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The making of our latest #hiddentraxchat…in collaboration with the National Galleries of Scotland.

Wanna know what goes into one of our city podcasts?! Thinking of podcasting yourself, or want to get involved with Hidden Trax? We’ve created this helpful wee guide, taking you through the process. A behind the scenes expose, if you will, of our latest #chat release… ‘The National Galleries in Edinburgh’.


Step One: Planning 

First up, we met with some lovely folk from the Galleries and brainstormed some content ideas. A few emails later, we had got more of a concrete plan in place. Things to consider included who would we invite in to speak on the #chat, what topics would be covered, what questions needed answering, how long  the content should be, what kind of tone we should take, and what kind of timeline the project should take.  

We decided to invite back some of the Hidden Trax creators, specifically those who had produced #journeys for us with an art slant already. These wonderful arty people were Sarah Calmus (core member of Hidden Door Festival, and creator of the festival’s two-part #journey), Annika Neilson (Contemporary Art, Vintage Shopping & Sustainable Fashion), and Cora James (Photography). Sadly Cora couldn’t make this time, as she was down in London doing exciting photo things.

To replace her, Sarah invited friend and colleague, artist David Faithful,l in as a special guest. We decided Annika would make the ideal host, and all three sent in ideas around content and questions. Hidden Trax combined all their thoughts with the Galleries’, and we had a plan!

Step Two: Recording 

Down to sunny Leith we headed, to take up residency in our trusted recording studio, the Noisefloor. Living in Spilt Milk on Great Junction Street, we adore the whole family that make up this sprawl of recording studios and community music spaces. 

We arranged the recording on Friday evening, at 6pm. Considering the time and day, Hidden Trax treated the team to a beer each; a fun way to encourage the informal, friendly chat we were aiming towards. Barry Jackson, who’s been our sound engineer from the very beginning, came in for a wee cameo shift. 

He mic’d the guests up, and tested the sound. We cheers’d our drinks, and were ready to go!

Just over an hour later, we called it a wrap. 

Step Three: Editing

How long do you think it takes to turn an hour of messy, interrupted, laughter-filled audio, into a neat, tidy, coherent half hour with jingles, intros and audio stamps? A very long time. 

Kenza, our content lead, spent some hours glued to her laptop, wrestling with Logic Pro X: cutting, tweaking and adjusting. Patience is undoubtedly required, although in the end, there is a real sense of satisfaction in having made something the team were proud of!

The biggest challenge with audio editing is perfectionism. Audio is messy and inconsistent and accepting it won’t totally perfect is part of the process….otherwise we’d still be incrementally adjusting the volume levels forever. 

Step Four: Photography

With every Trax, we provide three photos, taken by official Hidden Trax photographer Tom Flanagan. Hidden Trax takes our visual identity very seriously, and believe our gallery of photos plays a vital role in communicating our brand, adoration of the city, and spirit of our Trax. 

For this Galleries special, we headed out to the The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Modern One & Modern Two), and grabbed a whole bunch of shots on a sunny, but fresh day. 

After Tom took them home for an edit, and Kenza layered over some logos and branding – they were ready to go! 

Step Five: Release 

The National Galleries of Scotland had a listen over our audio, and came back with a couple of tweaks, which we appreciated and made. We sent them over our proposed social media images, an animation and some copy. 

Next, we agreed on a content release date. Last jobs including uploading the audio to our podcast host, Buzzsprout, from which our Trax appears on Spotify and Apple Podcasts. 

All that is left is to put it out to the world and hope you all love it!