Starting Your Home Studio

Starting Your Home Studio

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04 OCTOBER 2017

written by Mathew Dunn

STARTING YOUR

HOME STUDIO

 

This article has been contributed as a guest post by Mathew Dunn. Mathew has been playing various instruments for a long time, and he is a self-taught musician. He started MusicAlien.Net to share his experiences and thoughts about instruments and music.

 

Most of us musicians would love to have their home recording studio and luckily for us, as the technology advanced, it is now way easier and cheaper to make your home studio than it used to be.

In this article, I will summarise the essentials you need to set up your home studio and what are the most important things to look for when choosing studio equipment and on top of this I will share with you some tips which may be of help to someone who hasn’t done this before.

One thing I would like to say upfront is that you should not have a spend more mentality when picking your gear. The needed studio equipment has gotten better and better with time and the cheapest things today will in most cases beat what used to be the best 20 years ago which is more than enough to get you started if you are a beginner.

However, if you need more professional gear, then I assume you know exactly what you need it for and you will know how to make a choice. Still, keep in mind that the essentials I discuss below do not have to be the most expensive ones as you should choose equipment that suits your budget and overall needs.

Now let’s go through the most important equipment for your home studio:

 

Computer

This is a no-brainer, but I want to share with you a few tips on how to pick yours. First of all, I don’t know what your preferences, PC or a Mac, Laptop or a Desktop are. Whatever they are, they are fine. And if you are a beginner looking to start simple, then if you are reading this on a computer, that computer is probably good enough to get you started, but I don’t know how far will it take you depending on its power.

Things to consider when choosing your computer are

Ram Size

RAM is your most significant friend as a recording musician. And you should have as much as you can of it. Considering that the RAM sticks are getting cheaper and cheaper this should be no problem. Pretty much any computer which was made in the last ten years will have a motherboard support for 16GB of RAM which is more than enough.

Now if you have 8GB of RAM you don’t have to upgrade to 16 immediately but when you see that your computer needs more of it. It is wise to have some widget on your desktop to notify you of the used RAM, and once you start making more and more complicated tracks on your computer you will notice when it reaches about 90%, and your music editing program(s) begin to lag, then you will know that it is time for an upgrade.

If you have 4GB of RAM, then you will be able to start, but an upgrade will be in order soon down the road once you reach the limits.

CPU

Same goes as with the RAM. Whatever you have now will get you started, but depending on the strength an upgrade might be in order. With CPUs getting more and more powerful it is easier than ever to get one that is good enough for music production. I would go with some CPU that has Quad Core and multithreading as it will give you additional virtual cores.

But today it is a standard for any decent computer to have a Quad Core CPU, so it will have you covered. The stronger the CPU, the faster your music editing program will work, and as long as the CPU has enough power to have the program running without lag, you will do fine.

You will spend most of your time working on your computer, so this makes it the most important element of your studio.

 

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DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)

This is where the magic is going to happen, and it is one of the most critical parts of your studio.

If you don’t know the digital audio workstation or shorter DAW, it is a computer program which you will use to record, mix and edit your music.

There are various DAWs out there, and if you don’t know about them, you should first research them and choose one that works for you. Make sure you select the DAW program that you are going to be able to get comfortable with since it is necessary for you to pretty much master the program (don’t be scared as that’s not hard as it seems).

You should work with the DAW program which can be an “extension” of you so that you can think about the music and not about menus, options, etc. You want to own the tool you are working with and not the other way around.

Now the good part comes in. Pretty much all DAWs will get you started, and you should learn about them and try multiple DAWs. Please do not waste too much time overthinking which program should you choose since all of them will get you started if you are a beginner and as time goes by and experience is piled up you will know if you need to change it.

Depending on the computer you use some of these programs might not be available to you as some like Logic is for Mac only but most of them work on multiple platforms.

These are some of the popular and incredible DAWs you should check out:

Sonar

Audition

Pro Tools

Cubase

Live

Reason

Studio One

A solid audio interface

You will need something to get your analog sounds like keyboards or voice into your computer in the form of a digital sound, and this is where an audio interface comes into play.

You don’t need anything special here. Don’t go around spending your money on those crazy interfaces since a decent one with two channels will do just fine.

You should look for an interface that has microphone preamp, line inputs for keyboards and guitars, stereo out and a headphones out.

Make sure to check that the product you are going to get has good reviews and that it meets your needs and you will do just fine.

