in Audio Software, Podcast

Creating the Ouchmonkeys podcast.


This Podcast was created as part of a Community Music Project towards my MA in music. You can listen to the resultant podcast on Apple Podcasts here, Spotify here, and Google Podcasts here. My original writeup (.pdf) explaining the process can be accessed here.

Why a Podcast?

Several years ago, while in the studio recording demos for an album, one of my best friends (Tom, the band’s other guitarist) father came to visit and check on our progress. Tom’s dad was the somewhat legendary record producer Nigel Gray (Summers, A. 2016), noted for producing bands such as The PoliceSiouxsie and the Banshees, and Godley and Crème. During a studio break, Nigel took us all out for dinner, and being a huge Police fan, I took the opportunity to discuss with him – for many hours, the making, recording of, and a great many other stories surrounding the band’s first three albums. Before this, I had spent time working with Australian producer and engineer Tony Cohen (Blair, D. 2021) (Nick Cave/Birthday Party) as assistant sound engineer on a Lodger recording. During my time working with Tony, I enthusiastically questioned him every chance I got. Cohen was more than happy to share his expertise with an inquisitive junior assistant, even going so far as to let me start the final mixes and make decisions of audio effects – before (while explaining to me the process) finishing the songs himself. A similar pattern emerged when recording and assisting for Phil Brown (Talk Talk, Led Zeppelin, John Martyn) and many of the multitude of talented producers and musicians I have been fortunate to work with and learn from over the years.

My personal development as a producer, engineer, and musician owes a great deal to these opportunistic conversations I stumbled upon with my peers. Fast forward, and by 2015 the Podcast as a means of accessible long-form discussion had firmly taken root. Contemplating the discussions I described above, I began planning to record a Podcast, talking to these people I had worked with and learned from, and hoping to share their valuable insight and experience for the benefit of everybody. However, fate intervened, and after agreeing to record a conversation with Nigel Gray, he died suddenly (2016) before getting the chance to meet up. Not long after, Tony Cohen, another former mentor I had scheduled to record, also passed away. My plans for a Podcast were put on hold, although my initial motivation – sharing these stories for posterity, now seemed more important than ever.

 Nigel Gray                               Tony Cohen                  Phil Brown
What does this have to do with a community music project?

When considering ideas for a community-based project, I began thinking about what it was, in terms of being a professional musician, that had helped and inspired me over the years? I considered various other ideas – taking instruments into schools and introducing young children to music (something I have done previously at the request of friends who are teachers). However, the podcast idea lingered, and after some reflection, I decided sharing the stories of my peers, professional musicians, and indeed professors/fellow students via this relatively new medium might be of considerable benefit. Not just for the students of Salford University but the wider musical community as a whole. This project would be the incentive needed to push me into reviving my previous idea of recording a podcast.



Over the past decade, we have been able to listen (for free) to online Podcasts such as the popular Joe Rogan ExperienceThe Lex Fridman PodcastMike Duncan’s The History of Rome, and Huberman Lab. A technological portal has grown which allows us to sit in on virtual lectures where the guests – often leading experts in a particular field, discuss subjects ranging from history to neuroscience, psychology, art, and more.






It is perhaps also worth mentioning other potential benefits offered by the verbatim nature of the medium as a long-form means for open discussion. While some shows, for the sake of necessity, are more presented and scripted in nature (e.g., The History of Rome), many take on a looser, more conversational approach, often in a kind of asymmetrical sense concerning the discourse. An expert in a particular field (Neil deGrasse Tyson, Andrew Huberman, etc.) might break down and simplify complex theories while explaining them to the non-expert host and listener –  making previously inaccessible information available to anyone who listens. Joe Rogan’s ever-increasing popularity would appear to bear testimony to this. Another possible advantage is that the natural conversational tone is often times disarming for all parties, allowing interesting (and admittedly sometimes not so interesting) tangents to emerge and develop during a given recording. Coupled with the ease of access and cost (Podcasts are freely available on any smartphone or computer), the listener, or indeed subscriber, often feels invested in, and in some way a part of the conversation.

As an aside, pre-podcast, I am a great admirer of oral historian Studs Terkel’s (1912 -2008) verbatim style of writing. His book Working (Terkel, S. 1974) provides a fascinating, unedited glimpse into the working lives of the American population during the early 1970s. Ironically perhaps, the original tape-recorded interviews transcribed by Terkel for the book have now resurfaced as audio files. Perhaps, one day they too will be made available as a Podcast.

Getting started.

After outlining a simplified course of action with my course supervisors, I began planning the steps needed to get a Podcast off the ground. An undertaking, which at a cursory level might appear relatively simple, yet in reality turned out to be a complex and indeed time-consuming procedure.

