Noise is one obstacle in conveying a message from a speaker to a receiver. It’s a big no-no in podcasting to release low-quality, raw episodes. It disappoints the listeners, and they will certainly stop listening to your episodes.
You do not want to throw all your efforts out the window because of an inaudible podcast episode, right?
Creating a high-quality podcast does not require any magic. There are no mysteries concealed behind the scenes. All you have to do is follow best practices, follow the right processes, and set aside a lot of time for practice and editing work. However, you probably don’t want podcast editing to take up all of your time. So, you might require the help of a professional podcast editor.
But, before we get into that, let’s go over what podcast editing is, what it’s for, and how to accomplish it step by step. You’ll also learn about the finest paid and free editing software.
The essential processes in podcast editing include planning, recording, editing, and releasing. Podcast editors simplify the podcast’s content and establish a uniform narrative or interview style across each episode. They also use their expertise to increase audio quality and generate supplemental materials for your podcast.
There are many means and tools available for podcast editing. Some podcasters go through their material with ease, simply removing errors and noises. Others go into a lot of detail with the editing process.
Many choices are accessible for individuals who want to do some editing on their show content. These include everything from the software they can buy and operate on their own to freelancers and production businesses for hire who will handle everything for you.
We’ll guide you through the deep waters of podcast editing and help you find the right strategy and tools for you.
Make sure that the microphone you are using is not the built-in one found on your computer. Using your device’s microphone degrades the quality of your recorded audio. To have better recording quality, try to find a good external extension microphone. Some of the budget-wise mic models are Zoom H6 and SM58. There are USB-type microphones that you can directly plug into your computer for easy connectivity. It is also best if you attach a pop filter along with it for an upgraded audio result.
Set up your remote recording studio or turn your room into one. Make sure that there are no noises that fill the background, as it would give you a headache during the editing process. If setting up your recording studio might not be possible at the moment, choose a room with many soft items. It avoids sound waves to bounce back and forth, causing a voice echo. Likewise, a closet containing a lot of clothes can also be a great option.
You cannot beat around the bush the moment you start talking to record your podcast episode. So, you need to prepare all the vital tools ahead of time. You need to know what you are going to discuss. At the same time, you need to prevent yourself from talking about irrelevant matters.
Plan, research, and make notes so you can deliver an interesting episode to your listeners. Being spontaneous with the flow of your conversation will eliminate the number of audio edits waiting for you.
A digital audio workstation (DAW) is a piece of music-making software. You may use it to record audio on your computer. This software is compatible with both Mac and Windows operating systems.
Among other things, you can use a DAW for audio recording, audio editing, MIDI editing, mixing, and mastering. Professional recording and editing studios use DAW software to power their recording sessions. Some home studios use them, too. You may record your audio files directly using this program. Alternatively, you can import a previously recorded audio file into your DAW.
The podcast editing stage happens after recording your audio. Here’s what you need to know about the editing stage proper.
Before you alter any sections of your audio files, you must first determine how long your episode will be. This will help you through the editing process and make it much easier to extract the relevant parts from your chats. Podcast episodes generally last somewhere from twenty to sixty minutes.
If you’re just starting out, aim for about a 20-30 minute length per episode. If you are doing a narrative-type podcast, avoid recording longer episodes. This will help you save time in the post-production process. It will also help you avoid creating content that may seem too dragging or boring to your listeners.
Side talk and irrelevant chit-chat are inevitable during an interview. If the conversation grows interesting or the host and the guest are comfortable with each other, it is normal when they tend to over-talk and touch on some unrelated topics. But worry not, since podcast editing can help you eliminate these irrelevant sections.
We have a primary question that we ask every time we look at sections for editing. During this process, we always ask ourselves if a section of audio adds to the story or not. We keep the podcast discussion flow plan handy during the editing process, of course. A podcast host creates this plan previous to recording any content. The plan guides a host through each show. So, the plan also helps us as editors to judge each part of a conversation. When you think about retaining or removing sections of content, remember to always anchor every timestamp of your podcast to the plan. If a certain part is not adding to the story, do not hesitate to cut it out.
