How to Start a Podcast

#5 Edit your podcast episode

October 10, 2018 Season 1
How to Start a Podcast
#5 Edit your podcast episode
Chapters
00:01:19
Choosing the right theme song
00:05:40
Intro + Main Segment + Outro = Episode
00:11:17
Save vs Export
00:12:14
The final step in your editing process
00:16:14
Upload your episode into Buzzsprout
00:17:25
Download the Podcast Checklist
How to Start a Podcast
#5 Edit your podcast episode
Oct 10, 2018 Season 1
Buzzsprout
How to edit your podcast episode
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In this episode we cover: 

  1. Where to get your podcast theme song 
  2. How to edit and export your podcast episode 
  3. Our favorite post-production software for optimizing your audio 


Stuff we mention in this episode:


Download the “How to Start a Podcast Checklist”, a FREE, step-by-step guide designed to help you get your podcast off the ground without feeling overwhelmed. 

Start your podcast for FREE with Buzzsprout



Travis:
0:00
So it's the mental picture when you imagine sitting down to edit your audio.
Alban:
0:06
No. What are you doing Travis with all those knobs?!?
Travis:
0:16
Hello and welcome to episode five of how to start a podcast where you learn everything you need to know about how to create a podcast from scratch. I'm your host, Travis Albritton, and helping me once again with the episode today is Alban Brooke.
Alban:
0:27
What's happenin' Travis?
Travis:
0:29
In this episode, you're going to learn how to edit all that great audio you recorded in the last episode and upload it as a podcast episode in Buzzsprout.
Alban:
0:38
Nice. We're on the homestretch pretty soon.
Travis:
0:41
We're getting close guys. We're getting close to launch day, which is very, very exciting. Now, I don't know about you, Alban, but when I first started out I was extremely intimidated by the editing process.
Alban:
0:51
Yeah, I mean it's not something that you probably have much exposure to until you actually start editing episodes so it can. Yeah, it's definitely intimidating.
Travis:
0:59
And for me the mental image that I have is this giant mixing board and like a professional recording studio with hundreds of knobs and dials and things that have to be adjusted, but that's not reality. That's not how you edit a podcast episode. So that's the good news and we're going to break down how to actually do that in this episode. And so one thing you have to do is choose a theme song for your podcast.
Alban:
1:23
Yes, this is actually a ton of fun.
Travis:
1:25
Absolutely. And there are a couple of different options, a couple of different strategies when it comes to choosing your theme song. We're going to give you a bootstrap option which is totally free, and then we're going to give you maybe a little more professional option that'll cost you a little bit, but in the long run it's going to be totally worth it for the lifetime of your podcast.
Alban:
1:42
Okay, cool.
Travis:
1:43
So the big thing with podcast theme songs is you need it to be royalty free, so you can't just choose the song of your favorite band and say that's going to be my podcast theme song because they can sue you for lots of money, which is not what we want here at Buzzsprout.
Alban:
1:58
If we had our choice. It would be Margaritaville by Jimmy Buffett every episode, but it's not gonna fly with the record label. So, uh, yeah, you gotta pick something that's royalty free.
Travis:
2:09
Right. And so, so royalty free just means that you don't have to pay someone every time you use their song. That's all that royalty free means. You want to make sure that whatever song you're using is also free for commercial use. So just because it's royalty free for your personal use, if you're putting it into a podcast, you have to make sure that it's also designated as that kind of royalty free. So now how do you find a royalty free podcast theme song? We're going to give you the bootstrap option first, and that is to use Soundcloud. So Soundcloud is just a website and an app where people upload their own music and people can listen to it, and inside of that you have artists that will upload their music as royalty free and free for commercial use. So you're able to use it in your podcast without worrying about being sued.
Alban:
2:55
Now is there a way to search so that I can only find royalty free music?
Travis:
2:59
Yes. So if you go in the search bar, and so let's say that you want a happy theme song. So you type in happy music. On the sidebar on the left, you're going to have a couple of different options to filter your search results and one of those is free for commercial use. So you want to make sure that that option is turned on and then all the songs that Soundcloud gives you, you're going to be able to use for your podcast. Now, the only thing that you need to know is if you're going to use this strategy to get a free theme song from Soundcloud, you'll need to give the artist credit in some way, either verbally at the end of your episode saying, Hey, the theme song was performed by such and such, or you need to list them in the show notes of your episode saying this is who came up with this theme song and here's where you can go the rest of their music. Right? So that's the only thing that you want to make sure you do with Soundcloud to cover your bases. And so the pro, it's absolutely free. You don't have to pay anything for the Soundcloud file as long as you use the free for commercial use option when you're searching.