 

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You need a quality studio microphone

Every studio needs at least one decent microphone in its possession as the microphone will have everything to do with how your recorded sounds will turn out.

There are three main types of microphones, but you will want to get a condenser microphone. The condenser microphone has always been used for studio recordings because their technology allows them to pick up the audio and convert it into electricity in a much more detailed way.

You shouldn’t spend thousands of dollars on your microphone since most of the cheaper microphones are good enough for any recording. However, you should research the mic you are buying well and read its reviews.

But the technology of condenser microphones has advanced, and there are so many manufacturers because of the increasing demand for this type of microphone that the prices went down over the years.

Unless you need some particular microphone for a specific purpose in your studio, don’t spend top dollar for it. Research your condenser mic thoroughly and go with some option that will fit your budget as most of these microphones will be a great choice.

 

You will need something to listen to your music

You have two options here, and they are headphones and monitors, and it is great if you could have both since they both have their uses.

But if you want to save a little money it is perfectly fine just to get the headphones first. But keep in mind that it is a bit tricky to record and mix using headphones, but it can be done.

Besides, you can always listen to your recordings on other people systems to get the proper reference on how the recording using headphones impacts the production.

It is okay to start with the headphones and acquire monitors later on. But if you do want to get the monitors from the outset you will want the monitors that fit your room, and that fit your budget.

Also do not overthink the choice of monitors since various factors will affect how the audio is perceived by the listener like the room shape, listener’s position relative to the monitors, your DAW, etc.

It is essential to research the monitors you are going to get and check their reviews but be aware that there will always be things you can’t control that are shaping the sound you hear so once you decide which monitors you want just to make the purchase and move on.

 

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Creating is the key

Your primary focus should be on getting started. The creative process will make the magic happen not just the gear so make sure you get the gear you need and don’t waste too much time overthinking it. Once you start and once a certain amount of time passes and the experience is piled up, you will know if it is time for an upgrade or if you need another piece of the ear, etc.

You want to get started. That’s the main thing you should strive for, and everything else will fall in its place eventually. Don’t give up and create every day. Work on what you love, and it will pay off in more than one way.

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Scoring Podcasts

Scoring Podcasts

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04 SEPTEMBER 2017

written by Mike

SCORING PODCASTS

 

Let’s talk about my favourite aspect of podcast production – music.

When it comes to podcasting, you only have audio to convey the message, to tell the story. No fancy graphics, no 4K video to distract the audience, no place to fool the listeners.

There are few elements of sound that you can use while crafting a story:

–a narrative, the most important aspect of podcasting

–sound effects, which add a layer of realism and drama

–music

Music has always been part of human culture. It helps to connect people, to establish an emotion, to dramatise a story. Music will play a role, albeit smaller, in interview talk shows but today I wanted to focus on drama shows, storytelling podcasts. Look at the most recent top podcasting charts; you will notice that dramas, especially true crime stories are trending.

The demand is visible, now let’s talk about supply.

Stories always draw people in; it can be music, films, books, poetry. Dry facts are helpful but often boring, and in my opinion, any topic can be taught with success if presented to the audience as an interesting story. Audio dramas are nothing new, the minute the radio was available to general public; some artists creatively used the medium. The most obvious one that comes to mind is Welles’ War of the Worlds that in 1938 scared the US nation and skyrocketed Orson’s career.

In today’s world, we have an evolution of the medium – podcasts and audiobooks.

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Audiobooks are perfect for dramatisation; however, there is often restriction when it comes to audiobook production. You will occasionally find publishing houses that allow music, sound effects and voice acting on material but more than often you will find just a dry narration read.

Podcasts are something else. The relatively new medium hasn’t got that many regulations yet and as a creator, you have a pretty much free hand in creating content.

There are many kinds of podcasts, as many as there are creative ideas but let’s look at dramas, or dramatised true stories such as Casefile.

These kinds of podcasts require a lot of work, research, scripting, narration and stellar production. Music plays a huge part in all that; it’s the emotional connection to the story, it often underlines the feelings that we have during listening, it exposes them.

Casefile is a quite different show. It’s not a drama per se, but it is produced like one. While the Host and our talented researchers focus on the story, I look at it from a different angle.

I also see it as a show and for the lack of better word, entertainment. It’s a thin line between sensationalism and making something respectful to anyone involved in the events. But the show must also be entertaining to listen, to connect with the audience and presented as a well-produced podcast.

