Slow talkers, guests who compose their answer before speaking, and what I call “Skype Lag” can leave long pauses between the conversation in a podcast.
What's a long pause?
Well, I consider a long pause a gap between sentences that lasts longer than necessary – usually a second or more.
Truncate Silence in Audacity
Use Audacity's Effect > Truncate Silence to compress any gaps longer than a set length.
For example: Compressing any gap longer than 0.4 seconds by 60 percent.
Applying this effect is a quick way to tackle the entire project without reducing gaps too much:
Applying the Truncate Silence effect to the entire project in this manner is pretty safe.
It tackles any gap greater than 0.4 seconds to 60 percent of its original length.
- A 1.0 second gap turns into 0.6 seconds
- A 0.5 second gap turns into 0.3 seconds
- But a 0.3 second gap is less than the 0.4 seconds Duration you set, so it safely remains at 0.3 seconds
You can apply this effect quickly to a small portion of your podcast or to the entire project at one time.
When Silence Serves a Purpose:
It would be unreasonable to cut all pauses from an interview or podcast conversation. In comedy, timing is everything.
Silence can serve a purpose:
- For dramatic effect
- When someone is contemplating the answer to a very important question
- During a meditation demonstration (listen to the [33:33] mark of this podcast)
However, when the above situations aren't met then I cut them down to something more realistic – and more comfortable for the listener.
More Audacity Tips:
Want to watch a video of how I use Truncate Silence?
The Audacity Workshop is full of useful tips and tricks like this with video demonstrations and downloadable examples you can use for practice.