This Happiness Lab episode, The Handbook for Sonic Happiness – A Twenty Thousand Hertz/Happiness Lab Mash-up, brings up a good point about how careful we are about other sensory elements but often neglect sound. In interview podcasts, I feel like we look for sounds (music specifically) that go into a space where music is supposed to go. But what if there were more intentionality with sound in even “just talk episodes?” Not over sound-scaping episodes. I hate it when there are too many distracting sounds when just a voice is appropriate.
But why isn’t there more sound between talking segments in interview and similar episodes?
In his latest episode of I Like The Sound (the best name for a podcast ever), Frank does this and does it well. Disclaimer, I’m a guest for part of the episode. But it’s not me I want to focus on. It’s the sounds in between us. Or moreso, with us. They breathe and say something on their own. They’re natural and gentle and slowly comforting. For example, I mentioned the sound of ice. Then, from 4:10 to 4:32 he has ice sounds only. That’s 22 seconds of ice.
This is the opposite of rushed soundscaping! He’s done this in his podcast all along but this season it feels like the sounds he’s including in the conversations are not just dropping in. They literally feel like they’re part of what we’re talking about. Who or what we are talking to? When we say that we like a specific sound, they are saying “why thank you “ right back at us.
But Frank’s podcast is specifically praising sounds of all kinds. It's more knowingly artistic than many interviews or talking-only episodes want to be. What I was hinting at earlier was a desire to add more sounds between sections of talking in talking-heavy episodes. Do you do this? I most certainly do not. I have a feeling some might deem it unprofessional if done in a business podcast.
But I'm curious.
And I'm tempted.
I also would need to finally embrace sound libraries, which I’ve been terrified of for financial but mostly digital organizational reasons.