How to record and edit your podcast

This is part two of a series of posts about how to make a podcast. For the rest of the series, just follow the links below.

Wait, record? Surely it’s time to launch!
NO!
Record an episode first. You have no idea how the first episode will sound and you might need to re-record it later with changes to the format. As far as microphones go, you don’t need to spend much if you can’t afford to. I know a lot of excellent podcasts that record using only £20 mics, but if you want high-quality audio, the Blue Yeti is fantastic and what we use on our podcast. It’s around £100 so consider it an investment.

Recording takes longer than you might think. Quite often there’s research involved and note taking and, of course, planning the episode format. With How2Wrestling this takes a few days, as we watch matches, documentaries (takes around 3 – 4 hours, depending on what we decide to cover), write notes, research each wrestler (takes around an hour) and decide on the outline. For our most recent episode, we made up 6 pages of notes, not including images. Due to the format of our podcast, which has a big emphasis on including tidbits and info from our listeners, this takes longer for us than other podcasts as we must gather all the comments from Facebook and Twitter. This can take anywhere from fifteen minutes to an hour.

Editing

Once you’ve recorded your first episode, you’ll need to edit it. This is something you can choose not to do, but do so at your own risk, as iTunes’ hidden algorithm appears to give preference to well-edited shows. There’s perfectly fine audio editing software available for free online (such as Audacity) but we choose to use Adobe Audition for certain features it offers. The main things worth editing out are coughs, burps, misspoken sentences and weird laughs. In our case, this takes between 4 – 6 hours, because we also edit it to make us sound more coherent. Once you get confident editing audio you can rephrase sentences, take out ‘um’s and ‘ah’s and make that word you mispronounced sound like you said it perfectly first time. Kefin’s been editing so long, he can recognise an ‘um’ by waveform alone, and edit it to sound like you said pretty much whatever he wants you to have said. Very useful for guests who stumble over their words.

Now you’ve edited your episode, you can finally do what you’ve been waiting for all this time.

Next: Part three: How to launch your podcast.

Part four: How to maintain your podcast’s success.

Previous: Part one: How to plan your podcast.