A podcast of this sort requires participants. Thus, to get the project moving I would have to first find, and then contact some prospective guests. Alongside this, full-scale UK COVID restrictions were in place as I began planning, presenting further logistical difficulties (not least figuring out recording locations with social distancing rules). Both of my MA supervisors helped me to contact former/current Salford students to interview, so I composed an outline/proposal for an email – briefly explaining my plans, aims, objectives, etc. However, before I could reach out to anybody, I discovered that I was required to submit a whole load of paperwork to the university’s ethics department. Forms and methodology reports such as detailed participant information sheets (PIS), data management plans (DMP), data protection guidelines, risk assessments (including COVID risk assessment), and consent forms all needed completing before the project could begin.

Once all the ethics paperwork was completed, I could begin emailing and phoning various friends/contacts in the music industry, along with those provided by my supervisors. I wrote a brief email outlining the project’s aims and sent a personalised version to approximately ten people. Aware of time constraints, and with other projects to complete, I aimed to record around five episodes in the first instance. The response to the first wave of emails was largely positive, with almost everybody getting back to me within a few days.  So, I followed up with another email – this time attaching the personal information Sheet, etc. With a full-time job, the ongoing COVID situation to contend with, and the fact I live in London (more than 200 miles away from the university), I would have to plan the recordings a few weeks in advance before booking time off work and driving up to Manchester to record. After emailing back and forth with the prospective guests (some couldn’t take part until later in the year), I arranged to record three episodes during the last week of April 2021.

The Recording Process.

The first episode, featuring James Stone – a Ph.D. student at Salford University, was recorded on 28th April at a rehearsal room on campus (New Adelphi). Despite never having met James (I had attended an online masterclass of his), both of us had plenty to discuss, and the recording went well. From a technical standpoint, there were only a few minor problems to deal with (noisy air-conditioning), although coming from a recording and engineering background, I was confident that the final sound quality would be ok. The university studios had allowed me to borrow a condenser microphone to record the dialogue (I had one of my own). However, the next set of recordings would take place on location, and I would need to find another. After recording James, I hopped across the road to PMT Manchester music shop in Salford and bought a new one – with a hefty student discount.

The following evening, 29th April, I recorded a conversation with my MA supervisor Robin. Our conversation was going to be recorded over Microsoft Teams, a form of online conferencing software I had rarely used previously, which presented me with a problem. How could I record good quality audio from two different sources? I managed to capture usable audio by routing the signal from an external microphone into Logic Pro, along with Robin’s audio from Teams via an external app called Loopback.

Other than late nights and long drives to Eccles (in Manchester) and Teddington (in west London), episodes three (Benjamin) and four (Tom) were both recorded without any problems. The next task would be to edit and upload the material to the various online podcast servers.

Editing and publishing the Podcast.

The recordings remained largley unedited – save for a couple of minor cuts such as chatter/comfort breaks and testing at the beginning and end. I cleaned up the audio (noise reduction, gates, EQ, compression, and limiting) in Logic Pro. A theme tune (modified song of my own) was added to the intro and ending and I wrote and recorded a separate brief intro for each episode. Once satisfied with the production quality, the audio was bounced to high-quality MP3 for upload.

After some research (Google etc.) I managed to find a relatively inexpensive podcast host (£1.90 per month for 1000 listens) with which to upload and distribute the Podcast ( The user interface is simple and relatively straight forward to use – the only issue being the additional time required to fill out the various podcast meta data, episode descriptions and find appropriate artwork etc. Web user interface.
Why the name ouchmonkeys?

As publishing time drew closer, my daughter suggested that I consider using social media (something I still barely understand) to promote the show, which led me to discover a problem. I had originally planned to call the podcast – ‘Dancing about Architecture’  after an oft debated Zappa Quote. However, upon looking I discovered that another Twitter/Instagram user had made a podcast with the same name. Short on time (with two other MA projects looming), I quickly re-recorded the introductions, changed the artwork/metadata and came up with a new name. I already owned the domain name (Ouchmonkeys is brilliant song by The Teardrop Explodes) so this would have to do. Success, this time there were no Podcasts registered under that name,  and anyway, I figured in the future I could branch out music discourse using this less obvious moniker.



Summers, A. (2016) On the recent Passing of Nigel Gray. Retrieved from

Blair, D. (2021) Life in a Padded Cell: A biography of Tony Cohen, An Australian Sound Engineer. Retrieved from

McCorry, M. (2021, 29 May) CMTT project. [weblog], Retrieved from

McCorry, M. (Presenter). (2021, May 29). Ouchmonkeys Podcast [Audio Podcast]. Retrieved from

McCorry, M. (Presenter). (2021, May 29). Ouchmonkeys Podcast [Audio Podcast]. Retrieved from

McCorry, M. (Presenter). (2021, May 29). Ouchmonkeys Podcast [Audio Podcast]. Retrieved from

Terkel, Studs. (2004) Working: People Talk about What They Do All Day and How They Feel about What They Do. New York; London: New, 2004

Weekend Edition Sunday, (2016 September 2016). “’Working’ Then and Now: Studs Terkel’s Book Interviews Resurface as Audio.” Weekend Edition Sunday. Retrieved from