Increase Podcast Downloads Strategy

Step by Step Sound Editing Tutorial (for Podcasts, YouTube, etc.)


Good content makes good podcasts. But good sound editing is vital for making them amazing. Podcast listeners are loyal audience who love to spend time listening to different shows. Most of them listen to episodes to the end and pay keen attention to the small details. Satisfying such an audience demands perfection and podcast editing is what you need for it.

All podcasters may not edit their podcast, but all the good and popular podcasters do that. Editing a podcast keeps it tight-paced and ensures a nuanced content delivery.

Podcast Sound Editing is simple, but it might be time-consuming. Follow the same steps in any DAW software: start a project, set up parameters, relisten the content, synchronize, reorder, remove silence, delay, cross-talk, and noise, apply compression, EQ, adjust loudness, and export in .mp3 format.


How Do I Edit My Podcast

Sound editing transforms raw recordings into a palatable episode – that has a proper structure, speed, and has a fixed duration. Editing allows you to remove unnecessary sentences, awkward pauses, etc. and join different tracks, add sound effects, etc.

Many new podcasters get tempted to skip podcast sound editing as it is a bit complex. I won’t lie and say that it’s easy. But all it needs is a little patience, and soon you get the hang of it.

If you are completely new to audio editing, you might ask- how do I get started? To get started, you need a good DAW.

DAW stands for Digital Audio Workstation and refers to a software program in which you can compose, record, edit, and mix sound. You will find multiple options for a DAW from reputed brands, and one of them is Logic Pro. In this post, we will discuss how to edit your podcast on Logic Pro. 

NOTE: Although I might mention some specific functions in Logic Pro, you must understand that the steps to get ground sounding audio are actually exactly the same, regardless of the software you are using.


Best podcast editing software DAW

Which DAW to pick for sound editing?

The core principles are the same for each sound editing software, as I’ve just mentioned. I’ve already covered extensively the benefits of the most popular DAWs in this post, so I’m not going to repeat it, but the summary recommendations are:

  • Best overall for Mac – Logic Pro
  • Best powerhouse editing software – Adobe Audition
  • Tailored for podcasts – Hindenburg Journalist
  • Best free and multiplatform – Audacity (works on Mac, Windows, Linux)

About Logic Pro

Logic Pro from Apple is one of the best DAW that you can lay your hands on. With its new live loops and sampler plug-in features, Logic Pro X has gained immense popularity and sound editors.

Besides if you are using Mac, Logic Pro is the most optimized software for this platform.

Logic Pro might look a bit overwhelming, to begin with, but it’s actually a very user-friendly software. With time, you will be able to swiftly edit your podcast on it. However, if you are just getting started, I have put together some tips for podcast sound editing on Logic Pro to give you a direction.


Best audio interface for podcasting

Step by Step Sound Editing

1. Recording the episode

While we are discussing podcast sound editing, I want to stress the importance of good recording. Yes, you can edit out mistakes, but it’s always better to take precautions and create an ideal recording environment. The better you record, the faster you can edit.

Start by ensuring a noise-free environment for recording. Make sure the recording area is free of noises like sounds of your household, the traffic on your road, the jingling on car keys, etc. If you are interviewing someone over the phone, Skype, Zoom, etc., convey to them in advance that they should sit in a noise-free room for the talk. Here is a full guide on how you can easily soundproof your recording room.

While recording, take care of maintaining proper distance between your mouth and the mic. Mic positioning is important. But there are also other crucial factors that impact the quality of your recording e.g. protecting your voice before the recording. Full list of things you can do to sound better you can find here.

Record separate tracks for each speaker, as it will be more useful while sound editing. 

You should also record one combined track as a back-up. Prior to the recording, do rehearsals and vocal warm-ups for a minimum mistake.

2. Start the Project

Now let’s discuss your first step in Logic Pro. (I assume you have multiple tracks to create one episode).

Open Logic Pro. You have to select the “Multi-Track” option after clicking File > New

It will open up an empty project with empty tracks setup. This is where you will upload the tracks you have recorded. You don’t have to bother about the track sequence, just give the tracks a name for better organization.

3. Use Templates and Presets

There are options to create templates for your podcast on Logic Pro. It saves time if you have to edit multiple episodes.  

