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Audio Editing, Mixing, and Mastering for Podcasting

by NCC Audio
March 11th 2021
In this episode, Nick goes over his post-production process for podcasting. Learn the difference between editing, mixing, and mastering, and how these phases in the post-production process will ultima... More
Hey everyone. This is Nick Chamberlain. I just wanted to quickly like you know about a new resource that I have created. If you're interested in starting a podcast and you don't know where to begin and you're getting overwhelmed with all of the different microphones and audio interfaces to choose from. And if you just want to learn what's the best audio editing software out there and to learn how to make your room sound great and what are the different podcast hosting services out there? How do you get your podcast on apple podcasts? Well, I've created a quick little jumpstart guide for you. So go to N C C audio dot com slash jump start to get started. Hello and welcome to another episode of the N. C C audio podcast, the podcast that's dedicated to helping you to improve your podcast so you can grow your audience. I'm your host, Nick Chamberlain and in today's episode we are going to be going over the post production process for podcasting. This will be a more technical episode but we will be laying out principles and not diving into the minutia of dynamic processing settings and other small, precise and trivial details.

Let's get started. So to go on this journey I will be dragging along my co host and friend Mr Brandon Manderson so he can stop me at any point when something gets too technical or confusing. Hey Brandon. Good morning sir. Good morning. Mr minutia. You already lost me there. What is this minutia word? Minutia? So minuti or some people like to say minuti or some people like to say minutia. It's the talking about the small, precise and trivial details of something. Okay so there's a little that was a vocabulary lesson for everybody today then. Huh? Yeah it was funny. I was reading my intro and I said Manisha and brian was like what the heck is minutia? And so then I googled minutia and I was like, and then I was like, well it says a small precise trivial details of something that's kind of what I don't want to talk about today. But then I hit the uh play the word so you can pronounce the word.

And it was like, I knew she was like, what the heck is minutia? I haven't heard anyone say it this way and then there's like a plural. Yeah, that's the plural form. That's the plural form is minutia and the singular form was minutia. Minutiae. Right? I don't know what was it? Brandon? Minutiae. So I'm on minutiae watch today, I'm looking out for anything. Nick says that doesn't make sense and that can be super confusing. Thanks Brandon. So our listeners at home, if you like play along with me today, we're going to be calling out all the minutiae is So if you hear Minutia at home, yell at into your cell phone, into your speaker into your car, whatever it is that you're listening to your headphones, just start saying minutia. You know, that'll be uh that'll be how weak you nick to let them know you're getting a little too too intricate here, huh? Yeah, and you you added in an S earlier to minutia is but minutia is the plural, so you don't need a madden S Yeah, well, that was my bad, I should know who she is.

Uh I'm very oh my goodness, I'm embarrassed. Yeah. All right, we're already diving into this. But this minutiae Minutia, I still feel like harry potter or something. And all the latin lovers like how dare you disrespect my language. Well, thank you for bringing it into existence in the first place. We appreciate you. Yeah, thank you creating latin. Okay, so we're gonna be talking about the post production phase of podcasting. So that's going to be editing your podcast, mixing your podcast and mastering your podcast. But what are these three different terms even mean? So editing is how it sounds. This will involve the slicing and dicing of your podcast where you edit out and rearrange your recording in your digital audio workstation of choice. So this involves removing all of your burbs and dog farts um's and ah's pops and cracks, basically anything you did not like the recording process, you can remove it and make it sound better so no one can hear it, right?

Brandon, Right, editing. That's not too confusing, right? No, no no, not not confusing at all. And the editing phase, you also will you know, add your cross fades, your fade ins and your fade outs to make it sound smooth. And then after editing we get into our mixing. So mixing is a term from music production where you layer in all the musical instruments so they all blend together and sound nice. And in this phase you will also use tools such as equalization, compressors, limiters and other dynamic processing tools. So dynamic processing is how it sounds. You take your dynamics, your loudness and your quietness of your podcast of your recording and you just manipulate them with a plug in or a tool such as an equalizer or compressor limiters. If you go to a recording studio, A lot of these tools, they're going to be actual big analog gear that you're going to be having in Iraq.

And so that's why when you go into a the recording studio, all this equipment and you're like, whoa, this is overwhelming. But nowadays, all of those tools are in a digital format which you can use in your doll of choices that where the term plug in comes from. You think because you like legitimately used to have to plug it into your mixing board or to anything like that? Oh yeah, I like that. And it just plug in, Yeah, you have to plug into an outlet to to give it power. Lots of plugs, plug in. So many plug ins. So, yep, for mixing, you'll be using plug ins and other tools. Okay? So then after mixing, we get into mastering. All right, so what's the difference between mixing and mastering? So mastering is making your final eq compression and limiting moves on your final track. So when you're mixing you have your podcast track, one podcast track to with the different voices, and then you have your music track and then you can have your sound effects track or anything else you want to add. So you have like up to like four or five different tracks.