Alban:
3:59
One drawback to the Soundcloud option is it can be a little bit harder to find something that's royalty free for commercial use and fits the style for your podcast. And if you do find it, it might pop up on a bunch of different podcasts as well. So just got to think like lots of other people are doing this exact same process. If you've got a little bit of money in your budget, it might be better to jump into kind of the pro option that you had.
Travis:
4:25
Yep. So if you, want to sound a little bit more professional, have a little bit higher quality theme song, a great option is going to be Audio Jungle. It's a website where you can purchase the rights to stock music and we're talking like $30 to $40 for the complete rights to a song and they're going to have a very wide selection, a lot of different styles, a lot of different options for you and everything on that site you can use in your podcast and having stock audio that you own that you don't have to give credit to someone else especially if you're trying to use this podcast to grow your business, it can make you sound more professional and just comes across as a little more polished than if you were downloading stuff off Soundcloud and giving credit to those artists. So if you're doing a professional podcast and you have some budget to throw behind a theme song, definitely encourage you to go and look at Audio Jungle to see what kind of options they have, but you can absolutely bootstrap it and download something off Soundcloud for free. And that's also a great option.
Alban:
5:23
Yeah, just make sure you've got the rights to both of those and that you're totally free and clear on the legal front.
Travis:
5:30
We don't want anyone to go to court, so please follow our advice. If we're going to stress anything in this podcast, we don't want you to go to jail. So now that you've chosen your theme song, we're going to start putting the pieces together. All right, so we're going to mix your master episode file. That's where we bring all the different segments together. Your recording of yourself, your interview, your theme song, and we're going to start piecing it together to form a complete episode. And when you want to do this, you want to divide and conquer. You don't want to think about the whole thing at once. You want to split it up into a couple of different sections.
Alban:
6:05
So we'll do like an intro, the main episode segment, and then maybe like an outro?
Travis:
6:11
Yeah, that's a really good way to think about it and that's how we organize our episodes. So we'll have an intro setup. We'll have the main section which is predominantly what we talk about, and then we have the outro at the very end, and so I'll break down what goes into each of those segments, but as you, as we start to paint this out, you'll see how all these pieces start to fit together to form one episode front to back.
Alban:
6:35
Cool.
Travis:
6:35
So when you're doing your intro, a couple of things to think about including you want to put your theme song in there because that's going to serve as a cue for someone who's listening that. Okay, I'm listening to that podcast, not this other one that I've subscribed to, right? Because often people will listen to several episodes from different podcasts in a row, so you wanna give him a cue that. All right, they're listening to your podcast. You want to give a little introduction, don't bury the lead, and that's just a journalism term that means don't put the juiciest part of the episode all the way at the end. You want to tell them right up front what they can expect and that just gives them a really good sense of should I commit to listening to the entire episode if they feel like you're dragging on and not getting to the point, they're gonna stop listening. So in that intro, within the first couple of minutes, they should be able to tell what the rest of the episode is going to be about.
Alban:
7:20
It's called the inverted pyramid. You tell them the big exciting piece really quickly so that you can flush out the story as you go through. And Yeah, you want to make sure that the very beginning you're telling them, here's what we're going to hit so it doesn't get, you know, allow people just to trail off and leave.
Travis:
7:36
Right. And so the way that we do this in our podcast and when you're listening to right now is within the first minute and a half to two minutes, we'll say something like, in this episode you will learn dot, dot, dot. That's us telling you, this is what you can expect to learn if you continue to listen. Right? So that's how we have it incorporated into our introduction.
Alban:
7:55
Cool. Then we've got the main segment next, and this is where we're going to stick the interview or kind of that solo narration like we talked about a few episodes ago, maybe where the story kind of kicks in or an interview like what we're doing right now.
Travis:
8:09
