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The Pro Audio Suite

A must listen Podcast if you're in audio or voice over. Our panel features industry professionals, George 'The Tech' Whittam, Robert 'Source Connect' Marshall, Andrew 'Realtime Casting' Peters and Darren 'Voodoo Sound' Robertson, plus special guests.

Each week we dive into topics that will resonate with Professionals and home studio owner alike...

Feb 20, 2024

Summary: This week on The Pro Audio Suite, we dive deep into the heart of Podfest with George 'The Tech' Whittam's firsthand account of 'suitcasing' and the power of networking without a booth. Discover the fascinating world of podcasting - from grassroots communities to the cutting edge of AI and chatbot technologies. Learn how every conversation could turn into a collaboration, and how the future of content creation might just be a chatbot away.


  • Robert Marshall, Source Elements & Audio Post Chicago
  • Darren 'Robbo' Robertson, Voodoo Radio Imaging, Sydney
  • George 'The Tech' Whittam, LA's go-to audio engineer
  • Andrew Peters, Voiceover Talent & Home Studio Expert

Special Thanks to Our Sponsors:

  • Tribooth - the ultimate vocal booth for recordings at home or on the road
  • Austrian Audio - crafting passion into every audio experience

Featured Topics:

  1. Networking Without a Booth: George's adventures at Podfest, including the art of 'suitcasing' and leveraging community awards and events for networking.
  2. Podfest Insights: An overview of the Podfest community, ranging from solopreneurs to niche content creators, and the invaluable role of networking apps like Hoova in fostering connections.
  3. AI and Podcasting: A deep dive into the use of AI and chatbots in content creation, including practical tips for leveraging these technologies to streamline content creation and even author a book.
  4. The Future of Content and AI: Exploring the intersection of AI, content creation, and the ethical considerations of content ownership and creation.
  5. Listener Engagement: Inviting listeners to join the conversation on our Facebook group, suggest topics, or simply say hello.

Episode Conclusion: Wrapping up with a look forward to the evolving role of AI in the audio and podcasting industry, and a reminder to subscribe and engage with The Pro Audio Suite community.

#ProAudioSuiteTips #SuitcasingStrategy #PodcastCommunityInsights

A big shout out to our sponsors, Austrian Audio and Tri Booth. Both these companies are providers of QUALITY Audio Gear (we wouldn't partner with them unless they were), so please, if you're in the market for some new kit, do us a solid and check out their products, and be sure to tell em "Robbo, George, Robert, and AP sent you"... As a part of their generous support of our show, Tri Booth is offering $200 off a brand-new booth when you use the code TRIPAP200. So get onto their website now and secure your new booth...


And if you're in the market for a new Mic or killer pair of headphones, check out Austrian Audio. They've got a great range of top-shelf gear..

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“When the going gets weird, the weird turn professional.”

Hunter S Thompson


(00:00:00) Introduction

(00:00:43) Recap of Podfest Attendance

(00:05:51) Networking at Podcast Conferences

(00:09:20) Corporate Presence at Podcast Movement vs. Podfest

(00:15:19) Legal Challenges with Chatbots

Speaker A: Y'all ready? Be history.

Speaker B: Get started.

Speaker C: Welcome.

Speaker B: Hi. Hi. Hello, everyone to the pro audio suite.

: These guys are professional. They're motivated.

Speaker C: Thanks to Tribooth, the best vocal booth for home or on the road. Voice recording and austrian audio making passion heard. Introducing Robert Marshall from source elements and someone audio post Chicago, Darren. Robert Robertson from Voodoo Radio Imaging, Sydney. To the Vo stars, George the tech Wittam from LA and me, Andrew Peters. Voiceover talent and home studio guy.

Speaker B: Learn up, learner. Here we go.

: And don't forget the code. Trip a P. That will get you $200 off your triboof. Now, George, you've been whizzing around the country like crazy. You went to Podfest. What were you actually doing at Podfest?

: I was suitcasing. That's what we call it in the.