Multi track. So and you'll be editing your podcast and usually a multi track view, right? And then you have to take all those files and then you bounce them down into a single audio file. Does this make sense? Yes, it makes sense to me. Can you visualize? Okay, It's like taking all your groceries and putting them into one bag. Yes. And then that one bag, you can squish it or make it bigger, expand it Whatever you want to do with that one grocery, maybe it's like taking all of your ingredients and baking it into a cake, wow, that's a good example to Brandon. That's probably a better example. You have everything together and then putting it into the oven to make it come together and put all the greens together. That's your mastering. I made that joke with my mom the other day when I was rendering something in after effects and it was after effects is done rendering it like dings, it goes pring. And my mom was like, what was that? Was that your computer? And I was like, oh no my cookies are done. Then I walked over.

So yeah, that's true. It's just like a little alarm that says, hey, you're track is ready, that's cool. I like that. Okay, so you will be using for mastering on your final track. You're pretty much getting it to the final loudness that you need your podcast to be. So all of your podcast episodes can be around the same volume. So when people are listening back to your podcast, if they listen from episode to episode it's all around the same volume. And Apple podcasts like this to be around negative 16 L. U. F. S. And you can figure out that loudness in your dog choice by using a plug in or if you have adobe audition, it already is built in to your software. So that's what I use all the time and I use, it was about to get into the minutiae. Minutia minutia minutiae is you're going to hit option command a or you hit window and you've opened up your amplitude statistics. So that is how you find your loudness of your track is your amplitude statistics.

And I made a hotkey for that which is option command A and then I just double check and make sure it's around negative 16 L. U. F. S. Just just some little little minutiae for a little bit of minutiae. The new shi'a Someone's gonna be like so upset with us because we're saying it wrong. Yeah. All right. So now we kind of have a basic understanding of the post production process, the editing, mixing and mastering. So now we're gonna get into my post production process of podcasting. Okay, here we go. All right, Brandon we're gonna get a little technical but I think what podcasting is technical. So if you're going to be producing your own podcast, this is going to be a good process to follow. So let's get into it. Let's dive deep into the minutia of podcast. She minutia. So the first thing I do is import and format my files. So I'm just gonna be using example with me and Brandon Wright with Brandon. And I I don't know what's going on here.

I'm learning how to talk as we grew up. So He sent me a 32 bit 48 Hz audio file and I'm recording in a 16 bit 44.1 K. Hurts file. So for podcasting you don't need anything super high quality because it's going to go down to an Mp three. So it's okay to just record at 44.1 16 bit file. So I format Brandon's file into from his 48 K. 32 bit float to 44 1 and 16. Do you know what I'm talking about right now? You're getting a little minutia. Um, so maybe tone down a little bit into your, you're getting a little shaking a little bit into the minutia spectrum. So I might, I might take a couple of satisfaction out of the minutia spectrum. Okay, let me just back up a little bit. So when you're recording your podcast, you're going to have to set your settings for your recording. I can do another episode where I dive into what everything means.

But so far you're going to have your sample rate and your depth. So your sample rate You don't need it higher than 44.1 kHz. And your bit depth does not need to be greater than 16 bits. Okay, that sounds good because in the end you're going to be Turning your podcast into an MP three file that compresses the data. Makes it smaller. Yeah. So in the end all those extra bits, they don't do anything except slow you down. Yeah it has a just makes it a large file on your computer. Okay great. That's importing and formatting your files. So the next step that I do, I take my file and Brandon file in the adobe audition. I will individually go to each track and I will do all the equalization that I need and dynamic processing. So that means I will take my compression tools and my expansion tools. So it's cool in adobe audition there's a tool called dynamic processing. Okay cool. And in this one tool you can do multiple moves in your dynamic processing so I can use it as a compressor, I can use it as a noise gate or an expander.

So a compressor will just make things quieter where they're too loud and an expander will make things a little louder where they're too quiet and a noise gate will take a signal that's kind of low and just make it completely silent and you have to do everything in a nice smooth way. But usually with the dynamic processing I just use it for compression and a little bit of expansion if needed. I also use hard limiting and in podcasting you will use hard limiting more often than you do in music production. So let's say I said a hard limited or to negative six DB. I can do that across the entire voice but I would never do that to an instrument. Inner musical recording. And adobe audition is really good for hard limiting because it rounds out the cuts and so the waveform is nice and rounded and it doesn't, it's not harsh and sharp. And I think most people would probably know what a harsh cut would sound like write something like that would sound like, so for a hard limiter you're cutting off the tops of the waveform.

