This week’s episode breaks format a little, as we shift the focus from music to the field of audio engineering and production with Emma Erdbrink. Though the profession is oft-overlooked, Erdbrink has quickly made a name for herself as the engineer and producer of such popular podcasts as Doughboys, High & Mighty, and Marketplace. Long before she was responsible for the sound quality and many other behind-the-scenes aspects of some of your favorite podcasts, Erdbrink was growing up in New England and balancing her aspirations for vocal performance with an organic interest in recording.

Recently, Erdbrink took some time away from putting together other people’s podcasts to be a guest on ours. Over the course the fun and informative conversation, she told My First Band host Tyler Maas about her path to engineering, her college years and post-graduation internship, her decision to move across the country to pursue a career in audio production, and how a mixture of talent and random circumstance resulted in some amazing career opportunities. Along the way, Erdbrink also talked about the major pandemic-related adjustments her shows had to make last year, podcasting pet peeves and advice, what music she’s listening to now, her plans to make a documentary about her brother, and much more.

My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth (“The Junction Street Eight Tigers”) and Hannah Juanita (“Our Love Is Done”).