Adobe Rush … for Podcasting?

Yesterday I led a workshop on Adobe Premiere Rush as part of the faculty development component of the Adobe Creative Campus Collaboration (CCC). I have led a Rush workshop at the Adobe CCC once or twice before, but this time we tried something different … using Rush (a video editor) to create an academic podcast.

When Todd Taylor (Pedagogical Evangelist at Adobe; Faculty UNC Chapel Hill) invited me to do the “Podcasting in Rush” workshop, the idea was just a kind of interesting challenge. But the more time I spent putting in the work, developing the assets, and thinking through how it can work in the classroom, the more and more it made sense. Academic podcasts, which range from essay-like narratives to talking heads to an interview with an expert and the like, are typically what I refer to as 4-Track creations. In fact, that is how I teach the basics of podcasting to my students: one track for the primary audio (speaker, guest, etc.), one track for voice over elements, one track for music, and one for sound effects. So the fact that Rush has 4 visual tracks and 4 audio tracks (including the native audio on the primary visual track), means that we can take a simple zoom recorded interview, drop it into Rush, and create all the basic podcasting elements in an easy-to-use tool. Need voice over? Click the microphone on Audio Track 2 and record. Need music? Choose from the available sound files. Need the music to duck under the voice over? Apply auto-ducking in two clicks. Obviously for more complex steps and edits, including notable audio cleaning, I’d go with Audition or Audacity, but as a simple tool for introducing the basic parts of a podcast (and how we create them), it is more than functional.

The workshop itself was targeted at novices (e.g., faculty who had never accessed/launched Adobe Rush), so I created a step-by-step guide called the 10 Essential Moves for Podcasting in Adobe Premiere Rush. But I also created a sample podcast (included below), which I titled “Rush | A 4min Podcast,” as both a play on the application as well as a the fact that I needed the example to be short enough to work within the 1-hour session timeframe. For the “show,” I interviewed a colleague, Adam Maksl, the co-lead for the IU Digital Gardener Initiative (DGI), and we briefly highlighted what is going on with DGI.

I enjoyed the podcast so much I may continue with the series in some form. I mean, I’ve long been a fan of micro-content engagements and they typically take a bit less time to create (meaning I might be able to more consistently work that into my calendar). Also, I’m planning to use this workflow in my class in the fall. The reason is not only that it provides a really low entry point to covering podcast basics, but I only have to teach one tool and can have students create both audio and video engagements. Meaning, if I start with the podcast in Rush, students can work on becoming more attentive to the way sound operates and learn how to create meaningful engagements and narratives through voice. Then we can move to video (slightly altered perspective on the same topic/focus) and they can use the same platform to produce a video essay. Essentially, this means I can spend one less class day on technology instruction and one more day on things like key rhetorical strategies for working in these different modes.

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