You can save your favorite settings as presets and use the combination quickly the next time. 

An easy way to create a preset for a podcast is to take an episode that you have edited on Logic Pro and delete all the audio except the intro and the outro music. If there are any plugin settings for voice tracks, you can keep them too.  

Then go to File and choose Save as Template option from the Drop-Down menu. Editing your first episode will last longer but thanks to presets your next episode will be done at least 50% faster.

4. Set-up the Control Bar

There are multiple options in the control bar for you to explore, but if you mainly do podcast sound editing (and no other audios), then you are not likely to use all of them. It’s better to reduce some of these options in order to reduce clutter and make things more convenient. You can use the dropdown on the right side of the LCD display and select Customize Control Bar and Display. 

Also, you may use different screen sets for different recording or editing. So to simplify things, choose a placeholder, or create a new one and customize it for podcast sound editing. Once you have selected all that you want, choose Save as Defaults. 

5. Synchronize the Soundtracks

When you use multiple soundtracks, you have to synchronize them. 

It’s a bit difficult, given that you have to rack your brains and remember how the conversation went. But if you follow my previous advice, you will already have a copy of the combined conversation to do that. 

You can import the combined track and then layer below the separate tracks. Once this is done you can remove the combined track from the project.

Spend some time exploring and understanding the Audio Synchronization settings, as there are a handful of options that you can utilize to keep the Audio and MIDI tracks in sync (if you use them).  

You can use the MTC slider, Sample Rate Slider, or Deviation Slider for this purpose. You can also go to the Additional Audio Options to explore more advanced settings.

6. Relisten the Whole Recording

Listening to the entire recording multiple times is important to visualize the final episode. But playing the clip over and again would consume a lot of time. Thankfully, Logic Pro has specific functions designed to help you save time. 

On Logic Pro, you can quickly play, pause, forward or rewind, fast forward or fast rewind a clip to find and listen to the recording multiple times.

TIP: relistening is very important. That is why I recommend working with just one file and recording everything in a single take. At least until you start paying someone to edit. If you edit on your own, and if you have too many takes the whole sound editing process becomes much more complex and time-consuming.

7. Consider Using Varispeed

Note: Some people hate using the option to increase playback speed. It is much more useful for solo podcasts, news, comedy, etc. where delivery is not very subtle. When working on a project that has a lot of personal stories, then I would not increase the playback speed.

Varispeed is a simple yet powerful feature of Logic Pro that saves you time during podcast editing. Speed up the audience playback using varispeed to listen to the track while editing. When you use varispeed while sound editing, you actually increase the speed by 2x. 

If you can’t see the varispeed option on the toolbar, don’t worry, you just have to enable it. 

You can set the speed to anywhere between -50 to 100 percent; the minus value will slow down the audio, while the 100 percent will run it at twice the speed.

Once set, you can simply use ^F (or Control-F) to turn it on or off. 

8. Remove Silence

A podcast recording may have long spells of silence, where the background noises become too noticeable. Or if the tracks were recorded at different places, say one in your recording room, and the other recording is a virtual interview, the two recordings may have starkly different ambient noises.

To remove the noises and to blend in different tracks, it is suggested to remove silence. You can do that by:

  • Clicking right on an audio region, followed by selecting Split->Remove Silence from Audio Region. Or you can select the clip and press ⌃X. Then you have to adjust the settings for threshold and minimum length.
  • You can also use the Strip Silence option to remove the silent areas of a track. The shortcut key for the option is Ctrl+S.

9. Reorder the Sequence

Sometimes you might feel that changing orders of different sequences would make the output better.  In Logic Pro, you can easily reorder the tracks by dragging and dropping them in the desirable sequence in the track area. 

Reordering is most important for long projects, and if you have interviews mixed with commentary. In those cases, reordering can change everything. Simple projects, like solo podcasts, or a discussion with one guest, probably won’t require a lot of reordering. 

10. Master the Key Commands

Like most Apple software, Logic Pro has many keyboard shortcuts; memorizing them will speed up podcast editing. 

Some of these are:

  • Q – Toggle Solo Track
  • W – Toggle Channel Strip Mute
  • E – Delete
  • R – Delete and Move
  • T – Split Regions/Events at Playhead Position
  • S – Rewind one Frame
  • A – Select All
  • D – Deselect All
  • F – Select All Following
  • G – Invert Selection

Every sound editing software has some hotkeys. Memorize them and your life will be much easier.

