Many aspiring podcasters are intimidated by the prospect of editing their podcast episodes. They worry about how they will edit the audio or what tools they should use to do it. Well, there’s good news for you! There are so many approaches now that depend on your content, audience, and personal style. It’s time for you to stop worrying about editing podcasts. It’s simpler than it seems with the right approach and tool.
Which Approach to Use for Podcast Editing
There are many approaches to editing podcasts, and the one you choose is largely influenced by your content, audience, and personal style.
If you’re just starting out, it’s a good idea to keep your editing process simple. You can always add more complexity as you become more comfortable with the process.
The most common approach is to use a tool like GarageBand or Audacity to edit your podcast episodes yourself. This gives you a lot of control over how the final product sounds and allows for a high degree of customization. However, this option requires some basic knowledge of podcast audio editing and can be time-consuming.
Another popular option is to outsource your editing needs to someone else. Services like SoundCloud offer low-cost podcast editing that can take the hassle out of the process. However, this option may not be suitable if you want a lot of control over the final product or you have specific editing needs.
No matter which approaches you choose, it’s important to be comfortable with the process and take your time. Editing podcasts can be a complex task, but it’s also very rewarding when done correctly. With the right tools and approaches, anyone can edit their podcast episodes like a pro, as long as they keep some key ideas in mind:
- Keep your editing process simple.
- Use simple tools like GarageBand or Audacity to edit your podcast yourself.
- Outsource your editing needs to someone else.
- Be comfortable with the process and take your time! Editing podcasts can be complex but rewarding.
How long it takes to edit a podcast episode will depend on the difficulty and number of edits required.
You may need as little as 15 minutes or less for simple tasks like removing pauses between words, but editing out entire sections could take much longer. For example: if you’re deleting an interviewee’s umms and ahhs from their responses, this can be tedious work that requires several passes through the recording. If your content is particularly dense with information, you might require even more time in post-production than during actual recording.
To shorten the time required for editing a podcast, consider how you want the final product to sound. If your show is more conversational, removing pauses and filler words will be sufficient for a clean edit that sounds natural. For a high level of production value, because you have music or well-known guests, additional editing may be necessary to remove additional sounds, including long breaths between sentences or shuffling papers on someone’s desk.
There are some basic steps that all podcasters should familiarize themselves with before editing their first podcast episode. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Listen to your episode and take note of any areas that need improvement.
- Use podcast editing software like GarageBand or Audacity to make basic edits such as cutting, pasting, and adding music.
- Export your edited audio file as an MPC or WAV format.
- Upload your edited audio file to a hosting site like SoundCloud or Libsyn.
It’s always important to listen back to your episode and take note of any areas that could use improvement. This is especially important when you’re starting out and still honing your editing skills. Once you’ve made the necessary corrections, it’s time to turn your attention to the technical aspects of podcast editing.
With basic audio editing software like GarageBand or Audacity, you can make edits such as cutting, pasting, and adding music to give your podcast episode a more polished feel. But before exporting your edited audio file, it’s important to save some time by setting up presets for different elements in each project (i.e., intro/outro music).
Also, keep in mind that exporting MPC or WAV files will allow you to retain more quality when uploading them online. Once this is done, simply upload these new files on hosting sites like SoundCloud! With just a bit of patience and practice during the editing process, anyone can create professional podcast sound with a little effort.
Those tools we mentioned? They are called Digital Audio Workstations (DAW). A DAW is recording software podcasters and audio professionals use to create, record, mix and master their podcasts. While Audacity and GarageBand come with limited DAW capabilities, they are not as powerful as professional-grade software like Adobe Audition or Logic Pro X.
If you’re serious about podcasting – or want to take your editing skills to the next level – then investing in a good DAW is essential. These applications offer more features for audio editing, recording, and mixing. They can also be expensive, so make sure you do your research before purchasing one, or you need to buy another for an additional cost.
Some of the best DAWs include :
- Studio One Prime
- Adobe Audition
- Logic Pro X
While it’s always great to experiment and try new approaches, we recommend that you start with the basic steps below when editing your podcast in Audacity. This way, you’ll get a feel for the process without feeling overwhelmed by dozens of options early on:
- Make sure all audio tracks are synced together.
- Listen through your episode once before any edits to ensure everything is correct.
- Delete/remove unwanted sections from your podcast recording using “Select” > Selection Toolbar or CTRL+A hotkeys.
- Add fades at the beginning and end of each file if necessary (Fade In / Fade Out).
