Podcasting like a pro! (Part 2) – How to edit and publish your podcast recording

So you’ve gone through the steps of creating a podcast series and you have your first recording in hand. It’s now time to edit and publish your podcast for a professional result!

First step is to download Audacity & AoA Audio Extractor, and if you would like to use introductory and closing music you can find links to free resources in this post.

Two things must be done before you begin:

First, use AoA Audio Extractor to extract your file from GoToMeeting (or other recording tool) & convert to “WAV”. Note: if your recording tool allows you to export your file automatically to “WAV” you can skip the first step.

Step 1: Convert your file to “WAV”

  1. Extract ‘video’ files (those obtained from GoToMeeting, i.e. the podcasters recording) & convert to audio using Audio Extractor (AoA)
  2. Click add files, choose file
  3. Output options: check  export “to WAV”

Step 2: Familiarize yourself with Audacity by visiting any of the following

  • Audacity Quick Help (should be installed locally, internet version if it isn’t)
  • Audacity Manual (should be installed locally, internet version if it isn’t)
  • Audacity Wiki (the latest tips, tricks and tutorials, on the internet)
  • Audacity Forum (ask your question directly, on the internet)

Once you have a basic idea of how to navigate Audacity (it’s quite intuitive so if you’re a hands-on person you won’t need much time to get the hang of it) it’s time to ‘organize’ your audio files.

Generally a podcast is composed of the following:

  1. General intro with music [file]
  2. Introducing the speaker [record this in advance]
  3. Speaker’s response to greeting
  4. Host asking 1st question / 2nd  / 3rd / 4th etc. [steps 4 & 5 repeat]
  5. Speaker’s answer
  6. After final answer, Host’s concluding remark [record this in advance]
  7. Speaker’s response to closing remark
  8. Host’s concluding remark [record this in advance]
  9. General closing with music [file]

With this organization in mind, open Audacity and start to import your files. The following approach will take you step-by-step through the process of importing and editing your audio files using Audacity.

Use Audacity to import audio files & edit

  1. Go to  File > Import > Audio > Import WAV file (podcast recording only to start with)
  2. Import Intro WAV
  3. Place the intro where it should be (drag it)
  4. Listen to raw file (recording) and delete (cut) what won’t be included in the final podcast
  5. You can re-record host questions and insert them if you are not happy with recording quality. If doing so cut the questions out of the raw file
  6. If you have imported questions (step 5), insert where they should be
  7. Import closing and insert where it should be
  8. When you’re done with first edit (see below) click: File > Save project as > & copy selected audio into project
  9. Save projects regularly so that you can go back to an earlier edit if you need to

Editing sound quality using Audacity

  • To increase or decrease volume: use mute/ solo
  • To delete background noise: select noise profile (a selected “quiet” part – i.e. a flat line -of the recording that contains ONLY the noise you want to delete) > effect > noise removal > “get noise profile”
  • To apply noise profile to a section of recording (to remove that noise) you must select the whole section and apply profile: effect > noise removal > OK

When finished to save your edited podcast:

  • Go to: File > export either as WAV or MP3

With your edited WAV or MP3 files, you can upload your podcast to your blog and share widely through your social networks!

If you have any questions or podcast recording/editing suggestions please share them with us in comments!

In the meantime, happy podcasting :) ~@rgogos

Podcasting like a pro! (Part 1)

OK, so you’ve decided you’d like to create a podcast series.What next?
Once you’ve set up your blogging platform (I’m partial to WordPress which has great plugins for podcasts!), you’re ready to start creating content…
 Let’s assume you are creating a podcast series for an organization – since a podcast series would logically be part of your company’s marketing strategy you must know exactly what you want to achieve by it. Your goal will be a deciding factor in driving the kind of content you will create.

Once you have a strategy in place it’s time to decide on a theme for your series and create a list of possible topics around that theme, and potential participants. It helps to nurture relationships with your participants, whether they be clients, partners, community influencers or industry leaders. I cannot emphasize enough how important your participant list is – your guest should be able to shed some light on the topic of your interview so look for people with the appropriate background. The process of communicating with your interviewees, agreeing on a topic, recording, editing and publishing can take some time, so do take that into consideration when you plan your publishing dates.
When contacting potential participants you should always have a suggested podcast topic in mind – take a look at that person’s blog or website, latest publishing etc. Gather ideas and suggest a topic or two that is ‘current’ for your participant. Often people will be more willing to participate if it ties in with their work or is top of mind for them.
Once a topic has been confirmed, do a little background work(look at blogs or recommended reading material) and create 4 or 5 relevant questions that ‘tell a story’. Always run those by your participant first and be flexible about it. If you’re really stuck or don’t have enough of a background on the topic you could ask your participant to suggest questions for the podcast, afterall you’re not expected to be an expert on the topic! Once your questions have been finalized and approved by your guest then it’s time to book a recording session. I suggest GoToMeeting for recording but I’m sure there are dozens of other great tools (including free tools) that can produce quality recordings.
So to sum up, follow these 4 simple steps to produce a great podcast series:
  1. Decide on podcast series theme and some topics around that theme
  2. Carefully select podcast participants based on your list of topics
  3. Contact your participant and agree on a shortlist of podcast questions
  4. Book a recording date/time and make sure both you and the interviewee have the right software/hardware
Next week I will post part 2 of ‘Podcasting like a pro’ – in that post I will cover how to record, edit and publish your podcast for a professional result!
Until then! @rgogos