If you run a podcast, or if you’re thinking of starting a podcast, you must be wondering about the podcast editing process. Do you need to edit your podcast? And if you do, how do you go about doing it the right way?
Some podcasters intensely edit each podcast episode to improve audio quality and get rid of boring or irrelevant content in between. Others prefer to publish the raw audio as is and add an intro/ outro to it.
No matter where you want to be on the podcast editing spectrum, you need to be aware of the steps involved in podcast editing:
- Podcast Editing
- Sound Design
Let’s break down each of these steps so that you know how to use your digital audio workstation to get your podcast sounding just the way you want it.
Disclaimer: If you buy something using the links in this article, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Know that I only promote stuff that I use and trust for the sake of my readers and the reputation of this site.
What Is Podcast Editing And How Do You Do It?
Podcast editing improves the quality of podcast audio by cutting out unnecessary parts of the podcast recording, balancing out the podcast audio, creating a harmonious story that flows naturally throughout the episode, and adding in an intro or outro.
Podcast editing usually involves many steps after the recording or production of the podcast is over. The number of steps depends on each podcaster.
Podcast Post-Production Editing Process: 4 Stages
Stage 1: Podcast Editing:
Every successful podcast probably has been through some podcast editing process before it made it on air.
There are a lot of steps that go into podcast editing. Some of them are:
Trimming down your podcast episode means you are cutting down the episode’s length to make it shorter. You could trim your podcast due to time constraints or do it to remove long pauses and words in between.
Take care to keep your final product sounding natural even though you have cut out words or parts of conversation from in between.
Make sure the volume of your podcast is balanced so that some parts don’t sound louder than others. For example, you can do this by adjusting the volumes of individual speakers so that all of them are at more or less the same volume level for your audience to hear them comfortably.
You could make this easier by buying the right equipment for podcasting and using the right mic techniques so that everyone is heard clearly when they speak.
3. Equalization (EQ)
Equalization means adjusting the different frequency bands within an audio signal. Audio editing software uses an equalizer to do this. The process is fairly simple – filters are used to cut out frequencies that are higher or lower than human voice frequency.
There are a ton of podcast editing software that can help you save the time you spend editing the audio tracks for your podcasts. We will talk about them a little later on in this post. Whatever software you use, your goal should be to create a compelling story for your podcast through your editing.
Stage 2: Sound Design
Sound design is the addition of music and sound effects to engage your listeners and give your podcast personality. As a podcast host, there are different ways you can incorporate sound design when you edit podcasts.
For starters, you can create an intro and outro that is not only reflective of your podcast personality but also gives your listeners something catchy to familiarize them with your podcast. You can use certain theme music to make it memorable.
You can use music clips within your podcast episode to give it a creative edge and to enhance the storytelling or narration. You can also use appropriate sound effects during the podcast when you edit audio with podcast editing software.
Stage 3: Mixing
The mixing process involves improving the sound quality of your podcast recording by audio editing, cutting out background noise and reverb, and making adjustments to EQ and volume levels.
Using EQ (Equalization) helps you make your podcast audio sound more natural by removing unnaturally higher or lower sound frequencies using filters.
You can also use a compressor to balance the voice levels from the different speakers on your podcast. For instance, if one speaker speaks much louder than the rest, the compressor will help you minimize the volume difference between all the speakers so that your listeners do not need to constantly adjust their volume while listening to your podcast.
Stage 4: Mastering
Mastering your podcast means you are making the final touches on your podcast episodes before you decide to publish them. During this stage, you will give your podcast content one final listen to catch anything you may have missed during the earlier steps of the post-production process.
If you find the whole podcast editing process overwhelming, or you simply don’t have the time you need to edit your podcast, you could consider hiring a podcast editor for their podcast editing services.
Which Digital Audio Workstation should you use to edit a podcast?
There are a couple of recommendations I have depending on your needs and preferences as a podcaster:
If you’re looking for a simple, free podcast editing software, then Audacity is a great place to start. It has an intuitive interface and lets you edit all your audio tracks in one place.
