(2023) No BS Tips On How To Edit a Podcast
Editing a podcast can be a difficult task, but it's important to present the show in the best possible light. At Cleanvoice, we are providing some tips on how to edit a podcast like a professional.
What Is Podcast Editing?
Podcast editing is the process of refining and enhancing the audio of a podcast to create a polished, professional final product.
The goals of podcast editing will depend on the podcast, but generally, it involves improving the sound quality, ensuring consistent levels between episodes, making sure that all the audio elements are in sync with each other and removing unwanted sounds.
Here are some of the main aspects of podcast editing:
- Removing Unwanted Noises:
One of the first steps in podcast editing is eliminating any background noise, like hums, hisses, clicks, or other audio imperfections.
This is often achieved through noise reduction tools and techniques.
- Trimming and Cutting:
Editing software is used to cut out parts of the recording that are unnecessary, like mistakes, pauses, or long silences. It helps streamline the content and keep it concise.
- Volume Leveling:
Adjusting the volume levels to ensure that all parts of the podcast are evenly balanced is essential.
This prevents the need for listeners to constantly adjust their device's volume.
Adding Music and Sound Effects: Podcast editors may incorporate music and sound effects to enhance the podcast's production value and create a more immersive listening experience.
EQ adjustments can be made to optimize the clarity of voices and ensure they sound natural. This includes adjusting bass, midrange, and treble frequencies.
Podcast editors often apply compression to even out the dynamic range of audio, making loud and soft parts more consistent. This can improve the overall audio quality.
- Transitions and Segues:
Smooth transitions between segments—like adding cross-fades or transitions—can create a more polished and cohesive podcast.
- Adding Intros and Outros:
Editors may insert introductory music and spoken intros and outros to brand the podcast and provide context for the episode.
- Removing Mistakes and Stumbles:
Any verbal mistakes or awkward moments during the recording can be edited out to maintain a professional and smooth flow.
- Exporting and Encoding:
Once all the edits are made, the podcast is exported in the desired audio format, like MP3, and encoded at an appropriate bitrate for optimal online streaming and downloading.
- Metadata and Tagging:
Editors may also add metadata, including episode titles, descriptions, and cover art, to the podcast file to make it more discoverable on podcast directories and platforms.
Podcast editing plays a crucial role in ensuring that a podcast sounds clear, engaging, and well-produced, which can significantly enhance the listening experience and attract a larger audience.
It's a skill that requires attention to detail and a good ear for audio quality.
Why Is Podcast Editing Important?
Podcast editing plays a major role in creating a successful podcast because it affects the sound quality and presentation of the show. A good editor can turn an amateur recording into a professional-sounding episode that's much more enjoyable to listen to.
The main benefits can be summarized as:
Improved Audio Quality: Editing helps remove background noise, correct audio imbalances, and enhance overall sound quality. This results in a more pleasant and professional listening experience for your audience.
Enhanced Clarity: Editing allows for the removal of verbal mistakes, stumbles, and long pauses, making the content more concise and easier to follow. Listeners can better understand and engage with the podcast.
Consistency: By adjusting volume levels, applying compression, and equalizing the audio, editors ensure a consistent sound throughout the podcast. This consistency prevents listeners from needing to constantly adjust their volume controls.
Professionalism: Well-edited podcasts sound more professional and credible, which can help build trust with your audience and attract new listeners.
9 Best Podcast Editing Tips
1) Get Familiar With Your Audio Editing Tools
Audio engineering is an incredibly deep skill set. You graduate with a 4-year production degree and still find yourself learning new editing tricks and techniques on a daily basis. Our point is simple—there's a ton to learn!
The best way to improve your audio editing ability is to choose a few core pieces of editing software and get down to the business of mastering them. This process won't be quick, but it's the most effective way of ensuring your podcast gives off the clean, professional vibe you're (probably) going for.
In addition to DAWs, there's another tool you should consider adding to your repertoire— AI podcast editing tools. These innovative, AI-powered tools can save you a significant amount of time and effort.
They automate tasks like noise reduction, transcription, and even suggest improvements to your audio quality without you needing to lift much more than a finger.
Our recommendation? Every time you edit an episode, pick one new skill to learn and implement, whether it's mastering traditional editing techniques within your chosen DAW or exploring the capabilities of an AI podcast editor.
One week it might be audio normalizing, the next week it might be sound design or AI podcast editing. Watch YouTube tutorials, read user handbooks, play around with the software—slowly, but surely, you'll build up a core set of skills that will be with you for life.
Having trouble choosing a digital audio workstation (DAW)? We have a guide for that!
