Shortcuts to make your podcasting easier

I fear I may have deliberately misled you with my clickbait title – sorry about that.

If you are looking for ways to avoid doing the work, you have come to the wrong place, and you are in the wrong job. Good podcasting takes effort and time. Accept you are on a journey but keep leaning towards better – I think people call it ‘failing forwards’, or ‘upwards’ maybe. It feels uncomfortable either way.

Shortcuts help most with:

  • Shortening journey times or distance
  • Speeding up what you are doing
  • Doing the real work

Our busyness fosters an appetite for timesaving, whether through tools or technique. But the promise nearly always exceeds experience. We want the thing we are doing to be easy and quick – faster than before and ahead of whoever we consider our competitors. Forget whether it is possible – it is our longing.

What if we looked at things differently? If our focus was instead on the thing we want to build, where we need to put in the hard work? There are often better and sometimes quicker ways of doing something, but we gain most when we are doing the right work.

There is so much to be said around these issues, and I am sure we will be back again. But, for now let us get started with

Workflow

We have talked in recent newsletters about the benefits of answering questions in advance. Establishing a clear workflow for podcast production is a powerful way of achieving this. Focus on the next step, and then the next. Find what works and use it. You can experiment and learn alternatives but not on a deadline.

Template

Adobe Audition, Garageband and many other Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) allow you to create your own template with regular items like intro and outro music already in place. Great for consistency and ease of use. Learn how to make and save them in your tool of choice. Audacity does not have a template as such, but you can save a file with all the tracks in place including empty space to copy and paste into for you and a guest. (TIP: remember to save it with a new project name as soon as you open it, and keep a spare somewhere safe in case you ever save over it by mistake).

Tools

Working with a transcript can speed your editing for content by quickly locating text to remove or reposition – Descript offers the bonus of editing text and changing audio (and indeed video) at the same time.

Recording the best audio you can, reduces or eliminates the need to edit for sound quality later. With all the effects and plugins available it can be tempting to think that we can just ‘fix it in post-production’. Getting it right to begin with could be the shortcut you are looking for. After that, a simple set of plugins like the ERA5 bundle by Accusonus can provide enough of a fix for more problematic audio with challenges like reverb or plosives. (there are other options of course).

My final go-to is Auphonic, an online tool that sorts levels and does other algorithm-led-magic including outputting to a loudness standard. I always run my final mix through this tool as a last step of polishing before publishing. It can even create audiograms. Check out the audio samples here https://auphonic.com/audio_examples

Finally

  • Say what you mean
  • Mean what you say
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