Hello! Sean here again with the next installment of “Podcasting 101,” a video series from Google Podcasts and PRX - and I’m excited to introduce you to one of my best friends: editing.
You’ve done all your prep, you went out and gathered some great tape, and now it’s time to piece all this stuff together and make it sound the way you want it to.
There are a bunch of digital audio editing programs out there - some of the biggies include Pro Tools, Adobe Audition, REAPER, Hindenburg, Audacity, and you can even use programs like GarageBand in a pinch.
These programs all have roughly the same features - they let you edit, mix and export your audio into a file you can turn into your podcast.
Whichever program you use, be organized - establish some naming rules for your files and how to set up your editing workspace. As your ambitions grow, you’ll help support them if you lay a good foundation - start out as you mean to go on.
I recommend you name your audio files something distinctive - including the date! And make backups of your original files. Keep them safe. If you lose them - you lose everything.
Ok - we’re gonna dive into some common editing situations now.
Here’s a little tape I prepared earlier -
I asked Luvvie about her first time ever recording a podcast -
I started podcasting in...hmmm...I think, I’m not sure, maybe 2014. No, 2013. Yeah 2013 actually. I had a podcast called Rachet and the Geek with my boy, Scott Hanselman.
Ok - you hear how she started strong but got a little muddled in the middle before she finished her thought? How about I just tighten this up a bit. I can take out the rough middle part -
And now, voila -
I started podcasting in 2013. I had a called podcast Rachet and the Geek with my boy, Scott Hanselman.
It gets the point across a lot faster and clearer. Easy, right? An important thing to note here is that any editing you do has to make what the person is saying clearer - not change what they meant. Ethically, this is how you gotta roll - and professionally, you’re not gonna get much work if you’re known for misrepresenting people.
Ok - now, we’re gonna make that edit again - but this time focusing on a small detail - we’re going to be mindful to not edit on the breath -
- we want to make our edit right here -
- and make the edit all the way here. Then, delete the middle and connect the gap and it sounds like -
I started podcasting in 2013. I had a podcast called Rachet and the Geek with my boy Scott Hanselman.
Isn’t that better?? You can get a little obsessed with this stuff which I think is all good - your ear is more discriminating than your eye. When you get this stuff right, it just helps people sound more real and natural - we all gotta breathe, right?!
Keep working on this - you’ll only get better at it.
Sweet! Now that we’ve got the basics down - let’s talk about layering in sound and music.
You’ll want these elements on separate tracks if possible -
And most programs have a way you can bring sound in louder here - and softer here -
- so you can start to think of blending the music with the tape.
Keep in mind that you’ll likely be moving narration and tape around to allow for the music and ambient sounds to really be heard.
With these sound elements, you’ll be painting a picture in your listener's mind.
When you’re done and the piece is mixed as you like it, you can export it as an mp3 file. I also recommend you keep a higher quality .wav file on hand as well for back up -
We’ve linked to more information on different types of digital audio editing programs in the description of this video.
Once you have an .mp3 file, you’re ready to get it out in the world - so join Luvvie for the next episode of “Podcasting 101” where she’ll walk you through distribution - let’s get people listening!