Podcasting is a great way to reach out to those with whom you share the same interests. It allows you to expand your network and influence. As a podcaster, it’s important to consider the audio quality before releasing an episode. Here are 7 Easy Steps to Edit a Podcast. Know what to do to be more effective with your show!
Importance of Editing
No one really enjoys audio editing unless it’s his passion. A number of podcasters don’t see it important, because they believe that a good podcast has to sound spontaneous. Others think that listeners don’t really care.
Editing does not necessarily mean making vain modifications. It’s not about investing too much to sound perfect. It’s about providing quality content that is clear enough for your listeners to understand.
In the first place, you want to have listeners for your show. For you to keep them engaged and interested, you ensure your episode is easily heard and understood. Making your listeners strain their ears for each word or thought you share to them in each episode will just make them disappointed and eventually lose the interest to tune in.
Value your audience, because they are essential to your company’s success. Here are the steps to edit a podcast:
1. Gather Necessary Files
Before you proceed to the actual editing, make sure that you have everything you need. Determine the elements you want to use such as sponsor clips, intro, and outro. This is easy to do especially when you already have a template in mind.
How do you want to arrange your show? Here are some questions to answer:
- Do you have any sponsors that you can help promote on air?
- How do you want each episode to start? Which audio clips can you use for it?
- How do you want to wrap each episode? Are you going to use a breakaway, a summary, a significant call to action?
- Will you be doing it with a co-host or guest? If yes, how will your show proceed? Do you have questions in line?
- Are you going to use any music clips or sound effects?
Think about what you need to complete each episode. Consistency is important when planning your show. You want your listeners to be familiar with your style and approach. You want a voice that’s unique enough for them to remember.
Gather all the clips you need before you proceed editing. If your guest has something to promote, you can let him list them down in a document for show notes or future reference.
2. Import Files to Editing Software
Once you have all the necessary clips, the next thing to do is import them to your audio editing software. Audacity is a popular software among editors. Here’s what you’ll basically do:
- Open your Audacity software.
- Click on File at the top left corner of your software screen. You will see a number of functions.
- Hover over Import, and click Audio. You may import one or more audio files.
Before you import any files, first check which file format your software accepts. You could be using a large format which your software can’t handle. Also, ensure a copy of each file before importing it—for safety measures.
The same applies for other editing software. Ensure your files are compatible and has a copy in store.
3. Organize Files
There are typically three files to organize in your software: intro, body, outro. Here are the steps:
- Set your intro file first, and mute it.
- Next to the intro, place the body or the main content of your episode. Ensure it starts at zero.
- Cut out unnecessary noise or long pauses. You can also get rid of uhms and other sounds that aren’t important or those that would just distract your listeners.
- Adjust the files by moving each next to each other. You don’t want your episode to have gaps where there shouldn’t be.
- Once you have the intro and body together in place, add the outro at the end.
- You can insert sponsor clips or sound effects anywhere within the episode.
Your goal is to create one seamless track for your show episode. Be free to arrange it in any order you want. You can be creative by adding background music, etc.
What’s important is you follow a consistent flow that your listeners can easily recognize. You want them to quickly know it’s you. Think about how you want them to hear you.
4. Listen for Quality
When you have everything in place, you need to listen to it to ensure your episode is of good quality. Quality refers mainly to two things: sound and content.
First listen to the audio and think, does the track effectively deliver the message? Here are the main things to take note of while listening:
- SAME VOLUME – Make sure the volume of the host’s voice is the same throughout. You don’t want it too loud or too soft in some portions of the track. If with co-hosts or guests, ensure they are all of the same volume. Imagine listening to someone talk. You want his voice to be audible enough for you to understand. If too loud, it could break your eardrums. If too soft, you’d just grow tired of straining your ears—worse, you just might leave.
- INVITING SOUND – Is the audio warm and clear enough to listen to? Although the host can have his own way of speaking, your part is to make sure it sounds the same when listeners hear it. Here’s a tutorial by MisterFizzWin:
Your goal is to adjust the frequency using an equalizer and filter. For male voices, you can warm them up to 200 Hz. While for a female voices, you can warm them to 400 Hz.
- S or F HISSING SOUND – This is typically obvious in audio files with frequencies ranging between 6,000 Hz to 8,000 Hz. Here’s a ready guide you can use to adjust the sound.
- BACKGROUND NOISE – Sometimes your recording contains some sounds from a dog barking nearby or some leaves rustling against the windows. Any sound could be heard. You don’t want listeners to hear anything apart from your message. You can head to Effects (for Audacity) and reduce the noise via Noise Reduction button. Make sure you highlight the portion you want to adjust first before making any necessary actions.
When it comes to content, tune in for long pauses or gaps in the track. Also, take note of any “speech virus” such as uhms and aahs. You don’t want to spoil your episode with unnecessary content.
5. Listen to Overall Episode
After making all adjustments—cutting out long areas of silence, editing frequency, etc., you’re ready to listen to the entire track. You should check if all elements sound great together.
Avoid any gaps in the audio unless it’s a creative touch you wish to implement. As you listen, ask: are the transitions seamless? Is there anything else that needs adjustment?
You want your audio to sound as consistent and continuous as possible. Ensure all elements carry out your message in the best way possible. Allow yourself to soak in your message.
If you don’t have the time to listen, you can ask someone else to do it for you. Sometimes your ears tire for tuning in many times. For that you can use somebody else’s ears and opinion to make things convenient.
If you are already quite sure everything is great, you can simply skim through the track and listen where you don’t have confidence in. Only make sure it’s ready to export.
6. Export Edited Episode
Ready to save (export) your edited file? Once you’re already confident that everything in the track blends well, you can save it to upload to your podcast host. To save, here’s what you need to do:
- Click on File at the top left corner of your software screen (it could vary in others), and click Export.
- Fill in ID tags, which usually consist of: artist name, title, genre, and date or year.
- Ensure quality is not less than 96k constant bit rate. A constant bit rate ensures you get the same rate throughout the audio when published.
- Save your file in an Mp3 format. This way it’s easy for you to upload to any host as well as make it easy for your listeners to download. It also reduces the size of the file, thus, giving more space for your future episodes. An MP3 format makes the sound quality close to that of a CD.
- Name the file according to the title of your episode.
- Ensure the file will be stored in the folder you want.
- Finally, click Save. Voila! Your file is ready for upload to your podcast host.
7. Upload to Podcast Host
You’ve done all the steps, and you are now ready to publish! Login to your podcast host (Blubrry, Libsyn, WordPress, etc.), and upload your edited audio file.
You may need to fill in some information as you upload. Follow your host’s instructions. Once done, you can publish your episode immediately or schedule it for release. The options vary.
Stand Out and Be Heard
No matter what type of podcast you have, editing is important. It gives value to your listeners. Regardless of you think, listeners enjoy listening to something that is easy to the ears.
By making necessary adjustments, you make things easy for them. You make your message clear and more inviting. Why risk losing a listener over unedited episodes? Let them know you care. Take your mark and let your voice be heard.
What do you think about 7 Easy Steps to Edit a Podcast? Leave a comment or suggestion below. We love hearing from you!
If you need help in your podcast editing and show notes, Podcast Pilot is available for you! Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or register for a free consultation or a paid coaching service. Podcast Pilot is your podcast buddy—reach out and get the solution you need!