Now, there are some common issues that easily crop up when recording a podcast. Remember to edit them out in Logic Pro or whichever DAW you are using.

11. Fix Delay Issues

You might interview someone located on the other side of the globe for an interesting episode. 

As a result, you may notice a 1 to 2-second delay in sound transmission. This is called a connectivity delay. To remove the cross talk, press Shift-F and select the problem area. Shift-F preserves the synchronization. 

Then use the strip silence feature.

12. Remove Cross Talk

Two people might talk at the same time, but we don’t want that in a podcast. 

That’s pretty common when a guest is not used to speaking for a recording, or when you are interviewing someone over the phone or the internet. 

You can simply select and remove the problem area. Or you can adjust the two tracks a bit so that both the person’s voice can be accommodated. That of course, depends on what the two people are saying.

13. Remove Unwanted Noise from a Track

When you listen to someone speaking, you might say expressions like ‘Ahh’ or ‘Yeah’  quite some times. These don’t sound good in a podcast, and you should remove them while editing. 

The Strip Silence option would again come to your help here. 

But also be practical here. If you have an hour of interview to edit, then silencing everything might be very time consuming.

14. Add Music for More Production Value and Better Experience

Your podcast would sound dull if it has no soundtrack at the beginning of the end. It’s quite simple to add music to it while podcast editing in Logic Pro.  

Just go to the Import menu, and you would find options to import different types of music files like Audio, MIDI, MusicXM.

If you have become familiar with the Logic Pro setup and don’t mind memorizing new keywords, you can press shift + command + I and it will open up an import audio window.

When it comes to music be sure you can use the clips. You can either use creative commons clips (here is a detailed explanation of what kind of music you may use) or license music from an official source.

Here are my favorite royalty free music clip providers. They have awesome clips and even FX that you can use to make your podcast sound unique:

TOPBest Music SourceIdeal for whom?

1

royalty free music provider soundstripe

Soundstripe has the highest quality, exclusive music.
They offer 4,000 exclusive songs and over 35,000 sound effects.
check prices

2

royalty free music hooksounds

HookSounds offers modern, stylish and distinctive music.
They focus on originals and even make custom music requests!
check prices

3

roylaty free music premiumbeat

PremiumBeat is one of the oldest and largest royalty-free music providers.
Pick if a huge song choice is your priority (library of c.a. 17,000 songs)
check prices

15. Compression of Dynamic Ranges

Compression is the process of lessening the dynamic range between the loudest and quietest parts of your track. As a result your quieter parts will sound louder and your louder parts be silenced down to provide a more coherent experience.

This is most useful if you have people bursting into laughter or getting very excited and talking much louder.

Logic Pro’s compression plug-in is far less uncomplicated than other contemporary software. 

16. Equalisation of Sound for Podcasts 

You can modify the quality of the sound in your podcast using the equalisation function. 

And Logic Pro has a range of EQ plugins that are easy to use because of its spectrum analyser, which keeps you updated about frequencies in real time.

This is a fun plugin to play. With the right EQ setting you can modify your voice in a lot of ways. You can sound like you are talking on a phone, underwater, or in an echoey hallway. In some cases you may need those effects, but in most you won’t. 

TIP: Be very gentle playing with EQ during sound editing of your first project. You still might not be used to how your voice sounds on a recording. You might feel a strong temptation to apply a lot of EQ modifications. For your first project maybe even skip this and come back to EQ once you are no longer obsessed with how you sound.

17. Final Relisten of an Episode to Look for Coherency Issues

Now it’s important to listen to the completed work final time. Consider it the audio equivalent of proofreading. I would suggest you take a break, come back and listen to the edited podcast with a fresh mind. It would be easier to spot errors this way.

From a practical point of view, if you have over an hour long episodes this might be very painful to complete. If you already know there are some parts you don’t want to change consider marking them and skipping forward without relistening.

When relistening, check if you have the right flow around the parts where you have cut and reordered elements.

18. Adjust Volume Levels of Your Episode

Almost there.