Speaker A: Business, dealing people's suitcase.

: Suitcasing.

: Suitcasing is when you show up in an event that you didn't sponsor and you start schmoozing and handing out cards and selling your wares.

Speaker B: Yeah.

: You don't have a booth, basically.

: You don't have a booth. Yes. Thanks to Jody Krangle. Thanks, Jody. Jody's was a sponsor this year. She actually got an award. She got a community award from the Podfest event, which was really cool. They also had an award show there. Every community needs an award. So they have their own awards event there. They call them life, I guess they call them like lifetime achievement award type awards. And Dr. Drew was there giving out the awards. He's a famous. He's a tv personality. He's been on numerous shows over the years.

: He's kind of shilling stuff a little bit, isn't he? He's even like diet fed stuff.

: So here's the deal. The podcasting community is an interesting one, right? So it's a mixture of a lot of solopreneurs. Right. Which is why I'm there. I'm a solopreneur. Then you've got a lot of people that have something to say that would not fly on traditional media. Right? Yeah. So extremists own whatever thing it is because it's your podcast. You can say whatever the heck you want. So you have a lot of people. I could saw a lot of people that were wearing don't tread on me shirts.

: Yeah. Like survival. Buy all this food and stockpile it. And here's how to live in a hole for 80 days during the apocalypse.

: So there was a represented. Some people on that community were represented. Then you had a lot of people that are women. Every interest group you can imagine there's somebody at the podcast Podfest because they want to. Either they have a podcast, they want to start, they want to learn about it, or they have one and they want to promote it, or they just want to get better at what they do and more efficient. So that's why they come. And I was spending my time bouncing between the expo hall and some of the different talks that were there, and there were many panels. So what's cool about this conference, which I think sets it apart from every other conference I've ever been to, is they use an app called Hoova, spelled like hoova Hova. And the Hoova app is a community app that lets you know exactly who's at the event, you know exactly who they are. You have their contact info, you can exchange info. It's kind of like the Namshow app on the phone. Did you use the Namshow app?

Speaker B: Yeah.

: I was going to say, this sounds just like the Namshow app, which was kind of annoying.

: Yeah. Just not as crappy. Although the Namshow app got better, but it was terrible for a long time. But so now you have a way to contact every single person at the event. And so I'm looking at the app right now, and it says the total number of attendees was 1869.

: Wow, that's pretty good.

: That's not bad.

: That's good.

: Yeah. So definitely bigger than Vo Atlanta. They would like to be that big, I'm sure. In fact, J. Michael Collins from Vo Atlanta was there actually at Podfest with a booth.

: But what kind of price? I mean, what kind of price? Vo Atlanta is really expensive to attend. So when you're talking about 700 people being at that show, you're still talking about a lot of coin. Was this one, like $100 a ticket, or was this $700 a ticket?

: They do the thing, which a lot of conferences do, which is having a lot of different tiers. So you can start at, like, 200, and you can go up to $1,000. So the $1,000 ticket is a vip, and that's actually the ticket that I had, because Jody, as a sponsor, actually got a companion ticket, and she offered it to me, which was extremely kind. So I went as a vip, which was cool, because I could go to every single happy hour and all the special things where they give out, they have or d'oeuvres, and you can schmooze and stuff. And that was really valuable, because while I was in line for one of these, waiting in line for a drink, I met a voice actor. Sorry. I met a podcaster who runs a show about the chemical industry. And here I'm thinking, okay, that could be the end of the conversation.

: Yes.

: But I didn't let the conversation end. And instead I kind of dug in and said, and I came at it from an absolutely entrepreneurial mindset of like, okay, everybody has a need. Every industry has a need. Is there a need in that space that I can fill? Right. So by the time we got to the front of the line to get our drinks, I had already figured out a niche that I wanted to fill. She said, I'd like to have you on my show. I'd like to share this with my community. Let's work on maybe a package for the people that listen to my show. It was like all this came out of just standing in line.

: Let me make sure I understand this. She's got a show about chemical engineering.

