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How to Edit a Podcast

How to Edit a Podcast

Your podcast episode is in the bag, and you’re ready to move on to the audio editing phase. Podcast audio editing is a necessary process. Get it right, and you end up with professional podcast episodes that your listeners love. But get it wrong, and your podcast post-production process won’t save you from the specter of bad audio quality.

This article looks at how to do podcast editing well, allowing you to join the ranks of podcast professionals.

How to Edit Your Podcast

Listen to any podcast produced by a professional, such as the Tim Ferriss Show, and you’ll instantly appreciate the sound quality. These podcasts are free of background noises, and it’s clear that a podcast editor has handled the recording.

You can emulate this level of professionalism. Using these podcast editing tips, you’ll be able to edit podcasts to ensure they sound great.

Tip 1 – Define the Podcast’s Length

It’s easy to get off track when you’re recording your episode. You find the subject you’re speaking about fascinating and could speak at length about the topic. However, talking at length can lead to meandering podcasts that quickly lose the interest of your listeners.

Before working on your audio, ask yourself how long you want your podcast to be. By giving yourself a target podcast length, you can work through the source material to ensure you don’t overrun.

Tip 2 – Create Your Podcast Editing Rules

When you take a freeform approach to podcast editing, you end up with inconsistent episodes that don’t follow a structure. A suitable structure is critical to ensuring a natural flow and improving the overall quality of your podcast.

Set rules to maintain a structure throughout each episode:

  • Eliminate background noise first to get a clear audio track.
  • Only use sound effects where appropriate.
  • Give equal speaking time to each podcast host.
  • Always give the edited recording one final listen to ensure you don’t miss anything.

Following a clear set of rules saves time in the recording and editing processes.

Tip 3 – Look for the Compelling Story

A podcast recording is only as interesting as the story that runs throughout the podcast. You need a narrative thread to follow from beginning to end.

Every podcast has a story to tell. That story may be an actual narrative. Alternatively, it could be a set of points you want to make on a topic. Understanding the message you want to send is key before you boot up your podcast software.

For example, let’s say you’re interviewing a videogame designer. Your listeners expect an inside look into how the videogame design industry works. As such, any parts of the podcast that go off on unrelated tangents aren’t part of your narrative. Those portions of your audio are good candidates for the cutting room floor.

Tip 4 – Focus on Flow

A good podcast flows from one segment to the next. Unnecessary noises and pauses in the conversation ruin that flow, making it more difficult for listeners to track the conversation.

When editing your podcast, focus on removing the enemies of good flow:

  • Unwanted noise that interrupts the conversation
  • Conversation markers, such as “um” and “you know”
  • Extended pauses or awkward pauses that lead to dead air
  • Obvious mistakes, such as sneezes, coughs, and background noise

When you edit your podcast, consider it a chance to remove the hard surfaces. Anything that holds up the flow needs to go.

Tip 5 – Understand the Full Podcast Editing Task

Podcast editing involves far more than booting up your podcast editing software so you can get rid of weird noises. Several steps go into post-production:

  • Editing the podcast to make it a good listen for your audience.
  • Adding music and sound effects builds dynamic range and creates a more pleasurable listening experience.
  • Mixing and mastering the audio to ensure proper sound design. For example, you may need to adjust audio levels to ensure your voice is always prominent.
  • Accounting for the incorporation of any syndication or sponsor messages at appropriate points.

You can cut the time you spend editing drastically if you understand each stage of the process.

Tip 6 – Choose Your Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)

A DAW is the podcast editing software you use to work on your podcast audio. Examples include Pro Tools and Adobe Audition.

A good DAW covers you from when you start recording to the entire post-production process (for more information on recording a podcast, read here). However, the best podcast software isn’t necessarily the most feature-rich on the market. Your choice of recording software depends on your budget and what you aim to achieve with editing.

Choose your podcast editing software carefully. Consider your budget and skill level as you’ll need to become familiar with this software before you can edit well.

Tip 7 – Take Steps to Reduce Editing While You Record

With the proper tools, you can reduce the need for editing podcasts.

For example, you can use a pop filter for noise reduction when you’re speaking. These filters eliminate “popping” noises, such as those your mouth generates when you use plosives. Using them gives you a cleaner recording, allowing you to spend less time on podcast editing.

Similar tools include quality headphones, which ensure guests aren’t constantly asking you to repeat yourself. Soundproofing your studio also helps by preventing unwanted noises from interfering with the recording.

Tip 8 – Add Music Where Appropriate

Music can add to a story. Take a film, such as Pulp Fiction, as an example. Every track used in that film serves the story and helps the director create a certain mood or atmosphere.

The right soundtrack achieves the same effect for your podcast. Adding music during podcast editing may help to emphasize important points or guide the listener’s emotions during more heartrending conversations.

Remember that any sound you add must amplify. If a soundtrack takes precedence over the conversation, you’re distracting from your podcast’s purpose.

Tip 9 – Organize Audio Tracks

Attempting to handle all of your audio on a single track is a challenging task. You’ll find yourself getting lost as you edit audio.

It’s better to divide your audio into several tracks, each of which gets the editing touch. Create tracks for the following:

  • The podcast host
  • A track each for every guest
  • Music
  • The room’s tone

A good podcast editing software, such as Adobe Audition, allows you to upload multiple tracks for editing.

Tip 10 – Listen to the Full Episode Before You Start

It’s tempting to jump into podcast editing with reckless abandon. You know what you want to chop out of the recording, and you’re eager to start.

Don’t move so fast.

Take some time to listen to the full episode while taking notes. Record timestamps for any sections that require attention. Listening to the full episode also helps you track your narrative thread, making it easier to identify sections that don’t quite fit.

How to Edit a Podcast

How to Reduce Podcast Editing Time

With these ten podcast editing pointers, you’re in a good position to start working on your podcast.

However, you want to do podcast editing as fast as possible.

Use the following tips to speed up editing so you can get episodes out to the public much faster.

Get Familiar With Your Editing Software

Podcast editing is hard enough without having to grapple with unfamiliar software.

Take some time to learn the ins and outs of your chosen software. Understand what you need to accomplish and identify what the software contains that can help you with your task.

Most podcast editing software comes with tutorials to help you along. You can also engage the software’s community and check out how-to videos on YouTube.

Plan Before You Record

Having a solid episode structure in place saves so much time when podcast editing. You won’t have to worry as much about cutting entire segments of conversation because your plan keeps you on track.

Prepare a script before you record the episode. Refer to that script as you speak to ensure your conversation doesn’t meander toward topics you’ll have to edit out later.

Edit as You Record

The click editing method allows you to edit as you record. It’s also a straightforward technique.

You’ll often know when you’ll need to edit a section of your podcast as you record. When one of those moments arises, pause before clicking your fingers three times into your microphone.

This action creates an audio timestamp in your sound files waveform. You should be able to spot the clicks easily when editing, allowing you to jump straight to the appropriate section.

Get the Podcast Editing Process Right

Podcast editing can be a laborious process, especially if you come unprepared. But the more you understand how to edit, the faster and more streamlined you can make the process.

With the tips in this article, you have a general step-by-step guide for editing podcasts. Furthermore, by taking action to keep your podcasts on track during recording, you’ll have less to worry about when you enter the editing room.


Hey there! I’m a software, blogging and AI enthusiast. I’ve been exploring these topics for years and I get a kick out of sharing my knowledge and insights.

Whether you’re curious about new tech, need fresh tools and tips, or want to stay current with industry trends, I’m here for you. Welcome to my website!

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