Mark Asquith is one of the UK’s leading podcasters. Having recently returned from an extensive tour of the USA, including speaking engagements at Podcast Movement Evolutions and Podfest, Mark is now taking some time to update his Podcast Success Academy to include the new Zoom Livetrak L-8.
Mark is CEO and co-founder of Sheffield, England-based Rebel Base Media, the team behind one of the world’s leading podcast hosting, analytics and marketing platforms, Captivate.fm. He hosts his own podcast show, Podcast Accelerator, which is all about podcasting. He also podcasts about Star Wars and other topics close to his heart. He’s been doing this since 2013.
The trip to the US was an opportunity to road test the Zoom L-8. Mark explains, “We love the Zoom H6. I‘ve got a Zoom H4 that I’ve had since, you know, God knows when… and with the Zoom L-8 being mobile, I could do everything that I do with my standard studio-based product, but smaller and lighter. I could stick it (LiveTrak L-8) in a bag. It was a complete no brainer.”
While on the road in the U.S., Mark had the chance to use the Zoom L-8 to record his Podcast Accelerator. Able to carry it around in his suitcase, he says he, “… recorded at conferences with it and recorded my show from varying locations.” Highlighting just how simple yet comprehensive the product is, he says, “I loaded up the sound bed with my music and we were just recording it live on the day with very little editing. The L-8’s portability is fantastic.”
Mark continues, "You can truly make a podcast studio anywhere that you are. And when I say podcast studio, what I mean is the ability to have the six inputs, to have the USB input, to have the live calls fed in, to have the sound beds in, like it can be a full production studio.”
Captivate.fm launched in January 2019 with everything you'd expect a podcast host to provide. Following its release, a suite of intelligence tools allowing podcasters to measure what matters to the podcasting brand, providing a unique path to becoming the audio influencer in your niche. Captivate attracts hundreds of new podcasters every week.
In the courses, Mark advises podcasters to think about the format of their shows, or the use case, before purchasing recording equipment.“I’m just redesigning my course now to include the Zoom L-8. For podcasters wanting to go out and interview people we’ve tweaked the prime recommendations to include the L-8, alongside the Zoom H6 that’s already in place." Mark explains.
The feature set of the Zoom L-8 closely contours the shape of popular podcast formats. A fact that genuinely surprises Mark, as he states, “I actually really like that!” He expands, “Six inputs is quite uncommon. But when you are doing live events, you‘ll often want a panel of people and that’s normally four, plus the host is five and most products don’t accommodate that. That‘s really well thought out.
”Two of those six inputs, however, are lines in,” says Mark and explains that the line-in ability, in conjunction with the sound beds and the battery pack on the back, “…is genius!” He adds, “I know that sounds weird but a lot of people that do review podcasts will often want to line-in. I could put anything in there. I could add a guitar…”
“From a podcast perspective,” Mark continues, “without a shadow of a doubt, the two things that are vital, and that really stood out to me, are the sound beds: It gives you flexibility to load up all your sound beds; and the ability for the entire thing to be battery powered… and without having to worry about linking a power pack to it: you just put the batteries in like you would with a Zoom H6. So those two things really stood out for me.”
Overall for podcasting, I think we‘re going to see a lot of people start to understand what creating a high-quality podcast is really like.”
The current global situation, with people finding themselves inside due to quarantine conditions, is having interesting repercussions on podcasting. From Mark’s position he sees that “…the growth of it is absolutely accelerating during the lockdown. People are producing shows and people are consuming shows.” The interesting outcome of this, he notes, is that “…very many creators will be realizing what gear they don‘t need.”
Mark explains, “We’re seeing big radio presenters producing out of their bedroom using, you know, whether it‘s a Zoom or whatever… that‘s key! That’s where the market gets interesting.” He adds, “With radio people producing in their bedroom using podcast equipment, podcasters are going to realize and say, ‘wait a minute, to create this quality of podcasts, I only need these wo pieces of equipment.’ That’s a big thing!”