In this lesson you’re going to learn how to edit your podcast quickly and easily so it doesn’t take you a lot of time and so it sounds absolutely awesome.
99% of the time once your podcast episode is recorded you will need to do some editing before you are ready to publish your podcast and share it with the world.
So you will want to know:
– How to edit your podcast quickly and easily
– How to add music or voiceover tracks
– How to make your audio crisp, clear and professional.
Editing your podcast doesn’t have to be hard and it won’t be after you learn these tips.
I will be sharing a lot of screenshots to explain how to perform these steps however I do believe it is easier to learn this process via video. I suggest watching the video at the top of this post.
The Software We Will Be Using
Just so you know the software I’ll be using in this lesson is called Screenflow and it’s for the Mac computer.
It is $99 as a paid product however there is a free trial available which is a fully functioning product but just watermarks any video you create. So if you’re just podcasting then this will be absolutely free.
To get your free copy of Screenflow download the software through my affiliate link.
I will also be using the free program Audacity which is for Mac and PC to to edit my sound and make it clear, crisp and professional. You can download this for free using the link below.
Tip #1: Have a Template
If you want to edit your podcast quickly and easily one of the best time saving tips is to have a template for your podcast. For every podcast I have a preset template associated with that podcast.
A template generally contains:
– Your intro and outro music
– Any voiceover tracks required
– Any built in advertising segments
What a template allows you to do is pull in your podcast audio file into the editing area and immediately begin syncing it up with your intro/outro music and voiceovers without having to find and import those files. It saves a lot of time and makes editing much easier.
If you are looking for intro/outro music for your podcast then it is important you use royalty free music so you don’t break any copyright laws. You can get royalty free music for free or you can pay for it.
If you want to learn how to get royalty free music that you can use in your podcast without consequences or you want to get voice overs that you can use for cheap then click here to get free access to those tutorials.
Tip #2: The Best Way To Save Time Editing Is To Not HAVE To Edit
The best way to save time editing is to not have to edit or to not have to edit much.
What I mean by that is it’s so much easier to do your podcast in one take and then just edit the start and end of the podcast to make sure there is no dead space than it is to actually go through and edit everything in your podcast.
This means recording your podcast in one go even if it means it won’t be absolutely perfect. One of the great things about the podcasting format is people don’t expect things to be perfect and often they prefer some errors as it allows your personality to shine through.
Take a 1 hour podcast for example. If you have to make edits throughout the podcast this could take anywhere from 1-5 hours to complete. However, if all you have to do is quickly edit the start and the end the entire editing process can take as little as 5-10 minutes.
That’s a big difference!
Tip #3: Leave Sound Gaps Between Mistakes So You Can Find Them Easily
If you do have to edit and you can’t get it all in one go then try to leave sound gaps between your mistakes.
This means pausing and staying silent for a few seconds (around 10 seconds works well). This silence will show up in your sound file as a flat line making it easy to spot and edit out.
These breaks allows you to easily see in your file where the mistakes are and quickly fix them without having to listen to the entire track all the way through to find the mistake.
Here is a track that I’m editing and you can see that I’ve made 2 mistakes in this episode. The mistakes are identified as flat lines (or near flat lines) in the sound file.
You can see the sound wave has gone dead at the start and towards the end. I now know that there are only 2 errors in the file that I need to fix. I don’t need to listen to the entire podcast episode.
To edit your podcast find the spot where the silence ends and hit the ‘T’ button. This will cut the track at that point.
For the first error I actually fudged the starting and so after the silence I started the podcast episode again. This means I can delete the starting part of the track as I don’t need it.
I will now click and drag the remaining audio file to the beginning of the track editor so there is no gap at the start.
NOTE: Always click play to double check your track once you have completed a fix before moving on.
For other errors the process is much the same with a slight adjustment.
Find the beginning of the error and press the ‘T’ button to cut the file at that point.
Highlight the section of the track that still contains the error by clicking on it. Hover your mouse over the start of this portion of track and shrink the cut sound file across to where the sound wave starts again (thus removing the error).
Then merge the two items by pulling the 2nd track towards the first one and closing the gap.
That is a quick way to create a pretty good edit.
How To Improve The Sound Quality Of Your Microphone
Now I’m going to show you how to improve the sound quality of your microphone and make it sound clear, crisp and professional.
Even if you have a high quality microphone (around the $100-$200 mark) you will likely still need to make some adjustments to get a professional sound.
This is not a neseccary step as it does take extra time, but if you are serious about having high quality sound then it is recommended.
Adjusting The Sound Within Screenflow
In Screenflow, highlight your episode and go to the sound options. This is located in the top right hand editing area and is indicated by a speaker icon.
You can increase or decrease the volume as much as you want. The goal is to get the sound clearer and at the right level (not too loud but not too quiet).
There is also the option to remove background noise as well.
