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Training Podcasts Series 1 – Episode 3 – Editing and Producing Your Podcast

Description

Series 1: The Technical Side

Episode 3: Editing and Producing Your Podcast

[Intro Music]

Welcome back to EcoPodcasts! I’m Giota, and you are tuning into the third episode of our series “The Technical Side”. In our last episode, we covered how to set up your recording space and record your first podcast. Now, we are going to take your raw recording and turn it into a polished final product. We will dive into the world of editing and producing your podcast, covering basic editing techniques, adding music and sound effects, and exporting and publishing your podcast. So, let’s get started!

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In this episode, we will explore three key areas: basic editing techniques, enhancing your podcast with music and sound effects, and finally, exporting and publishing your podcast. By the end of this episode, you will have all the tools you need to produce a professional-quality podcast.

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Segment 1: Basic Editing Techniques

Let’s start with the basics of editing. Editing is where you will clean up your recording, remove any mistakes, and enhance the overall sound quality. Here’s how to get started:

First, you need to import your audio into your editing software. Whether you are using Audacity, GarageBand, or Adobe Audition, the process is similar. Open your software, create a new project, and import your raw audio file. For example, in Audacity, you can do this by going to File > Import > Audio, and selecting your recording. This will create a new track with your audio.

Next, let’s talk about cutting and trimming. Listen to your entire recording and identify any mistakes or sections you want to remove. Use the cut or trim tool to delete these parts. This is also a good time to remove long pauses or filler words like “um” and “uh”. To make precise cuts, zoom in on the waveform. This helps you avoid cutting off the beginning or end of words.

Moving on to noise reduction. Background noise can be distracting for your listeners. Most editing software has a noise reduction feature. Select a portion of your recording with only background noise (no speaking), and use this as a sample to reduce noise throughout your recording. For instance, in Audacity, highlight a section with just background noise, go to Effect > Noise Reduction, click “Get Noise Profile”, then select your entire track and apply the noise reduction effect.

Now, let’s adjust the equalization. Equalization allows you to adjust the balance of frequencies in your audio. Boosting lower frequencies can add warmth to your voice, while reducing higher frequencies can eliminate harshness. If you are unsure where to start, use a preset equalization setting for vocals. Most software offers presets like “Vocal Boost” or “Podcast Voice” to enhance your audio.

After equalization, apply compression to even out the volume levels in your recording. This makes quiet parts louder and loud parts quieter, creating a more consistent listening experience. As a starting point, apply a compressor effect with a 3:1 ratio and a threshold of -20dB. Adjust the settings until you achieve a balanced sound.

Finally, normalize your audio to adjust the overall volume to a standard level. This ensures your podcast isn’t too quiet or too loud compared to other audio content. Normalize your audio to -3dB to leave some headroom for any final adjustments.

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Segment 2: Adding Music and Sound Effects

Now that your audio is clean and polished, it’s time to add some music and sound effects to enhance your podcast. Here’s how to do it:

First, choose music that fits the tone of your podcast. You can find royalty-free music on websites like Incompetech, Free Music Archive, or YouTube’s audio library. Make sure the music you choose isn’t too loud or distracting. It should complement your voice, not overpower it.

Once you have chosen your music, import it into your editing software and add it to a new track. Place the music at the beginning of your podcast to create an intro. In Audacity, go to File > Import > Audio, select your music file, and it will appear as a new track. Align the music track with the start of your podcast.

To create a smooth transition, use the fade-in and fade-out effects. Apply a fade-in effect at the beginning of your music and a fade-out effect at the end of your podcast. A 5-second fade-in and fade-out usually works well, but you can adjust the duration based on the length of your podcast.

Next, consider adding sound effects to make your podcast more engaging. For example, you can use a “ding” sound to indicate a new segment or a “whoosh” sound for transitions. Download free sound effects from websites like Freesound.org, import them into your project, and place them where needed. Adjust the volume to ensure they blend well with your main audio.

Finally, balance the levels of your music and sound effects with your voice. The background music should be lower in volume than your speaking parts, and sound effects should be audible but not overpowering. Use the volume automation tool to adjust levels throughout your podcast. This allows you to lower the music volume when you are speaking and raise it during transitions.

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Segment 3: Exporting and Publishing Your Podcast

With your podcast edited and enhanced, it’s time to export and publish it. Here’s how to get your podcast ready for your audience:

First, export your podcast as an MP3 file. MP3 is the most common format for podcasts due to its balance of quality and file size. In Audacity, go to File > Export > Export as MP3. Choose a file name and location, and set the quality to 128 kbps for a good balance of sound quality and file size.

Next, add metadata to your file. Metadata includes information like the title, artist, and album name. This information is displayed on podcast players and helps listeners find your episodes. Fill in the metadata fields with relevant information, including the episode number, title, your name as the artist, and a brief description of the episode.

Create episode artwork to make your podcast visually appealing. Design a 1400×1400 pixel image that includes your podcast logo, episode number, and title. Tools like Canva or Adobe Spark offer templates specifically for podcast artwork. Save the image as a JPEG or PNG file.

Now, choose a podcast hosting platform to publish your episodes. Popular options include Anchor, Libsyn, Podbean, and Buzzsprout. These platforms will distribute your podcast to major directories like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. Research the features and pricing of different hosting platforms to find the best fit for your needs. Many platforms offer free plans with basic features, making it easy to get started.

After selecting a platform, upload your episode. Log in to your chosen hosting platform and upload your MP3 file. Fill in the episode details, including the title, description, and artwork. Schedule the release date and time if needed. For example, on Anchor, go to “New Episode,” click “Upload”, and select your MP3 file. Add the episode title, description, and artwork, then click “Publish” or schedule for a later date.

Finally, promote your podcast. Once your episode is live, share it on social media, your website, and through email newsletters. Engage with your audience by asking for feedback and encouraging them to share your podcast with others. Create engaging posts with highlights or quotes from your episode. Use hashtags and tags to reach a broader audience.

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Conclusion

Congratulations! You have learned how to edit and produce your podcast. In this episode, we covered basic editing techniques, enhancing your podcast with music and sound effects, and exporting and publishing your podcast. Remember, practice makes perfect. The more you edit and produce, the more skilled you will become. In our next episode, we will dive into advanced tips and troubleshooting common issues to help you refine your podcast even further. Thanks for tuning in to EcoPodcasts. Until next time, happy podcasting!

[Outro Music]

Credits

University of Macedonia

Giota Digkoglou

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