Pathfinder Academy

How I Edit the Podcast

January 28, 2018

This episode covers the editing techiniques I use to edit an episode of Pathfinder Academy. This includes examples of what audio sounds like before and after I edit it, as well as estimations of how long the process takes and how much of the audio is left after all is said and done.

  1. We write the notes.
  2. We record the episode. We use a free program called audacity that allows us to record our audio. We both use the “U37 USB Studio Condenser Recording Microphone” made by CAD. Previously I used a different condenser microphone that was more expensive but older technology so I switched a little while ago, I don’t remember what make and model that one was.
  3. After the episode is recorded Christian exports his audio on the insane quality preset. Exporting turns the audio recording into a usable file, in this case we use mp3. Christian sends me the mp3 over google drive.
  4. I import Christian’s audio file into audacity. This takes about 1 minute for every 60 min of audio.
  5. I sync the audio. Syncing the audio is simply aligning the audio so we’re not talking over each other, and involves me removing a few seconds off of the beginning of the audio of whoever began recording first. I then navigate to the end of the audio to make sure the audio is aligned correctly, and if it isn’t I go back and make any needed adjustments. This takes about five minutes.
  6. I apply noise reduction to each audio file separately. This removes the background noises usually generated by the microphones we use because they’re not top of the line and generate a bit of a hiss, and because neither Christian or I are in noise canceling rooms (those are usually small rooms with padding on the walls to reduce almost all background noises). This takes about 1 min for every 27 min of audio, per each individual audio file.
  7. I apply a function called “truncate silence” to the entire project. This removes silences over a certain length and reduces them down to about a quarter of a second. This takes about 1 min for every 7 min of audio.
  8. I edit it for content. I start a the beginning of the file and hit play and listen to the entire episode. I edit out UMs, places where we stumble over our words or misspeak, places where we talk over each other, places where we talk to each other about what we’re gonna say next. I move audio around if we recorded a portion out of order, I add sound effects if the episode calls for them, and other such things. During this time I also silence the audio of one person while the other speaks which is very time consuming. Editing for content takes about 1 min for every 40 seconds of audio.
  9. I equalize each audio file separately. This makes our voices more pleasing to the ear, each person has their own personal sound profile that requires different equalization. For example I boost Christian’s bass and treble, while i only boost my base. This takes about 1 min for every 34 min of audio, per each individual audio file.
  10. I compress each audio file separately. This makes the quiet spots louder and the loud spots quieter so that you never have to adjust the volume while you listen. This takes about 1 min for every 68 min of audio, per each individual audio file.
  11. I import the intro, outro, and advertisement files. This takes about a minute. I then place them in the appropriate places and small bits of silence as buffer before and after the ads. This takes about 5 minutes.
  12. I export the project into a single mp3 on the insane quality preset. This takes about 1 min for every 16 min of audio.
  13. I upload the mp3 to podbean, a service I use to manage the RSS feed that podcasts use. I fill out the episode information like show notes, season information, etc. This takes about 1 min for every 16 min of audio.

So when all is said and done, from importing christian’s audio to publishing the podcast takes about double the length of the raw audio. If there’s a guest obviously it’ll take more time. That’s a gross estimate because those ratios can change depending on how long the audio is, they aren’t really flat ratios.

The final episode is about 70% as long as the raw audio we recorded.