When we talk to our customers, podcast editing is often the most intimidating part of podcasting. It's technical, a more laborious process, and it's hard to know when you're done. With the importance of consistently publishing new episodes, there are a few podcast editing methods to choose from.
Some some, purchasing podcast editing software and using a DIY approach is best. An option for beginners and veterans, doing the editing yourself takes more time. There's a learning curve to understand the software, self-educating on how to mix and master audio files, and having to critique your own work before publishing an episode.
For others, hiring a podcast editing service is their way to focus on producing quality content while someone else takes care of the professional sound. They hire a professional podcast production service, send their raw files, and receive a fully edited episode. There are many podcast editing services out there but there's one that makes it easy, affordable, and gives you full control over the final product.
Today, we're excited to announce the launch of Castos Productions. Our solution to podcast editing that lives right in your dashboard.
In this article, we'll review the ins and outs of podcast editing whether you choose the DIY approach or use Castos Productions. From what files you need before you start editing, ways to make the process easier, to why podcasters decide to use a professional production service.
A Checklist Of What You Need Before You Start Editing A Podcast
Podcast editing is an intricate process. Whether you're mastering the audio file yourself or using a podcast production company, these are the audio files you need handy to get started:
- Separate audio tracks: the episode audio files from your podcast specific recording tool, like Squadcast or Adobe Audition. Use separate tracks for everyone being recorded.
- Intro and outro segments: use the same version for each episode or customize it per episode.
- Music: use it within your intro, outro, and main segments of your podcast.
- Host-read advertisements: any sponsor messages that you need to include within the episode.
Recording Tips To Make Editing Easier
Our biggest piece of advice to make editing your podcast easier is to start thinking about it during the recording. Capturing high quality audio from the start will reduce the time it takes to produce a final episode.
The first foundational piece to get started purchasing a podcasting microphone and recording in an optimal location. Believe it not, for those without a sound studio the best place is in your closet. Next is perfecting good microphone techniques. This takes practice but it's best to capture audio where you don't have to go back and remove the extra plosives.
Why Podcasters Use Podcast Editing Services
Whether you're just starting a podcast or regularly producing one, you’re undoubtedly weary about investing money in services you don't need. There are a lot of companies that will help you create great content, but before you hire them, you should decide whether they are worth the expense.
Audio editing is one of the most tedious and time-expensive tasks of publishing a podcast episode. You’ll have to address noise reduction, equalization, leveling, mixing, awkward pauses, extra “umms” and “ahhs,” intros and outros, ads, and a list of other issues. It’s a lot of work, especially if you aren’t an experienced audio engineer. In fact, the post production process can turn your fun podcast into a long and drawn out process.
Most podcasters report that hiring an editing service was the best choice they made for their show. There are four reasons why:
1. Professional, quality sound
Even if your content is unique and interesting, it's difficult to grab a listener's attention with amateur recordings. So you want your finished episodes to sound professional so you can compete with similar shows in your niche. For podcasters who want to sound like This American Life, hiring a professional editing service is the best way to get there.
During their interview, the hosts of the Ladybug Podcast mentioned hiring Castos Productions as a crucial part of their success. Offloading their editing process to audio engineers and publishing professional episodes helped legitimize their show from the start. When you work with Castos, our trained professionals will ensure that your show has the highest quality audio possible.
2. Time to work on other things
When you record a 30-minute episode, it can take podcasters upwards of five hours to create the finished product. The time spent editing a podcast can be a frustrating process, especially for those without backgrounds in audio engineering.
With an editing service, that time can be spent preparing new episodes, writing detailed show notes, or pitching new guests to appear on the show. Imagine what you could do if you could focus on those kinds of tasks! Allowing yourself the time and energy to focus on the content of your show without being distracted by hours of post production tasks will pay for itself.
Another added bonus of hiring a production service is that many (including Castos) provide more than just podcast editing support. Many offer show notes, transcriptions, marketing assets to promote each episode, and automatically publish to a hosting platform. Consider how much time you could get back with all of these tasks handled by an experienced team.
3. Quality and consistency
Imagine if you handled all the editing all yourself. Would each episode be the same quality? Would a few background noises sneak through? Would you accidentally upload your show with that segment you intended to remove? Chances are you’d make a lot of mistakes out of inexperience and lack of a second set of ears.
When you work with an editing service, you get the same result every time. Experienced audio engineers perfect the sound quality and presentation, and trained writers know how to create valuable show notes and transcriptions. Quality control checks ensure your finished episodes are top notch all the time.
4. Opportunity cost and money
Opportunity cost is the benefit a person could receive - but gave up - to take another benefit. It’s when you forgo one thing to have another because you can’t have both. This concept is applicable in all walks of life, but it applies to deciding whether to use a podcast editing service.
Podcast editing comes at a price. Since you could use that money for other things, you give up the opportunity to have those other things when you hire an editing service. But that doesn’t mean all your options will have an equal impact on your business. When you hire a podcasting editing service, it pays for itself with time saved.
A busy person with a show to host and a business to run doesn’t have the time to spend on basic editing and administration work. Your time is more valuable than that. Saving a few hundred dollars by doing all of your own editing and administration could prevent you from focusing on your content, promotion,, or your high level strategy.
If you don’t have a business or a budget, then a do-it-yourself approach might work for you. But if you have a budget and time is at a premium, you can always calculate the hourly rate that you earn and multiply it by the time it takes to produce your podcast. That will make your decision easy, because math never lies.
