He’s Got Your Back
K Bharath is one of the world’s most experienced podcast and live show engineers.
If I have a podcast interview with a celebrity guest, a do-or-die situation where “I forgot to hit record” or “the mic didn’t work” are unforgivable, it’s Bharath that I’d choose to work with every time.
That’s why it was Bharath who recorded the Tony Fernandes interview with me in Kuala Lumpur. I knew with confidence that the wouldn’t screw up, and that helped me focus on being in the moment talking to Tony.
It’s the same reliability that clients value when recording with high stakes guests. It could be a United Nations Director, the President of AWS India or Lord Karan Bilamoria. These kind of podcast guests are too busy to afford clients a second chance, that’s why you want a recording engineer who’s going to get it right every time.
You want someone who won’t let you down. On the morning of the flight to Kuala Lumpur, Bharath was quiet. He had his game face on, running through mental check lists, equipment configurations and scenarios of possibility for the upcoming recording.
Over 1,500 Podcasts Produced
Bharath’s experience in recording over 1,500 podcasts is the foundation to his reliability. But it’s not just the volume of recordings, it’s all manner of shapes and sizes that makes every recording unique. There’s online and on location. He’s recorded podcasts in airports, in airplanes and in rice fields. Plus he’s dealt with almost every possible microphone configuration that guests bring to the recording – from no microphone in a stairwell (the worst possible audio setup) to “I’ve just bought this expensive microphone but don’t know how to use it” (which you have to lipread from the video and hand gestures).
Patience is key. High profile guests rarely find themselves in these vulnerable situations at the mercy of a microphone or a Zoom setting. They often come with handlers who can do everything for them. But, in the world of podcasting, where handlers themselves have little experience and the interviews often take place in a one-on-one situation, knowing how to put guests at ease and walking them through the setup can be the difference between an engaging conversation and a failure.
All in the name of getting the job done.
But, as so often with those that make these stories happen by operating in the background, we get to hear very little about their own stories. Often they are far more comfortable on the other side of the microphone, making everyone else sound great, than stopping to think about all the experiences and the journey that they’ve been on.
So, let me tell you a little story about Bharath, from the first day we met. Bharath was the first employee of our Podcast Agency Pikkal & Co. And while he’s an employee he’s been instrumental in growing it from the very beginning. I’m pleased to say he’s now part owner of the business.