Friday, July 31, 2009

Behind the Scenes at Chronic Insomnia

In the last two months Ryan and I have celebrated our 2 year anniversary and our 100th episode. If you missed that show, Ryan was ten beers and two white russians intoxicated right as we started the show. It was NOT a surprise when Ryan began to vomit right on the air. I think I should explain a little how the show is created every week. Here is a behind the scenes look at how Chronic Insomnia is brought to you each week.

First thing we do during the week between shows is share information and or ideas for comedy bits. After working through them over email, we bring them to the show on Monday nights. Very rarely do Ryan and I see each other outside of the show. Ryan works a lot and when and if we see each other outside of the show, it's for roleplaying.

Then Monday night rolls around. Ryan usually gets here about 9pm and we go downstairs and setup for the night. As we do that we discuss things about the show and figure out what we want to do for the night. Honestly most of the stuff we do on the show is riffed right there during the actual recording of the show. Ryan or I might bring an outline or an idea for something, but it gets tweaked and or modified as we record it. On some occasions Ryan will bring something completely written. Then we follow the script to the letter. None of the "show" is scripted, only the bits and comedy segments are ever scripted and a lot of those are riffed on the spot.

Ryan is a very talented writer and comes in with stuff that is fully realized and ready to go. In the two years of the show, I have only come in with like three bits actually written out, and most of them needed A LOT of tweaking as we recorded them. That explains why Ryan has the Masters Degree in Creative Writing huh?

Anyways after the first 30 minutes of bullshitting around we get to recording. This is where we work on any bits or segments we want to pre-record for the show that night. It might be a song that Ryan sings, a bit he has written for the show, like the Blackest Night thing from last week. This is where we record those segments. These usually take between 1-2 hours to record. The Blackest Night thing took about an hour or a little less. We could record them quicker, but both of us are perfectionists and it takes a while to get it to what we call "perfect".

At around 11pm or midnight we start the show. At this point all of our prep is done and we power through the main segments of the show. It takes about an hour and a half to record 60 minutes of show. We do ALL of the normal bits in the show LIVE. Nothing is rewound and redone unless there is a technical issue. This is what we would sound like totally live if we streamed the show. I don't censor us at all. The only thing that happens is I will go back and clean things up, like add effects in the background and or make something louder or quieter. This can take about 30 minutes. Then we are done. It's about 2am and we are both spent. We chat for 15 minutes about what we thought of the show and Ryan stumbles out to his car to drive home and I sit down and convert the show to MP3 and upload it to The show is usually up by around 3am, but sometimes I am just too tired to upload until the next morning. The show is ALWAYS up before noon on Tuesday.

There you have it. A total rundown of how we create Chronic Insomnia each week. If you have any questions on the technology we use, just give us an email at and I will try and answer any questions you have. I pride myself in our show sounding as good or better as any podcast out there. Thank you very much.


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