Podcast, Editing, Tips

Podcast Editing: 9 Time-Saving Tips

Podcast editing can be complicated and time-consuming. Listening through entire podcast episodes to ensure they sound perfect is certainly not a quick process. However, there are some tricks for saving time and effort while editing your podcast. For 9 time-saving editing tips, keep on reading!

1. Clearly Label Your Files.

When you are saving files, clearly label them and place them in one location. This might seem incredibly simple, but it can really save you some time in the long run. If you label your files generically or using what your computer automatically generates, you will likely end up spending a bunch of time opening and closing files to identify what they are. Similarly, if you save your files to random locations, there's a high chance that you will have to search around your computer for the files you are looking for. So, in order to avoid wasting time searching for and through files, explicitly label your files for easy identification and save them all to one specific location for easy access.

2. Create and Utilize Templates & Presets.

Templates can totally transform your editing process. If you start with a blank session every time and then create your tracks, load plugins, import music, etc., you’re taking up tons of valuable time on setup that you could be using for the actual editing. Some editing programs allow you to make an actual template, but if you are unable to do that, make and save a project with everything except your unique episode audio. Then, you can open that project each time and “Save As” to create your new project and keep your "template" as is. Your template can include your tracks (host, guest, music), plugins and settings, and files (intro, outro, segues) you’re using in every episode.

Also, whenever you make significant alterations to a feature's settings (EQ, Compressor, etc.), you can usually save the changes as a preset that you can name to describe what type of issue the preset can be used to resolve. This then saves you a lot of time since you don't have to fiddle around to find the right settings in the future.

3. Leave Silent Space After Mistakes.

Making mistakes while recording is natural and hard to avoid. However, searching for mistakes in your recording during the editing process eats up a lot of time. One of the best ways to avoid searching for mistakes is to leave about 10 seconds of silence after any mistakes. After you leave a bit of silent space, then you can restart what you were saying and continue on. These silent spaces will allow you to visually see where editing is necessary instead of listening through your entire podcast episode for mistakes.

4. Use and Customize Keyboard Shortcuts.

Keyboard shortcuts/commands can also transform your editing process. If you learn the shortcuts and even customize some to fit your specific needs, you will eliminate most of that time you spend scrolling and clicking around your editing software. While it may seem like a small portion of your editing time, the time navigating around adds up to be more than you think. Learning and mastering the shortcuts may take some time, but once you get it down, you will be able to edit much more quickly and smoothly.

5. Mark Edit Points.

Leaving silent space after mistakes is a great way to mark moments where you need to edit, but another way you can signify where editing is necessary is to literally mark down the timestamp. You may want to write the timestamp down using a pen and paper, or you can usually mark your recording while it's happening using a marker tool in your software. It all depends on your preference as to how you want to mark edit points, but marking them will absolutely save tons of time and you can quickly refer to your marks and make the necessary edits.

Keep in mind that if your edit points are not marked directly on your recording, then edit from the end to the beginning. This ensures that you're not shifting all the timestamps you wrote down with each edit before it.

6. Restate Sentences.

As mentioned, mistakes happen. The last thing that you want to do though is take on the task of editing a large mistake. Generally speaking, the bigger the mistake, the more editing it will take, which translates to spending more time editing. That being said, when you make a bigger mistake, simply restate what you were trying to say so that you can completely cut the mistake. This will save you a ton of time and frustration because you won't have to manually fix your mistake with editing techniques. So, do yourself a favor and get in the habit of restating things when they aren't coming out right the first time.

7. Play Your Recording Quicker.

Listening through your podcast episodes to edit them is necessary, but also wastes a lot of time. In order to cut down on some of this time, you can play your audio at a faster speed than 1x. Now, this might take some practice to get a hang of catching things at a faster speed, but you can really save time using a playback speed feature. Most editing programs have this feature and using the feature does not impact your final audio.

8. Customize Your Display.

Editing programs usually give you the ability to customize your display to fit your particular needs. There are many tools, features, functions, etc. that might not be necessary for your editing process, yet they take up space in your display. Additionally, there may be tools that you use, but don't need in your display because of keyboard shortcuts. You can save time by customizing your display because you won't be wasting time clicking through your editing software for the features you need. So, try to customize your display so that everything that you regularly need is right there for you. And, ensure that whatever you don't need on a regular basis isn't cluttering your display and taking up valuable space.

9. Prepare Your Environment & Equipment Beforehand.

You've surely heard it before, but preparing your environment before recording is incredibly important. It will not only save you time editing, but it will also largely improve your podcast audio. Ensure that you have enough microphones for everyone contributing to your podcast and record in a quiet room with no distractions. Also, use headphones while recording as well as during the editing process and record everyone on separate tracks to help yourself out with the editing process.

Editing is a naturally time-consuming process, but you should definitely be able to cut down your editing time with these tips! And, in the process of cutting down the time, your editing process should become easier and pretty straightforward. It may take a transition period to get used to changes in your editing process, but the time and effort it might take to get accustomed to the changes will definitely be worth it in the end. Happy podcasting!

For information on how to edit your podcast, check out our article here.

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Article Image: Brad Neathery via Unsplash.

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About Michelle Ruoff

  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania