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A Day in the Life of a Podcast Editor

Editing a podcast takes time. Sometimes, it takes a lot of time. For every minute of recorded audio, it can take several more minutes to bring it to a finished product. That's valuable time that many people simply do not have, and that's the benefit of using a professional editor. At Empower Podcasting, we provide podcast editing and production services to non-profits and purpose-driven individuals and businesses so that you can focus on your work while we help to share your story with the world. So, what's involved in editing a podcast? Let's find out!

One of the biggest jobs when editing a podcast is cleaning up the audio tracks. "The audio tracks are the conversation between the host and guest or guests," says Noelle Haselhuhn, editor and project manager at Empower Podcasting. "When I edit podcasts, my number one goal is for the finished product to sound as much like a casual conversation as possible. I want the listener to feel like they’re sitting in a room with the host and their guests and feel like they are part of the conversation."

There is a lot that goes into editing an audio track. Sometimes a host and guest use different microphones while recording, which can cause the volume level and sound quality to vary. In this case, normalizing loudness, introducing silence, and adjusting volume levels become necessary.

Removing anything distracting or inappropriate is also important. Clipping out a few seconds of audio when someone’s cellphone rings or a host has a coughing fit is necessary. When this happens, it shouldn’t be noticeable that any audio has been removed. The conversation should flow as easily as it did when the original audio was present.

Noelle says that another important aspect of podcast editing is adding professional-quality intros, conclusions, and music. "Music is essential for a podcast! Without music, a podcast would sound like a TV interview, which isn’t necessarily bad, but we want something that sounds a bit different when we listen to a podcast. I want these music transitions to feel as natural as possible. Often, this means overlapping the introduction music with the start of the audio track. Still, I ensure the music volume is fading-out sufficiently so the audio track can be easily heard. Each segment should smoothly transition into the next segment."

This attention to detail represents a significant amount of time and energy. It's a lot of work to put together a podcast that keeps listeners engaged for the duration of the show - sometimes 60 minutes or more. And, at the end of the editing process comes an additional step that can add to the production schedule.

"The most important step in editing a podcast is the listen-through," says Noelle. "This involves listening to the complete episode in its entirety before it's released. We listen to the music, the audio, the transitions, and how everything fits together. Does it sound natural? What distractions are we still hearing in the audio tracks? After the listen if everything sounds good, we're ready to release! That's when the fun really begins."

The fun really begins when editors like Noelle get to see your podcast distributed to podcast platforms. Once the podcast is released, we can track who is listening, from where, and how often, and we can share that information with you. It's exciting to know that your finished project is now "in the ears" of your clients, customers, donors, and the public!

Producing your podcast doesn't have to be daunting when you rely on editors like Noelle. Send us a message today and let us know your idea for a podcast. We'll help you make it a reality.

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