Why audio editing is a no brainer for your podcast
Audio editing is a real pain.
I know – I edit up to 25 episodes per week. No, I’m not an obsessive-compulsive podcaster (though I am a podcaster). I’m a podcast producer.
I help podcasters get back the time it used to take them to professionally edit their podcast audio by doing it for them. The only reason I tell you that is because I come at this issue from a very unique place.
I’m a podcaster – so I know the time-hassle editing can be. I’m a producer – so I know the importance of good editing.
If you’ll stick with me for about a minute (maybe two), I’m going to tell you why I think editing your audio is a must, especially as the podcast space gets more and more crowded.
REASON #1 TO DO AUDIO EDITING – It sounds better.
It really is that simple.
Most podcasters today are including a variety of things in their shows. Interviews, Q&A, music, professional voice-overs, sound effects, etc. All of those things are recorded at differing levels (volume & loudness). I guarantee it.
Professional editing takes all those imbalanced elements and balances them. Why is that important? You know why… cause you’ve had to do what I’m about to describe.
You turn on a new podcast episode and get the volume set. Then a message from a sponsor comes on and it’s kind of soft, so you turn up the volume. Then the host comes back on and he’s louder, so you turn it back down. Then he switches to a recorded question from a listener that is so loud you rip your headphones off. What’s the problem?
The levels are not balanced. Good editing takes care of that problem once and for all. It’s better for the podcaster and it’s better for the listeners.
REASON #2 TO DO AUDIO EDITING – You can sound more professional, more like an authority if you have a good audio editor working on your recordings.
Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not advocating that your show should sound absolutely perfect. That’s not natural. It comes across as fake and doesn’t create a feeling of trust.
The kind of audio editing I’m talking about takes out just enough of the “ummm” and “uhhh” filler words and awkward gaps to weave the conversation together in a more seamless way. It gives your show a “top shelf” dimension that you just can’t get when you leave the filler words and silences in there.
And a good editor has a feel for the way language and conversations work, so he won’t take out too much and leave it feeling wooden or stilted. Audio editing like that is nothing but good.
REASON #3 TO DO AUDIO EDITING – The listener experience of your show is more enjoyable.
My philosophy on editing is this: Do what will help the listener understand and benefit more. That’s because professional editing always thinks of the listener’s needs and experience first. Here’s one example:
Are there sections where the host or guest started to speak, then stopped and restarted their sentence using different words? Remember, the listener doesn’t have the benefit of seeing the moving lips of the person speaking. There’s no way to pick up a misunderstood sentence short of rewinding the audio. If I can do some editing that will take out the misspoken portion and begin with the corrected version, I think that’s better for the listener.
REASON #4 TO DO AUDIO EDITING – Your podcast needs to stand out from the numerous podcasts available.
As of July of last year (2013), iTunes reported that there was over 250,000 podcasts in the iTunes directory, with perhaps hundreds being added every day. That’s a lot of podcasts that are competing for the ears of the listeners you’re trying to reach.
You get a little help standing out by niching-down: taking aim at a very specific target market that you are especially equipped to address and help. But even then, most niches have so many choices it’s still hard to stand out.
One of the ways you can make sure to stand out is by providing superior audio quality. You might think I’m an audio-snob for saying this, but if a podcast has terrible sound, I turn it off, unsubscribe, and will be very hesitant to give the show a second try. And I know I’m not the only one who feels that way.
There’s a very practical reason for this: Bad audio can actually be painful. Harsh “S” sounds and popping “P” sounds can do serious damage to the ears, especially when ear buds or headphones are being used (which is 90% of the time). Professional audio is one way you can keep the listeners you reach.
How to get good audio editing.
There are really only two ways you can get professional quality audio editing.
1) Do it yourself. You’ll need to invest the time needed to learn your software and become proficient with it, but you can do it. Many people already have.
2) Outsource to somebody who specializes in producing top-quality audio. Yes, it’s an expense you might not have counted on, but it’s well worth it, especially as your show grows and gains a greater following. You might even find a domino effect happening. You have great audio. Your audience grows. Sponsors want to advertise on your show. You’re making money.
Does it get any better than that?
Carey Green is owner of www.PodcastFastTrack.com, a podcaster, blogger, and all around peachy guy.
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- Why Audio Editing Is A No-Brainer For Your Podcast - November 19, 2014