Nothing beats a podcast that has a natural flow to it. When editing a podcast, make sure to listen to the audio first. Note through time-stamping whether there are parts that may seem to hamper good transitions from one part of a conversation to the next, or otherwise hurt the flow of the conversation.
Note that this part can be tricky. You need to exert more effort to maintain a natural feel to your audio when you are cutting parts out. Sometimes, over-editing your recording can ruin the overall flow. Even when you made cuts intending to improve the flow, you can go overboard. Check the entire episode after you make cuts to make sure you are not ruining an episode instead of fixing it.
Here are some things that take away the natural flow of the podcast:
This stage requires intuition. The host and the guest are human. They will make mistakes and stutter here and there as they converse. Making a few errors while talking is perfectly normal. Being over-sensitive about removing every little blunder might give you an unnatural-sounding audio output.
Remove as much background noise, plosive pops, and other sounds as is workable. If you’re editing out any noisy breathing, be careful. An entire episode where you don’t hear anybody breathing at all while they’re speaking could seem odd. Remove all sound distractions as much as possible. But you should leave in anything else that isn’t too bad. This keeps the episode natural-sounding.
Listen to the podcast and look for any long gaps that could be off-putting to a listener. A fraction of a second of silence might feel like an eternity. This is especially true for an audio-only podcast. However, under the right circumstances, it may be a highly useful tool for the same reason. Silence and words can both speak volumes.
The intro and outro of the podcasts are as equally important as your main content. The intro acts as a hook to persuade the listener to dive in and listen to your show. It also sets the ambiance of each episode. Hence, the intro must match the category your podcast belongs to.
The Podcast Host conducted a recent survey on 700 seven hundred people. According to that survey, twenty-seven percent give a new podcast a five-minute chance to “hook” them. This is the reason your podcast’s intro needs to shine.
What should you include in your intro?
So, your intro is the part of your podcast episode that hooks an audience. The outro, on the other hand, is the magnet that attracts the audience of that episode to come back and listen to the next episodes. You should devote each episode’s last minute or two to leaving a lasting impression about the podcast on your listeners’ minds.
What should you include in your outro?
Placing music strategically in your show will amplify its storytelling impact. Music can heighten the mood of an episode and add drama to it. It can also allow listeners to better connect with your guest as well as the story you want to tell.
Take thriller or horror movies as an example. Every one of them would be less scary if they had no background music and no sound effects at play. Sounds have the power to alter the mood and evoke powerful emotions in people. Just like in the movies, you can use this element to make your podcast more interesting and impactful for the audience.
It is vital to know when and where you should insert the sound effects in a particular episode you are working on. Strategically placed and properly inserted music can enhance the overall narrative or interview. If you are going to opt for producing a drama or storytelling type of podcast, then you need to find sounds that match the whole theme. Then you need to find more sounds to go with the themes of each individual episode.
If you do this step effectively, you will create a better connection between your stories and your listeners. To give you a very simple example, you can add laughing people or a drum roll sound effect after cracking a joke. However, be careful not to overdo the sound effects part, since it can also distract the listeners and ruin the flow of the podcast.
This is the stage of the production process where you bring all the audio aspects of your storyline into harmony, uniformity, and clarity. Here are the steps for how to edit your audio efficiently:
We recommend you arrange your tracks in order and rename them accordingly to avoid confusion. There should be only one person on one track. Different people’s voices should never be on the same track.
When dealing with more than one guest, rename your tracks by using the guests’s names. Avoid using generic names like “Audio 1” or “Track 1”. This will only make it easier for you to make a mistake.
You can organize your audio in this manner
Using the layout above for each episode makes it convenient and easy to navigate your tracks. This is especially true when you are collaborating with other people during the editing process. It will also make setting levels, EQ, and compression easier later on.
After organizing and naming each of your tracks, you may now start cascading them. Cascade them, preferably from top to bottom and left to right. Now, you may often deal with separate voices. Always put the one who spoke first above the next speaker. This process will help you navigate and mix the audios during the entire project.