Yeah. So the main segment is going to be what you would think of as your podcast episode. That's the majority of your content, your conversation you're having with someone else that you're interviewing, the lesson or the teaching that you're doing yourself, or if you're telling a story that's going to be the main section of your podcast episode, and then you're going to wrap it up at the end with an outro. And this is actually really important, you want to provide closure to your podcast episodes. So when you're putting your outro together, you want to wrap it up in a way that the listener feels like, okay, I have something I can take away from listening to this episode. So if you notice, we do a recap at the end of every episode just to remind you of the things that we covered. So that just helps to reinforce, okay, yeah, that's what they talked about. That's why it's important. So I know what I want to do moving forward. And then you also want to give your listeners a call to action. So that's where you tell them to either follow you on Instagram or to support your Patreon account or to go to your website, whatever action you want them to take. The outro is where you put that. So after they listened to the entire episode, you want to give them a call to action. You want to give them something to do to participate in the podcast. And this is a great way to also increase your audience engagement because now you're giving them an opportunity to communicate with you in some way.
Alban:
9:29
Yeah. And podcasting has become kind of one sided or it could feel that way if even if you've got a good audience, not a ton of people reach out. It's really cool to get those comments. So then you know, there's people on the other end listening.
Travis:
9:41
Yep. And then a sneaky hack, something that you can do in your outro to take your podcast to the next level is tease the next episode.
Alban:
9:49
Sneaky hack.
Travis:
9:50
Sneaky hack. So if you think about a TV series, I know we're not, we don't like TV in podcast world because we don't have to be bound by the constraints of advertising, but in a TV series, often they will leave a cliffhanger at the end and that cliffhanger is meant to make you excited about the next episode. And so what you want to do is tease the next episode. Give them an idea of what is coming up the next time you post. So they're looking forward to it before they even start to listen to it and that's a great way just to get your audience more engaged, more committed, and more excited about your podcast.
Alban:
10:26
Yeah. So, and if any of this sounds a little intimidating, it's really nice while you're at your episode to sit down with like a tutorial or a guide. So there's lots of great videos online. I know Pat Flynn's got an awesome series for Audacity. We've got some blog posts on Audacity. We've got a really good one from an audio engineers, a friend of mine in Atlanta who did one called how to record, edit, and mix a great sounding podcast. We're gonna leave stuff about all of these in the show notes, but definitely utilize those while you're editing your podcast. It'll make it a lot easier. It'll make it hopefully take a little of the anxiety out of it.
Travis:
11:03
Yep. So definitely look at those tutorials that we have links for in the show notes. That's going to give you a good leg up so you're not trying to figure everything out on the fly. Get a little guidance with how to navigate inside of GarageBand and Audacity, when you're mixing your final episode and then Alban, talk about the difference between saving and exporting an episode.
Alban:
11:22
Yes, so there's a little bit of a difference between an exporting and saving. We're just saving the entire project, so until you're done, just click keep clicking save. Now when you're completely done, you're like, okay, I'm ready to finalize this episode. We're going to export it and this will create a much smaller audio file that can't be edited as well, but it's going to be perfect for people to listen to. So in GarageBand we're going to go to share and then if you go down, there's something that's export song to disk. And we're just gonna export like at MP3 or a WAVE file. MP3s are really the best so export a MP3. And then Audacity, you do the same thing but you'd go file export.
Travis:
12:03
So you want to make sure that you export your episode, not just save it because when you export it, that's the file that you're actually going to share with your podcast listeners and upload into Buzzsprout. But there's one more step in the process that we recommend after you've exported your file, after you've done all of the edits you need to do to it, there's one more piece of software that we want to tell you about that really makes a difference in the quality of your sound.
Alban:
12:28
So we are huge fans of Auphonic it's this really cool software that gives you a ton of really advanced audio tweaks automatically. So once you've exported your show as an MP3, just go to Auphonic.com and then you can upload it to them and they're going to make some tweaks to your audio and it's going to set a ton better.
Travis:
12:53
So there's a couple things that Auphonic can do that GarageBand and Audacity can't do, which is why we incorporate it in our own post production editing process. The first thing is just going to set your loudness. Loudness is different than volume, so loudness is based on a standard metric. So that means that your pot, when you set your loudness correctly, your podcast isn't gonna be too loud, too soft or vary between episodes. So when someone listens to a bunch of episodes in a row, if you're loudness setting is the same on all of those, it's going to be at the same level, but if you just export from GarageBand or Audacity, you don't have control over what that is going to sound like to the listener.
