So, you've recorded a podcast episode already and you're wondering how to go about editing it now? Editing does not have to be difficult, but it can really help take your podcast audio to the next level. While your podcast audio quality is largely determined by the equipment you use, editing can help you fine tune your audio to perfection. To help you get started editing your podcast, we've listed some options for editing software, included a brief overview of the editing process, and detailed some editing and mixing techniques that you can use.
There are many different options for recording and editing software, including both free and paid options. Paid programs, such as Adobe Audition and Logic Pro, will have more advanced features available whereas free programs like Audacity and Garageband will have more basic features. However, that being said, free programs are totally viable options for editing your podcast.
- Audacity (MacOS & Windows): Free
- Garageband (MacOS): Free
- Adobe Audition (MacOS & Windows): $20.99/month
- Note: Adobe Audition also has Cloud storage, so you are able to record and save your audio files online.
- Logic Pro (MacOS): One-time purchase of $199.99
- Hindenburg Journalist (MacOS & Windows): One-time purchase of $95 for standard version and $375 for Pro version.
If you aren't too keen on the idea of editing your podcast, there are podcast editing services that will do the editing for you. Generally, these services deliver an edited podcast within 2-3 days. There are many companies as well as freelance workers on Fiverr that offer this service, but some popular companies are We Edit Podcasts, Resonate Recordings, and Alitu.
Editing & Mixing
If you are just trying your hand at editing, then there are some basics that you need to know before using any of the editing and mixing techniques that we'll discuss below. If your audio is already in your editing software, then you can begin editing. However, if your audio is elsewhere, you will need to import it into your editing software. You will also want to import each component of your podcast in addition to your raw recording. Any music, sound effects, or pre-recorded portions (intros, outros, etc.) you would like to add to your podcast episode should be placed as separate tracks from your raw audio. Once each component is on a separate track, you can begin cutting, arranging, fading, adjusting volume levels, and applying other editing techniques. Throughout the editing process, be sure to save your project so that you don't accidentally lose your work. After editing your podcast episode to your liking, export it as a WAV or MP3 file that you can then publish. And remember, it may take some trial and error and tweaking until you get your podcast episodes just right. If you are struggling to get your podcast perfect, take a break from it for a day or 2 and you may have some renewed energy and brilliant ideas to put it together perfectly.
- Add Music: Incorporating music can spark a variety of feelings in your listeners and it can differentiate your podcast from others. You can use music in many different ways in your podcast, so just be sure that you adjust the levels of your music depending on whether it is the centerpiece or simply background noise.
- Adjust Volume: If you have a certain section of audio that you would like to specifically change the volume for, you can adjust the decibel (dB) scale to your desired volume.
- Amplification: If the volume of your audio is pretty low or you notice that your audio file looks flat, you can amplify your audio.
- Arrange: You can arrange all of the components of your podcast by dragging them to the order you would like them in. In some cases, you may even want to cut something from your audio and place it elsewhere.
- Compressor: Applying compression to your audio will bring the loudest parts and the quietest parts of your audio closer together. This can help you achieve a more consistent volume level.
- Crossfade: Inserting a crossfade to join clips that you've cut will help your audio sound more seamless.
- Cut: Cutting is incredibly helpful with getting rid of long pauses, false starts, filler words, etc., but be careful that you don't get carried away to the point that portions of your podcast start to sound unnatural. It is always better to leave things be if you cannot cut something without leaving an unnatural sound.
- Equalization: You may want to add a little equalization to boost lower frequencies and reduce higher frequencies to adjust the quality and character of the sound.
- Limiters: Running your entire podcast through a limiter can help lift the overall volume of each episode without clipping the signal or adding distortion. A limiter threshold of about -1dB is typically adequate for leveling a podcast episode.
- Noise Reduction: Applying the noise reduction process to your audio will help you remove any of that constant background noise in your audio. It is best to record 5 or 10 seconds of silence at the beginning of your recording. You can then use the noise profile in the noise reduction process to edit out the background noise that is in your noise profile.
- Normalization: Normalizing your audio means that you are applying a constant amount of gain to an audio recording to bring the amplitude to a target level (the norm).
Some of the mixing techniques can be very powerful in improving your podcast audio, but they can be difficult to master and may take some time to learn what works best. Specifically, be careful with using amplification, noise reduction, equalization, compression, limiters, and normalization as it can be easy to overdo it with these techniques.
Every editing software is a bit different, so there may be a learning curve and it may take some exploring, but you will quickly get the hang of it with more editing practice. Your podcast may take minimal editing or a decent amount of editing, but either way some editing will go a long way with improving the quality of your podcast. So, don't forget to give your podcast a little love with some post-production! Happy podcasting!
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Article Image: John Hult via Unsplash.