All the tracks within the project flow through a master track. Usually, this track is at the bottom of the editing software. Use the loudness meter in the master track to measure the volume of each track combined. This step only takes seconds or a minute. You want to adjust the volume level of each of the tracks. This prevents you from ending up with one person yelling and other people speaking too softly to be heard. You should have a mixing target in your meter to serve as a benchmark. Remember to only focus on the voices at this point.
Determine whether any of the voices needs improvement through equalization (EQ). In this step, remember that you need to tweak the levels of your tracks to make sure that they are all the same volume. You want to avoid making one track sound louder than the other. This is because our brains perceive louder sounds as better. So, your listeners will take any track that is louder and subconsciously think that what that person is saying is more valuable or true.
To make tracks the same volume, you can assign adjectives with corresponding frequencies. For example, 80Hz correlates to a boomy voice while 2.5kHz can sound pinched. Wear headphones when doing this to hear the actual sound of each track.
Now, you can start listening to them one by one. Trust your ears in correcting tonal problems. Incorporate an EQ plug-in on the specific track. If the voice sounds too bassy, try adjusting the frequency by using a high-pass filter. This will reduce the booming quality of the voice. Repeat this process for each track.
Consider the following questions:
You can probably get away with skipping the compression stage if you responded “yes” to all these questions.
However, you may require compression if you observe:
Audio editing tools or software always have a compressor plug-in. Start by putting the plug-in on the tracks and adjusting the knobs. Set the ratio to one and a half to one (1 12:1) if possible. The attack knob should be 11 milliseconds.
The release knob should be at around 100 milliseconds. These principles are broad, but they can consistently produce excellent outcomes.
The process of checking edits and fades is a quick one. To accomplish this, use the key command in the editing tool you’re using to hop from one edit to the next with ease. When you notice that the adjustments are too visible or abrupt, make a change. If you can not hear unusual edits, proceed to the next edit in your piece.
Then, at the start and tail of each clip, there should be a fade. Using this process, you can avoid the sounds of abrupt transitions, rim tone, or ambient noise. Make sure there’s a fade at the beginning and finish off each clip. Throughout the rest of the audio, keep checking.
Balancing is another name for fine-tuning. Make sure that none of the audio clips are excessively loud or too soft in this phase. Each one should complement the others, especially those in the same succession.
To make work less frustrating, always zoom out. When you zoom in on a track, it’s easy to get caught up in making minor adjustments. Start adjusting from the top track and work your way down. Remember how we spoke about how to structure the tracks before? — host, guest, ambiance, music, and master track. Do this in each of the tracks separately.
Use the “Host” track as a baseline after balancing it. It will serve as the foundation for the entire mix. It will be the target for altering the subsequent tracks. Here are the steps to take to learn more about this procedure:
1. On the first track, balance each clip to the target level.
Mute all tracks other than the “Host” track. Pay close attention to the first audio sample. Is the audio quality consistent? Is it touching the meter’s specified target? Because you roughed in the levels earlier, you will only need to make minor tweaks at this point.
2. Apply the level of automation tools from your editing software.
There will always be sentences or phrases that sound unbalanced, regardless of how you roughed in levels. If you’re using an audio editor, don’t be afraid to use the level of automation features.
3. Unmute other tracks and hear them all together
You can now turn off the mute button and listen to the host and guest(s). Do their voices have the same balance in terms of volume? Listen to the last seconds of the host clip and its transition to the guest clip. It will help you spot where to apply the changes. You can then review anything that went wrong. Finally, to preserve balance, double-check the transition of the guest clip from the host track.
5. Repetition is the key
Unmute and modify a new track each time you do this step. Repeat the previous balancing methods on this and all subsequent tracks. After you’ve balanced the host and guest tracks, go to the guest track for the next clip and repeat. Never forget to pay close attention to transitions.
One of the mixing strategies used by audio professionals is “rock and roll.” Turn your headphone volume halfway up and listen to the voice and music in balance. Remember that if you set them too high, the audio will be too distracting. If you set them too low, the audio may not be audible to listeners in noisy situations like inside a vehicle or in a subway station.
