Now that the preproduction for the podcast is complete, it is now time to make the podcast, and edit it so it can be ready to be published for the world to see. There is a lot that goes into making a podcast sound as professional and rich as possible, and I will explain my process of creating my podcast episode, as well as have a link to my podcast which you can play on Soundcloud! Firstly, I want to provide you all with some insights on the readings I viewed and some of my favorite examples of phenomenal audio design in videos that inspire me to up my audio production.

Reading

Editing Audio in Audacity

If you are in my situation, then you live in any ordinary home and do all of your creative work on a laptop that sits on a desk with some other basic equipment, instead of working in a professional recording studio or editing suite. Regardless, Filippo Gaetani has us all covered with an article he posted about how to get professional sounding audio from your bedroom. His first tip is to get in the zone. Make sure you feel relaxed, comfortable, and have the right vibe before starting any recording. You should then take advantage of your bedroom. Chances are your bedroom is a pretty good spot for absorbing sound and eliminating reverb because many items that are present in a bedroom, including your mattress, window shades, sheets, and wooden furniture are good sound absorbers. Next is to set up a mic and pop filter correctly. Your mic should be facing your mouth and a pop filter will help, well, filter out the popping sounds. Experimenting with different distances from the mic to see how your vocal quality differs is also a good idea. The fourth tip is to get the right mic levels, and this is easiest with a basic USB mic where you can automatically see how your levels are doing when you speak. If they are peaking, then either back up or speak softer. Next is to try doing several takes. You should definitely practice your song or podcast before recording it, and once you do, label your takes and maybe come back to it the next day if you do not like how any of your recordings turned out. Next is to edit carefully. Don’t overuse autotune or plugins when editing, and focus on how rich you sound rather than what pitch your sound is in. The final tip is to understand when you should and should not process your sound in post. Depending on the genre of song you are recording, compression may either be required or completely unnecessary. There are also a few audio plugins that Gaetani features on this blog for you to check out to mess around with and see what sound works best for you.

If you’ve edited video before, then chances are there were some projects where sound was just completely sidelined in favor of the picture quality. Hal Robertson’s article about editing audio for video suggests that editing with audio as a priority is a much better idea. For example, when recording your A-roll (primary) video footage, it is imperative that you get the best sounding audio to match these shots by using the best microphones and audio recorders when you are shooting the a-roll. For b-roll footage, it is always best to shoot more than you need because you never know which shots may make the final cut, and the same can be said for audio. You b-roll footage will stand out tremendously if there is clean sounding audio to go along with it. Robertson then suggests to edit in a nonconventional method: editing with strictly audio first (or essentially with your eyes closed). Editing like this will allow you to find the best transitions and smoothest audio sequences to make your video sound that much better. Once the editing is done, he suggests watching it back with your eyes closed so you pay attention to just the audio and try to find any errors or glitches in the audio. You can fix certain audio miscues by cutting out unnecessary parts with the razor tool, but if some audio parts are completely unfixable, place some background music in your piece so the audience can pay attention to that instead of focusing on the audio errors that you’re trying to hide. Once all of this is done, that’s when you should go back and fix your picture and try to get it just as good as the audio sounds. If you have your audio locked, a final tip Robertson suggests is to export just your audio so you can add some slight compression and equalization in a dedicated audio software to give your audio a more professional sound.

Research

The following are a few different types of media that feature both audio and video and that use the audio astonishingly well to accompany the video. These examples give me inspiration to make much better sounding audio for all of my future audio and video projects.

Ford v Ferrari (2019)

This is one of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite movies from recent memory – Ford v Ferrari. This scene shows Shelby taking Ford along for a drive in their new vehicle that was built in order to beat Ferrari at Le Mans. As much as I love the editing and cinematography, the sound design takes this film to a different level. The car revving really makes it feel like you are there, and Ford’s constant screaming and panting is heard throughout the scene, truly emphasizing how fast the machine really is. I think what’s more important is that there is zero music being played in this scene, meaning the only things the audience hears when listening to this scene is the car driving, skidding, and leaving a lasting impression.

Music Video

This has a few seconds of SFX and ambient audio at the very beginning before the music video plays, so I know it’s stretching the rules a bit but I wanted to include one of Alan Walker’s music videos because nearly all of his music involves positivity and uniting together, which I think is really important. The ambient audio and SFX at the beginning set the stage for a fully digital yet interconnected experience, while the music takes the audience on a ride of feeling nothing but happiness.

Ori and the Blind Forest (2015) intro cutscene

This is, in my opinion, the greatest intro to a video game ever made. It was incredibly moving and the fact that we meet two brand new characters for the very first time and immediately care so much about them is quite astonishing. The audio design that accompanies this intro is unbelievable. The score is beautiful and the ambient sound and SFX that are heard throughout the scenes outside in the forest, such as the birds chirping, wind blowing, food falling from trees, water rustling, and even the feet moving. All of it comes together to make such a tear-jerker of an intro.

Japan Travel Video

Now I am not the biggest traveller, but I’m hoping that once we are all able to again, I can take advantage of traveling to many different countries to experience many different cultures, and one of the first places on my bucket list is to go see Japan. This travel video looks very cinematic, but the audio definitely brings it to another level. The music proves that the filmmaker wanted to prioritize Japan’s nature aesthetic, yet he still uses ambient sound and SFX for all of the metro city shots as well as the scenic shots of the birds chirping or waterfalls pouring.

Creation

I now have my podcast ready and uploaded to share with you all! I learned quite a lot from this process, and before I explain how this whole podcast journey went for me, I want you all to listen to my podcast below and let me know what you think!

So, I have to be honest. This podcast, from a narrative standpoint, did not go exactly the way I had intended. My initial goal was to educate everyone about everything there is to know about YouTube, and what I made was more-or-less a discussion between my guest and I about our beginnings on YouTube, some basic comparisons between YouTube and TikTok, and a discussion about monetization and where we stand on it.

I wish I was able to give more tips about how to use YouTube to find the content you’re looking for, and how to start a channel if you want to make videos, but that simply did not happen. We managed to make the podcast exactly 8 minutes long, so I would not have had much more time to discuss the rest of the content on my mind map if I had wanted to, but if I had any future episodes on the way, those topics that I missed you automatically be next.

In terms of the podcast production itself, I actually think it turned out phenomenally. I used my Blue Snowball microphone and recorded the podcast in Adobe Audition. This was the very first time I’ve used Audition so I’m glad it was relatively easy to make a podcast preset for multitrack systems and to edit my voice to sound more like a podcast. I believe our levels were good, too. I included music at the beginning and end, ambient music throughout the entire conversation, and SFX in between major segments. They all mixed together so well and I made sure to duck the music and ambient sound whenever I was speaking. I also did a lot of editing to my dialogue because I had to cut out every single one of my unnecessary extra breaths in between conversations, which sounded horribly. Luckily, with the extra breaths and filler words cut out, my podcast feels a lot more whole.

I like Audition as a podcast editor, and I would definitely do it again if I had the chance. The one major thing I would change is to of course stay on script and talk about everything I was supposed to talk about, but I hope you all enjoyed my podcast regardless!

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