How to Edit a Podcast: A 4-Step Take for Beginner’s Edition

lydiasam - Content writing InternSeptember 13, 2023
Updated 2023/09/16 at 12:16 AM
how to edit podcasts
Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

Podcasts have shown an astronomical rise in recent times. However, this growth was not served on a silver platter. On the contrary, podcasts need dedicated time, effort, and engaging content. Despite on-demand everything and busier times, podcasts have gratified both creators and listeners.  But what if you want to edit one after a podcast session?

1. How to Edit a Podcast: Beginner’s Edition

At its core, a podcast is a series of compelling audio episodes based on relevant and trendy topics. Podcasters bring out their personalities for their fans and create a bond with them. Moreover, listeners can engage with their favourite content at any place or time. It can be during a workout, a commute, or while doing household chores.

How to edit a podcast
By : Jonathan Velasquez / Unsplash/ Copyright: 2016

Podcasts are companions in solitude. In an instant, one becomes a part of unfiltered conversations between real people. People use this medium to share stories and ideas to inspire and motivate.

Behind every podcast episode, podcast editors face many challenges, such as time constraints, technical hiccups, and recording problems. Being too perfect or not editing during this time is not the right decision.

Learning basic podcast editing is important. It helps you manipulate sounds for better podcasts. How well you edit depends on the content, the audience, and the budget.  Besides, it also depends on the approaches taken, podcast type, and episode frequency.

2. Basics of Editing

Editing a podcast improves audio quality. But the real question is: how would you change your content from average to extraordinary? Here’s where you should know that editing is not just about fixing flaws and cracks. It’s about using the power of the audio elements at your fingertips to grab attention. Indeed, with good editing and relatable content, the audience is bound to return with every episode.

A man editing on computers in a dark room.
By: Techivation / Unsplash/ Copyright:2021

  •  Import AudioDo the audio clips on your computer resemble your messy thoughts about how to start the editing? Fret not. To start, gather all the audio clips together in your chosen editing software. Additionally, organize and label them with episode numbers and names. It makes it easier to track them and know what’s what.
  •  Arrange the Audio Files- Suppose you have a bunch of audio tracks like the guests, hosts, and dramatic sound effects. Always put the audio track of the podcast host in the first place. Afterward, replay and listen to the audio clip again. Take out unexpected noises using podcast editing software throughout the entire podcast episode.  Aim for the amplitude of -2db to balance all the sounds.
  •  Cut out verbal fillers and pauses- As you host a panel discussion with experts, your goal is confidence and a natural flow. But sometimes, in unintentional nervousness, you use words like “you know” and ” like” to edit out these fillers while maintaining the organic back-and-forth.
  • Cut the extra content- Personal anecdotes and inspiring stories can be a highlight of your podcast. However, sometimes, it can go off-topic or circle back to already discussed points. Also, remove the intros and ends that stretch your podcast episode. By editing out the extra, you will get compact and smooth-paced content from start to finish.

2.1.  Engaging Content

To begin with, keep your listeners hooked from start to end. Create your powerful brand identity by including the show’s theme song, music, and jingles.

2.1.1. Intros and Endings

For instance, if you want an intriguing podcast, you can include fun banter or chilling life stories between you and your podcast partner. Their plot will unfold when people listen further to the podcast. Similarly, you can wrap your podcast with thought-provoking questions to increase the listener’s interest in the next episode.

2.1.2. Transitions

 Smartly incorporate crossfading, fade-in, or fade-out effects during a change of topic. Try not to startle the audience with sudden abruptness. Your goal should be to make the conversations appear natural and not jarring.

2.1.3. Music and Sound Effects

Furthermore, use sound effects and background music relevant to your show’s message appropriately. These elements act as emotional markers, letting the listener feel the story’s emotions. They also pass on their message, while transporting the listener to an imaginary world.

2.2.  Sound Designing and Mixing

A woman working on the process of Sound mixing and designing
By: Kelly Sikkema / Unsplash/ Copyright:2021

Remember that it needs practice to manage consistent sound levels according to the listener’s demands. The tools that are important to make your audio pleasant are:

2.2.1. Equalization (EQ) 

Adjusts the frequencies to accentuate the speaker’s voice and to reduce the loud, overpowering, and unwanted noises.

2.2.2. Compressor 

This helps reduce the unruly dynamic range and volume spikes in your recording. No listener would want to adjust their volume levels at all times to hear comfortably. Nor would they want loud sound effects between a calming podcast that yanks them out of their seat. It fixes fluctuating sounds like loud laughs and quietness within a specific range and makes the volume consistent.

2.2.3. Noise Reduction

Suppose you recorded a podcast from home, but you notice unwanted door slams or joyful shrieks from downstairs. These tools will help to keep a natural tone as if you are in an acoustic room and gently remove all other distractive background noises.

2.2.4. Correct Audio Equipment

Also, using the correct audio equipment is equally important for podcast sound design and mixing. For example, if you have a mic with a pop filter or windscreen, you can reduce ‘s’ and ‘t’ sounds or plosives. Mixing can help eliminate echoes caused by hard surfaces.

2.3. Preview and Post

Add metadata or additional podcast information to make the podcast apparent to others.  Save and export the audio file in mp3 format for the best quality. Before sharing, give it a final listen or share it with your close friends, family, or mentors. Their meaningful feedback would reflect the audience’s response.

Finally, your edited audio is ready to make its debut. 

3. Which Is the Best Podcast Software?

You recorded an episode, which is raw and unedited. Although every fibre of your being tempts you to publish it and share it with the world. And why not? It tests the limits of your creative imagination. But hold on a second before you proceed, your audio content needs a makeover, and this is where podcast editing tools come into play. indeed, podcast audio editing refines the sound quality of your podcast.

A Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) is at the very core of this process. Basically, a DAW is an all-in-one studio that lets you record on the computer, edit audio, add music and sound effects, and craft your content into a podcast episode.

It also tidies up your audio track through a simple drag-and-drop technique. You can also get rid of random tangents. It can clean up the background hiss of a running fan, AC, and so on without hampering your recording.

Fortunately, one doesn’t need an audio engineering degree or a podcast editor. Now, to answer how to determine the best podcast editing software, pick one that fits your creative style and works in your operating system.

Furthermore, pick one that fits your budget, your preferred genre, and recording equipment. Don’t hesitate to make use of the endless possibilities of a DAW. Even without being an audio expert, you can definitely try podcasting.

Here are some of the best podcast editing software for both macOS and Windows:

3.1. Audacity

Imagine a free software that still holds supremacy despite being from the 2000s. It is a go-to choice for podcasters seeking simple and uncomplicated editing solutions. With the aid of this podcast editing program, beginners can edit and combine audio files without overloading their brains with information and understand and learn the basics of editing.

The versatile podcast editing software offers various file formats, plugins, and sound designs. It can record your audio file in 16 bits, 24 bits, or 32 bits. It’s your call. Expect a crash or technical hiccup here and there. One of the main drawbacks of this program is its limited advanced features.

3.2. Adobe Audition

A podcast editing software that is worthy of spending 20.99 dollars a month. Favourite among podcasting experts, it boasts full automation and has a custom template feature.

Adobe Audition ensures that every podcast recording suits your audio needs. For some people, individually taking time and effort to adjust all the compression and EQ levels of each audio track can be really tiring. Thus, this clever software comes to your rescue and simplifies tasks by applying the same edits to multiple tracks. It also has a lot of audio-enhancing effects and user-friendly presets. However, it may appear too complex for a rookie and complicates the basic editing. 

3.3. Alitu

Alitu is a saviour for all busybodies who want to save time from audio editing. This remarkable tool can effortlessly fuse multiple audio tracks. The playback speed feature cuts the audio editing time to half while maintaining quality and can quickly remove background noise.

It also helps you to craft new podcast episodes.  You can have an audio podcast with sound clarity with AI-assisted cleanup. It has an inbuilt transcript generator and can integrate with podcasting platforms like Buzz Sprout, etc. 

However, you should analyze if it is worth spending 38 euros a month on this podcast editing software. Moreover, its heavy internet reliance poses challenges despite being convenient. Additionally, it only supports mp3 format, thus limiting your control over audio editing.

3.4. Pod Castle AI

Use the power of AI to enhance your audio to the full. With the best UI interface, anyone can use it easily and craft, record, and edit audio with the help of an AI assistant.

How about creating a digital copy of your voice? Automatic transcription, speed adjustments, and fade-in and fade-out effects. It has everything in it! Explore multi-media creativity, as it also does video recording and video editing. But unfortunately, it needs the internet to work best.

3.5. Filmora Wondershare

Are you ready to take a daring step that sets you apart? Why not try video podcasts? Many listeners crave unfiltered chats between real people. What better way to grasp emotions, faces, and genuine reactions than video podcasts?

A view of Video recording for video podcasting
By: Sam McGhee/ Unsplash/Copyright:2017

All the unwanted noises and awkward pauses can be removed by the audio ducking feature. Create stunning videos that rival your fellow competitors. It boasts over 200 presets, and plugins, to adjust the colour tones of your videos. Above all, the app’s “shortcut commands” feature helps in quick video editing.

4. Future Editing Tips

Here are some tips to look out for in future:

1.  Find yourself, in a quiet and cozy corner. Spare yourself and your listener from the audio content, free from distractions. Above all, it should be you, your mic, and your killer content.

man in the room editing
By: ConvertKit / Unsplash/Copyright:2020

2. Remember, the more you talk, the longer you’ll edit. Choose a reasonable 45-minute episode and spare yourself from the editing grind.

3. Before diving into the topic, pause and calm your nerves. Take a deep breath and imagine the spotlight is on you. The result would be a cleaner intro and concluding parts.

4. Edit out those breathing sounds that make you sound more like a villain than a podcast pro.

5. Always choose quality over chaos. Record each individual separately to avoid cross-talk and tangoed voices.

6. Channelize your best presentation skills. Prepare your key questions and epic wrap-up. Take notes or bullet points, which will be handy during the podcast.

7. Mid podcast, and your phone’s ringing? Silence your phone to avoid interrupting the smooth-flowing and fun talk.

8. Don’t listen to a 1-hour audio clip when you can triple-tap on the mike, taking some of the stress out of the editing process.

9. Don’t get overboard with your editing. Focus on fewer “Umms and Ahhs,” quirky mishaps actually add character to your podcast. Note the blunders, correct them, and move on. Let it not be a crutch but something that showcases the original, authentic, and fabulous you.

5. Conclusion

What makes the audience glued to their seats is not just your voice. Though your content, storytelling style, or identity matters, and so does podcast editing. It changes the overall quality and turns average audio recordings into the best audio masterpieces.

In Podcasting, editing is always the most challenging part. Technical problems, lack of technical know-how, and time constraints can add to the challenges of Podcasting. But, at the same time, it also brings you closer to the scaling peaks of satisfaction, as the result is often rewarding. Frankly, the hours spent to perfect your own podcast are a good investment. In this Blog, the process of How to Edit a Podcast is explained to clear all your doubts.

With valuable content, the listener returns for more of these audio treats. Nevertheless, the eager listener waits for your interesting podcast that adds entertainment, inspiration, and motivation to their lives. 

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