Yeah, I think, I think that's yeah, that's what I meant. I think most people wouldn't understand what the harshness of that would sound like. Yeah, but you can't hear it really in adobe audition is they rounded off nice and smoothly? So Okay, well we dived into a little bit of money. That was just a little bit. So when I'm using all my dynamic processing and setting the loudness to each individual file, I try to keep mine at negative 20 L. U. F. S. And bring Brandon's up to negative 20 L. U. F s before I add music. So once I have my loudness, I will also go through and add my noise gates to get rid of all the little, all the low noise floor. And I also use a noise reduction tool if I need to cool. So this is already stepped too. But now I'm like, wow, there's so many little details I could talk about, but this would make the podcast way too long and the people will be confused. So I could have a separate podcast on only the minutia Q. Or only. Yeah. The minutia of your own Minutia uh series of Minutia Minuti Yeah, that's there.

Brandon forgetting to many shias. Sorry. Okay, so my step one important format file step to do the dynamic processing noise reduction in noise gates. So step three, we're going to actually get into the editing of the podcast. So then I opened up my multi track view in a W. Audition. I put my recording, I put Brandon's recording. Then I lined them up together. So when I hit play, everything is lined up. Then I'll just start at the beginning and I go through and I take things out of my track in his track. And when there's a gap I'll take the two clips, I'll put them together and then I will overlap the two clips. And when you overlap them it will automatically create a cross fade. So a cross fade means at the end of a clip, this makes more sense when you're visualizing it. So that's why I am starting a Youtube channel to show everyone how to visually do this editing stuff.

So it's gonna be dedicated to editing. So if you're interested in seeing how I do everything, make sure you go to the N. C. C. Audio Youtube channel and like and subscribe. Boom. How was that? That was a good pitch. That was good. That was a good youtube pitch nick. You didn't get to minutia about the the channel. Um So that was good. That was good. Okay cool. So you go through it and you edit everything out. Make sure you do cross fades. Don't leave hard cuts, right and fade ins and fade outs to make things sound natural and nice. And this is the point to where when I'm going through and doing edits in real time, if there's a certain section that's too loud, this is where I'll make it a little quieter a little louder. I will manually do this, I will use some automation tools, some volume automation, right? So I had my plug ins already do everything for me, the hard work. So I don't have to go through and make every little loud thing quiet and every little quiet thing louder now I'm just going through and fine tuning everything a little nick, secret nick tip, select all your tracks and then do global stretching.

Yeah, and I put it down to like 75%. So when I edit podcasts or my podcast I'm listening to everything quicker. Oh wow, yep. So that's a little, that's how I do video editing to what? No way Secret Secret listen to everything like 150 of double time. Oh my gosh, you're crazy. Don't tell, don't tell anyone, you know? So, if you look at my W audition session, I have hundreds to thousands of edits. All right, so that's step 12 and three. So now step forward. I'm mixing the music. Okay, here we go. Yeah, so mixing in the music, a lot of people, they have their own specific intro and so you can, in a separate session, I would suggest that you put the, the dedicated intro and the music bounced that down into a new file and then save that and upload that new file into every single podcast session and create a template where you just quickly align the intro and the outro to your podcast.

So, I only have a music track to my podcast, but I have this specific starting point of the music for my podcast. So I quickly line it up to the beginning of my voice at the beginning of the podcast. And then I have the same thing for the outro. I already have it pre set where I have my specific fade in and volume automation. So that sounds great. So the mixing together would be setting the volume of your music, so it sounds great to the volume of your voice recording. So basically just said it so it sounds good and natural to you. So the music is not too loud or too quietly and just everything blends together so that's going to be up to you and your ears to put the elements together. And this is also where I add my drum loop transitions since I'm a drummer. I like, I was like, I want some drum elements in there. So I had some drum loops that I created in my other dog of choice Pro tools for music production. But I use a W audition for a podcast, editing and production.

