Do you follow a specific workflow once you've finished recording an episode of your podcast?
I have developed a step-by-step process to refer to when putting all the audio together.
It can get a bit lengthy but this is my recommended editing checklist for podcasters.
Record and Export as WAV file
The first thing I do is export whatever has been recorded as a WAV file.
Why don't I save time by exporting directly to an MP3? An uncompressed WAV file offers me more flexibility and freedom when editing without degrading the sound quality.
Level and Normalize
I tend to move around when speaking into my microphone. This causes my volume to vary depending on how close or how far from the mic head I am.
Before editing the master copy I will normalize and level the volume of the entire track. I use Levelator, a free program for Mac and Windows, because it's as easy as drag-and-drop. After a couple minutes there is a duplicate file in the same folder as the original recording with the volume balanced throughout the track.
It should be noted that Levelator is no longer being supported, but I've been using is without issue to produce podcasts for 17 clients (as of April 2017).
Edit and Export the Final Edits
Need I say more? I use Audacity but have been tempted to try Audition. What editing software do you use and why?
Take note that I am still exporting the files as WAV. Just trust me.
COPY AND RENAME
ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS have a copy of the original recording. Don't risk losing everything – if you edit something wrong, have a backup!
Throughout the editing process I will export the file with a new version name such as MPSOSv01 or MPSOSv02. I will eventually go back and delete them after the podcast has been downloaded for at least a day.
Import, Convert, and Tag in iTunes
Not all MP3 converters are alike. iTunes uses the Fraunhofer converter and delivers superb audio in a small file. Most spoken-word shows can get by converting to 128 kbps but I ratchet it up a ‘bit to 192 because I want my intro music to sound clean. I also stick with mono instead of stereo for many reasons but smaller
This may have been an extra step but it could save you time when entering ID3 tags. iTunes makes it easy to right-click to get the underlying information about the file. It is there that you can quickly enter the tags used to identify artist, title, and even your name as Composer at the episode level.
You could get by without this recommendation but I have found using ID3 Editor makes entering episode-level data even faster. You can set up entries to populate automatically, saving you even more time, and the data can be transferred over
ID3 Editor also allows for fields like Copyright and things other devices need that iTunes doesn't support.
Get ready to upload
I've missed a step or two over the years, that is why I created this list. I don't want to lose an original recording or leave the Description field blank ever again.
Now it's time to upload the file and move to the next stage of podcasting: The After-Editing and Promotion stage.
Have you found my editing checklist for podcasters useful? Is there anything you would add or skip?
Feel free to make any changes you feel are necessary and please leave your comments below.