Alban:
13:36
So loudness is like I'm watching TV and all of a sudden a commercial comes on and it's all of a sudden it's like super intense. That's because the loudness of the episode is turned up. The volume I can adjust my my own, but it's kind of like a relative metric, right?
Travis:
13:52
Yes, absolutely. And so you'll want to set your loudness to -16 LUFS, that's the podcast standard. And inside Auphonic it tells you this is the standard for podcasts it's a little drop down menu. The other thing it can do is export your episode to True Mono. This is especially important if you have GarageBand because as a default, GarageBand will export your file as a dual mono file and so the waveforms will cancel out and make your episode quieter than it was when you were first listening to it. It's just a really interesting quirk with GarageBand, Audacity, you don't have that problem, but with GarageBand it helps to be able to run it through Auphonic to export it as a mono file. And then the other, a couple of really cool features that it has is what's called an adaptive leveler, so that's where it's going to smooth out the peaks and the valleys in your audio and so if you have like a really loud part of your episode and then kind of a softer part of your episode, it's going to make them sound the same volume, right? If you do specific crescendos and decrescendos inside of your podcast, it won't edit those out, but it will edit out like conversations where you're talking to someone and your microphone is a little bit louder than theirs. It's gonna make it sound like it's the same audio level
Alban:
15:08
And that can be really distracting when people have their mic set at totally different levels and one person's like super loud and one is pretty quiet and so that's definitely a huge benefit. You can get there.
Travis:
15:19
Yep. And then the last really cool thing that you can do with Auphonic is if you have some noise or hum in the background. So let's say that the dishwasher was running while you're recording your episode, you can get that background noise reduced in your final episode audio file. Yeah, so Auphonic. It does all kinds of really cool wizarding stuff to your podcast episode and then when you x, when it's done processing your file, that's what you're going to want to upload as your final podcast episode to push out to your listeners.
Alban:
15:52
That's free, right?
Travis:
15:53
Yes. Auphonic lets you upload your first two hours for free every month. So if you do a weekly 30 minute show, you'll never have to pay for it.
Alban:
16:02
That's in line with the same settings as a free Buzzsprout account, so run it through Auphonic, clean up the audio a little bit, make it sound great, and next we're onto uploading it to Buzzsprout, right?
Travis:
16:15
Yes. So Alban, walk us through the process of how you upload your episode into Buzzsprout. Once you're done.
Alban:
16:21
Just log into your Buzzsprout account. If you don't have one already, it's free to sign up and as soon as you log in, there's this giant button that's upload new episode. You're going to click that one and we just walk you through a step by step process. So we ask you for the name and the description a little bit about the episode and then you upload the audio file that we just saved from Auphonic and now we're going to take it up, make sure it's the right file type and we're going to put it into your feed.
Travis:
16:50
Yep. And once you're done and you've saved all the details it's going to show up on the front page of your dashboard so you can see very clearly that your episode has been uploaded and then it's ready to get pushed out to your listeners.
Alban:
17:00
Cool. So to recap, we've run through. We picked a theme song, we edited each segment of the episode, the Intro, the main section, and the outro. Then we're going to export as an MPE upload that to Auphonic to get some like audio magic. And then we're going to upload that new file to Buzzsprout and we're ready to go.
Travis:
17:25
That is it. And if you are following along with all of this and thinking, that's a lot to remember. Just remember we have this really nifty thing called how to start a podcast checklist where you can fill in each of these blanks, checkoff each of these boxes and as you're going through you'll have that step by step process to help you. So you don't have to remember everything you heard just enough so that when you're going through the checklist you remember Oh yeah, that's what I have to do at that step, and if you haven't downloaded it at this point, you still can. It's still not too late to download the checklist, just click the link in the show notes and you can download the PDF for free.
Alban:
17:59
Yeah, this isn't a limited time offer, so it will be there. Even if you go to the next episode will still remind you, but this should make it a lot easier to get to create your first podcast.
Travis:
18:10
In the next episode, you'll learn how to get your podcast into all the major podcast players and directories like Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
Choosing the right theme song
Intro + Main Segment + Outro = Episode
Save vs Export
The final step in your editing process
Upload your episode into Buzzsprout
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