: Chemical industry. Like, she does a show where the audience are people working in the chemical industry.

: And you are co marketing with her.

: Now, if she replies to my email, yes. Okay. So this is the thing. I also realize you go to these shows, these people come. It is an absolute, like schmoozegasm, right? You're meeting hundreds of people, making tons of connections, talking about amazing ideas. And then after that event, it is up to you. You really have to follow up. So one guy, he has a calendly link on his website. So he's like, hey, let's chat. So I immediately made a point with him. And I'll be talking with him as soon as he gets over.

: Yes.

: Yeah. Because that's the other thing that these conferences are for. I mean, that's certainly what I got from freaking Nam.

: Yeah, I got my Covid by hanging out in Venice Beach a little more. Got it over. Got over a couple of weeks ago. So as soon as he's off of his thing, I'm going to be talking about his studio that we are going to build in Dallas. So that turned into another gig, hopefully. He seemed very keen. So for me, on a, b to b level business to business, I had made some really great contacts. And then on a b to c level business to what consumer? I handed out my card to a lot of people. And it was really nice because the vendors that I did know there, which was BSW and sentrance and yellow tech, all know me, or you have great relationships. And they were all willing to keep my cards at their table and I would just circulate the room and every time I stood near the table, someone would walk up and say, what is all this would. And they would often mention me and say, george is the guy that can help you. So it was extremely valuable for me to be there to network and connect with folks. And whether it turns into a true ROI, who knows? You just never know until the deposit comes. But I did make some really good, valuable connections there. I also hopefully endeared them to the point where they will involve me in the production of the show next year so that they will not have super loud PA systems blaring in a very large echoey room, to the point where you can't hear the person presenting or you can't talk to your vendor that you're trying to talk to because the sound system is blasting.

: It's funny because podcasting is all about audio, but at the same time it kind of has this such a broad demographic because everyone is really like, I just want to have the podcast done. I'm not really about the process of podcasting. I just want it to be good.

: Oh, yeah. And there's a lot of networks and producers at these events that want you to sign on with them that will get you ad dollars and do all the marketing for you. And there was quite a few of those companies there, too. But for me it was just learning about the community, who's doing it, who's producing it, how do they do it, what are the issues that they're having in producing it? And what was cool with the Hoover app is I was able to immediately, when there was an issue with the sound and it was too loud, I was able to immediately post something in there and get the attention of one of the organizers who within probably 2030 minutes was asking me, where are you? Let's talk. That's pretty awesome. I really love that. When I was at podcast movement, that was not happening. That was not going to get through to somebody.

: How big is podcast movement compared to this one?

: Physically? It's a bigger space. It was a larger space, more vendors, but I'd think in the actual turnout it probably wasn't all that bigger. But podcast movement attracts more corporate entities. So you had I heart podcasts from iHeart media and iHeartRadio. You had Amazon. You had all these very big brands know there to represent their podcast interests and hopefully find their new big hit show. So that was a very different thing. They were not doing that at Podfest.

: So with these big companies that you're talking about, but they were looking for podcasts to put on their platforms. Is that correct?

: At podcast movement? Yeah, they're there to schmooze with their big sellers, their big shows. They had what you would expect. They had beautiful sets with couches, and they spent some big time money, big.

: Dime to be there.

: And Podfest wasn't like that at all. Podfest felt a lot more like a voiceover convention with a smaller expo hall. And as Jodie told me before, it's much more grassroots and more friendly.

: They both have like an educational thing.

: Tons and tons of education. Like the one gentleman I'm going to work with named Larry Roberts. He had a 30 minutes thing on how to write your next book using Chat GPT, and it was an absolute paint by numbers. This is exactly how I did mine. Just do it like this and you can have a 200 page bound book in about a week, right? I mean, literally.

Speaker B: Wow.

