How to Edit Your Podcast in Audacity - A Step by Step Guide

This guide is for those who want to be walked through the process step-by-step. It was developed by Ian M. Cook and Dumitrita Holdis.

This guide is available as a .pdf

PDF icon how_to_edit_your_podcast_in_audacity_-_a_step_by_step_guide.pdf

And below:

1. Import the audio you have previously recorded

  • Use Track One for your main audio track (e.g. narration, interview, discussion)
  • Place the audio material in sequence (e.g. intro narration, interview, outro). When you import multiple tracks, the audio will appear on different tracks. Move it so that all the audio is on one track.
  • Leave an empty track underneath for editing
  • You will add music, sound effects or secondary audio later in the editing process

2. (Re)listen to your material

  • Decide what sections you want to keep or delete & think about if you want to change the order

3. If you have background hiss, computer noise or other wanted noise remove it

4. Delete unwanted material

  • Delete any material that you will not use
  • For now just concentrate on the large chunks that you don’t need, don’t worry about coughs or other minor noises that you want to fix.

5. Move everything into the right order

  • Use the empty track as a temporary space when you move stuff about

6. Go through the audio and fix all the unwanted noises

  • Sometimes you will want to delete and close the gap, for example if there is a cough
  • But sometimes you will not want to close the gap and yet still remove the noise, for instance if somebody breathes loudly. For such occasions copy a section of audio during which nobody is speaking (e.g. at the start of the recording) and paste it over the unwanted noise. This will preserve the natural pacing of speech.

7. Make the volume consistent throughout the podcast

  • Normalise the levels, choosing -2.0 for your peak amplitude
  • Amplify any areas that remain too quiet

8. HIGHLY OPTIONAL - Improve the audio quality

  • Use the compressor tool to make parts sound louder, more ‘in your face’, softer or so on
  • Use the equalisation tool to manipulate the frequencies, for instance if you want to make a voice less nasal or deeper

9. Add music or sound effects

  • Remove the empty track by clicking on the X

  • Import your music or sound effects
  • Delete sections that you will not use , e.g. you might only want the first 30 seconds of a song
  • Move the music/sound effects to the area you wish it to be
  • Change the volume of the music as you wish using the envelope tool, e.g. have the music start loud, and then become quieter as you speak over the top, before becoming louder again
  • If you are using music/sound throughout the podcast, remember that there are two ways to paste, one that shifts everything else on the track and one that doesn’t.
  • Now that you have material on two tracks you might need to move many things at once, pay attention to if you want material to move as one or independently  

10. Export your finished podcast

  • Export it as an mp3 and think about your meta data.