How I Design: Creating A Musical Sound Clippy Intro Thing for It’s Gotta Be The Mic Podcast

It’s 11:11 pm. I can’t sleep. My favorite cure for insomnia? Talking to you about how I make stuff.

This is how I designed the musical sound clippy intro thing for Nate Kadlac and Reza Saeedi’s podcast It’s Gotta Be The Mic.

(Oh and by the way, if you’re a creator and want to learn how to never run out of ideas, I’ve got a self-paced course on doing just that + making an impact everyday as a creator. It’s called OF COURSE YOU’RE CREATIVE and you can signup for it by clicking here!)

First, Nate dmed me on Twitter to ask if I could create an intro for the show. I said hell yeah!

Next, harnessing the awesome power of Google Drive, Nate sent me a Digital Document full of what I call Puzzle Pieces. Puzzle Pieces are all the stuff that point to how a finished product should see, sound, and feel. Puzzle Pieces for this project included: inspiration from Spike Lee and Michael Jordan; stuff that Nate and Reza talk about on the show; and quotes from Back to The Future and a few Tedx talks. Oh yeah, and all 8 episodes of the show. As always, lots to sort through.

I know Nate’s a big fan of Elliot Smith. I first thought of making something more geared toward Nate’s tastes. So version one sounded like this:

It’s a MIDI version of Needle In The Hay by Elliot Smith

Some might ask, Paul, how do you sort through all the Puzzle Pieces so quickly? Answer: I don’t sort through all the Puzzle Pieces. I consider what my client is going for. I listen to the show, watch their videos, read their tweets, chat with them. I get a good feeling for what kind of person they are and what kind of moods they like to play around with. It’s all about getting a sense for the people you’re working with. Sense saves hours.

Anyways, It’s Gotta Be The Mic kicks off the instant you press the play button. Nate wanted something to match the “let’s just get into it” mood of the show. This version matches that, but it didn’t capture the rest of what Nate’s looking for. The only thing we decided to keep from v1 is the pause at the end… followed by Nate saying, “gotta be the mic.” Perfectly sets the stage for the rest of the show.

Moving forward, I watched the Spike Lee/Michael Jordan video again. After that, I changed the music, added more clips from the show and a few familiar Tedx talks (I won’t tell you which ones, that’s on you to figure out).

Version two sounded like this:

Good enough yet? Not quite. This version ended up being too long. I tried to retain the personal touch of the first version with that Elliot Smith clip at the end. But it didn’t match the vibe of the rest of the piece.

So, here’s version 3. You might need to listen closely to catch the changes from version 2.

Aaaaand…almost. Next, I needed to adjust the volume on the music and voice clips. Bass from the music was booming too loud through speakers.

Finally, the finished version.

Yep, it’s just version 3 with tweaked audio levels.

In under 30 seconds, the final version sums up everything that It’s Gotta Be The Mic is about:

  • It’s Gotta Be The Mic sounds exactly like what you’d expect from a conversation between 2 friends.
  • It’s Gotta Be The Mic gets right into it. You press play and 3, 2,1…gotta be the mic. Boom. Let’s go.
  • It’s Gotta Be The Mic is a podcast about the buzz and boom of the creative entrepreneur.

This intro sets new listeners up for what to expect. It also captures the playful, off the cuff feel of the show that makes listeners come back for more.

And that’s it! I had a stellar time working on this. Nate’s one of my favorite people. I highly recommend checking out the amazing digital web graphic design Internet work he’s doing. Check out his website here. It’s all stellar. Oh yeah, Reza’s up to some cool stuff, too. As if co-hosting a podcast wasn’t sweet enough, he’s got his own show about creativity and entrepreneurship called Out of Curiosity.

It’s now 12 o’clock midnight and I’m finally sleepy enough to sleep once more. I knew this would work. Thanks for sticking around. I’ll see you in the next post.


Love behind-the-scenes looks as much as I do? Here’s how I designed a trailer for Ali Abdaal’s Part-Time YouTuber Academy.

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