: So I'm like, dude, I want that PDF. And he said, here, scan this QR code, download the pDf, right? So I'm going to use that because I have been gathering my own knowledge with my own custom language model to create my own chat bot. So now I actually have all the content that I would need to make a book. And that's the thing that's kept me from wanting to do a book, because the research and the time to compose a book is eternity in the pre Chat GPT AI era. But now I can very quickly outline a book and write the chapters with the help of a Chat GPT. And the beauty of it is it's my own knowledge I'm not scraping from anybody else. So that was a really cool revelation. So there was a lot to learn there.

: I wonder if we could sort of ingest our podcasts that we've been doing for the last five years, of course, and then write a book from that.

: Absolutely.

: Interesting.

: Yeah, I mean, it is frighteningly simple to do it. I mean, it is crazy easy. I could do it in two days. It just really is bizarrely simple. But you want it to be good, so there's going to be more time involved. You want to read the entire book, right? You want to make sure everything that's being written isn't garbage and you have to make sure it's factual, so there's time involved, but still, yeah, it wouldn't be that hard because we have, what, six or seven years worth of content on YouTube. Yeah, all that content is easily scrapable. You create a sitemap from all that content and you load the sitemap into a chat bot utility and you're done. I mean, that's how easy it is to build a chatbot from any content.

: But where are you getting your initial chat bot from? Like, where's the infant AI Robert that I can go put on the server and start freaking feeding it?

: Like Fargois, oh, what's the service I'm using for that? Wouldn't you like to know?

Speaker A: We would like to know because we'd like to write a book, but yeah.

: I'll do a book.

: But for my, I think if I.

: Was going to do a book, it'd be a coloring in.

Speaker A: Yes, exactly. Dot to dot.

: For my custom chat TPT, I'm using a thing called custom GPT. That's actually what I'm using as a service to build my chat bot. And it's extremely user friendly and they have all the right tools. You have to be a little bit savvy, but you don't have to be knowledgeable about code. You don't have to be knowledgeable about a lot of things because they have a lot of good content on there and how to do it. You have to learn how to write a Persona. Your Persona is literally, how is your chat bot going to talk to people? Is it going to be mean and abusive? You can make it do that if you want. You can have it be abusive and angry. You can have it be overly effusive. You can have it be friendly. You can have it be way too verbose. You can tell it exactly how you want it to behave. So I've been working on my Persona to make sure my chat bot is friendly but still gives very direct information and at the end always plugs my business. That's how it works.

: You should give it a brief, like most of the voiceover briefs that we get, nonsensical sort of garbage that is impossible to understand.

Speaker A: Voice tone should be a little more purple than blue.

: Yeah, it'd be interesting just to make this thing follow you around. Like if you just videotaped every day and this thing ingested one day behind what you were, and then it just, whatever, this conversation here, all of it.

: It'S just like, oh, yeah, no. By the way, there is a little device that you can slap onto your iPhone and it just lives on the back of the phone like a little barnacle. And it does that. It records every single phone conversation and then does a Chat GPT transcription of it.

Speaker A: For what purpose, George?

: It's the ultimate note taking device. I mean, literally every phone call you make is recorded and converted into notes and, you know, it has a mic, so it'll record what's in the room, but it'll also record what's coming out of the. Like. We're all going to have a Persona copy of ourselves. And when we die, that's going to live on in some form or another.

Speaker A: Google.

: That's going to be normal.

Speaker A: That's what that is. That's already exists. You see the crap that it gets thrown at me, that tana and I have talked about in the kitchen?

Speaker C: Oh, yeah.

Speaker A: Listening. It's just crazy.

: Absolutely.

: Yeah.

: I'll tell you the story. This is a really wacko story. This goes back to the 80s. Mick Fleetwood was in Australia, and he came in to do an interview, and he was sitting there with a little cassette recorder, recording everything. And after we'd done the interview, I said, were you just getting a copy of the interview? He said, no, I record everything. Every conversation he has.

Speaker A: Everything.

: So he was an archivist or a librarian type person?

Speaker B: Yeah.

: No, but when he gets home, he said, when I get home, I'd like to sit in the house and listen back to all the cassettes.

Speaker A: He's got time for that.