Don’t worry, this method may appear to be too complex, but the trick we mentioned above will suffice. It will assess how well the instruments in the mix are in balance. The approach also works with the speaker!
Finally, you must summon a great deal of concentration at this point. Never allow yourself to become distracted. Concentrate your efforts on the transitions, as this is where your viewers will notice any inconsistencies between clips. If you listen to the entire music and don’t detect any faults, imbalances, or odd sounds, you’re set to go! You’ve completed the task!
Podcast editing doesn’t end with mastering. To complete the process, you need to produce things like show notes, time stamps, transcription of every episode, and artwork. We know what you are thinking. Producing a podcast involves rigorous processes. And, it would not be a surprise to us if we learned that there are a lot of burned-out newbies in podcasting.
You do not need to walk through the trial-and-error road. Remember that podcasting has been around for years already. Experts in the area have already cracked the code to efficient podcasting.
Planning is a vital part of podcasting. It can be exhausting for you as a podcaster to beat deadlines and release dates all the time. To avoid being caught in this dilemma, you need to observe batch recording.
Instead of recording one episode at a time, batch recording allows you to record many episodes at once, allowing you to save weeks of content in advance. If you are regularly uploading episodes on distribution channels, it is better to have five to ten episodes ready before launching the first episode.
Recording and editing in advance make your show sound better. You are more likely to produce high-quality podcasts if you are not in a hurry and nervous about catching the set publishing dates.
Podcasting can eat up a lot of your time. If you are doing all the production processes alone, you might lose the chance of creating moments with your family and friends. Editing a podcast does not have to mean making a choice between the show and your loved ones.
You can trust experts in the area to help you with the work. There are teams of podcast editors who can assist you from start to finish. They take a lot of work off of your plate. Thus, aside from doing other hobbies and activities you like, you can allot more time to efforts that can improve and scale your podcast.
Investing in an editor’s abilities will undoubtedly pay off. It gives your podcast a boost. Because these specialists help you create high-quality podcasts for your listeners, you have a better chance of meeting your objectives.
A professionally produced podcast will also help you to more successfully promote through the show. Your audience will receive whatever product you’re putting on the market more or less as well as they receive your content.
You don’t have to go down the bumpy road of podcasting. You don’t have to make the same mistakes as everyone else has, especially if you’re just getting started. Avoid dealing with the stress and worry that podcast editing can cause. A skilled podcast editor acts as your hands, ensuring that the audio is smooth and consistent.
They are more knowledgeable about podcast intros and outros, background music, and sound effects. As a result, you’ll most likely be able to send crystal clear messages to your listeners. You’ll also be able to deliver your messages in the most efficient manner possible.
Some podcasters do not devote their entire lives to podcasting. They usually have other jobs or businesses to tend to on a daily basis. However, once you make the decision to start podcasting, expect your schedule to grow more chaotic.
Podcast editing consumes a significant amount of time. To keep your daily schedule while still focusing on your income-generating activities, you’ll need the help of a podcast editor. You may spend more time on money-making ventures by delegating editing and production tasks to pros.
Because you have little or no expertise with podcast editing, you won’t be able to detect flaws and unwanted noises. Podcast editors, though, have trained ears. These borrowed sets of ears will listen for you. Podcast editors also have the required training to remove these disturbing noises from your podcast episodes. They can even provide recommendations to keep your listeners hooked on your show.
If you’re a podcaster, you’ll be happy to find that, besides editing, podcast editors provide packages that contain other crucial services. Some will, for example, provide show notes, advertising options, and graphic design services, as well as other services tailored to your specific needs.
As previously said, podcast editing begins after you record your audio file. There are podcast production companies that will handle the audio editing, sound design, mixing, and mastering for you.
Companies like PodKick go above and beyond these basic offerings. They have additional podcasting services that will assist you greatly. These and other services that podcast editors can provide include:
Podcast transcription services are also available from some podcast editing providers. Putting show notes on your website can help you gain more exposure on the web. We also note here that search engine algorithms can’t detect or rank mp3 files. This is why show notes are so important in ranking your episodes.
