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Podcasting and Audio Storytelling

Save yourself hours of frustration and hassle with this guide for podcasts and other forms of audio storytelling

Shapiro Design Lab

The Shapiro Design Lab is an ever-evolving experimental space in the Library focused on creating engaged learning opportunities and experiences that unite research, art, and teaching. The Design Lab comprises three learning communities (Interns, Residents, and Developers) and three spacaes (PIE Space, Media Production Rooms, adn Workshop), which feature a variety of tools: 3D printers, audio/video hardware and software, letterpress, prototyping supplies, and more.

The Design Lab offers workshops and individual consultations related to podcasts and other audio storytelling projects. Its Media Production Rooms (which you can reserve for personal use after completing a brief orientation at the Design Lab's Canvas course) contain equipment and software that can support a range of projects including animation, graphic design, and audio/video production and editing.

The Winberg Room in particular is designed specifically with podcasting and audio storytelling in mind. It contains:

  • Professional sound booth
  • Multiple microphones
  • Audio production station (see list of available software below)
  • Music production hardware (25-key MIDI keyboard + Ableton PUSH 2)

The recording booth is 4 feet by 4 feet (with a height of 7 feet) and is entered by stepping through a doorway that is 26.5 inches across with a 9 inch threshold. Because of this design, the booth may not be accessible to those who use a wheelchair or have other access needs. The overall room has an accessible entrance (low profile theshold and low-effort door) and is acoustically treated, so users can make a high-quality recording in the room itself, whether using your own microphone(s) or with the Design Lab's equipment.

The iMac workstation is equipped with the following software:

  • Audacity (Open-source audio editing platform, best for beginners)
  • Garageband (Introductory recording software, meant for beginning users)
  • Adobe Audition (More advanced audio editing and processing program, useful especially for cleaning audio)
  • Pro Tools (Industry standard recording software, meant for advanced users)
  • Ableton (Electronic music production software, used with the Ableton Push II hardware and meant for advanced users)
  • Logic Pro X (Full-featured Apple recording software, meant for advanced users)
  • Waves and iZotope RX7 plugins

If you have questions about accessing the equipment in the Winberg Room, or want to learn more about collaborating with Design Lab staff on a project, email shapirodesignlab@umich.edu.

Duderstadt Center Audio Studies

The Audio Studios at the Duderstadt Center is an audio laboratory set up in the style of a recording studio. The resources are intended to encourage experimentation and research, and develop skills and techniques in audio production. The facilities include two Electronic Music Studios and the Audio Studio, which features both a tracking room and control room. The studios have been set up with the resources to explore stereo recording, surround recording and surround recording with height. For more information on specific software and hardware, as well as training and access procedures, visit the Audio Studios website

Instructional Workshops

U-M Library Copyright Office

Podcasting is a medium that lends itself well to mashups and remixing of all kinds of audio segments. While that is a strength to be celebrated and harnessed as you create your own podcast, navigating questions around using other people's work can lead you into muddy legal and ethical waters. Fortunately, there is plenty of help available in this domain.

The U-M Library Copyright Office provides information to help you make decisions about sharing and using copyrighted material in your research, learning, and teaching. Check out their webpage to view copyright guides and online resources, and take advantage of their person-to-person consultation services.

Sweetland Center for Writing

The Sweetland Center for Writing, a comprehensive writing center, exists to support student writing at all levels and in all forms and modes. Sweetland oversees the College of LSA’s First-Year and Upper-Level writing requirements, offers one-to-one tutoring for undergraduate and graduate students in our faculty-led Writing Workshop and undergraduate Peer Writing Center, and teaches writing courses from the undergraduate to the graduate level.

More and more, instructors recognize that multimodal composition assignments can offer students valuable learning opportunities, especially when it comes to building rhetorical skills. Recognizing this, the Sweetland Center is offering support for a range of digital projects including video, audio, and photo essays. Find out more about how Sweetland supports these kinds of projects by checking out their teaching resources on Multimodal Composition and Podcasting.