Professional podcast voice recording and editing techniques for the highest quality
So now you have your first episodes planned, and ideally even prepared the room. Now you can finally start to record your voice. For this you’ll need a tool you can record as well as edit with. The quality of your recordings depends not only on your voice, but also on the correct application of the recording technique and the post production possibilities.
Four popular podcast editing programs
Here we’ll present three programs that are popular with podcasters.
Audacity for PC and Mac (free of charge)
Admittedly, at first sight Audacity doesn’t look all that inviting. But it can do everything you need for good podcasts – and much, much more.
GarageBand for Mac (Free of Charge)
GarageBand is also free and usually comes pre-installed on a new Mac. It’s a bit cleaner and more minimalistic than Audacity, and for Mac users it is almost certainly a better choice, even though there is an Audacity for Mac.
Hindenburg is easy to learn and has many professional options for improving your sound and content. Editing and post-processing your recordings will become easy very quickly. The tool is very clear and understandable, and it’s fun to work with. With Hindenburg you can export your finished episode right to a number of leading hosters, including Podigee.
Ferrite (iOS, iPadOS, Fee-based)
Do you prefer to work mobile with iPad or iPhone? Then you should take a look at Ferrite. It lets you record professionally and edit easily. At first glance it looks very minimalistic, but under the hood it has everything you need, and it’s also very easy to use. When you’re finished with the editing, you can export the finished episode directly, for example to the Podigee app.
The right distance from mouth to microphone
It should be said that there is no ideal standard measure for the distance to the mouth that applies to all podcast mics. As a rule 15 to 20 cm (6” to 8”) is the golden mean, but it can differ from mic to mic.
So the trick is to connect the mic to the computer, hit “record” and watch how the oscillogram changes as you slowly increase and reduce the mic sensitivity. Eventually you will get to a point where the peaks are in a good relation to your normal speaking volume.
“Is that really my voice?”
If you don’t have experience recording your voice, when you hear it you’ll probably wonder if anybody will ever want to listen to it in a podcast. Most people don’t like their own voice when they hear it.
That’s because you hear yourself completely differently from the people outside you. The reason lies in the physiology of the voice and our sensory organs. We hear what we say through our ears, from where the signal goes to our brain’s hearing center. At the same time our voice causes our skull bones to vibrate.
These vibrations likewise get to our hearing center. So our brain has to process two signals, one from the ears and one from the vibrating bones.
The brain combines the two signals to produce the voice we have heard ourselves use our entire life. But that’s not what others hear, and so the voice we hear on the recording seems very strange.
So at first you’ll have to get used to your own voice. But it’s part of your personality, and if other people don’t furrow their brow when you open your mouth to speak, it can’t be all that bad ;-)
Accent – Yes or No?
Ýour accent and the way you talk are also part of your personality. It might be possible to tell immediately where you come from or where you were born. And when people find you through your website or by other means, they will hear the way you talk and where you’re from. So don’t worry about your accent or how you talk, as long as it doesn’t distract from the content or make you incomprehensible outside of your local area.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work on your voice or your microphone presence. There are many speech coaches who can help you use your voice better and more effectively.
Tips for efficient podcast recordings without a lot
With many podcasters, the recording process goes like this: They press “Record” and go until their first mistake. Then they stop and erase that part, and start a new recording. They continue until the next mistake, which they again delete and re-record. When they’re done, they listen to the entire thing again to see if there are any filler words that need to be deleted. That takes a long time!
But there are some tricks you can use to save valuable time.
Episode recording all at once
We recommend starting the episode and just continuing all the way through until it’s finished. In the next step you’ll find a technique that lets you do that.
It’s important to realize that stopping a recording will always take you out of the flow. If you pause recording every time you misspeak, you’ll get pretty frustrated by your tenth error or so.
Plus, each time you stop and start, you’ll sound different. You might have had something to drink, have a different body tension, change the distance to the microphone, or open the window and change the room sound.
This change is audible and is very annoying for podcast starters. So the best thing to do is record the whole thing in one go.
But what about mistakes and the technique? Here's what the expersts suggest suggest doing....
The MIMIC rule for efficient podcast recording
There are going to be disturbances and slips of the tongue. Even after a hundred episodes, you are going to make mistakes that you want to edit out. The same goes for podcast interviews.
To keep you from having to listen to the whole thing all over again to find mistakes, and speed your way through postproduction, there is the MIMIC method (By me, Gordon Schönwälder, Podcast-Evangelist at Podigee).
It’s a way to visually mark passages that need to be edited out.
How does it work?
Let’s say you flubbed a word, or a delivery person rang the doorbell while you were recording. Here’s what to do:
- M = Mark. Clap your hands a couple of times or tap the microphone. This makes a clearly visible spike in the oscillogram.
- I = Instruct. Give verbal editing instructions in the mic. Recording should continue the whole time. Your edit instructions might be somethingmight something like, “Redo that last bit” or “Delete throat-clearing.” The instructions can be for you, or for an editing service.
- M = Mark again. Your second mark is the signal that editing instructions are over and you are resuming podcasting.
- I = Interval. Leave a short interval after the second mark, 1 or 2 seconds. That’s enough time to make a clean cut in post-production.
- C = Continue. After the interval, continue with your podcast.
The big advantage of this trick is that you save an incredible amount of time in post-production. If you consistently mark every slip of the tongue this way, you won't have to listen to your entire episode. All you have to do is jump from marker sequence to marker sequence and (have) correct what you said in the statement.
Although you can include almost any audio or video file in a podcast feed (more on that later), we recommend that you export your episodes as MP3s. Most of the time you'll be asked what quality you want the audio file to be exported and saved in.
We recommend a lossless format like FLAC. For MP3 then at least 192 kBps.
No interest in this theme? Choose directly, what you need:
- Part 1: Define your podcast
- Part 2: Create an editorial plan and first episodes
- Part 3: Buy the right equipment
- Part 4: Podcast title, music and cover
- Part 5: Find a location for your podcast recording
- Part 6: Quiet please, recording!
- Part 7: Voice recording and editing
- Part 8: Choose a Podcast Hosting service
- Part 9: List your Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and co.
- Part 10: Promote your podcast
Start your podcast today with Podigee
- Publish your podcast in just a few clicks: on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Youtube and everywhere else where podcasts are available.
- Unlimited storage for your podcasts, secure and privacy-compliant, detailed playback analytics.
- Outstanding support at every step of your podcast journey, right from the start.