Lafayette, Calif.—September 21, 2020—Working Class Audio (WCA), a pro-audio-focused podcast by Bay Area audio engineer, musician, author, and educator Matt Boudreau, celebrated its 300th episode on September 15th. The weekly interview series, which launched in 2014 with the tagline ”Navigating the World of Recording with a Working Class Perspective,” profiles the creative forces driving the professional audio industry, expanding beyond traditional tech talk to delve into business issues, work/life balance, and the successes and challenges that professionals face as they navigate the world of audio. It’s all anchored by Boudreau’s engaging interviewing style, authentic approach, and easy humor.
WCA profiles professionals in every aspect of audio production in music, films, games, radio, and live sound, from elite figures of the recording world to the unknown engineers in the trenches. Guests have included legendary producer/engineers Al Schmitt, Eddie Kramer, and Butch Vig; live sound guru Robert Scovill; game sound master Mark Kilborn; and globe-trotting field recordist George Vlad.
By providing an open, honest forum for guests to express themselves as three-dimensional human beings, WCA provides listeners with genuine insights into the lives of audio pros. "My guests always surprise me with their candor,” Boudreau says. “Their honesty, openness, and willingness to show they are human and make mistakes helps others to know they are not alone in the struggle to make a living doing what we all enjoy.”
For Boudreau, the WCA podcast is rooted in personal experience: In 2012, after weathering the challenges that came with operating a recording studio in San Francisco during the financial crisis, he went back to freelance work. His frustrations with the experience made him realize he needed a new way to think about audio. That evolved into a concept he called “working class audio”: “I wanted to address a set of ideas that many freelance audio folks fail to address: Continuing to maintain a high standard of audio work while at the same time developing a healthy relationship with money, business and work/life balance,” he explains.
Boudreau launched the Working Class Audio podcast in September 2014; today, more than 20,000 listeners tune in monthly. With 300 episodes in the archives, it’s difficult to choose standout moments, but Boudreau shares a couple of favorites: “In WCA Number 164, learning of Steve Albini's generosity with his ‘Letters to Santa’ program gave me even more respect for Steve,” he says of the legendary engineer. Boudreau points to another favorite moment, WCA #200: "Getting the opportunity to interview my friend Tchad Blake, whose work I've admired since I started in audio, was for me, like sitting down to interview a great Jedi Master."
But Working Class Audio has never been about the celebrity factor. "Selfishly, it's always fun to interview my friends like Vance Powell, Andrew Scheps, Brad Wood, Michael Rosen, or Jessica Thompson,” says Boudreau. “However, I've added to my list of friends because the show has led me to Steve Genewick, Lij Shaw, Fela Davis, Cesar Mejia, and so many more. It's become a social vehicle for me."
Reflecting on his journey over the past six years, Boudreau says producing the podcast has helped him to grow as a person and as an audio engineer, but even more gratifying is the community he’s built and the connections he’s forged with his listeners. "My audience never ceases to amaze me, by reaching out to let me know what a difference the information they get from the show has in their lives,” he says. “It's beyond humbling and gives me a sense of responsibility to honor their listening time by providing useful information."
Boudreau aims to preserve Working Class Audio content as a resource for the audio community. "My goal for the show is to leave behind a collection of conversations with some truly hard-working and talented people who can teach, inspire, and inform future audio pros on the life lessons they need to know aside from recording to survive and do what they love.”
Boudreau’s guests appreciate the sense of community provided by the show and enjoy listening as much as appearing on it. “I was really happy to come on Matt’s podcast back on WCA #009 to help a friend launching a new venture, says producer/engineer Andrew Scheps (Adele, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica), who returned to the podcast on September 15 to celebrate the landmark 300th episode. “I was really impressed then with Matt’s take on the interviews; real life and the way our work impacts us as people has always been the focus of the podcast, and I listen regularly. Being asked back for WCA #300 was an honor, and I love how the podcast has grown. Kudos to Matt, and here’s looking forward to the next 300!”
Engineer Chuck Zwicky (Prince, Soul Asylum, Boots Riley) says, “These days we work in relative isolation, lacking peer interactions or mentorship, often under the presumption that somehow this all gets easier once you’ve ‘made it.’ The Working Class Audio Podcast levels the playing field by delving into the day-to-day issues facing each of us working in this large field of audio.”
Grammy-winning engineer and two-time guest Vance Powell (Chris Stapleton, Stray Cats, Jack White) says, “Matt’s podcast is my go-to place for finding out what others in this business are doing about everything that no one asks about: how are we getting paid, home life, free time. Everyone asks about our tips for recording but Matt asks for tips about living while recording. A must listen!”
The Working Class Audio podcast is produced and hosted by Matt Boudreau with assistance from editor Anne-Marie Pleau, announcer Chuck Smith, and theme song composer Cliff Truesdell. Working Class Audio is sponsored by Reverb, Audio-Technica, Retro Instruments Inc., Gearslutz.com, Whitestone Audio, Cloud Microphones, and The License Lab.
Listen to the Working Class Audio podcast at workingclassaudio.com, Stitcher, Apple Podcasts,
TuneIn, Spotify, and other popular platforms; subscribe with your favorite podcast app at
wavve.link/WCA/episodes. A companion book, Working Class Audio Journal, is available at
Amazon and other leading online retail outlets.
For more information or press interview requests, contact [email protected].
About Working Class Audio
The Working Class Audio podcast, hosted by Bay Area producer/engineer Matt Boudreau, is a weekly audio podcast that delves into the world of audio recording and the lives of recording professionals. Working Class Audio goes beyond the technical discussions typical of most recording professional interviews, getting up-close and personal to ask the questions nobody else asks, exploring business practices, go-to equipment, financial strategies, and family life. Working Class Audio doesn’t just concentrate on the elite of the recording world but instead showcases a combination of known and unknown engineers. With more than 20,000 listeners and 300 episodes, Working Class Audio is more than a podcast: It’s a community.
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