Midnight Oil Podcast

The above is a first audio test of the new Zoom PodTrak 4 portable podcaster. The words in the recording make little sense as there was no script and little thought about the program. I simply wanted to learn how to use one of the most interesting features of the new PodTrak 4, the four pods. They have 12 factory installed sounds programed into them but the user can program their own sounds. Here, I start the podcast with an edit I made from a slice of Freddie Hubbard’s famous “Red Clay.” This is on Pod A and will probably serve as the constant opening theme music of the program. Both beginning and ending the program.

After a minute of “Red Clay” the host comes on as the music on Pod A goes down. He sounds like one of those all night jazz radio djs I listened to on Berkeley’s old KRE jazz radio in the 80s at the southern end of Berkeley’s Aquatic Park. He introduces himself and welcomes listeners to the program. There is the feeling of a late night atmosphere and mood to the radio program. As only the late night can bring.

It’s well known in symbolism that the day symbolizes (the masculine) consciousness while the night symbolizes (the feminine) unconsciousness. The greatest apogee of consciousness is at noon and the greatest apogee of unconsiousness is at midnight. Similar to the summer and winter solstices, the longest day of the year and the shortest day of the year.

Two things are important in this sense in characterizing the character of the program beginning to take shape for me. This relates to the day time and night time nature of the essense of the program.

Cover of Donald Fagan’s Nightfly album

First of all, it is important that the program be created in the middle of the night rather than the middle of the day. This does not mean that it might be fine-tuned and edited during the day. But the essential thing for this podcast is that it is created late at night. Second, it is important that is is listened to in the middle of the night. By that strange part of the populace who are up most of the night. Insomniacs is a familiar medical term but this is just a label of behavior rather than an answer as to the cause of sleepnessness.

This is an important part of the concept of the program it seems to me. It also distinguishes itself from all the podcasts that take little notice or interest in the context of the program. In effect, as Marshall McLuhan might say, the medium of the podcast/radio program. While most podcasters are focused on media or the messages of content. This podcast/radio program broadcasts its programs late at night for the first time. Attempts to have insomnicas as listeners.

Here, one, unifying late night medium is attempted to be presented to the listener rather than the battles of the various messages from various messengers. The messages of podcasters are for the day. The greatest messages correspond to noon (masculine, consciousness) while the greatest medium relates to midnight (feminine, unconsciousness). The program realizes and applies the ideas of Jung and McLuhan in creating a new type of participatory medium. Not an environment that creates messages for the listener. Rather, an environment that creates the best environment for the creation of the most powerful messages. This environment is a powerful medium for the creation of messages.

Zoom PodTrak P4

With the P4, Zoom essentially gives one person control over the creation and production functions of their own radio station. There are the four A,B,C & D Pods of pre-recorded soundbites. And, there there are the four inputs for other guests on the radio program. The guests might all be present during the program and connected via 4 XLR contacts into the best sound. Guests on the program are all supplied with headphone on the P4. Importantly, one of the four input ports of the P4, can connect with the telephone and Internet. This is so important as the “guest” call might include plugging into a large conference call via one of the conference call services. The input from the Internet and phones adds a huge benefit to the machine.

On the above sample from the P4, I use the B and D Pods for interviews I conduct with myself about senseless stuff. The radio program of this ficitious night dj that starts his show with Freddie Hubbard’s “Red Clay.” The sound is hot in a few places as I need to learn to cut the volume. Using Movo lavalier and Audio Technica 3035 microphones.

* * *

I’m in the process of creating a concept for a radio podcast. Think that the podcaster should have some type of story and personality behind him/her rather than just another talking podcaster. There’s getting to be more and more sound podcasts out there as it seems to be the first step into video podcasts. The new form of creating a media channel that millennials are showing everyone how to do better than anyone else.

The oncept here using something close to what Shooter Jennings accomplished in the incredibly underrated concept album Black Ribbons of 2009. Black Ribbons is a dystopian concept album by Jennings, with his band Hierophant. The album features dialogue written by horror author Stephen King, who also narrates the album. The album was released on March 2, 2010. The first single, “Wake Up”, was released on December 22, 2009. It was right in the middle of the Tea Party movement and I listened to it over and over in the summer of 2010.

The idea of this album was that a dj had locked himself into the studio and the government was coming to cut him off the air and this was his final broadcast. Nothing this drastic for the Midnight Oil Podcast but I do like the idea of a late night radio show style for the podcast as it plugs into our namesake “midnight” as well as one of my favorite radio programs, Coast-to-Coast originated by Art Bell.

A Diorama of a 1950s LA Jazz Club (J.Fraim, 2018)

Most likely I’ll create a podcast channel on the Midnight Oil site using tools already present for us WordPress users. Tools under the latest update to WordPress are amazing. I’m still learning the new system but it is incredible and I’m using just part of it. I have to go over and talk to the WordPress people in Upper Arlington. Maybe get some consulting advice and setting up of our first site with them.

WordPress attempts to provide its users with great power in distributing their product(s) to the world. This is the thing that sets Zoom apart from the other audio companies out there. I am an owner of the H6, the greatest hand-held recorder ever created. The P4 is the current rage product from Zoom and the rage of the technology elite.

It needs to be sold more as a desktop radio station rather than another entry into the growing podcasting niche of the audio market. It has great uses I can say from just my initial tests of the P4. Perhaps a radio station to my generation and a podcasting station to the current generation? A radio station and its programming is the best way to visualize the idea.

The Studio

The challenge now is to create this new Midnight Oil Late Night Program. This context we’ve briefly noted above. In the same way, it seems, as one creating content for a season of a show on Netflix. This is what the launch of a new podcast (radio station) means to me. Don’t give a damn if it doesn’t mean this to others. Since when have I trusted the views of “others” anyway? As compared to my own true feelings and emotions?

A few interviews or shows or programs are OK but where am I heading in all of this? Something bigger than my ego at the moment. Something in the collective conconsiousness of culture rather an individual ego. Something in the form of the symbol of this new type of podcast with the ideas of the above.

1:23 am


Be great to hear from readers/listeners on the above idea(s).


KRE Radio in Berkeley

One thought on “Midnight Oil Podcast

  1. I’d love to make a credible comment, but the technology here is so far over my head I refuse to make a Moe Howard or Goober Pyle of myself!

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