5 EDITING AND MIXING TRICKS TO MAKE YOUR PODCAST STAND OUT IN 2021





18.02.21



Podcasting has become one of the leading ways for brands and individuals to communicate. COVID 19 has all but increased this move, and so as more people move into this space, it is inevitable that there are varying quality levels of the final product.





Editing and mixing a podcast can be tricky especially with people recording remotely and using different platforms to record on. As a podcast technical producer at The Stellar Effect there is so much I can share about podcast post-production that can help you grow and enhance your podcast but I thought the best way to eat the pie is one slice at a time.


Here are 5 things that I have found invaluable in enhancing the audio quality on the podcasts that I work on.


Noise cancellation or Noise Suppression

With the rapid transition to remote working and online recording, it is safe to say that not everyone has an acoustically treated studio type setup at home. But there are a few things that the participants on your podcast recording can do to help the process along the way.


- The chosen space is essential. Be sure to choose a place with few to no reflective surfaces. Rooms with lots of glass windows and doors are not a good idea. A bedroom or a room with couches and rugs and wooden floors. The less ambient noise the better. This is particularly important for conversational style podcast, but also for recording voice-over parts for the storytelling style podcast.


- Record in a quiet place. This is probably the most challenging as not all of us live in the mountains where traffic and the hustle and bustle of neighbours are a daily part of life. Some sounds cannot be lessened or removed in post-production, because it is in the same frequency as the spoken word. Trying to remove the sound will create a muffled and unclear final product.


- Use plugins to lessen and in some cases remove the audio anomalies. Noise suppression helps remove background noises as if the speaker was in a padded room. The downside is that if used too much it can affect the audio quality making it sound too compressed or in some cases removing some of the words. So careful application is essential.


For an excellent plugin for Noise Suppression click here



Compression

Generally, compression is used to control the audio and bring it into balance. It makes the soft parts louder and the loud parts softer. This is important when you have many contributors on the podcast each with a different setup. Being able to balance the different voices and give the listener a pleasant experience.


I often encounter this challenge when the host has a condenser microphone and the guest use ear-bud headpieces. The dynamic range differs completely between the 2 microphones, so the compression will help bring them together.


For an excellent plugin for compression click here


Stereo imaging

Stereo imaging is a trick that has helped me with creating depth and space within the podcast audio. This means that instead of hearing a one dimensional sound, you are able to create a more three dimensional sound. This is particularly helpful in creative or storytelling style podcast.


For example in the case of a fictional story podcast. If you wanted to make the listener feel like rain is falling all around them then you would play a stereo imaging plugin to “place” all around the listeners head rather than hearing it in front of them. Similarly, with a conversational podcast, you apply stereo imaging to give the illusion that the listener is in the same space as the speaker.


A great plugin for stereo imaging can be found here


Multiband compression

Multiband compression is a plugin I use as a finishing tool for all my podcast edits. This plugin has the ability to enhance all the frequencies and give your podcast the necessary “colour” to make it stand out. It makes the low ends warmer and the high ends cut through nicely to bring clarity as well as glueing the different parts or what we call audio segments together to sound like one cohesive body of work.


I place the plugin on the master bus, which is the main channel through which all the audio plays. By doing this you enhance the sound of the entire episode as well as glue all the different pieces of audio together.


For an excellent plugin for multi-band compression click here


Loudness meter

This is not necessarily a trick but a necessity as it will help you gauge the volume of your podcast. This plugin has become a standard part of my mixing template. The worst thing to happen is that certain parts of your episode are louder than others, this forces the listener to increase and decrease the volume button which creates frustration. If they are riding the volume button then they will most likely ride to the next podcast.


I place the plugin on the master bus where I can gauge the volume level of the entire podcast and see where parts may be louder than others. I then can adjust the volumes at those parts.


For an excellent loudness meter plugin click here


Looking forward to sharing more tips over the next few months. If you’d like to get in touch with us do pop us an email at hello@thestellareffect.com.