However, Audacity is a destructive editor, which means that you cannot reverse your edits or add back the parts you edit out from your track.
GarageBand is a popular free audio editing tool among mac users. The software gives you all the tools you need to make basic edits and polish up your podcast tracks. The only drawback is that you do not have the option to make more detailed edits to your tracks and are stuck with only the basic editing features.
3. Pro Tools
Pro Tools is an excellent podcast editing tool that most podcasters and musicians use, but it may not be the right solution for new podcasters. Pro Tools offers industry-standard editing tools, but at a high cost and with a steep learning curve.
4. Adobe Audition
Adobe Audition is another great pick for experienced podcasters. It offers a comprehensive audio editor with multitrack, waveform, and spectral displays so that you can improve the natural flow of your source material.
5. Logic Pro
Logic Pro is podcast editing software available for Apple users. It offers integrated Dolby Atmos for mixing and exporting audio to help you improve the overall quality of your podcast.
Logic Pro also gives you a large collection of plugins and sounds to increase your podcast audio quality and minimize background hiss.
5 Podcast Editing Tips
Here are some tips you can use during the audio editing process to make sure your podcasts are of the highest quality possible:
#1. Plan Your Podcast Content
Plan each of your podcast episodes carefully so that you know how you want your podcast to go and what questions you want to ask your guest. This will ensure that you don’t have awkward silences in between and your discussion doesn’t veer off to irrelevant topics.
#2. Set Up The Right Podcast Environment
Create the right environment for your podcast in a closed room with minimal distraction and background noise. Make sure the room is carpeted or upholstered so that there is no reverb or echo while recording.
If you are recording a podcast remotely, go over the podcasting best practices with your podcast guest so that he or she can set up a good space while recording.
#3. Invest in Podcast Recording Equipment
Buying the right podcasting equipment such as podcasting microphones, podcast headphones, and podcast audio interface equipment will help you get the best quality raw audio so that you can spend lesser time editing.
#4. Listen to your interview at normal speed once before editing
Listen to the entire recording of your podcast at regular speed before you begin editing. It may be tempting to run through the recording at a higher speed, but you won’t be able to catch awkward pauses and words that you would like to cut out from your final podcast audio file.
#5. Use timestamps to take notes of things to edit
Use timestamps to make note of places you want to edit in your podcast raw audio file. This will make it easier and quicker for you to jump to when you start the editing process. Once all the marked edits are done, you can give your podcast episode one final listen to see if the conversation flows well and whether you missed out on anything.
1. Can Podcasts Be Edited?
Yes, podcasts can be edited, although there’s no rule implying they should be. If you would rather publish raw episodes of your podcast, you can do that. But if you would like to polish up your podcast episodes, add an intro and outro to each episode, and cut out unnecessary dialogue from it, then you can use the tons of podcast editing software available to do it.
2. How Do You Effectively Edit a Podcast?
Although different podcasters edit their podcasts in different ways, there are a few steps you need to follow if you want to improve the quality of your podcast through editing techniques:
- Podcast Editing
- Sound Design
- Syndication and Promotion
3. Should I Use a DAW for My Podcast Editing?
A DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) is a common podcast editing tool that is used to record and edit podcast episodes. DAWs are usually referred to as podcast editing software, and there are tons of good ones available, which make it pretty simple to edit podcasts.
If you’re a beginner, you could choose a free DAW like Audacity or GarageBand to get started. However, if you’re a more seasoned podcaster, you could use a program like Pro Tools or Adobe Audition to get more powerful editing capabilities.
Podcasts Editing – Conclusion
Before you begin to edit your podcast, you need to take a few steps back and look at the bigger picture.
There are some major steps that you need to take if you want to edit your podcasts for better quality. Podcast editing, adding music and sound effects, mixing and balancing voice levels, and mastering are all crucial elements of audio editing.
What steps do you take to edit your podcast? Leave a comment below and let us know!