After working on Casefile for some time, I learned a few tips that you can do with music, how you could make the episode even tenser and more real to the listeners.

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Know the story

It’s important to know the story before you start composing.

The first thing I always do is to read the script, and sometimes I will research the case before I get the script. I’m interested in the beginning, in the drama, in the final twist and conclusion.

During the read, I will note down the people involved in the events, the ‘scenes’ that take place in the timeline and musical cues where I possibly will need to add something more substantial than just an underscore.

The ambience of the episode is crucial.

All of the episodes are tragic but there is a very different character to each of them, and it will guide how I write the music. Before I sit down behind my MIDI keyboard, I compose in my head, not the melodies but the style. I will know what kind of music different parts of the story need, be it rhythmic, soft, dramatic, hopeful or dark.

Know the podcast

I don’t always know the next episode of Casefile; sometimes we change the story at the last minute, sometimes we have a break from the show. That doesn’t mean that I stop writing.

To keep my hands busy and improve my skills, every day I try to compose a cue or two, build up a music library for the next episodes. To do that effectively I need to know the show, the podcast. I need to know a general atmosphere, the overall character, the nature of what we do as a team.

When composing for the future, have in mind the characteristics such as the length of the podcast, the audience and what kind of musical impact you are looking for.

Does the drama require more an underscore or is it music-heavy?

Try to develop the style that the audience recognises immediately.

Don’t go overboard

It’s easy to get lost in composing melodies, including a multitude of different instruments and effects, creating elaborate cues. What I learned with Casefile podcast is that the story always takes the first place.

The music is there to underscore the voice, to help make seamless transitions between parts of the narrative and to bring life to the dialogue. There will be parts where I want to make an impact, a statement with the score but 90% of it will be an ambient, soft tones, almost invisible to the listener.

It’s easy to get excited, especially when you feel like you wrote something great, however, unless it is a deliberate effect, then don’t go overboard with the melodies and cues.

Use instruments that don’t clash with the voice

Another thing that you need to keep in mind is the timbre and nature of the voice. Once you know how the narration sounds on its own, you will know what kind of instruments and pads to use to compliment the voice, not the other way around.

With Casefile I try to avoid melodies with high pitch, especially when I write for string instruments, piano or guitar. These are instruments that sit in the similar spectrum to the human voice and will often clash with it.

Most of the time I will use atmospheric sounds, soft pads to underscore and melodies only where required, where a dramatic focus is needed. I’m also quite careful with rhythmic sounds.

Bass or arpeggiated synths usually work well, but drums or percussion can often be too distracting.

Rhythmic parts are great to build suspense and intense moments, but it’s easy to go overboard with them.

Listen to feedback

Even though I have pretty much a creative freedom when it comes to producing and composing for Casefile, the most important aspect of the work is communication between team members.

I’m not the only composer on the show, Andrew Joslyn sends me musical cues for each episode and often scores up to 50% of each podcast. Because the workflow is unique I often need to adjust, change or drop the cues altogether.

The voice always takes the priority, the music is there to glue all the parts together so mixing it low, or cutting elements of it are usually the best way to do that. I also look for the comments from listeners. Many people will comment on the voice or the music, but I’m interested in feedback that talks about the show as a whole.

We don’t want any elements to shine on their own; the podcast needs to work as one piece, as one story. Also, a lot of people won’t listen on a dedicated system, in the example of Casefile – headphones.

That means even though you may spend days on composing and mixing music, there will be some listeners who won’t notice it at all, listening in their cars or through laptop speakers. That’s fine too, don’t skip on the quality just because not everyone appreciates it.

In the end, it’s all about having fun, experimenting and improvement.

Even though I have enough music that I wouldn’t need to write for a few months now, I still sit down and compose new cues every day. It helps me to stay sharp and develop the craft, and of course, I like doing it too.

In the future, I will show you the technical approach to composing music for Casefile and what is my exact workflow.

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Strategy and Podcasting

Strategy and Podcasting

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11 AUGUST 2017

written by Mike

STRATEGY

AND PODCASTING?

 

I talk a lot about the importance of the discovery and strategy session.

But what is it?

Do you need to invest in one?

And what does it have to do with podcasting?

Starting any venture, be it a business, a podcast or a website is a lot of work. Some time ago I read that it takes around 18 months for a business to be profitable, and that’s assuming everything goes well.

Even with Casefile, it took us well over a year before we had any income coming in, enough to cover the costs. Considering how much luck we had on the way it still meant working on the show every week for months without knowing if it was ever going to work.

