How to build a profitable podcast.
We're trying to create a podcast that your listeners will be addicted to...
Because if we do that... everything else becomes so much easier:
It's very hard to create a podcast that will addict your listeners... with zero or no editing.
And so in the rest of this post, we will explain exactly how to you can edit a podcast, even if you have zero experience.
So... where were we?
Think of editing as the shining… or polishing of your diamond. The value is in the content, but to make everyone realise that value, the diamond must be polished.
Once you start to realise how audio can be edited today, this will become easier for you. However, if you have zero knowledge of where to begin, it can be a daunting task. Once you perfect the technique, the workflow will be more comfortable editing your audio no matter your recording software.
Now it is time for you to learn how to edit without stress.
But before we get started with the editing, here are a couple of important factors to note:
Editing can make or break your story
Before you begin editing your podcast audio, you must make sure that everything you need to say in your podcast has been told before you set out to edit. Failure to do this might make you lose focus as you pay more attention to the technicalities involved in editing.
In other words, we must first understand the forest before we start looking at the trees ;)
Before you begin, listen to the raw audio all the way through while taking notes on the things that your listeners MUST hear.
Plan editing as you plan to record
Remember, editing is merely polishing the diamond… you will have a more significant impact on your podcast’s quality if you build a better diamond.
If you do all this correctly… you will enjoy polishing the diamond!
Don’t forget that editing is not the same as mixing and mastering
These concepts can sometimes be confusing for podcast newbies. But it is essential to differentiate between them...
Now that you understand the difference between editing mixing and mastering… let’s get started with the editing process...
This may sound super simple…
But all the best editors are HYPER organised.
We need to make sure that you know where everything is at all times; the next few points will show you how to do just that.
Using appropriate filename conventions and folder structure
If you are producing a high volume of content, it is crucial to embrace standardisation. Failure to do this may leave you scrambling to find a file or clip when you want to edit. You have to pick a system that you fully understand, as it will make the editing task more comfortable and help you avoid major mistakes during the editing process.
Separating sound editing and content editing tasks
For a lengthy podcast, you should have the audio transcribed and timestamps placed. After this, you need to generate a bullet point of the content edits in the transcription. After you have done the content edits, you need to listen carefully to detect any audible distraction to cause issues. Once you notice any anomaly, you can edit accordingly.
Why you should use a DAW for podcast editing
You may wonder what a DAW means...
A DAW is an acronym for Digital Audio Workstation. It is audio editing software, but it can also be used for recording and producing audio files.
You can read more on DAW here.
With a DAW, you can easily record your podcast and adjust the audio levels so that the sounds are clear and balanced. Besides, if you make a mistake while editing, you can undo it easily.
There are several types of audio you may have to confront in your podcast. There will be a voice-over, sound effects, field recordings, dialogues, ads in some cases, and music. It would be best if you always used DAW with dedicated tracks for each audio type.
To make editing and mixing easier, you should give every voice involved in the recording a track each. In many cases, people love to use a few tracks to see everything at once on the screen. However, that approach could bring complications when it is time to mix. Always keep your session organised by using DAW, as this will help you immensely during mixing.
Picking the right software for editing a podcast can sometimes be a daunting task. You will be surprised with the impact a great editing software will have on your podcast… and I’m not exaggerating.
I have listened to podcasts with great content and excellent editing skills that you just want to keep listening to.
With the wide variety of software available, it can be a big task to pick software to edit your podcast. Any podcast software you will choose will have to have editing and production level features. As we mentioned earlier,… production is the final stage of editing, including mixing and called mastering.
There are different types of software for podcast editing. There is web-based and automated editing software, and there is also computer-based editing software. As a beginner, you have to go for the balance of effectiveness and simplicity.
The best tool for novice
Here is a simple truth. As a novice in the podcasting world, you are likely not to feel comfortable using any editing tool. You do not have experience using any editing tool yet, so it is improbable that you will stick with the editing tool you start with as you will learn more about all the editing tools available with time.
Asides from the simplicity involved, your budget will also play a role in the editing tool you will use as a novice.
There are two forms of the podcast: interviewing others or co-hosting, and the type that will be done solo. If you are interviewing people, you will have to record with different software from the one you will use to edit. However, if it is a solo podcast, you can edit the audio with the same one you record.
