Who are you, and what do you do?
I'm merritt k. With my producer Nic Bravo, I run a podcast network called Stay Mean and host a couple of shows. With Daniel Shannon, I'm a part of Ignota Media, a publishing endeavour for and by underrepresented voices. And sometimes I write about internet culture, relationships, and labour — right now I have a column at MEL Magazine.
What hardware do you use?
I spend most of my day on a 2011 MacBook Pro that I bought for $400 from an acquaintance in 2014 and upgraded with the help of Stay Mean producer Nic Bravo. I will likely continue using it until it becomes untenable. The same goes for my iPhone 5C. For reasons that are partly necessity and partly a bizarre form of self-flagellation, I am not the kind of person who replaces things on a regular schedule.
When recording, I speak into an Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB mic on a RODE PSA1 boom arm and monitor with Sony MDR-7506 monitor headphones. I record and do most other work on a cheap IKEA desk in the closet of my small Crown Heights bedroom.
And what software?
For episodes with guests, I use Skype with Ecamm's Skype Call Recorder to grab my side of the call and a backup of the guest's. For solo episodes, I use Piezo. I use VLC to review episodes and TextWrangler to write show notes in Markdown. I also write in TextWrangler, though I've been experimenting with Cold Turkey Writer. I'm trying to do less writing in Google Docs because I'm touchy about losing access to my work, but it's still how I communicate with my editor about revisions. My producer and I share files, solicit file uploads, and take notes using Dropbox and Dropbox Paper. Finally, I have Cold Turkey set up on a schedule to keep me offline in the morning when I do my best writing.
I've become a religious OmniFocus user thanks to my friend Henry Faber. I use the contexts feature along with blocks of time set aside in my calendar to work on different kinds of tasks — writing, communication, research — throughout the day, rather than dedicating time to specific projects. Without this division of time (and let's be honest, even with it), it's too easy to just be kind of working 24/7, a very stressful but not incredibly productive arrangement.
Daniel and I use Asana to coordinate on our work, since OmniFocus doesn't support shared projects. We also use Slack and 1Password, the latter of which I use at Stay Mean and in my day-to-day, though I still sync my vaults over Dropbox rather than using the 1Password subscription service.
What would be your dream setup?
I'm not interested in a maximalist audio setup, and my machine still runs fine, so I'd be happy with a recording space/office outside of my home, a slightly nicer mic, and a hardware audio mixer.