Now that your first episode is recorded, there are a couple of things you have to deal with before it is ready to present to the world.
While recording, it’s natural to make mistakes — stuttering, stammering, clearing your throat, or saying something you didn’t intend to say. Often, these mistakes are small enough that they don’t warrant starting the recording over from scratch. But, they are big enough (in the host’s mind at least) that they deserve to be edited out of the final version of the podcast.
In Audacity, and most audio recording programs, it’s pretty easy to remove unwanted sound from your podcast. You just click and drag to select the erroneous audio and hit Delete.
There are some things you should always edit out of the final audio:
- A baby crying in the background
- The sound of a truck rumbling by on the street
- Your spouse opening the door to your closet studio and yelling that the neighbors have arrived
Such interjections take away from the quality of the podcast, and they suggest to the listener a lack of professionalism and care. When such an interruption occurs while you are recording, pause, wait for the noise to subside, and then pick up a phrase or two back from where you were interrupted. Once you are finished recording, you should be able to easily spot those areas where the interruption occurred by the variation in the sound waves indicated in Audacity. Click and drag to select the erroneous audio and hit Delete.
However, there are some things that you may consider not editing out.
- Mild stammering or stuttering
- Throat clearing
- Saying something askance and then quickly correcting it
The reason why you may decide not to edit these things out is because such minor mishaps occur in everyday conversation and we don’t think less of those whom we are talking to nor do our partners in conversation think less of us. Podcasting is a medium that values authenticity and realness. Thanks to headphones, most people listen to podcasts alone. It is a mass media platform that still has the effect of a one-to-one relationship between the host and the listener. The listener will not hold it against you if you have the occasional verbal snafu.
How much or how little you edit is really up to you. Obviously, you want to produce as clean of a podcast as possible. But it is desirable to achieve a balance between uber-polished and authentic.
This post is a part of the PODCASTING FOR MINISTRY blog series.