To help your content show up on search engine results pages, podcast editors will convert each of your audio or video episodes into words in order to boost your SEO rankings. Furthermore, by making episode transcripts available, you can reach a new audience. Some people prefer to read rather than listen, perhaps because they can absorb more information this way. Others cannot hear and therefore must have these transcripts to enjoy your content.
Writing content also increases your authority, credibility, and leadership in the category to which you belong. This is a by-product of search engine rankings.
Certain pictures or graphics will appear alongside your podcast information. These are known as podcast artwork. They are required on most podcast distribution channels like Apple Podcasts and Spotify. This artwork is the only thing listeners see when they’re looking for a podcast.
Because podcasts are primarily auditory, it’s critical to give your listeners something visual to look at. Many people are visual learners. This is actually why a lot of audio-only podcasts transition to video. Artwork is critical in generating a good first impression of your show. It’s also critical in giving your show a visual image if you don’t do video content.
Listeners always associate high-quality artwork with high-quality content. Providers of podcast editing services will present you with appropriate artwork based on the category you are in. It may also include social media assets for your social media podcast promotion, besides episode artwork.
Podcast editors study the frequency with which you should release podcast episodes. Setting timelines and deciding on the number of podcast episodes to produce might be difficult at times. Leave it to the professionals.
They will also handle the distribution of your podcast across several platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, and others. In other words, they’ll take care of your podcast directory listing, visibility, and other technicalities of distributing your show to all major networks..
Podcast firms construct a publishing schedule so that both parties are aware of and can keep track of episode release dates. This calendar will indicate whether or not the project is on schedule. As a result of having this instrument, your podcast company’s efficiency and seamless operation will develop.
Indeed, editing software is one of the most crucial factors for podcasters to succeed in their endeavors. While there are numerous podcast editing software solutions available on the market, they all provide the same benefits.
The following are three advantages of using podcast editing software:
Typically, podcast editing software also serves as podcast recording software. This is convenient, since it reduces the need for several platforms to record and edit your podcast.
If you’re recording talks with interviewees or co-hosts over great distances, you can make an exception. A remote call recorder isn’t included in most podcast editing software packages. There is editing software, though, that combines recording and editing features into a single workspace.
Of course, one of the most important reasons to install podcast editing software is to cut away bad audio. This includes unimportant sections of dialogue, background noise, and other distracting sounds.
Cleaning up the audio and adjusting the volume levels are part of the post-production process. This is appropriate not only for a specific episode but also for the show’s overall consistency.
It is not enough to have the best editing tool; you must also follow best practices and follow proper steps when using the editing software, regardless of its type. We’ll go over the steps for recording, editing, mixing, and mastering each episode of your podcast in the following section of this post.
You can break down editing into two manageable phases. First is the “top and tail,” and second is “bare bones” processing. Top and tail is cutting the recording areas before and after the information begins and ends. Bare bones processing means not editing anything in the middle of each track. Everything remains precisely as you recorded it. Volume standardization is the bare minimum of processing here. You simply locate the “amplify” tool within your podcast editing software and set it to -2db.
The “content edit” method is next, in which you perform macro-cuts rather than time-consuming micro-cuts by removing entire segments.
The problem could be a long period of dead air or an irrelevant response from a guest that has nothing to do with the topic. It could also perhaps be that your guest addressed a question, then continued to address it in a more lengthy manner; in these cases, you can cut out the entire second half to spare your listeners’ time.
Editing software can handle the levels, noise reduction, and theme music; all you have to do is mark the places to clip out.
Alitu is a tool that will allow you to create your episodes in an exceptionally simple manner. It will take your raw audio and adjust the volume and clean it up for you. It will allow you to add music, parts, and transitions, among other things. In fact, it’ll even publish your episode for you once it’s completed.
You won’t need to pay extra for a call recorder subscription because you can record your audio in Alitu – whether it’s standalone episodes or remote talks.
