Editing a podcast can be a complex and time-consuming process. That’s why many podcasters choose to outsource this task to a professional podcast editing service.
But what exactly do podcast editors do? How do they differ from full-service production companies? And what should you look for when selecting an editor or a company that offers the best podcast editing services for your show?
What do podcast editors do?
Podcast editors play a vital role in making sure that each episode of a podcast is polished and sounds professional. The Podcast Editor Academy defines podcast editing as “the process of removing or rearranging pieces of a recording to enhance the listener’s experience” (1). They are responsible for taking the raw recording of a podcast and cleaning it up by removing any mistakes, filler words such as “um,” “like,” and “y’know,” and adding music, sound effects, or other production elements.
Podcast Editing Software: Digital Audio Workstations
Of all the editing tools, a digital audio workstation (or DAW) is the most important. A DAW is a software program that helps with podcast editing. It includes the capability to record, mix, and edit raw audio. Some popular DAWs for podcast editing include Audacity, Adobe Audition, Reaper, and Hindenberg.
The role of a DAW in podcast editing is to provide an interface for working with audio files. It also includes a variety of features and plugins that make podcast editing easier. Some DAWs, such as Hindenberg, are designed specifically as podcast editing software, while others are also designed for a wider range of audio editing, including music.
In addition to splicing and arranging the audio, many podcast editors will also process the audio. Audio processing refers to the various techniques that can be used to improve the sound quality of a recording. This can include things like removing background noise, equalizing the levels of different sounds, and adding effects like reverb.
Podcast editing software typically includes a range of built-in audio processing tools, which can be used to fine-tune the sound of a recording. With careful use of these tools, it’s possible to create podcast recordings that sound almost like they were produced in a professional studio.
Here are some of the most common processing techniques to improve audio quality:
Noise reduction can help to remove unwanted background noise, making your podcast episodes sound more polished and professional. There are several different techniques that can be used to reduce noise, including EQing, gating, and noise cancellation. The best approach will vary depending on the type and amount of noise you’re dealing with.
Equalization, more commonly known as EQ, is a tool that can be used to improve the sound quality of a recording. By adjusting the levels of different frequencies, EQ can be used to boost or reduce certain sounds, making them more or less prominent in the mix. EQ can also be used to fix problem areas in a recording, such as muffled-sounding drums or tinny-sounding vocals. When used properly, EQ can make a big difference in the quality of a podcast.
In audio editing, compression is a process of reducing the dynamic range of a signal. In other words, it evens out the loudest and softest parts of a recording. This can be especially important in podcasting, where variations in volume can be distracting or even difficult to understand. Applying compression can help to create a more consistent listening experience for your audience.
De-users are used to remove the sibilance from a recording, which is the “hissing” sound that occurs when someone pronounces certain letters (like S, T, and Z). This sound can be very distracting for listeners, so it’s important to remove it during the podcast editing process. With de-essing, you can make your podcast sound much more polished and professional.
What’s the difference between a podcast editor and an audio engineer?
Like a podcast editor, an audio engineer can process and mix the audio in post-production. However, while a podcast editor is usually only involved after the audio has been recorded, an audio engineer also specializes in capturing high-quality audio. If you’re recording your podcast in a less-than-ideal environment, an audio engineer can help you to set up microphones and other equipment to ensure that your recordings are clear and free of background noise. Audio engineers can also provide guidance on how to best capture your voice – whether that’s through a traditional microphone setup or by using a portable recorder. Whether you’re just starting out with podcasting or you’ve been at it for a while, working with an audio engineer can help you to take your recordings to the next level.
What’s the difference between a podcast editor and a full-service podcast production company?
Unlike podcast editors, podcast production companies provide a full suite of services to see a podcast through from beginning to end. In addition to audio editing, production companies can help with conceptualizing and planning the podcast during the pre-production phase. In the post-production phase, they will distribute the podcast to popular directories such as Apple Podcasts and Spotify. They can also assist with promotion and marketing efforts.
Production companies typically have a team of professionals who specialize in different aspects of podcasting, from audio engineering to graphic designers. As a result, they can provide a comprehensive service that handles the complete podcasting process, not just the podcast editing.
Should you hire a podcast editor?
If you already have a successful podcast that you record and edit yourself. But as your show grows in popularity, you may find that you don’t have enough time to edit each podcast episode to the high standards your listeners have come to expect. This is where hiring an editor can be a big help. Having someone else handle the podcast editing will free up your time so that you can focus on other aspects of your show, like booking guests and promoting new episodes.
On the other hand, maybe you’re part of an organization that’s looking to launch a new podcast. In this case, it may make more sense to hire a podcast production company to handle everything from recording to editing to publishing. This can be a great option if you’re not sure how to get started or if you want to ensure that your podcast is of the highest quality from the very first episode. Plus, working with a podcast production company can take some of the burdens off of your team so that everyone isn’t trying to wear too many hats at once.