All right. Did I lose you there? Brandon? No, no, no, I'm still here. Okay. And everything makes sense. I didn't dive too deep into any specific minutiae. Not yet. Okay, so we're almost done everyone of going through my process. So I like to do a little recap so people can just mentally stay visualized. So one important format files too, EQ and dynamics processing on individual tracks. Three edit Your podcast and then four mix in the music and sound effects and anything else you want to add into your podcast. Okay, now, step five bounce all the tracks that you have into a single new audio file. And so this new single audio file, it'll be in stereo format but it can be in mono if your music's track and everything else is in mono but usually you'll bounce it down into a new stereo audio file. Okay nice. That was an easy start, right? Yeah. And of course again select all your tracks and when you go to bounce it down you'll find yourself doing Bouncing down a lot.

Make a hotkey for it. So you have a specific hotkey where you can quickly select all the tracks and then quickly bounce everything down so you don't have to do everything manually and will take a long time hot keys keys already. And now step six apply any last minute equalization or dynamic processing. So you can get your final audio to the level where you want it to be. And for Apple podcast they suggest negative 16 L. U. F. S. For podcasting. And you can find that level in adobe audition by going to your amplitude statistics which is found in the window tab of your file. Does that make sense? You know when you click your application, you go to the top of the computer, you see your file, your edit your multi track your different little menus on the top. Is there a specific word for that for those little menus? Menus? Drop down where it says view, your help. Yeah. Yeah.

Go to your stuff. Drop down menu from top. Yeah, it's under window and you can find amplitude statistics and it's a free plugging that goes with adobe audition. Most other dogs, you have to buy a plug in you to show you that loudness. But audition gives the right to you because you're already paying for it. Yes, monthly. Thank you auditioned for making me pay you monthly. But most dogs are making you pay monthly now anyway. Yeah. Well, the the industry standard ones are, well, that's what they do, I guess. Yeah. And so after that, you now have your final file, but you have to save it. So go ahead and save that final file with the sample rate at 44.1 kilohertz 16 bit. And save it as a 1 28 megabyte per second. Mp three, yep. So that's going to be Steps seven, steps 7. And then after step seven it's step eight. You don't have to do this, but it makes it look great, add your I. D. Three tags. So again, you know, w audition, you can do this.

But I also downloaded a program called Mp three tag. It's free on Windows. It's $20 on Mac. I just paid the $20 Mac version the other day. But it's really helpful because when you open up the file, you can add your title, you can add your artist, you can add the recording date and this is where you add your logo to it. And this is beneficial for people who find your podcast and download it directly onto their computer and it will look great and they'll see the name of the podcast title of the episode and your name as the artist. So that's cool. Really cool. That's my post production process. Of course, there's a lot more I could get into like how I specifically use my compressor, how I specifically use my normalization, how I specifically use my noise reduction tools. I can talk about like what kind of cross fade algorithm I use, but I basically just used the one that the default one and I just make it sound just make it sound good.

Use your ears don't make it too loud. Don't make it too quiet. Just make it sound great. All right so let's re go through these steps in case everyone he needs to rewrite it down and they don't want to re listen one important format your file to apply your eq and dynamic processing and noise reduction. Three. Edit your podcast for mixing your music Intros and out rose and sound effects five bounce everything down into a single file. Six apply your final dynamic processing in Q. Two, your final track seven. You save that file that final bounce down file as a mp three file and eight go ahead and add your I. D. Three tags and now this file that you did everything to. This is the one that you upload to your hosting site or send to wherever you need it to go. And that is the post production process to podcasting. Nice, Perfect. That's it's a little minutia but it's you're always going to be learning right.

But I try to keep that as a big bird's eye view of the post production. I think you did a good job. So now I can have multiple episodes right? Get into the minutia of the details of podcasting, but they're not going to be trivial. So is there a word that says you get into the intimate details of something, but it's not trivial. Find out next week. Maybe we'll find out next week on the Ntc audio podcast. Next week we'll have a we'll have a new vocabulary word for you. Yeah, Thank you everyone for listening. I hope this was helpful. And if you found found it helpful, please rate and review this podcast on apple podcast and please feel free to reach out to me. Nick at NCC audio dot com. That's my email address to ask me any question you may have about podcasting or if you're looking for a great professional podcast hosting service. I am a service provider for megaphone and it is a wonderful professional podcast hosting solution for professional podcasters.

Well, look at that ad. I just made it up in my little Noggin as I said it. That's a good little at Noggin add. Thanks. Nice and Brandon. I want to thank you again for waking up and being a part of this podcast this morning. No problem. Thanks for having me neck. And yes. And thank you for helping me not to dive into the Minutia broadcast production of the post podcast production process Already. Everyone take care. Can't wait to talk to you next week. Happy happy podcast. Bye. Yeah, mm mm.

Audio Editing, Mixing, and Mastering for Podcasting
Audio Editing, Mixing, and Mastering for Podcasting
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