Things like that are unique, we never intended it to be a business, we never intended for the podcast to make money but looking back I can see that we could avoid many mistakes if we had a strategy in place.

That’s when design-thinking comes in. Imagine starting a new business, let’s say a sound production practice. The cost of the project would start in thousands of pounds, sometimes more.

Would you risk it if you knew that there is a strong chance it’s not going to work?

Or would you try to manage the risk but assessing the challenges and writing down the vision for the project?

Big companies and corporations know about the discovery. Each decision they make cost a lot of money and effort, things like website rebranding or changing a logo it’s much more complicated for them than it is for you.

There is a lot of cash involved, and to get approval on the project the vision needs to be clear. Everyone from marketing to programming department must know what they are doing.

There is a lot of research and planning required. Hence sessions such as these cost thousands of pounds and are out of reach for the average person. But to be the best, we need to study the best and imitate them within our means.

A business requires focus, vision and a plan. A discovery session for your, often one woman/man business is as important as for a large company because numbers are arbitrary. For them spending 500k on a website is a lot of money, but so is 5k for you.

They need to know why and what are they buying, and so do you.

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What I usually say to a client when they ask about discovery process is a simple doctor metaphor.

When you go to a doctor would you prefer to describe what you feel and what you think you need and just grab a prescription for medicine?

Or would you prefer to be checked, diagnosed and looked at by a professional before getting the prescription?

Even if you just want to start a podcast, not a full-size business.

What will be the look of the website? The logo? The name?

Do you have a target audience in mind?

What do you want to achieve with the show?

Discovery is a partnership between the members of the team. We sit down together; we talk about the business, we locate the problems and agree on solutions. The direction is clear; the goals are set, everyone is on the same page.

But what if it’s just you and the microphone?

Well, I assume you will still need help with other aspects of the show such as website, social presence, graphics.

Even if you want to do all by yourself, having a clear picture in mind will help you to focus, especially during the moments when you want to change it all up again. That’s most important aspect of the strategy session.

What most of us do, is to get excited about one thing then when the initial emotion passes we start to doubt our decision. We discover something new and pivot, to get a dose of that excitement again.

I see it over and over again with my partner’s work. Her main profession is graphic design, and most of her clients want to skip on the strategy when she mentions it. They want to get straight into the works, the graphics, the labour.

Then after weeks of back and forth, hundreds or thousands of dollars later, and multiple changes to the initial design they still can’t decide on the final product. What if the goals were aligned from the start?

What if every time they get excited about new feature or idea they could go back to the initial strategy document?

The focus is the only way to succeed in any venture. Focus and practice.

It’s like the famous quote goes

I fear not the man who has practised 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practised one kick 10,000 times.

Bruce Lee

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21st Century Work

21st Century Work

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21 JULY 2017

written by Mike

21st CENTURY WORK

 

“Survival of the fittest.” A phrase that originated from Darwinian evolutionary theory.

Is it a strange topic for an entrepreneur?

Perhaps, but let’s dissect the phrase. “Fittest” does not necessarily mean the strongest, the biggest. It rather describes one who is the most adaptable. One who can thrive in any environment.

I think it’s safe to say that the old Darwinian saying fits well into any industry. 21st-century work is all about being adaptable, being able to make changes in people’s lives. It can be podcasting, production, audio work, anything else. The idea is to push for a change, inspire to not only survive but to thrive in our lives.

Let’s take podcasting for example.

It’s not a secret that podcasting is a highly competitive business. Easy to get into, hard to sustain. Especially if you are just starting out. On the other hand, you have people who build massive empires in this environment. Joe Rogan, Ricky Gervais are the obvious ones.

But why them and not others? What makes them different?

“Survival of the fittest” is something that they understood. The need to innovate, to be flexible and open-minded to the markets and ever-changing customer needs. And of course, new technologies which help to facilitate the changes.

Let’s think how design and technology will help you to stand apart, to be the fittest. For starters, look at the latest trends.

Where is people’s attention?

Where do they spend most of their time?

 

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The first answer that comes to mind is smartphones.

Looking at the latest statistics is evident that mobile internet surfing has passed desktops. And the trend is still going upwards. Same goes for podcasts. It’s mobile, convenient method of content consumption. Easy to start for anyone.

It all sounds amazing. In theory.

