A downtown coworking space has opened a new "podcast vault," offering access to members and non-members alike.
Located inside the Alberta Block building on Jasper Avenue, Homestead Coworking has been home to small businesses, startups, and creatives since 2015.
The podcast studio has professional microphones, sound-dampening foam, a professional mixing board, and more, said Aspen Zettel, Homestead's community manager.
"We also have a technician that you can hire to help you get started," she told Taproot. "All of those calendars are active now, and all you have to do is contact Homestead, and we can set you up with all of that."
The pandemic accelerated the development and availability of technology to make it easier to record podcasts remotely, which suggests demand for dedicated podcast studios may have waned. But Zettel said Homestead's studio has more advantages than just recording in person.
"We want people from the community and our tenants to be using the podcast studio and then taking advantage of the community resource that's here," she said. "We're working towards a kinship model, where if you're using the vault and you need someone to talk to, you need someone to interview, (then) you can pull someone from upstairs who's an innovative thinker, who has an opinion on what you're doing, and they have an articulate voice."
That "kinship model," she explained, means Homestead wants to "take community one step further and build a model of responsibility into our space." The business is also looking to become a cooperative within two years and plans to expand its online member platform.
The studio is literally inside a basement vault. Homestead tenant Adverb Communications, run by Adam Rozenhart and Tyler Butler, did most of the set-up work in the space before Zettel came on board in January. The marketing firm records its own podcast, Ask Adverb, in the vault.
The studio is now ready for recording but is "definitely a work in progress," Zettel said. "We've got it to a pretty good place, but we're always open to feedback and room for improvement as it grows."
Homestead tenants have access to the space 24/7, while non-members can book time between 8am and 5pm Monday through Friday. A first visit for non-members is free and thereafter booking rates start at $60 per hour. Technical support from Ellie Heath runs $60 per hour, too.
Homestead's podcast vault isn't the only game in town. If you want even more help getting a podcast into the world, studios such as The Oxymoron Podcast Network offer studio rental as well as consultation, editing, transcription, show notes, and more. If you're confident you can record independently and have a budget closer to $0, the Edmonton Public Library offers four recording studios: three at the Stanley A. Milner branch and one at Whitemud Crossing.
In other Homestead news, Zettel said the business is welcoming a "very, very, very, exciting new tenant" to the building's main floor, where Station on Jasper was before it abruptly closed in February. An announcement is expected in June.