Descript is a comprehensive audio and video editing software. It has the power to integrate a variety of incredibly handy, intelligent podcasting tools to automate and speed up your process without surrendering creative freedom. Descript has a number of pricing options as well as a substantial free plan to get you started.
$15 per editor per month
$144 per editor per year
$24 per editor per month
$900 per editor per year
Price: By quote
Audition is a standout alternative if you’re willing to invest time and money in attaining top-notch audio quality for your podcast. You can read my complete Adobe Audition review here, in which I go through some of my favorite features for creating podcasts.
Adobe Audition is a good podcast software option for those who seek complete flexibility and control over their work. This DAW comes with everything you’ll need to master audio editing and production.
Due to many features and settings, Audition might take a long time to learn and adjust to. However, once you’ve mastered the fundamentals, the possibilities of audio are virtually endless.
This will give you a concept of how the DAW looks, feels, and functions. Please be aware that the link below is an affiliate link, which means that if you purchase something through it, we will receive a small compensation — at no additional cost to you.
We recommend this software for podcast editors with intermediate-level skills. It also has a 7-day free trial version.
Price: $31.49 per month
Price: $239.88 per year
GarageBand is notable for both music and spoken audio editing. It’s also free, which is a huge plus compared to other audio editors. If someone is recording audio without editing it, it is less suitable.
In some circumstances, the Voice Memos app, an Apple product, would be a good fit. Non-Apple users are likewise unable to utilize GarageBand. Logic, the premium edition of GarageBand, costs roughly $200, although GarageBand has always been free.
One of the free podcast editing software tools is Audacity. It’s also a cross-platform digital audio workstation that’s open-source. As a result, Audacity can run on MacOS, Linux, and Windows computers. This is useful for people who are working together on a single editing activity but are using separate operating systems.
Audacity does not have any recording or editing features that are unlocked. You can adjust the audio to remove unwanted noises and filler speech. Music, intros, outros, commercials, and other sound effects can all be added to individual episodes.
You won’t have to take a lot of time figuring out how to use this editing program. There are numerous online lessons available to assist you. For those who are getting started in editing, Audacity is the greatest option.
You can use this tool to refine your skills before diving deeper into the editing arena and spending money on plans and subscriptions.
You can do it alone, but there are a variety of reasons why podcasters prefer to engage with a professional podcast editing service. Podcasters opt to work with podcast production businesses for a variety of reasons, including time savings, quality, and consistency.
Podcasting is what these agencies eat, sleep, and breathe. When you collaborate with them, you can rest assured that your podcast will be the best it can be.
When you first start out in the podcasting industry, you don’t have to walk in the dark. That is why podcast production firms such as Podkick provide services to help you from beginning to end. All you have to do now is contact them and let them know what your podcast show requires.
Throughout a conversation, there will be instances when you feel compelled to make a change later. Instead of listening through the entire program to find it, pause, wait a few seconds, click your fingers three times on the mike, and then resume listening to that area.
On your waveform, this provides an obvious marker. Then you may rapidly edit the episode before moving on to writing show notes, producing a transcription, and uploading it.
An audio engineer is a person who is in charge of the technical components of a recording session. Recording, mixing, and reproduction are all areas of expertise for them. They can assist podcasters and musicians in recording shows or performing a live performance by balancing and altering sound sources for high-quality sound.
Here are the things you need to take into consideration during recording and editing a podcast:
Of course! You need to be sensitive enough and work hand in hand with your editor to make your podcast a success. To do this, here are the practices you need to follow:
You can compare podcast editing to a jigsaw puzzle after reading this tutorial. It has a lot of intricate elements to look after. Nonetheless, this article assisted you in completing the jigsaw and seeing the entire picture piece by piece. You also need to remember the following vital points:
You’re already aware of how time-consuming editing may be. So, you may decide to contact a podcast production specialist at this point. If your podcast category falls within the financial, legal, and business sectors, then Podkick is a great match for you! Connect with us — we’d love to talk about your show!