37 Tips for Recording +Editing a Podcast Using Audacity

editing podcast using audacity

First, check out my overview on using Audacity for making a podcast here.

In this post, I give tips for how to use Audacity to record and edit a podcast. I also give tricks for preparing and publishing a podcast using the app Anchor. Need an example podcast? Check out mine here. 

Tips Before Recording:

  1. Decide on a topic and the purpose. For example, here's my podcast on best selling books.
  2. Do any necessary research
  3. Have an outline prepared and determine format (i.e. interview, scripted, recaps, education, etc.)
  4. Pick a relevant and searchable name
  5. Make sure everyone involved in the podcast is on the same page
  6. Get proper recording equipment, especially a microphone, pop filter, microphone stand, and computer.
  7. Download Audacity

Tips While Recording:

  1. Find a quiet place with no background noise
  2. Don’t speak over each other
  3. Speak directly into the microphone, everyone equal distance away
  4. Try to have everyone speak at a similar volume
  5. Avoid verbal crutches (i.e. “umm”, “like”, etc.)
  6. Enunciate
  7. Use transitions in between conversational shifts

Before editing, record these parts:

  1. Musical intro (add an external file). I recommend making your own audio in Garageband to avoid any copyright issues.
  2. Audio introduction
  3. Conversations
  4. Closing statements
  5. Musical outro

Editing:

  1. Start by listening through and marking any time points that need edits (i.e. cross-talk, false starts, an interruption, a horrible mistake, etc.)
  2. Work in a linear fashion (beginning to end)
  3. Trim beginning and ending
  4. Cut any mistakes or long pauses (Note: don’t worry about removing all “umms”, pauses, or mistakes. Otherwise, it will sound unnatural).
  5. Look at transitions between ideas and questions and good places to cut back on time
  6. Use crossfades between clips: Every time you cut a clip/region in your DAW, make sure you insert a crossfade to join adjacent clips. Forgetting crossfades can lead to distracting pops or clicks in your published episode.
  7. Remove background noise: Select noise profile (a selected “quiet” part – i.e. a flat line -of the recording that contains ONLY the noise you want to delete) > effect > noise removal > “get noise profile” To apply noise profile to a section of recording (to remove that noise) you must select the whole section and apply profile: effect > noise removal > OK
  8. Listen through again on faster playback speed to catch any missed mistakes
  9. Import any additional files (intro, conclusion, and music) and drag it to their locations: File > Import > Audio > Import WAV file
  10. Save after first round of edits: File > Save project as
  11. Export completed file:  File > Export either as WAV or MP3

After Editing:

  1. Export audio to MP3 (must download LAME first)
  2. Then choose an appropriate MP3 bit rate when exporting from Audacity - higher bit rates generally give better audio quality but lead to higher bandwidth costs and longer download times. A spoken-word podcast will typically sound good at 64 kbps.
  3. Use a free program to compress your file, edit out any remaining background noise, and level out voices. I recommend Auphonics. You get two hours free per month.
  4. Find a hosting site and upload MP3. (Make sure host is reliable, has sufficient storage space and data transfer limits to host your podcast, generates RSS feeds that validate, and will allow you to redirect your RSS feed if you decide to move podcast hosts.) I recommend Anchor since it is free and will share your podcast to all the major apps (i.e. Google Podcasts, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and more).
  5. Embed podcast player onto your website. See how mine looks.
  6. Share on a Podcast directory (i.e. Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify). If you have Anchor, it will do that automatically.
  7. Share on social media
  8. Keep finding ways to innovate and improve the podcast

As you are making your podcast, here are a few resources that will help make the process easier:

References:

  1. https://www.buzzsprout.com/how-to-make-a-podcast
  2. https://www.efrontlearning.com/blog/2012/04/podcasting-like-a-pro-part-2-how-to-edit-and-publish-your-podcast-recording.html
  3. https://sixcolors.com/post/2015/02/how-i-podcast-editing/
  4. https://theaudacitytopodcast.com/13-tips-for-faster-podcast-editing-tap243/
  5. https://www.audacityteam.org/
  6. https://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/How_to_publish_a_Podcast

2 thoughts on “37 Tips for Recording +Editing a Podcast Using Audacity”

  1. This post has been VERY helpful. Thanks for the post! Question: I was able to export to an MP3 straight from Audacity. Does the LAME app add quality to the MP3 file that Audacity does not?

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