Making a Podcast on the Cheap 4: The Editing
So you took everything to heart that I mentioned previously. You got the equipment and made your first recording. Now, there is an inclination that you believe your recording is perfect enough to upload and distribute. You need to slow your roll. Do you have intro music? You have something for your outro? Are there any inserts you want to throw into the middle? Could the audio quality be enhanced a bit? This is where editing through software comes in. You can edit a podcast on the cheap or pay some money.
There are two popular editing software you can use. One that is a bit expensive and another that’s free. Now, before we get into the free one, let’s go over the expensive one.
Many people that do YouTube videos or photography will swear by Adobe Premier Pro or Photoshop. One program that is incredibly underrated it Audition. Now, I have used Audition for so long it was called Soundbooth. When Adobe went the subscription service route, they rebranded it as Audition. Basically, it was the same program, but what can you do.
Now, there is a learning curve when using Audition. It was designed to improve audio work when using Premier Pro. It does work amazingly well for podcasting. You can get deep into the audio track to increase gains and reduce bass. You can set templates, especially if you have other hosts. Not to mention the range to export your audio.
Fortunately, since there is a learning curve, you can find a huge amount of tutorials on YouTube. Trust me, they helped a lot. One of my problems was perfecting the noise reduction for background hiss. Sometimes, you don’t do enough, the hiss remains. Too much, and the voice has a slight reverb. You can hear it on some of the older show.
That price though.
Now to the “not cheap” part. You can subscribe to the program alone monthly or yearly. There are two monthly options. I know, that’s a bit ridiculous. There is a straight monthly, which can be canceled at any time, for $31.49. However, if you commit to having it for a year, you can get it for $20.99/month. Why would you choose that option, because $239.88/year may be a bit too much. Definitely, not a way to make a podcast on the cheap.
Is it worth it? Honestly, I used it for nearly eight years. I originally used Sony Movie Studio to edit the podcast. That didn’t work out so well. I moved over to Soundbooth, then Audition. Loved it. However, I could no longer afford it after the price increase. Actually, it was more I could no longer justify the price. Then I decided to try the free audio software.
You knew this was coming, didn’t you? If you browsed YouTube for recommendations, Audacity came up a lot. I have been using it for over a year now, and I don’t know why I didn’t try it sooner. It was the bleak and intimidating interface. Bare bones, as the kids say. After watching a few YouTube videos, I was able to edit my podcasts faster than I did in Audition. But, free is great for making a podcast on the cheap.
After finding some good presets, it takes me a matter of minutes to edit. This includes adding opening and closing music. As well as making cuts for ads. Noise reduction is amazing with their default settings. No need to adjust. However, when editing The Fine Line, those take longer. On average it takes about an hour to edit a thirty minute episode. Keep in mind, this due to all the additional tracks I add. They do come preinstalled with three themes, so you don’t have to look at that dull grey interface.
Another advantage to using Audacity
When using Audition, you will need to download MP3tag. This will allow you to insert meta tags that will house all your information for podcast distributors. That information includes podcast name, episode title, dates, and other fun stuff.
However, when you use Audacity, it is built-in with the exporting process. That is when you turn your edit into an MP3 to upload to your hosting site. The information input screen is straight forward and simple enough. Some hosting sites say they will do those tags for you, but it’s better to be safe.
Also, don’t have any intro music? You can use royalty free music that will allow you to use it on your shows. YouTube has their own library, which is good when uploading to the site. Incompetech has some great gems, which is who provides nearly all of our music. You don’t have to pay anything, but you need to provide credit.
Make sure to copy and paste the credit into the shownotes of your podcast and/or YouTube video.
You mentioned shownotes?
The body of the podcast that goes out to listeners should have some shownotes. They don’t have to be completely in-depth. You should give a brief description of the episode with any links you may want to provide.
In the image above, you can see we have links to our PayPal account for donations. To all our social media sites and blog. There you see the credit for the music. If you have important information you want people to be aware of, you can use timestamps. This is useful when you have the subject of the show you need people to listen to.
Now, you’re ready to upload your podcast and release it to the masses. Oh, always export your podcast in an MP3 format. Some hosting platforms will accept others file formats, but MP3s are universal. Not to mention, if people download your episode – space is a premium. Mostly because devices don’t offer additional memory cards. And some devices won’t play non-MP3 files without another player.
Alright, so you uploaded your podcast and distributed it. What else is there to do? There is still one last step to get into and that will be tomorrow’s final installment of the “Podcast on the Cheap” series. To be honest, this part is like another job and harder than doing the show. Publicity.