Audio Editing (Post-Production) | The Pod Paste Process Part 5

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Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

The audio sweetening phase is Step 5 of The Pod Paste Production Process. Please go back to Step 4 – content editing to familiarise yourself with the critical process that comes before this step. Or go back to the overview and start from the beginning.

Alternatively, you can dive right into this part and figure it out as you go. We don’t mind either way as long as you get something out of this!

Some people love having a clean house, and some people don’t. You can choose to live in filth, mess, and disorganisation. Alternatively, you can have things neat, tidy, and sanitary so that when you want to do something, you can clearly see the path ahead.

You can pay someone to do this, or you can do it yourself. Some people find this therapeutic while others look at it as a masochistic activity that they want to get over and done with and reap the rewards of the final product – a clean house.

Bonus points, if someone visits, they will feel more comfortable at your house as they hang out in your living room or use your bathroom.

The same could be said with editing audio. You can choose to do it or not. You may want to do it yourself or have someone else do it. And finally, you can choose to have your fans /customers suffer through a messy audio listening experience, or clean it up for them. This allows them to, metaphorically, sit comfortably in your living room (the podcast).

In this article, I’ll be touching broadly about the audio sweetening post-production process (or the editing process as some people say). We’ll cover points around what we at Pod Paste like to do, why we do them, and how they are applied.

This is where some or even all of the following technical services are used;

  • Audio waveform editing
  • Minimal removal of umms/ahhs/awkward silences/unwanted sounds 
  • Mixing & audio sweetening
A typical Pod Paste editing session

Audio Waveform Editing

This is where we… you guessed it, edit the audio waveforms in our program of choice Cockos Reaper.

This is not to be confused with copywrite editing or editorial, which are also essential but different things in the podcast world.

In the audio editing phase, we cut, slice, copy, paste, invert, and do everything in between to get the audio to sound and look great in our Digital Audio Workstation (DAW).

Light Removal of umms/ahhs/awkward silences/unwanted sounds 

This is a very subjective matter, and it comes down to personal taste. Some episodes need more of this, and some need less. Zooming in, some speakers and guest might need more of this than others. We’ve found that keeping the conversation as natural as possible is the best listening experience. 

Rule of thumb here at Pod Paste is if the flagrant sounds detract from the story or conversation, then we filter, edit, and cut those things out. The main objective is the content, always. Do this while also staying on the side of letting the podcast episode and its voices “breath” (pun intended). It’s a delicate balance.

Mixing, Audio Sweetening, and Mastering

Fun Fact: “Mixing” is actually when your session starts to sound good. This is more important than mastering, but general culture lumps the mixing, audio sweetening, and mastering process all under “Mastering”.

With semantics aside, mixing is one of the basic building blocks to get your podcast episode sounding crisp, bright, loud, and professional. This is where the below effects and tools are applied to get more clarity and preciseness in your episode. Software plugins and techniques that may be used but are not limited to are;

  • Equalisation (EQ)
  • Compression
  • Gate
  • Side Chain Compression (Music ducking behind Voices)
  • Sonic Limiter/Expander
  • Mastering Bus Plug-ins
  • Reverb
  • Delay
  • Chorus
  • Noise

Feel free to jump to part six of the Pod Paste Process – Publishing & Marketing here or go back to the overview and start from the beginning.

We can help you create, promote and grow your podcast in whatever way you need. Consistency in quality from the content, audio fidelity, and marketing assets are what we strive to assist people with.