When making edits in Audacity, be careful not to cut out too much while ensuring you don’t leave any dead space. Listen back through your podcast episode before making any edits. It will give you a chance to catch any mistakes and err on the side of caution when removing sections from an audio file (this one is particularly important since Audacity doesn’t let you undo specific edits).
GarageBand offers a more user-friendly interface for podcast editing when compared to Audacity. It also includes some built-in features that can be helpful, like the ability to automatically adjust levels and EQ settings. Here are the basic steps you need to follow to edit your podcast in GarageBand:
- Import your audio files into GarageBand.
- Sync all tracks together.
- Make any necessary cuts or adjustments using the “Trim” tool.
- Add fades at the beginning and end of each file if necessary (Fade In / Fade Out).
Export your edited episode as an MPC or WAV format once you’re finished making changes – just make sure everything sounds good before you start sharing it with your audience!
Adobe’s professional-grade DAW is one of the most powerful options on the market. It has many functions and features available for editing podcasts. However, this flexibility can also be overwhelming – especially if you’re new to podcast editing. Here’s how beginners should approach their first-time using Adobe Audition for podcasting:
- Import audio files into your library (File > Import Audio).
- Sync all tracks together (Edit > Preferences > General Tab).
- Make any necessary cuts or adjustments using either “Split Clip at Playhead” or “Slip Edits”.
- Add fades at the beginning and end of each file (Edit > Fades).
Those familiar with Adobe Audition know that this is only the tip of the iceberg for podcast editing. When you’re ready, there’s an infinite combination of approaches you can take – depending on your preferences, content, equipment used for recording, podcasting, etc. This might be overwhelming if you’ve never done any audio editing before! But not to worry! Here are some additional features worth checking out:
- Use “Effects” Bins > Shortcuts Menu for quick access to common sound effects like EQs & Compressors.
- “DeEsser” tool removes unwanted sibilance from vocal recordings without affecting neighboring frequencies.
- “Noise Reduction” can clean up background noise in podcast episodes (prerequisite: must have an acoustically quiet recording space)
- “Multi-band Compression” can help you balance out your audio levels across different tracks and frequency ranges. This is a good option if you’ve recorded voice-over music or other multi-track files that need to sit well together!
Studio One Prime includes some powerful features, especially when it comes to editing podcasts with multiple tracks of content from multiple people – which is great news since most podcasters record their voice/content on separate devices. However, there are also some major caveats depending on your audio content and editing goals:
- Import your audio files into Studio One Prime (File > Import).
- Sync all tracks together (right-click > “Group Tracks”).
- Make any necessary cuts or adjustments using the “Split Clip” tool.
- “Timestretch” feature can be used for speeding up or slowing down your podcast episode without affecting the pitch – great if you need to shorten or lengthen an episode.
- “Compressor” can help control the dynamic range of your audio, making it more consistent overall. This is especially helpful when multiple people are talking in different parts of a podcast episode.
If you don’t want to do your podcast editing yourself, the next best option is to hire a podcast editor. First, you will need to find the editor. To find a podcast editor, start by looking through the podcast editor directory and searching online.
Alternatively, you can also hire a local podcaster or audio production company to do the edits for you. Podcast editors charge between $35 – $75 per hour, depending on their experience and level of expertise with podcasting.
You can also hire a transcription service to transcribe your episode (this is helpful if your podcast isn’t entirely based on recorded dialogue). Many options available online either provide transcriptions at an hourly rate or offer full-service transcription services, which include recording/transcribing interviews in addition to editing them into your final show notes. These usually cost upwards of $100 per finished minute of text – but it’s well worth it! That way, you’ll be able to edit down all content so only the best bits before publishing.
When hiring an editor, be sure to send them a copy of your episode(s) and any specific notes or instructions you have about what you would like edited. You can also use tools like Fiverr or UpWork to find freelance podcast editors.
Freelance podcast editors are a good option if you are new to podcasting because they can help you with the entire editing process, from start to finish. They can also be helpful if you have a specific goal in mind for your podcast episode and need help achieving it.
Editing a podcast can be difficult but rewarding. Finishing the final edit of a podcast episode and publishing it to your audience is a great feeling – especially if you’re happy with the result. By taking the time to learn about podcast editing, you’ll be able to produce better-quality episodes that are more polished and professional.
And who knows? Editing may even become one of your favorite parts of podcasting if you get good at it and remove some of the friction using powerful tools and helpful keyboard shortcuts and develop a process that you can use repeatedly for successful podcasts edits.