ProSoundWeb Top 20

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2019 Top 20 | #19: WYWU Road Report: Down By The River In A Van For AES & NAB

Behind the scenes with the WYWU podcast for a road trip to record interviews in New York in a classic custom van.
The Good Times Machine parked at Liberty Harbor for the 2019 AES and NAB events.

So I recently found myself, literally, down by the river in a van. I spent a few days across the Hudson from New York City for the 147th Annual AES Convention, taking the opportunity for a road trip to work out the bugs in a rolling podcast studio.

I went back and forth between AES and NAB events to sit in on a few sessions and see what the word is on podcasting with a few choice educational sessions.

This trip was also about capturing some epic face-to-face interviews with folks from all sides of the industry for the WYWU podcast, which officially launched in July at Summer NAMM 2019.

I’ve been tracking down unsuspecting experts and asking for insights into career development for moving the next generation of professionals into place. We hit the jackpot and found great interviews at both AES and NAB including Bob Clearmountain, John Storyk, Gabe Herman and almost a dozen more. All the conversations were recorded in-person and on location, so expect to hear the sounds of the venue in the background. 

Along the way I dropped in on Church Sound University’s debut live training event at Heritage Fellowship in Reston, Virginia and talked with the CSU team. I also interviewed the crickets in the church parking lot at 4 am, but that’s another story.

Why am I in a van?

I’d honestly gotten tired of going to the trade shows. I’ve been going for years and it’s mostly walking around the same convention centers and having the same conversations. Now, visiting these shows in this alternative manner is giving me a fresh opportunity to use this time in a way that’s more useful and effective (at least to me). I’m onsite to interview industry experts and pick up some career advice for folks aspiring towards similar disciplines. 

Now I’ll ramble about the van for a bit… 

If you want to hit the New York City shows on the cheap next year, I’ll spill the beans. I was camping in New Jersey and riding the PATH trains under the Hudson River. I was the only one renting a campsite at Liberty Harbor and I never even set up a tent. I didn’t need anything except the parking space and bathrooms. The van sleeps fine and I woke up to a beautiful view of the yacht harbor each morning. 

The view of the Statue of Liberty from the campground

No, I’m not making this stuff up. And yes, it was a blast.

I’m also throwing my best shot at modifying this van along the way to be as utilitarian as possible with no drastic visual modifications to the interior. The patina is growing on me. The interior made the van just too amazing to pass up. 

I know enough to be dangerous with a whole lot of different things. Making this van into something a bit more comfortable and user-friendly challenges most of those things. I was sure enough of my plan to drop cash and hit the road, but it’s going to take some work along the way to pull this plan off. 

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