10 tips for editing your podcast
In this blog I’ll quickly go over some basic and some slightly more advanced eding tips for getting the best out of your recordings whether you’re a journalist or a podcaster. I’ll be talking about some of my most commonly used features which will quickly and easily improve the quality of your recordings and fix common problems.
1) Save the original and keep a record of your edits
Before you start editing (and I cannot stress this enough) duplicate the file and keep an unedited original version! This way if you mess it up you can start it over; it can also help to prove you have rights to the audio if someone illegally uses your material. Keeping a record of the edits you do make will not only improve your confidence and editing ability, but also improve consistency and speed when editing future episodes. This can sometimes help you track down problems and prove your editing ability if looking for work in the future.
2) Always crossfade
Leaving atleast several seconds of silence before and after recording will make any changes or edits we make sound smoother and less noticeable. Suddenly jumping from one part of a conversation or one location to another can be disorientating and jarring to listen too. To do this, find the boxes at the start (fade in) and end (fade out) of your audio and drag one of these up or down to alter the rate and strength of fade being applied.
3) Noise reduction
This is why we record thirty seconds of silence either before our recording or on a separate recording, in side of Audition we can capture a ‘noise print’ this thirty seconds of silence/background acoustic of the room we recorded in. It’s important when doing this there is not coughing or humans speaking as this will alter the pitch of speech during the rest of the audio. Simply highlight a section of the background noise (the longer the better) go to ‘effects’, ‘Noise reduction/restoration’ and click ‘capture noise print’. Then highlight the whole track and go to ‘effects’, ‘Noise Reduction Process’. If you feel confident you can also adjust the strength of the reduction.
4) Vocal enhancements
This is a very quick and easy way of making your voice sound more slick by removing blemishes and other nasties. Go to ‘effects’, ‘special’, ‘Vocal Enhancer’, there you can toggle through pre-sets of default, male, female and music. Not much to say on this one.
5) No unnecessary effects
Whilst using effects can be good, they aren’t always required and too many effects can ruin your content. If you are recording in a café and have some nice ambience, is anything gained by trying to remove that through noise cancellation? Or do the acoustics add to the warmth of the scene? Sometimes less is more and not everything has to sound like you are trying (and in some instances failing) to replicate a recording studio.
6) Dynamics Processing
The Dynamics processing tool allows us to create a more consistent level between the loudest and quietest points of our audio. In the simplest form it allows us to use a pre-set to limit the volume increase above a certain threshold, but, this can also be used to boost volume to areas at a lower threshold. This makes the loudest parts quieter and the quitter parts louder decreasing the audible range between the loudest and quitest parts and creating a more consistent volume level. We can also use it to create a minimum amplitude for problematic frequencies to reach before they are heard (known as a noise gate).
7) DeEsser, Declicker, Declipper
When recording some syllables “s", "z", "ch", "j" and "sh", can be overly prominent so the DeEsser tool works to reduce and eliminate the prominence of these syllables. Along the same lines the Declicker tool helps to ‘repair’ audio by removing crackling and popping. Declipper (similar sounding but crucially different) helps to repair audio that has peaked or been degraded in quality as a result of the recording process. For all of these tools go to the relevant effect option then go to the diagnostics box in the bottom left corner. Hit ‘scan’ then when the results have returned hit ‘repair all’. Remember you might need to change between light and heavy reduction dependent on the situation.
8) Graphic Ezualizer and Multiband Compressor
The Graphic equalizer and Multiband compressor tools are often used interchangeably as they do similar jobs. Basically they help you to tackle problematic frequencies found in the original recording by increasing or decreasing their volume. Although, it is really only needed if you can't remove the problem elsewhere like when originally recording or through noice cancellation etc.. When not used carefully multiband compressors can cause a noticeable lack of quality and will make speech sound unnatural and robotic or digitised. Lower frequencies are more deep and higher frequencies are more soft
Mastering gives you access to a bunch of tools that quickly allow you to improve the sound of your audio. Reverb (adds or reduces echo), exciter (adds overtones creating a richer sound) and widener (artificially attempts to change the acoustics of the room in which you recorded). The mastering panel also gives you access to a simplified equalizer, a loudness maximizer and a control for decreasing or increasing output gain
10) TAKE A BREAK
Your ears get tired and the longer you work the less focused and attentive to small details you’ll be. Taking a break every couple of hours will help to keep you at your best. Don’t forget to listen back all the way through another day, you won’t be at your best if you’ve attempted to record, edit and upload all in one day. P.S. yes, we’ve all been there but we don’t want to make a habit out of it and want to be putting out the best work we can.
Hope this helped you out, if this sounds like a bunch of effort you can hire me to do your editing here or just drop me a message. If you have any ideas what you’d like to see in my next blog or If there are any tips you feel I missed please drop them in the comments below and kindly follow me on Instagram/Twitter @daynesaudio