Tools: GarageBand, Audacity, Descript
There are several tools around that you can use in editing a podcast. Here are three of the best...
This editing tool is only for Apple users. It is pre-installed in Apple’s MacBook Air laptop and MacBook Pro. If you own a Mac, you should check out this editing tool. It is free to use and download; it also helps you to record and edit on-the-go. You could be in any event and place and use this editing software.
You can download the GarageBand software here.
This editing tool is another good option for podcasters. Seasoned podcasters use this tool to edit their podcast as it does a great job. It might not have all the features you can find in some other editing tools, but it does the job well, and it is free. It can be used on the Mac and different types of PCs.
You can download the Audacity software here.
Descript works differently from other types of editing tools. This editing tool works for both audio and video. It edits your audio as you edit written documents. It allows you to cut, paste, and delete written transcripts that will modify the recorded audio.
You can download the Descript software here.
Audio editor vs. DAWs
In the previous section, I talked about what a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) means.
However, when editing an audio file, there are different audio editor types you should pay attention to, and they fall under two major groups – Audio editors and DAWs.
They have distinctive features that differentiate them. These two unique features are multi-track capability and destructive/non-destructive editing.
DAWs have the multi-track capability, which helps you import and simultaneously playback several audio clips – this makes it flexible but complex to use. DAWs also help to preserve source files as they are while you work with the different clips. An example of an editing tool under this category is GarageBand.
On the other hand, Audio Editor doesn’t have the multi-track capability and uses destructive editing, which means whatever you do to the audio clip affects the source file. An example of such an editing tool under this category is Audacity.
There are universal editing methods that you need to follow when editing your software. These techniques work across all types of software you can use in editing your podcast. No matter the software choice you decide on, most of them will work across this technique as they all have the same kind of features for the most part.
If you follow this set of editing rules, you can edit with any software, hoping that it will come out fine.
The first step for this is to import the audio file into the editing software. In most DAWs, the audio clips will automatically move into individual tracks once you import.
However, if this doesn’t happen, you will have to create a fresh track for each audio clip and add each from the DAW audio bin. The track-based workflow helps you have independent control of each audio clip.
Once you arrange each track and rename it as you wish, you will have created a good layout that you can always use in subsequent episodes.
While editing, you should consider having a punch list. It is a document prepared while editing or near the end of the editing process listing things you want to say or something you didn't say in the podcast before the final editing.
It’s like a checklist to make sure you have everything you need...
After successfully importing the audio files, you should start editing. If you used the annotated transcript method, you could immediately begin to run down the punch list.
However, if you are yet to create a punch list, you can do that by - either listening to the raw recording and editing as you go or listen to the recording and prepare an edited punch list.
In most DAWs, you will find a similar set of tools, including trim, grab, cut/split, and fade. Let’s take a look at the functions of these tools.
Select – it is used to select one clip or multiple clips
Trim – you use this to shorten the audio clip as you drag it from the edge. You can also use it to show previously trimmed audio.
Grab – you use this to grab a whole clip and move it to the front and back in time. You can also drag it to a different track.
Cut/split – this helps you separate the clips at any point you choose to do. It creates a sub-clip of the source file.
Fade – you can either fade in, fade out, or cross-fade.
Suppose you don’t want to go through the stress of editing your podcast by yourself. You can always hire a producer to help with that. There are several platforms that you can get podcast editors at a reasonable rate. It would help if you listened to a sample of their past jobs before hiring.
Once you know these editing tools and you follow the rules. You can now start editing your podcast. Remember to trim and join the clips properly, cut out unneeded audio, and join the audio files to close the resulting gaps. Don’t forget to eliminate the background by using de-noising tools within your editing software.
Having good judgment when editing your podcast audio is essential. You have to know what to allow and what to eliminate from the audio. There are different ways of achieving this, and it doesn’t have a precise result.
There are several factors you need to consider when editing your podcast audio. These factors must put the listeners into consideration, and you must consider the story flow and audio quality.
After you complete the editing process, you need to rest and take time away from the finished product before returning and giving it another listen. This time, listen as a subscriber and try to judge as if it is not your production.
Address any next issue and use this template for subsequent episodes.
And there we have it…
The guide to editing a podcast even if you have zero editing experience!