of events happening at the space, including listening events and podcast training sessions, along with networking events and workshops focused on different aspects of podcasting and audio production.
“We can now finally open the floodgates and share with the public that information that we’ve been gathering for so long,” she said. “We want to make the whole industry better, from the people who are just starting out to the people at the top.”
Here are more photos of PRX’s Podcast Garage: