Uses This

A collection of nerdy interviews asking people from all walks of life what they use to get the job done.

A picture of Andrew Beckerman

Andrew Beckerman

Comedian, podcaster (Beginnings, Snap Impression)

Posted in comedian, mac, podcaster, writer

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm a comedian and podcaster living in New York City. I have written stuff for some TV shows, most notably, I suppose, I worked on The Pete Holmes Show, which ran after Conan for a while. Most of the writing stuff I'm working on currently is in various stages of not-being-a-finished-product yet, so they're not worth talking about, though I am very excited for a cartoon I made about a man who turns himself into ALF through plastic surgery to be released.

Weekly, I host two podcasts: a pretty serious longform interview podcast about the childhoods of creative people called Beginnings that just passed the five-year anniversary mark and has featured some pretty amazing writers, actors and musicians (Matt Walsh, The New Pornographers, Chuck Klosterman). Last year, I started another podcast with my friend Ramsey called Snap Impression that's a gameshow where we challenge contestants to do off-the-cuff impressions. It's pretty silly. And of course Twitter and all the other obligatory social media stuff of our age.

What hardware do you use?

f you had asked me this question when I was a kid - when I had a 486 desktop PC and could program weird games with BASIC - the answer might be more interesting. But my PC crapped out on me over a year ago and so I started mainly working on my 15" MacBook Pro from 2012, which according to "About This Mac" is running a 2GHz Intel Core i7. I do know this about the laptop - last year, the hard drive completely failed, and I had to have a new one put in. The dude at the store suggested a flash hard drive, and gosh darn if this sucker ain't faster than all get out. I think it's made by Crucial.

For podcasting, I have two Rode Procaster mics that are really nice and maybe not as great as the Shure SM7 mics Maron uses, but they get the job done and aren't as costly. I run those dudes (ladies?) into a Behringer X1204 USB mixer. When I'm making music for the podcasts, I use an old Strat knock-off my parents got me as a teen, a bunch of old Casios (usually the MT-100 and SK-1), an Acetone organ, and an M-Audio Oxygen 49 MIDI keyboard which I use with Reason, which is the best frakking MIDI program.

Oh, and I have a Canon T3i DSLR camera for shooting stuff.

And what software?

I mentioned Reason above, which is the best. And I use standard programs like Final Draft for writing scripts and Final Cut Pro 7 for making videos, which are kind of necessities for making comedy in a professional capacity in 2015. For podcast recording, I use Garageband to record, then I run the file through Levelator to even it out, and then I do all the major editing in Sound Forge Pro. Pretty standard stuff, I guess. I watch stuff with VLC and read comics on YACReader.

What would be your dream setup?

Like I said above, when I was a kid, I could probably answer this in a way that would satisfy people that know tech stuff. But let me try. I like iMacs. They look sleek and they have giant screens. Two of them together for video editing would be pretty dope. But that's expensive, right? Apple makes really nice products, but they're priced like status symbols, which bugs me. If I had the knowledge and ability, I'd probably just build my own computer and run Linux on it because that seems more free to me, but as a person with limited knowledge in that area, I am beholden to large corporations.