If you are recording on a low-end device (mobile phone etc) then this remove background noise will likely work well for you.
If you are a using a more expensive device like a USB microphone then this option tends to distort your sound slightly. Thus I usually recommend you use Audacity to remove background noise.
Please note: To ensure you have the best sounding podcast using a high quality pair of headphones when editing sound is a must. Any of the options in my list of the top 10 best headphones for podcasting should do the trick.
I will now show you how to remove background noise will less distortion using Audacity.
Adjusting The Sound In Audacity.
Audacity is really good at making your voice sound absolutely awesome and it has some really good features.
Before you can edit your podcast track in Audacity you need to export it from Screenflow.
First make sure you have a little bit of dead space right at the end of your podcast episode. This is important if you want to remove background noise.
Then click File > Export
NOTE: It’s important not to have any music overlays when doing this edit. You want to extract the voice audio only. To do this simply highlight any music you have in the track and delete it. Then after you export click COMMAND + Z to undo your deletion and restore the music.
As we don’t need any video for this track (only sound) go ahead and click the ‘Customize’ button.
Then untick the Video option. For me this says “H.264 Video”.
Choose where you want the file to save to and click the ‘Export’ button.
This will now export and save your track as a .mp4 file.
REMEMBER: If you removed intro/outro music before this export go back into Screenflow and hit COMMAND + Z now to restore your music files.
Editing The Sound File In Audacity
You are now going to open Audacity, import the file and edit it within Audacity and then bring it back to Screen Flow.
NOTE: This is an extra step and it does take a little bit of time and isn’t required for amateurs.
In Audacity go to File > Import > Audio. Then choose to correct audio file to import.
Step #1: Remove Background Noise
To remove the background noise find the end of the track where we left the dead space. You can zoom in using the zoom tool to make life easier.
Then highlight a portion of the dead space that you have left at the end of the track.
Then go to Effect > Noise Removal
Then click ‘Get Noise Profile’
It doesn’t look like anything has happened and that’s because all that has happened is the computer has now understood what your background noise sounds like.
Now click on the left hand side to highlight the full track.
Then go back to Effect > Noise Removal and you can then adjust your noise removal settings.
Noise removal is broken down into 4 different options
– Noise Reduction – How much you want to remove the noise.
– Sensitivity – How sensitive the program is to noise.
– Frequency Smoothing – How many frequencies of background noise it will cancel out. If you have a varying noise in the background then you will want to increase it to more frequencies but if it’s just one particular frequency (like a computer fan that is making the same exact noise or some high pitched whirring in the background) you can lower that frequency.
– Attack/Decay Time – The attack decay time is how long it takes after detecting the noise before it actually removes it.
My default settings are 26, 0, 150 and 0.15.
You can then preview the result if you want and make sure there is no distortion in the sound of your voice.
Then click ‘OK’ and it will go through and it will remove the background noise from your track.
Step #2: Adjust Base and Treble
The next thing you want to do is go into Effect > Base And Treble.
This setting with give you a much more professional sound, making you sound more like a radio station recording.
In most cases you will be adding base and removing treble to smooth out the track and make it more pleasing to the ears.
For me my default is adding 6 to the base and putting -10 on the treble. It also works very well if you leave the treble at 0.
You will need to alter these settings depending on your voice. My voice tends to be deep so I don’t add a whole lot of base, some of you may need to add more or less depending on your voice.
Have a play with these settings to come up with default settings of your own.
Click ‘OK’ to process the file and adjust the base and treble.
You can see that my sound waves look different to before.
After this you need to export your file and bring it back into Screenflow.
To export go to File > Export Audio
Then click the ‘Save’ button.
On the next screen click ‘OK’ (don’t worry about the settings).
Now the sound file will export and will save the track as a .wav file.
Now that the sound file is saved you need to bring that new sound file back into ScreenFlow.
Find the .wav file and drag it into Screenflow.
Then move the .wav sound file to the very start of the track.
Double check that the timing is correct and that the new sound file is correctly synced up with your old sound file.
Then highlight your old sound file.
Now go to the sound options and slide the volume for your old sound track down to zero.
NOTE: I don’t recommend removing your old sound track just in case you made an error and need to go back to edit the original sound file.
Lastly complete your final edits and you can then go ahead and export your file by hitting COMMAND + E.
If you want a more advanced tutorial where I show you more of the features of Screenflow and Audacity and how to use them then click here to get access to that advanced editing tutorial.
That ends this lesson How To Edit Your Podcast Quickly and Easily.
Hopefully you have walked away from this feeling like editing your podcast isn’t a massive undertaking and it is something that you can easily achieve yourself.
In the next lesson I’m going to show you how to get cheap album art for your podcast that looks great so you can stand out on the iTunes store, Stitcher Radio, SoundCloud or wherever people search for and listen to your podcast.