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Podcast Editing 101: A Complete Beginners’ Guide

What is your average time spent editing your podcast? Is even after spending hours editing and polishing your episodes, your podcast audio quality not up to the mark? This is every podcaster’s nightmare!

Noises, hisses, and overall poor podcast production can overshadow your great content and even the show’s authority. This is why great podcast editing skills are a must for a podcaster who wants thousands of downloads per episode.

Fortunately, podcast editing is not as complicated as you may expect. With a few expert tips and tricks on your fingertips, you can use create audio content with utmost ease.

So, how to master the skill of podcast editing without investing a lot of time in front of your audio software?

Podcast Editing for Beginners

In the end, podcast audio editing depends on what approach you take. There are dozens of different podcast audio editing styles and services to consider while starting off. Here are step-by-step podcast editing basics  to help you create top-notch quality episodes:

Importing the Audio

Importing the audio track is the first step in editing. In the sequence, the audio should be at the first position. If you are importing more than one audio track, place the first audio track on top. For editing purposes, leave the second audio track beneath. You may add sound effects, music, and other secondary audio files for further editing after adding the first audio file.

Before Editing

Starting audio editing right away could work for some, but for most podcasters, especially beginners re-listening to the audio section is crucial.

This method allows you to consider different sections and divide what should be kept and what should be preserved. Then, reduce or eliminate background noises, hisses, and other unwanted audio areas. Most of the audio editing software comes with an audio ducking feature to minimize noise reduction. You can use them to cut out unwanted sounds and reduce the background noise of your audio.

Fixing Consistency

Next, make sure the podcast volume is consistent throughout. Remove any unwanted noises and take the necessary steps to normalize the sound levels. For the peak amplitude, select -2.0. Enhance the amplification of the tranquil areas.

Sound Engineering & Mixing

Your next task is to design and mix the podcast’s sound. Be sure not to take it too seriously, especially if you are just starting out. Record the sound effects in accordance with the podcast’s message. Ensure that you always use sound effects that effectively evoke emotions and ultimately save the audience’s attention. The audio is compressed, equalized, and processed during the mixing stage to adjust in the different sections.

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A Guide to DWA

Podcasting editing without Digital Audio Workshop is next to impossible. DWA is an audio editing program that includes everything from recording the podcast to completely editing it.

Below are the top DWAs ideal for beginners:

Audacity

Audacity ® | Free, open source, cross-platform audio software for multi-track recording and editing.

One of the most popular free podcast editing programs is Audacity. Its popularity is largely due to its open-source and free nature. Furthermore, it has the most intuitive interface suited best for beginners. Once you install Audacity, you can start recording your episode right away.

AliTu

Alitu Review & Walkthrough

AliTu is another tool recommended for making podcast episodes. AliTu, however, charges a fee for editing podcasts. Nevertheless, podcast editing is incredibly easy with it, and you can add music, transitions, and segments as you see fit. As an added bonus, this software also lets you publish your podcast.

Reaper

Why Reaper? - Jeff Kaiser

With a 60-day free trial offer, Reaper is another great podcast editing DAWs. Reaper may require a bit of a learning curve, but once you master it, you will feel like an artist. Additionally, it comes with many new features and updates for better and more polished results. Its plugin is compatible with VST, AU, and JS plugins.

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Advanced Podcast Editing Tips

Want to edit your audio content like a professional audio engineer? Learn some of these advanced podcast editing tips and edit your podcast episodes like a pro:

Planning & Presentation

Having an outline or plan ahead of time will allow you to cut out tangents in the conversation that don’t contribute to your main point. Finally, make sure you are merciless when editing, and don’t be afraid to cut, cut, and then some more.

Focus on planning and presenting your podcast in a manner that saves you time. Don’t be that guy who edits every word to fit his style. Focus on being confident while presenting the podcast instead since this will result in far fewer editing issues if any editing is necessary at all. 

Look For Transition Along with Providing Margin

In the event that you misspelled a word or misread something while recording the podcast, give yourself a little margin and record it again smoothly. For this reason, you should not squeeze out information that does not give you more space for podcast editing. You can easily cut out the messy audio portion with the provided margin.

When you record your podcast in multiple tracks, co-host, or take a long break, you have to look for transitions precisely. For example, there may be meaningless babble, awkward silences, cross talks, etc., which need careful watching at the beginning and end of these transitions. Taking these transitions into account and editing them will greatly enhance the entire editing process.

Adjusting Podcast Volume

When a person or interviewee is very quiet, it may be challenging to edit the podcast. Therefore, first of all, make sure their microphone signals and settings are strong enough to communicate with you.

Next, increase the gain of their speaker before editing the podcast. Lastly, normalize or compress the voice to make it louder or audible to the listeners.

Removal of uhs and ums

The podcasting blogosphere focuses a lot on removing all stutters, repetition, and crutch words (‘like,’ ‘sorta,’ ‘kinda,’ etc.). Taking out 100 of them can cut an hour-long interview in half, but the process is time-consuming and ends up resulting in unnatural dialogue.

Let’s treat the audience like humans! We will remove obvious blunders or annoying “you know”s that can be removed while preserving the natural flow of speech. Instead of nitpicking over every in-breath, removing or reordering entire sections of the discussion is much more effective to make a more compelling and engaging story in a shorter time frame.

Make sure to remove any background noise, plosives, and plosive pops. It can sound unnatural if you can’t hear people breathing at all while they speak when you edit out any loud breathing. If possible, eliminate any interruptions.

Observe any long pauses in the podcast that may cause jarring to the listener. Just a few seconds of dead air can seem like forever. However, it can also be an extremely powerful tool under certain circumstances due to the same reason.

Take note of stand-out moments that can be used for promotion on other platforms. For example, you can create audiograms on social media using clips from your interviews – something we discussed in our article on podcast promotion.

The Ultimate Guide to Promoting Your Podcast on Social Media

Expert Advice for Beginners

We’ve looked at a range of tips that you can incorporate into your routine in this article. Hopefully, by now you must have gained some understanding of editing a podcast, saving a lot of time during the editing phase, and increasing the overall quality of your podcast.

The approach you take to editing is entirely up to you, so don’t listen to anyone who tells you how much time you need to spend. After all, you know your listeners best!

With a solid preparation routine, a commitment to improving your presentation skills, and a few simple techniques, you can spend much less time editing and much more time creating engaging content.

Hiring a Professional Audio Editor

Now that you understand the basics of podcasting editing, hiring a podcast editor will get much easier for you. We understand that not every podcast can master the audio editing skills, nor do all the podcasters have the time to devote to high-end editing.

Want to hire a professional audio editor? Look no further. SayWHA Radio Networks’ podcasting team with over a decade of experience is here to assist you in every section of creating, editing, publishing, and promoting a remarkable podcast.

Get in touch with us to learn more about our reliable podcasting services!

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