5 Tips for Editing Podcasts
Updated: Oct 25, 2020
After editing a couple of dozen episodes of The No Formula Podcast, there are a few tips I have learned along the way. For new podcasters who edit, or plan to edit `their own episodes, consider the following five tips.
1. Start with a free editing software
"I want to invest in software to get higher quality sound."
I was reviewing different editing software when it hit me - I didn't even know what I was looking for. I didn't understand the different features. And if I didn't understand them then I for sure did not know how to use them.
My advice to you is if you're not tech-savvy, like myself, and you don't have the time to learn a new software, opt for free software editing. I use Audacity. It's free and I figured out enough of it to publish my episodes on time.
Plus, good audio starts with the recording of the actual episode. By recording in a small quiet space with a good microphone, you will achieve good audio. Striving for quality audio during production is more effective than trying to edit it later on. So, investing in software is only a good idea if you know how to use it.
2. Give yourself time to edit
From my experience, it can take between 2 and 14 hours to edit an episode. In my case, I edit interviews, so there could be dead air and extra "ums" that I want to remove. Plus, I like to take notes with timestamps so I can refer back for quotes or video snippets. This usually takes the most time. However, it very helpful with promotion.
Note: It always takes longer to edit interviews when there is more than one guest.
3. Edit with earphones on
Most people listen to podcasts with earphones. Therefore, editing should also be done with earphones. This ensures your hearing the same quality of audio your listeners will experience.
I would also suggest testing the sound at a higher volume. This will amplify the presence of any static or background noise. In addition, it gives you a good idea if the place you're recording is a good location.
Finally, test the sound out loud. This may help catch any echo in the audio.
4. Keep the original audio file
I spent about eight hours editing this one episode. I felt the need to re-listen to the episode to make sure it was perfect. Everything sounded decent except for one mistake. I accidentally removed a part of a word spoken by the guest. I was not able to re-record that word because I did not say it. And it was SO obvious that is was a mistake. It disrupted the flow of the interview.
However, due to my fear of losing files. I had a copy of the original file. I added the word back to the interview. And you'll never know which episode I almost ruined.
5. Make Backups
A fellow podcaster uses Zoom to record her interviews. In Zoom, there is the option to save the recordings in the cloud or locally on your computer.
She chose to save them in the cloud and unfortunately, one day, without her doing, they all disappeared.
I also use Zoom. However, if there is one tip to take away from his article, it should be to backup your episodes. Don't worry. She did manage to retrieve the recordings but everyone isn't so lucky!
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