Fourth in a series
For an explanation of the series, please read this post.


Questions from Olivia D’Orazio: Do you edit your own podcasts? What software do you use? How long does it usually take?

The first question is easy to answer: I edit most of my own podcasts. When I’m very busy, or when I’m podcasting a conference – which might include dozens of podcasts a day – I rely on wonderful freelance audio editors. It would be impossible for me to conduct interviews on the conference floor all day, then edit all night. I like to eat and sleep too.

When I started podcasting, like many people, I used Audacity, which is a free program. It works pretty well. I found, however, that Amadeus Pro is much more stable on my Mac, and offers all the features I need. That being said, I usually do the final assembly of my files in Garage Band. And I use ID3 Editor to generate my ID3 tags. So the workflow looks something like this:

  1. Edit the (uncompressed) WAV files in Amadeus Pro.
  2. Use the Levelator if necessary to even out the volume.
  3. Bring the files into Garage Band where I can add the intro and outro music, stingers, etc.
  4. Save the file as an MP3 in Garage Band.

(If the sound file isn’t clean, I might also use Sound Soap, which can get rid of some of the background noise. I want to emphasize, however, that you’re much better off starting with a clean recording. Don’t rely on post-production to mask your mistakes.)

The last question is the hardest to answer. My general guideline is to allow one hour of editing for every 15 minutes of recording time. Sometimes when I’m doing my own Trafcom News Podcast, the editing goes pretty quickly. When I’m editing an interview with lots of gaps, ums and ahs, and so on, it takes longer. The most time-consuming edits involve content that must be re-ordered. Fortunately, Amadeus Pro allows you to drop markers, so you can “see” what you’re doing, not just hear it.

This editing time does not include the production of show notes. We’ll cover that in another Q&A.

Related post: The Podcasters’ Checklist

Related post: Why does my audio sound so bad?


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