He’s the host of many a podcast, the founder of ATEBIT, the hungriest of gamers and not only a friend to Audio-Technica but a friend to all those who share a common interest and have the urge to record it. A lot has changed since Brendan recorded the first episode of the Hungry Gamers in 2016. So, with an army of podcasters under the ATEBIT umbrella, we thought we’d check in with the man whose passion for gaming knows no bounds.
What inspired you to hit record?
It was a mixture of online gaming, hyperactivity, and like-minded friends with common interests who wanted to try something different. ATEBIT existed on and off for a few years before The Hungry Gamers was born. Originally ATEBIT was a simple website hub for our written news, reviews and opinion pieces, laying an early foundation we hoped to build off to become the next IGN. Realising that didn’t suit our personalities, we thought we would try our hand at podcasting. None of us had any experience in that field at the time but felt it would work more in line with our casual and unstructured way of talking video games and pop culture. Several years, nearly 20 different podcasts and over 25 unique voices later, and here we are, still going strong.
We all know how good your podcasts sound now, but I was surprised about how good they sounded five years ago! Do you remember your first-ever recording set-up?
I do indeed! Before we ever hit record, there was a good chunk of googling and YouTube research taking place. Seeing what gear was universally recommended and fit within our budget, we settled on a microphone preference early. The constant best in class mic for beginners was the Audio-Technica AT2020, so we had four of those connected to a Behringer mixer. To say we were clueless about how it all went together would be an understatement. Pop filters, noise gates and boom arms were just a series of words in the beginning. Luckily we had a friend in the audio engineering space who helped educate and train us on the dos and donts. That training and advice really helped us deliver a professional sound, even though our early product was anything but.
What’s been the motivation not only to keep going but going strong?
To be completely honest, the biggest motivation, at least for me, is the enjoyment that comes from podcasting. I love talking about the things that I’m passionate about and being able to do that with friends, both old and new. Having our opinions and thoughts consumed and sought out all over the world is such a blessing. It’s very surreal to know that what we created all those years ago in Reece’s hotbox spare bedroom has grown into the giant ATEBIT Megazord that it is today. The opportunities we have been given, the connections we’ve made, and the places this journey has taken us on are insane! The entire experience is extremely humbling and fuels us to keep moving forward, give back however we can, and improve our content and overall product.
What are your three top tips for anyone looking to start recording their own podcast?
There’s so many! But in my humble opinion I would say these are the three biggest and most important tips:
- Invest in Good Equipment (and Good People): When you first start out, every little point of difference will help. Chucking some money into a decent recording setup doesn’t have to break the bank. A good mic (like, say, an AT2020 or AT2020USB+…), mixer/audio interface and software is all you need to get started. Audacity is an audio recording/editing software available on Windows and Mac. It costs nothing and is easy to use. The other investment is in the people you’re podcasting with. Just because someone is your best mate doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to be your best podcast co-host. You’ll need to work out if the dynamic between the co-hosts is there and the discussion flows in a way you’re happy with. The same goes for the effort levels – podcasting is a passion project for the vast majority, and a lot of hours go into putting out an episode, so you want people who will put in the work and share the load.
- RESEARCH: Take the time to plan out your show, pick a category or theme that you and your co-hosts are genuinely passionate about. Once you’ve landed on a category/theme, start to workshop names and podcast art concepts, be sure to google and search podcast feeds to avoid doubling up on show names. From there, put together a rough plan on how the podcast will flow. Having an agenda with a clear beginning, middle and end will really help you and your co-hosts stay on task.
- Have Fun: As corny as it sounds; it’s probably one of the biggest things to help you deliver a product that’s enjoyable for listeners. If you aren’t having a good time making your podcast, there’s a very high chance that your listeners won’t have a good time consuming it. Energy and enjoyment is such a big part of podcasting, and it’s immediately noticeable in your episodes. When I listen to podcasts, I like to feel like listening to people who love what they do and just have a good conversation. Your first episode (or ten) probably won’t be perfect but if you’re having fun, that’s enough. The biggest thing is to just hit record and enjoy the ride.
Lastly, what are your new favourite podcasts? (one Aussie, one international)
Oh man, depending on the day and the time of year, my rotation changes quite a bit and covers a host of random categories. My library ranges from video games, sports and culture to true crime, history and mythology. During the NFL and NBA seasons, I consume a ton of The Fantasy Footballers and No Dunks. They’re two shows from the USA that deliver content that informs and entertains. From a more local perspective, The House of Mario is a fantastic news source and laughs around Nintendo, and Casefile, a true-crime podcast that unpacks solved or cold criminal cases, not shying away from any grisly details. The beauty of podcasts is that there truly is something out there for everybody.