And that’s the problem that most people face. It’s easy to say things like ‘podcasting is so hot right now, let’s jump in!’ But not everyone is a narrator; not everyone knows how to edit and produce a podcast. It’s so easy to sell an advice such as “release an episode each week and grow your audience.”

But record what? Where do you find the content? What do you say? How do you edit?

That’s why having a clear vision for your podcast, for your business, is so important. To understand what are your strengths, to prioritise the features and strategy. To be clear on the direction you and your business partners want to take, and to look for help.

“Survival of the fittest” in 21st-century work does not mean that you have to do everything yourself. It means that you understand trends towards mobile and you look for someone who can help to adapt your digital identity.

It means that you can convey your message, your products, your services in any place, at any time. That the technology is just a tool, but a tool you cannot ignore.

Yesterday it was a mail order and newspaper ads; today is online and mobile; tomorrow it will be virtual reality.

And it’s ok; you just need to be ready for it.

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Mixing on Headphones

Mixing on Headphones

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14 JULY 2017

written by Mike

MIXING ON HEADPHONES

 

During my studies, one rule that was always passed onto us by the teachers was – never mix on the headphones!

The mix should always be done in an acoustically treated room with expensive monitors. It’s the only way to make the piece sound good in every environment.

After the studies, I joined a private school for music production, taught by working professionals – same deal there. The mix must be done on SSL desks, with Dynaudio speakers in a room designed for a quarter of a million pounds.

“Well, it is what it is,” I thought to myself.

After that, I got a job in a sound department at a movie studio. Eight mixing theatres, two with Dolby Atmos sound. Safe to say – everything sounded fantastic there. I worked with most talented dialogue mixers in the country, real veterans of audio mixing.

The rule – never mix on headphones!

Professional mixes must be done in deluxe rooms with the expensive set-up. Even my editing studio had a surround system of calibrated DynaudiosI got used to that comfy chair and top of the shelf editing and mixing system.

Then, I left my job.

I knew I wanted to go freelance and work from home. The issue was real, I’ve cleaned the dust off my Focusrite interface and Adam monitors and was ready. The problem was that my set up is in the bedroom, no acoustics, no high-end studio design.

Mixing gig was out of the window.

Or was it?

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After 18 months with Casefile (and other projects), I learned that rules could be broken and be shaped.

I’m proud to say that I mix on headphones.

Yes, I said. Get over it.

I figured that most people listen to podcasts on their phones, on cheap ear-in headphones. So number one goal should be to make it sound as good as possible on that platform. Casefile needs a good mix, a good balance for score and narration. I can’t lie, it is tricky, and I still make mistakes. But so far the unique approach worked quite well for the podcast and my production practice.

I do the first edit on speakers. The first edit is cutting out mistakes, working with creative breaks and pauses, making the narration as a whole.

I do the second edit on headphones. This takes place in iZotope Rx, and it is in-depth cleaning process. I’m not able to hear every little lip smack on the monitors and Sony MDR-7506 headphones are brilliant in revealing details.

When I write music, I do it on monitors.

When I mix the cues, it’s all on headphones.

Then the first mix – I do the first run on Sony MDRs. I try to balance the score and narration, but the issue is that these phones are closed-cup.

They cut out external noise and give amazing, however not a real representation of the mix.

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Why not real?

Well, it’s only a small percentage of people who listen to the podcast on these kinds of headphones. Most use ear-ins with their phones. Plus the listening is usually done during the work commute, at the gym or work.

That’s why there is a second pass on the mix. And that’s when I use cheap ear-ins. I have a few pairs as each sounds slightly different and I change them during the mix. I make the adjustments to the score and narration.

And that finalises it.

Yes, I will still check the mix on the monitors, on other mediums but the primary goal is to make it sound good on cheap ear-ins.

There is also an issue of exporting to MP3 format. The mix will sound different when played as compressed MP3 in comparison to what I’ve done in Pro Tools. So I keep that in mind during the mixing process too.

Is it a perfect process? Of course not, but as the saying goes ‘if it sounds good, then it’s good’.

The point I want to make is that times are changing and technological progress means that bedroom producers have now much more power than in the past. Yes, it’s great to have a dedicated room for your work. Acoustically designed for high-end systems. But a laptop and pair of headphones will work too, and it shouldn’t stop you from trying.

Of course, let’s not forget that it’s the mastery of skills that matter the most. Don’t worry about the set up as much, improve where you can but what’s most important – get to work!

To learn more about headphones check out The Big Difference Between DJ Headphones from Home DJ Studio.