Now, set the volume levels of the different tracks that are a part of the edited podcast. You can drag the slider left or right to reduce or increase the volume level in the track header. Logic Pro has more options to manage sound levels.  For instance, using clip gain you can adjust the level of a region within a track without using the volume fader or automation.

While there are many options to explore in Logic Pro, you should also use your own sense and creativity to get the results that you have visualized. As you make the adjustments, pay keen attention to the relative volumes of the tracks; because that’s important to bring a desirable outcome to the process.

19. Export Your Podcast Episode

This is the final step in podcast sound editing. When you have completed editing and you are satisfied with the outcome, go to File> Export> Project as AAF (or any desirable format).

My recommendation is to get two copies. One in a .wav format to have a backup and another in .mp3 format for uploading your episode.

An episode ready for uploading should use the following parameters:

How to publish a podcastmonostereo
file typemp3mp3
bit rate64 kbps128 kbps
sampling rate44.1 kHz44.1 kHz
bit depth16 bit16 bit
loudness-19 LUFS-19 LUFS
constant bit rate (CBR)yesyes
Result: 30-minute file size<15MB<30MB

Use stereo only if you have fancy sound effects that sound differently on different channels.

Most people should export their episodes in mono format.

Great job! You’ve finished editing your episode!

20. Publish Your Episode

Now you are ready to publish the episode!

There are just a few last things here to do.

If this is your first podcast you need to have a podcast hosting to store all your media files and serve them to your listeners. Here is a comprehensive review of podcast hostings and here is material helping you to understand what hosting services you will actually need depending on your requirements.

If you are looking for a quick recommendation, here are the best podcast hosting platforms out there:

TOPPodcast HostRegister with this link and get a bonus

1

Podcast media host buzzsprout

Buzzsprout is the best solution to host your show.
I like them for their transcripts, a Creator’s Program to help with monetization.
Get buzzsprout and claim
$20 Amazon gift card

2

Podcast Hosting Castos

Castos is rich in features supporting the growth of your show.
Register with Castos for a
14 days free trial

3

Podcast media host transistor

Transistor offers in-depth analytics in each plan and is the best if you also need private podcasts.
Register with Transistor for a
14 days free trial

4

Podcast Hosting Captivate

Another awesome, modern, and rich in high-quality features podcast hosting platform. Check Captivate with a
7 days free trial

Before releasing your show to the public you will need a good podcasting logo. Here are details how to prepare a good logo.

Once you have published an episode I recommend you to add it to your podcasting website in a form of an embedded player and as a transcript so people will be able to find you more easily. 

FINAL PRO TIP – get new listeners with episodes’ transcriptions

A transcript from the point of Google likes just like a high-quality article, which Google often can rank very high on their results pages. You can easily find a lot of new listeners through those articles.

If you want to start a site quickly and add top-quality transcripts, here are 3 quick steps – you can have a highly converting article ready within 24 hours:

  1. Start a website using a reliable WordPress host like Bluehost – it is only $3.95 a month. You can launch your site in 15 minutes
  2. Pretty sites convert better, so add a Divi theme, which is super easy to use even if you don’t know anything about coding
  3. Order a transcript from a top tier transcription site like Rev, which delivers basically a great article from your episodes

And you are good to go! Enjoy the inflow of additional listeners!


Summary

Logic Pro is a powerful software that you can easily master to edit your podcast. Apart from the manual that will be available to you with the software, you can find many tutorials on the internet that could answer your specific queries. 

Audio editing is not rocket science, but requires patience and attention to detail on your part. Don’t shy away from podcast editing. Invest a bit of your time, and soon you would see the difference it brings to the quality of your podcasts.

Editing is a crucial part of getting a final, high-quality, professionally sounding podcast.

Some podcasters, fed up, with editing, decide to live-produce their shows and do, as little editing as possible. Overall this is a great approach to save a lot of time. It will work well for many people and for many types of shows.

Most creators will need to edit, however, even if just to do small fixes, and improve the overall quality.

It gets easier with time. After a few episodes, you will have a good handle on it, although there will always be more tricks to master. 

The final tip is not to over do it and end up sounding comical.

What is your favorite podcast editing trick or technique?

About the Author

Chris Land

I'm the owner and creator of ImprovePodcast.com, the site dedicated to providing actionable solutions for podcast creators. My goal is helping people to develop their podcasts into effective marketing and sales tools.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *