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Radiolabs! Brooklynites take to their closets to get on the airwaves

Brooklyn Daily

The hills are alive with the sound of podcasts.

A podcasting class in Bushwick will teach Brooklynites the ins and outs of crafting an online radio hour for the world to listen to — or just their friends.

But don’t worry, even though getting a big audience is as tough as raising one’s Klout on Twitter, the class’s teacher assures, recording a podcast is a skill that everyone can learn.

“This is stuff that anybody can be taught, but you have to have that drive,” said Zack Dinerstein, a producer for WNYC morning news show “The Takeaway” as well as a host of a self-made music podcast called “Feedback.”

Dinerstein will teach the class on the first three Sundays of January, showing new radio hosts the ropes.

“If you want to make something creative and in-depth it takes knowing audio editing,” said Dinerstein, who will instruct wannabe podcasters in the ways of editing software, the whims of recording devices, and the subtleties of conducting an interview.

“It’s like furniture building; anybody can make a cruddy chair out of three pieces of plywood, but if you want to make something really good, then it takes knowing more about what you’re actually doing.”

Dinerstein also says the best podcasts are the ones that are scripted — written in advance, and after many drafts.

Podcasts are big in the borough, from the thousands of plugged in listeners on their morning commutes to radio shows like NPR’s “Ask Me Another,” a segment of brain teasers and trivia taped at the Bell House, or “Airbone Event,” a popular radio show and podcast hosted by WFMU 91.1 FM that broadcasts about once a month from a Ditmas Park wine bar.

Podcast legend Jad Abumrad, of WNYC’s Radiolab podcast, calls Fort Greene his home.

And then there are amateurs, like Lou Fernandez, a Brooklyn Heights resident who makes a podcast called “Lou Reads” that involves him reading the strange and often disgusting material from various internet forums.

“I enjoy performing and being out there,” said Fernandez, who has episodes on crystal meth drug forums or dragon-themed sex stores, as well as one where he reads from Yelp reviews about the United Artists Court Street. “It’s a way for me to perform and be in the public eye.”

Fernandez, who gets a couple thousand listeners every show, says it is not a big money maker, but said that hosting it was way for him to get comfortable with the skills associated with voice-over work, something he has parlayed into gigs.

And most importantly, podcasts are productions that take little in the way of technological overhead — all one needs is a decent computer and a microphone, though the nicer the microphone you get, the more professional it will sound.

“A podcast is like the online equivalent to having your own radio station,” said Dinerstein. “The hardest part is finding a quiet room.”

Introduction to Podcasting at the 3rd Ward [195 Morgan Ave. between Meadow and Stagg streets in Bushwick, (718) 715–4961, www.3rdward.com]. Sundays starting Jan. 6, $282.

Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at erosenberg@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2531. Follow him at twitter.com/emrosenberg.

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