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Simple Audio Techniques for Podcasts

Simple Audio Techniques for Podcasts

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30 JUNE 2017

written by Mike

SIMPLE AUDIO TECHNIQUES

FOR PODCASTS

 

Most of the creative projects have three stages:

pre-production

production

post-production

The same principle applies to podcasting. You get planning, recording and post production, and depending on a podcast, each stage will be slightly different. Today I will look at one element of post production process – editing.

Sound editing is a crucial aspect of a well-produced show. It doesn’t matter if it’s a scripted podcast, interview style show or a comedy audition. The complexity of audio editing will depend on the nature of a podcast but let’s have a look at most used functions. This post is titled ‘simple editing’ as I will try to describe tools and solutions that are possible in most audio sequencers. Editing with specialised software such as iZotope products will be featured in the future articles.

What kind of sound editing can you expect while working on podcasts?

Based on my experience with Casefile – a scripted show and multiple of other non-scripted podcasts let me list a few things that should be helpful to you during the process.

Importing files

First of all, you will need to import audio files to audio sequencer of your choice. Most audio will be recorded in 44.1kHz, however, I always convert to 48kHz. If I were in charge of recording, I would also select 48kHz at the source.

It’s a standard for motion picture sound, and it will give you more headroom to work with, better quality.

Once you import the files, you will realise that most will be submitted/recorded as STEREO. If you are recording yourself, then you can do a MONO recording from the start, but working with others, I guarantee that more than often it will be stereo.

MONO – one single audio track

STEREO – two audio tracks, usually panned to left & right channels

If you receive the dialogues as STEREO, use a function to split it into MONO and leave it as a one centre audio track. For the most part, the dialogue should always sit in the centre. Yes, there are exceptions to it, like binaural recordings but these are exemptions from the rule.

Multiple dialogue recordings should be kept on separate audio tracks, don’t stick all of it on just one.

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Grouping & Colours

I always work with colours when it comes to editing. It means colour coding tracks, so you can visually recognise them. With Casefile, the voice of the Host will be green and other audio clips blue. When I was working on other interview-style podcasts, I had person one coloured green, and person two on separate track coloured blue and so on.

You are working with ears and eyes so use it to your advantage.

Markers

Markers are an essential element of your editing process. They will help to you note down any mistakes, important parts of the podcast, musical cues.

For Casefile I tend to use markers to note down musical cues and significant moments in the story. In other podcasts, I used them to mark sections that were possibly getting cut.

Pauses

Creative breaks are a big process when I edit Casefile podcast. I usually leave a long pause during sentences for a dramatic impact or cut the breaks shorter during more tense moments.

To create breaks just move the audio around, but don’t forget to fill the space with a background, room noise for consistency.

For non-scripted podcasts, pauses are also helpful. A few seconds between two people speaking or asking a question will give a listener a chance to catch up. Sometimes a person just speaks too fast and adding a few artificial pauses will help.

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Breaths

How you deal with breaths will depend on the style of the podcast. I always try to minimise them, either by eradicating them (Casefile podcast) or making the volume lower.

Some people say that cutting breaths will make the podcast sound unnatural, I would say that it depends on the show.

If you decide to remove all the breaths from the podcast, you will need to use a tool such as De-breather or Strip Silence. Doing it manually will take too much time.

Uhms and Aahs

It’s easier with scripted podcasts as you won’t have to deal with many ‘filler’ phrases. With live recordings, it won’t be that easy. Most people are not professional speakers and will use some kind of a filler when they speak.

These will need to be cut manually, but make sure you won’t turn the podcast into sounding too fake and robotic

It’s easy to go overboard with the editing so use your ears for better judgement.

Background Noise

Any background noise, in particular between the sentences, will need cutting and replacing with a neutral room tone. Other noise such as hiss and rumble will need special tools like De-Noise. But anything else can be easily cut manually or with functions such as Strip Silence.

Other simple audio editing techniques will depend on the nature of the podcast.

It can include pitching up or down the audio or even slowing it down (or making it faster). It was only a few weeks ago when I had to slow a recording down by few percent as the person speaking was talking a bit too fast. In any of these kinds of treatments, you need to be careful not to induce artificial sounding artefacts and change the sound too much.

Simple editing will be enough if you are working on a hobby project from home. Just listen to it, tidy it all up and make it sound a bit tighter.

When it comes to more complicated productions, you will need to use specialised tools, but I will get to them another time.

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