Do you feel the need? The need for speed? Yes, that’s an adaptation from a famous Top Gun line, but Tom Cruise may have been on to something! In a world where everything happens so quickly, and where we want fast-paced results, we’re always on the hunt for ways to get the best results while still saving that precious time.
And when it comes to podcasting, one of the areas that tends to be anything but timeous is the editing process.
Enter this post. We’ve compiled our 10 best tips to help speed up the editing phase and help make your overall podcast production process as efficient as possible. Because the less time you spend editing, the more time you’ll have to create epic content for your show, come up with great marketing campaigns, or engage more meaningfully with your loyal listeners.
We’ve divided the tips into 3 phases, because speeding up your podcast editing can be done by making some small changes before you’re recording, while you’re recording, as well as while you’re in the actual audio editing phase.
So buckle those seatbelts as we check out all the tips you need for speedy podcast editing!
First up, the pre-recording strategies. If you’ve read this blog for a while, you’ll know I’m a bit of a stickler for planning. (I’m not always a successful planner, mind you, but a stickler none-the-less.) But particularly when it comes to achieving podcasting success, a lot of that success lies in the planning.
Even if you’ve been recording and editing podcasts for a while now, a little planning before each episode will always be a beneficial practice.
Besides the fact that this will make the recording process go that much smoother, a little planning will also save you time on the editing floor.
And so the first 4 tips we have on offer today should be put into practice before recording your podcast episode in order to save you a lot of precious time in the post-production process.
1. Plan Out Each Episode
Tip Number 1: Always write an outline. Now this doesn’t have to be a word-for-word script (although it totally can be that too), but just having some form of outline ready before hitting the record button can significantly shorten your editing time. How? Well, I’m glad you asked!
Not only does a written outline give you something to work off of during editing, guiding you as to the structure of the episode, but an outline will help keep you on track during your recording as well. One of the main time-savers as a result of these outlines would be that you’ll be less likely to run off on unrelated rambles that require substantial (and time-consuming!) cutting and deleting during editing.
Related read: 13 Free Tools For Starting A Podcast On A Budget
2. Improve Your Presentation and Speaking Skills
You can cut down on that editing time by honing your podcasting craft. And honing your craft, in this case, simply refers to your presentation skills. If you can nail your delivery more often than not during the recording process, it follows that there will be substantially less work to do during the editing process.
For example, the more you practice speaking clearly, and at a suitable tempo and pitch, the better your initial recordings will be. Better recordings mean less editing, particularly those edits involving the adjustment of speed and volume of the audio clips.
3. Find The Right Location
Capturing high-quality raw recordings is largely dependent on finding the right location to record in the first place. First prize would obviously be a professional studio, but you are able to create a great recording space in the comfort of your own home!
You need a quiet room, with as little outside interference as possible. But in terms of specifics, using a room that has curtains on the windows, carpets on the floor, and a fair amount of furnishings is really going to help decrease echo and thus prevent your recording from sounding ‘hollow’. This, of course, translates into less time editing!
Related read: How To Create A Home Podcast Recording Studio
4. Use the Right Tools
While it may be true that a good craftsman never blames his tools, when it comes to capturing crystal clear recordings, you need the right tools for the job. Tools, in terms of podcasting, refer to the hardware and software that you need to get that all-important recording. And to help speed up the editing process, investing in a decent microphone and a pair of quality headphones is the place to start.
You might also consider a microphone shield or a pop filter. These can really help minimize, or even prevent, unwanted background noise from creeping onto your recording – making for one less task in the editing process.
Besides all the necessary hardware, you also need the right software for the job. And there are a ton of great options available! Some can be used for both recording and editing, such as Audacity or GarageBand, and some, such as SquadCast or Ringr, are great for capturing high-quality audio for those long-distance interviews.
Related read: Overview Of The Best Podcast Editing Software
Now, let’s look at things you can do as you’re recording your podcast episode that will contribute to quicker podcast editing. These mid-recording strategies are little tweaks you can do as you’re recording to lighten your editing load.
5. Correct As You Go
A high-quality initial recording can also mean a recording that makes editing easier. And so a key tip to saving you time in the long-run is to ensure that you get the best “uncut” version possible. And one of the easiest ways to accomplish this is to correct as you go.