2) Cut Out Filler Words And Mouth Sounds
Few things annoy listeners more than filler words and mouth sounds. In the best-case scenario, they break the flow of your podcast and detract from its authenticity. In the worst case, they piss people off!
Prior to editing your podcast, we recommend cleaning up your audio files with an AI podcast audio editor like Cleanvoice. Just upload them to the Cleanvoice web app, run the program, and go about your day—we'll let you know when your files are ready!
Cleanvoice has been trained to recognize and remove:
- Filler Words (e.g., “ummm”, “uhhh”, etc.)
- Mouth Sounds (e.g., clicks, pops, etc.)
- Harsh Breaths
- Dead Air
Cleanvoice can help you create podcasts with clear, crisp, professional audio, whether you record in your bedroom or a professional studio. Our tool automates routine editing work so that you can focus on the fun stuff—like sound design, music, and audience engagement.
Background noise can make your podcast sound unprofessional. Use an AI background noise removal tool such as Cleanvoice to remove every noisy background you have in your recording.
3) Don't Over-Edit
Remember, audio editing is supposed to be done in service of your podcast. It's not meant to take the place of it. I know this probably sounds like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised how easy it is to fall into the trap of over-editing—especially when starting out!
Each episode you produce should have a consistent, minimal editing style. This helps create a sense of continuity between episode that will draw your listeners in and keep them coming back.
Also, don't go overboard with sound effects, noise reduction, or ambiance unless you're sure you can pull it off. If you can't and decide to go for it anyway, you run the risk of detracting from the content of the podcast.
4) Start with a Rough Edit
People new to podcasting—specifically podcast editing— often fall into the trap of trying to perfect one tiny section of a piece before completing a rough edit. Trust us when we tell you that this is a recipe for disaster!
One reason why the rough edit is so important is that it helps you clarify your overall vision for the piece. Decisions you make during the rough edit process can have huge impacts on what details are included or excluded from the final version.
If you spend hours creating the “perfect” introduction only to find that cut information that becomes important down the line, you're not gonna be happy!
5) Make Your Podcast Studio Space Inviting
Editing a podcast takes time—there's no getting around it!
If your podcast editing space is messy, cluttered, or uninspiring, it's going to be a lot harder for you to relax and lose yourself in the work. Not good!
If you do your editing in your home office or studio, we recommend cleaning things up a bit. If your editing space is a shared workspace, then we'd recommend asking your co-workers to respect the boundaries you've set up for yourself. Sometimes that's all it takes!
6) Work Out Your Ears With Music
One of the best things you can do before starting an edit session is warm up your ears with music. Not only will it help you relax, but it'll prime your ears for the edits that are about to come!
Before editing a podcast, listen to music for 10 minutes or so.
The range of notes, rhythms, and moods should probably be somewhat relevant to the audio you're about to edit. Really immerse yourself in the music—pay attention to everything from the rhythm and pacing of individual notes to the patterns they form as they blend together.
When you eventually start editing your podcast, you’ll find yourself picking up of nuances and details you might have missed otherwise!
7) Do Your Homework (If You Haven't Already)
Whether you're an experienced podcaster or a newbie, we always recommend doing your homework before starting an editing session.
The last thing you want is to get halfway through an edit and then realize that you're missing a piece of information that’s necessary to conclude the piece or explain a topic. It happens.
That’s why you should always check your facts, reference materials, and audio files before jumping into an editing session. Even if you think you’ve covered it already, double-check to make sure you haven’t missed any important details.
You’ll end up creating much more interesting, deep, and engaging pieces if you act on this advice!
8) Don't Be Afraid To Ask For Help
No one is born knowing how to edit a podcast. That's why we always recommend that you ask for podcast editing help when needed.
If you're not sure about something and the answer isn't readily available, don't be afraid to seek out advice online. There are tons of great groups, forums, and communities created by amateur and professional podcasters for the purpose of education and growth.
Be polite and take solace in the knowledge that everyone was a beginner at some point.
9) Know When To Say When
There's nothing wrong with wanting to do your best work. We're perfectionists, too. However, it's important to realize that for every podcaster, there's a point of diminishing returns when it comes to editing.
In the heat of the moment, small things often seem to make or break.
The reality is that your core listeners just need to be able to hear your voice, stories, opinions, reporting, etc. A few seconds of dead air and a rogue cough or two aren't going to scare them off if they enjoy your content.
The moral of the story is that you need to learn when to step away from the keyboard.
It is very important for podcasters to edit their work because it can make or break the entire show. It's not easy, but armed with these podcast editing tips, your workflow is sure to improve with time.
If you’re curious about how an AI podcast editor like Cleanvoice can help you level up your podcast production value, feel free to browse our features. We think you’ll like what you see!
Until next time, happy podcasting.