: And I'm like, fleetwood, I suppose, but I think there were a few things they did in the 70s. It's obviously come back to haunt him, I reckon.

Speaker A: I reckon.

: Absolutely.

: Either that he was just very proud of himself and just really wanted to hear what he had to say.

: It was so bizarre.

: Yeah. In the same way, I'll watch our show occasionally or listen to the show. It's just a different experience to hear back what you were saying on the show, and I might pick up something you said that I didn't notice. You might edit and listen, and it's a different format than the way we did it, but at this point, I'm looking at, and I know we've gone off topic from Podfest to AI again, because this is the way the show goes, but it's like, I want to make sure I have my ip in my chat bot before somebody else does. I can't stop somebody from taking all my YouTube videos and putting it in their chat bot, but at least I can have mine and have it in my.

Speaker B: I think you should be able to.

: Stop somebody from taking all your YouTube videos and putting it in their chat.

: Well, I could go into YouTube tomorrow and just say, these are all unlisted and they're gone.

: No, I know that. But even though you have your stuff up there on a platform where it's basically monetized, and that's one thing that you should be allowed to do, having someone ingest it. It's like, still your ownership. They can ingest it, but they can't turn around a commercial chat bot.

Speaker A: Well, I can.

: Well, yeah, this is why New York Times is suing chat GBT, right? That's literally how the year started out. That news story came out and I was, hmm, I can't afford to sue anybody. That's never going to happen. But the least I could do is at least have my chat bot and at least put it out there before somebody else does and market it. I figured that's the best that I can do. I can't stop anybody from stealing my content. There's unscrupulous people in the voiceover world who would do that for sure. People that are just trying to make a buck and have content on their website. And people do it all the time anyway, just not to the scale of a chat bot. But that's going to be the thing of 2024 is making.

: So what there's going to be, at some point, there's going to be lawyers or just like, for instance, we had a film, a commercial, and the producer was telling us that Ford sued the company. And it was like, why? Well, it turns out it wasn't really Ford. So essentially what they got sued for is the commercial had a cop in it and the cop was sitting in it. Crown Victoria. Because that's like your cliche cop car, right? So next thing you know, Ford gets a letter from some lawyer that just says, I can get you $200,000 signed here, Ford Ce, not CEO, some lower, who knows who signs it. Next thing you know, the lawyer now has Ford behind him and he goes and sues the director or the production company of the car for not getting a license to use their likeness of a car because it's so associated with police, and they extract $200,000 out of them.

Speaker B: Wow.

: So same thing. Some lawyer, some company is going to be there and they're just going to go through and be like, oh, crap. I can tell where this chat Bot has been trained, going to reach out to all the people that trained it.

: We're also going to be replacing the lawyers with AI with a chat bot.

: Yeah, it'll be a chat bot. That's exactly right. There's going to be a chat bot that's going to go see where other chat bots were trained, and then when it catches them, it's going to go send a letter of cease and desist, and you're going to be like, untrain your chat bot, which I don't even know if you can do.

: Oh yeah, yes you can. I can go into mine at any time and just say, take that out of the database and it's gone. I can put an entire YouTube channel in my thing and go, I've done it. I put a whole YouTube channel in my chat bot. I didn't like some of the answers it was giving and I just took it back out.

: Okay, so, so basically you'll get a cease and desist letter like that. Like remove this content from your chat bot.

: That's probably what's going to happen. So you listen to the show and we will dribble on into AI land.

: With no matter what the topic is.

: That'S where we're all going.

: Yes, it is true.

: The next stop is the outro.

Speaker B: Well, that was fun. Is it over?

Speaker C: The pro audio suite with thanks to Triboof and austrian audio recorded using SourceConnect, edited by Andrew Peters and mixed by Voodoo Radio Imaging with tech support from George the tech Wittam. Don't forget to subscribe to the show and join in the conversation on our Facebook group. To leave a comment, suggest a topic, or just say g'day. Drop us a note at our website.

: The pro audio Close.