How much does it cost to have someone edit your podcast?
Many factors can affect the cost of editing a podcast. One of the most important factors is the length of the episodes. Generally, longer episodes will cost more to edit, as they require more time and effort.
Another important factor is the number of people speaking. If there are multiple speakers in each podcast episode, it will take more time to edit the audio and ensure that it sounds clear and concise. Additionally, if the podcast features interviews, each interview will need to be edited separately, which can add to the overall cost.
Finally, the turnaround time can also affect the price. If you need the edited episodes quickly, you may need to pay a premium for expedited service. However, if you have a bit more flexibility, you may be able to get a discount for longer turnaround times. By taking all of these factors into consideration, you can get a better sense of how much it will cost to edit your podcast.
Per Hour, Episode, or Season
Most podcast editors charge on an hourly basis, though some may charge per episode or per season, especially once they have an understanding of how much time the editing will take. You may be able to get a discount on podcast editing services if you commit to hiring the editor for a minimum number of episodes.
How to find a podcast editor
There are a few different ways to find a podcast editing service. One way is to do a Google search for “podcast editors.” This will bring up a list of freelance editors and companies that specialize in podcast editing.
You can also check out websites like Upwork and Fiverr, which are platforms that connect businesses with freelancers.
Connecting with Editors
Another option is to look for podcast editors on social media. For example, there are Facebook and LinkedIn groups for podcast editors. You can also find editors at podcasting conferences like Podcast Movement, Podfest, or ShePodcasts.
If you’re not sure where to start, ask your friends or fellow podcasters if they have any recommendations. Ultimately, the best way to find an editor is to reach out to a few different people or companies and see who is the best fit for your needs.
What to ask a podcast editor before hiring
If you’re looking to hire a podcast editor, there are a few key questions you’ll want to ask them first. With so many different editors out there, it’s important to find one that’s a good fit for your specific needs.
Podcast Editing Experience
Asking about their experience is a good place to start. You want to make sure they’re comfortable working with the type of raw audio files you’re using, and that they understand the flow of a conversation. It’s also helpful to know if they have any experience with sound design or theme music production, as this can add an extra level of polish to your podcast.
Podcast Editing Software
Next, you’ll want to ask about the podcast editing software they use. There are a variety of different editing programs out there, and you may want to make sure the editor you’re working with is familiar with the one you’re using.
Be wary of editors who use free, consumer-grade, or video editing software, such as Audacity or Apple’s GarageBand, when charging professional prices. Somebody who works in professional audio editing will most likely use a DAW like Adobe Audition, Reaper, Hindenberg, or even ProTools.
Finally, you’ll need to discuss pricing. Editing can be a time-consuming process, so you want to make sure you’re getting a fair price for the editor’s services. Once you’ve asked these questions, you’ll be in a better position to decide which editor to hire.
Turnaround Time and Workflow
When you’re looking for a podcast editor, it’s important to ask about their workflow and turnaround times. This information will help you understand the editor’s post-production process and what to expect in terms of timing and cost.
Most editors will have a standard rate for their services, but some may charge additional fees for rush jobs or complex edits. Understanding this up front can save you money and headache in the long run.
When you’re looking for someone to help you edit your podcast, it’s important to ask about their past clients and projects. This will give you a good sense of their editing style and whether they’re a good fit for your show. A good editor will be able to provide examples of their work, and they should be able to give you references from previous clients.
If an editor can’t provide this information, it’s a red flag that you should look elsewhere. Asking about an editor’s past clients and projects is the best way to make sure you’re hiring someone who will do a great job on your podcast.
A good podcast editor will know how to make your recording sound its best. Even if they can’t be there for the actual recording, they can still offer you tips on how to capture the best possible sound. For example, they might suggest using a pop filter to reduce plosives, or placing the microphone closer to your mouth to reduce mouth noise. Asking an editor about their own recording equipment will also give you a feel for how much technical knowledge a podcast editor has.
When you’re looking for a podcast editor, it’s important to ask about any other services they offer. This might include audio transcription, adding ID3 tags to the audio file, or uploading the audio file to your hosting company. They also may edit podcasts that are recorded as video in addition to audio. Each of these services can be extremely helpful, but they also come at an additional cost.
Find the Best Podcast Editing Solution for You
Podcast editing is a vital part of the podcasting process, but it’s important to understand what goes into the audio editing process before you hire an editor. By asking about their editing experience, software, pricing, turnaround time, and past projects, you can be sure you’re hiring the right person for the job.
- The Podcast Editor Academy, “Podcast Editing Word of the Day: Podcast Editing.” https://www.podcasteditoracademy.com/podcast-editing-word-of-the-day-podcast-editing/
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