Essentially, what we mean here is that if you make a mistake whilst recording – you get a little tongue-tied, say the wrong word or any other slip of the tongue or speech blunder occurs, STOP. Take a pause for a few seconds, and then carry on dishing out all that valuable content you’ve prepared.
This is a great strategy for two main reasons. First up, starting that sentence again gives you the opportunity to say exactly what you wanted to say, and share just what you had wanted to share, in the way you wanted to share it. But secondly, that momentary break in audio will help visually divide the sound waves when you are viewing your audio in waveform on your editing software, making it much easier to physically see where clips need to be cut. This will greatly speed up the initial process of cutting and deleting unnecessary audio.
6. Monitor Sound Levels
Your investment into a quality pair of headphones really pays off here! By having headphones plugged directly into your laptop, desktop, or mixer as you’re recording, you will constantly be able to monitor the sound levels of your voice, keep an ear out for background noise, and just generally make sure that everything is running and sounding as it should.
Monitoring the sound levels during the recording will save you the time-consuming tinkering and tweaking of the levels later. If you’re interviewing a guest, or you have a co-host, always do a sound check before you hit record, and set the levels of the different mics accordingly right from the start. This will make the process of monitoring that much easier throughout recording.
Finally, we get to the last four tips strategies – the ones that actually involve the editing stage! But by implementing all the previous tips, three is all you need to speed up the editing process.
7. Limit Distractions
One of the best ways to ensure faster podcast editing is to limit your distractions. And while this is important at all stages, it’s particularly important while you’re editing, as this is where you’re looking to maximize your time. And there is no way easier to waste time than to take your attention off the task at hand and give it to tasks or activities that are not helpful or beneficial to you achieving your overall goal.
Consider turning off your social media, instant messages, and email notifications for the time you’ve set aside for editing. Your usual practice might involve having something playing on Netflix, for instance, in the background, but this could actually subconsciously be stealing your focus, adding unnecessary time to your editing process. Try switching to classical or instrumental music, which might actually help you stay focused and increase your productivity overall.
8. Thoroughly Learn Your Software
Whatever software – or combination of software – you’ve chosen to use, a great strategy to edit your podcasts faster is to learn how to use your software… thoroughly! What this means is that you should do all you can to learn every tip and trick, shortcut and hotkey, tool and feature your software offers. Knowing how to do even the most basic edits using shortcuts or hotkeys (keys which give you quick access to a function or feature of the program) will really speed up the editing process.
Most software comes with an online user guide, but YouTube and Instagram are also great sources for tips and tricks from a community of people who use the product. There are also many online short courses you can complete to really help you learn all you can about using the software.
9. Create A Podcast Template
Tip Number 9 could save you plenty of time (did you see how that rhymed?) but is an often overlooked practice – using an editing template. Creating a template for your specific podcast can really help you speed up your editing process. If you use the same intro and jingle for each episode, for example, these could be saved on your template already, meaning that’s one less thing for you to have to insert.
A template could also be super helpful if your podcast consists of fairly uniform segments with particular sound effects in between. You can then create your template with this basic structure, leaving the gaps for your new content for each episode. Then all that you’d have to do is add the new recordings in between all the existing sound effects and jingles, make the necessary tweaks and cuts, and “Hey, presto,” your editing is done.
10. Consider Outsourcing
Last but not least. Do you know what will save you plenty of time in the editing process? Not doing any editing…
Now, I don’t mean not doing any editing. What I mean is outsourcing the editing and production aspects of your show. This will free up your time and allow you to focus on writing and recording great content for your show.
Outsourcing also gives you access to the skills of professionals – who can work their magic on YOUR show! Turnaround time can also be much quicker than if you had to do the editing yourself, depending on who you use. Lastly, if you’ve followed the strategies above and handed over high-quality raw audio, your finished product will sound absolutely great!
*Check out our packages offered here if you’d like to consider outsourcing to help give your podcast that professional production edge.
Audio editing is an integral part of the podcasting process. But it is often the most time consuming. And this is because, to a large extent, the ultimate success of a podcast relies heavily on the quality of the audio. Yes, your content has to be superb too, but poor audio can kill your show, no matter how great your content is!
And so while some degree of audio editing will always be necessary to ensure that your podcast stands out from the crowd for all the right reasons, with the help of these 10 tips, you’ll be able to save plenty of time on that process.
Put these tips into practice, and you’ll be editing your episodes so speedily, we may as well call you “Maverick.”