25 Free Audio Resources
Understanding and finding information about basic podcast audio editing and free audio resources is not that simple. Here is a list of articles, videos, and quizzes that will help with getting a better understanding of podcast audio editing and audio principles in general.
- NPR Training - An awesome free resource for audio, visual, digital, and social storytelling.
- NPR Training Vimeo Videos - A collection of NPR Training videos that expands on their written content. These are great for topics that require visual instruction.
- Writing Through Sound - Audio storytelling is all about the dance between your narration and your sound. In this webinar, NPR lays out a library of techniques for getting into and out of your sound.
- The Ear Training Guide for Audio Producers - This ear training guide helps you to learn how to recognize certain sounds and identify problems before they impact quality or snowball into larger technical problems.
- Quiz: Do you have the ears of an audio producer? - Take this quiz to see if you have the ears of an audio producer!
- Put your audio to the test: Know when to use it or lose it - These three fundamental characteristics of good audio can help guide your decision-making when there are problems in your audio. When you get stuck trying to decide what to do, run your audio through this test.
- ‘Butt cut what?’ A glossary of production terms - A useful glossary of audio production terms and definitions
- Pro Audio Essentials Challenge – Test Your Skills - This is a game-based course to practice and improve your audio skills. It uses audio games, ear training, and videos to build your skills.
- Podfly Academy - A 10-lesson podcasting course to help new podcasters lay a foundation of basic knowledge for the unfamiliar. 100% free.
- Developing a Show Clock - Learn how to develop a show close for your podcast to organize your segments and ads.
- Adobe Audition for Podcasters - A series of tutorials on setting up a podcast with a focus on Adobe’s Audition software.
- Music Radio Creative YouTube Channel - Learn how to create great sounding audio with the right equipment and tools, all from your own home.
- Quick & Dirty Guide to Editing Podcasts in Adobe Audition - Learn the basics of editing your podcast audio in Adobe Audition.
- Adobe Audition: How to record, edit and export your podcast - This tutorial will walk you through the process of recording, editing, and exporting your podcast using Adobe Audition.
- How to use Adobe Audition to give your podcast audio that professional edge - This video teaches you how to give your ordinary audio a professional sound.
- Adobe Audition Basic Recording Tutorial - This is another great video that teaches you the basics of voice recording with Adobe Audition for podcasts.
- How To Create A Podcast Template in Adobe Audition - Templates make everything easier! Learn how to create multi-track podcast templates in Adobe Audition to speed up your podcast workflow.
- How to Edit and Sweeten an Audio Podcast in Adobe Audition - A great Adobe Audition sample workflow to make audio full and rich, as well as how to save out the audio file in the correct format and size for podcasting.
- How to Process Vocals for Podcasts or Voiceover - A walkthrough that teaches you how to process voice recordings for more professional podcast episodes. (Great examples!)
- Basic Sound Clean-Up for an Audio Novice - Learn how to perform a basic audio clean-up on a voiceover using Adobe Audition.
- Free Audio Tools for Editing Music and Sound Recordings - A review of the best audio editors to polish your sound. Use this to decide which tool is right for you.
- Sound Waves and Music - If you want to learn about the theory of sound, this tutorial on sound waves and music will stretch your understanding of sound waves, along with a neuron or two.
- Podcasting Basics: Audio Levels and Processing - A deep dive into loudness, EQ, noise reduction, and audio processing in general.
- 10 Tips for a Great Sounding Podcast - Poor audio quality can detract from your message, but these 10 podcast audio production tips to help get you the best possible sound.
- How to Record Long-Distance Podcast Interviews - If you interview guests often or have a co-host, you'll need to record your show from separate locations at some point. Learn how to get an excellent recording no matter how far away you are from your guest.
What You Can Expect From Castos Productions
Castos Productions is a done-for-you, podcast editing and production service built right into your Castos dashboard.
We have a team of audio engineers and producers who have been in the industry for over five years. Clients like James Altucher, CoSchedule, and Buffer used the beta version of Castos Productions to free up their time for the more enjoyable parts of podcasting.
Here's a sneak peak at what a before and after snippet from one of our shows sounds like:
The goal with our podcast editing and production service is to help those not interested in becoming amateur audio engineers. Using Castos Productions
Getting started with Castos Productions looks like this:
- Record the episode's audio segments, remember the checklist above.
- Log into your Castos dashboard and upload each file under the "Add Episodes" section from the main dashboard. You can upload as many files as you'd like to this section.
- Include editing notes for our team and send the files from the dashboard.
- Our team mixes and masters the files to produce the final episode. If your plan includes show notes, transcriptions, and marketing assets, we'll create those too.
- We'll upload the finished products to your dashboard. You'll receive an email notification that your final assets are ready.
- If you have any edits or notes, our team will turn those around within ~24 hours and re-upload the new files to your dashboard for your review.
- Once satisfied, approve the episode and it'll automatically be published to each podcast listening app.
Affordable Editing Options Per Episode
Castos Productions offers three levels of services depending on your podcast editing needs. The best part is, the services are per episode so you don't have to commit to a subscription. When you purchase a package, we'll bill you on a monthly basis.
Our Pro Audio Editing services take 72 hours to turnaround a finalized episode. Whereas the Concierge Package and Complete Solution services take one week.
Learn more about Castos Productions and see how easy it can be to put your podcast on autopilot.