Audio Editing – 7 Helpful Practices For Best Results
Audio content is growing fast in popularity and market share. As more people depend on voice artificial intelligence like Amazon Alexa and Siri and consume audio-based content, more growth is yet to come. For instance, while podcasts started out a very niche, it has now experienced a growth of over 200%.
So as more people consume audio content, brands, personalities, and businesses should focus on great voice-based content to engage people online. Two factors that play a significant role in the quality of our voice content are the content quality itself and the audio quality. The content quality includes the meat of the content itself— the educational content of a podcast, the quality of a song being played, and so on.
But in this article, we’re going to talk about the audio content. More specifically, the practices that make for great quality audio editing, how to choose the best online audio editor, and so on.
Why Is Audio Powerful?
Before we dive into what audio editing practices bring the best results, you might want to know why audio content is so powerful first. After reading these facts, you might want to start a podcast, invest in audio ads, improve audio quality on your videos, and any other way to leverage audio growth. Here are some reasons why audio will only become more popular over the next few years.
Allows for multitasking
The caveat with social media channels like Facebook, TikTok and Instagram is that they suck in all of your energy and attention. It’s difficult to walk on a sidewalk while scrolling through your newsfeed without bumping into someone. But when content is audio-only, you can multitask in many scenarios. People can listen to podcasts or other audio content while driving a car, working out, or preparing the evening meal. This benefit makes it easier for people to maximize their time by consuming entertainment or educational audio content and doing something else entirely.
Less digital fatigue
The rise in video consumption has been unprecedented over the past decade. But as more people use digital tools for conferences, meetings, and meetups, we’re now too well familiar with the concept of Zoom fatigue. Being in front of video cameras take up a lot of energy as we’re often conscious of how we look on camera. But a rise in audio-only streaming has changed that trend.
Clubhouse, an audio-only social listening platform, now has over 10 million active weekly users. Other apps have followed suit in this rising trend. Spotify has introduced Green Room, and Facebook is slowly rolling out its own version of audio only rooms as well.
Relatively easy to create content
Relative to creating video content and landing pages, editing audio is a lot easier. It takes less time and energy. Of course, there is still a learning curve to become a stellar audio engineer, but if you want to create good enough audio content that people will enjoy and understand, there’s lesser learning time compared to creating a graphic on photoshop or a video on Adobe Premiere or Final Cut.
Higher net worth in listeners
Generally speaking, audio listeners are also a more profitable audience. Up to 45% of podcast listeners have a household income of $75,000 per annum and up. So if you’re creating content with the intention of selling, podcast content is a promising way to reach a ready-to-pay audience. Of course, that’s not always a hard-fast rule, but you are at a greater advantage.
Best Practices For Audio Editing
So what makes for great quality audio content? Let’s talk about some great audio editing practices that will wow your listeners and help elevate your brand’s audio experience.
Get a voice actor
This first tip (and the second one too) isn’t really an audio editing tip per se, but it is a crucial pre-production step that affects the audio editing process. If you’re creating audio ads or looking to launch a company podcast, you might want to consider your voice talent.
For some ad hoc projects, it could be great to hire a professional voice talent as they’re well aware of voice acting strategies and have great voice quality that is sure to hook your audience. If you’re starting a podcast, consider taking up some basic voice modulation lessons. Ensuring great voice quality will save so much time for the post-production and audio engineering process.
Use a good quality microphone
The second tip to improving audio editing even before editing begins is to use a great quality microphone. By using a microphone with a superior sound recording quality, you eliminate a lot of the need to equalize the sound of the audio recordings. You don’t need an expensive microphone in order to record, but it does help to have one that has the best sound quality. Some things to consider when buying a microphone are the following features:
- Noise cancelation
- Direct plug-and-record connection — ideally a USB-C connector
- A cover or pop filter to remove unwanted popping sounds or hisses — This can also be purchased separately
Some of the best microphones can go for around $100 to $200 depending on the brand.
Use a good audio editing software
Using the best audio editing software available to you is the next step to having great audio quality. You can opt to use an audio editing software online or a software program that you can install directly to your computer. The best audio editing software will have the following features available:
- A sound equalizer
- A timeline to cut and splice audio and take out unnecessary fillers and unwanted noise
- Some basic effects, including reverb, echo, and so on
Here are some of the most famous audio editors
- Garageband (for Mac users only)
- Soundtrap by Spotify
- Logic Pro
- Adobe Audition
Cancel out noises
Some of the most basic audio editing software should also have some noise-canceling features. Unwanted background noise can pull people’s attention away from the content of your recording. So it helps to remove as much of it as possible. Also, record in a quiet room so you won’t have that many distractions in the recording itself as well.
Template your content creation and editing workflows
It helps to consider every audio content you create as a project that needs to be fulfilled. Whether you’re recording audiobooks, podcasts, audio ads, the key to success starts with ensuring that it gets launched. In order to do this and do it consistently, create a content creation workflow and manage projects in an organized manner. You can use different business process management software systems to template your workflows and manage deliverables accordingly. Using this kind of tool alongside your professional audio editing software will help you knock out those audio editing projects with more ease.
Use royalty-free music and sound effects
To improve the audio experience, you can also opt to add background music or some sound effects to make the audio content more engaging. There are tons of background music to choose from online. You can opt to pay for copyrighted music or download royalty-free ones on websites like YouTube’s Audio Library. Some sound effects you can use include swooshing sounds, clicks, laughter, wow sounds, and so on.
Create video formats of your audio content
After editing your audio content, the next step will be to promote it. In cases like with podcasts, creators often convert audio to video content with captions or an engaging motion graphic to get people to listen to them.
Focus on Listener Experience
The key to effective audio editing is to have the listener’s experience in mind. Where do they listen to the content? How long should it be? Do your target listeners love fast-paced audio or slow and relaxing ones? Answering these questions will give you an idea of the editing styles and techniques you’ll have to administer to your audio experiences.