Editing Sound Effects Into Your Podcast

Digital Audio Editing

Audio post-production is a process of embellishment, correction and repair.

Introduction to Editing Digital Audio - Seamless Editing

Audio post-production is now more a process of elaboration and embellishment than a process of necessary correction and repair. Although podcasts are sounding better, the production can be greatly enhanced to sound more like a polished broadcast. The objective is to make your podcast flow seamlessly from one segment to the next.

Sound Design - Your Audio Signature

Sound design puts an auditory stamp on your podcast and shapes the overall consistency of the podcast theme. Before jumping into the editing stage, identify which elements of your podcast need to be fixed or embellished.

Dialogue Editing - Quick Fixes

Dialogue editing - the editing of your voice-over recording - is required when the tracks need to be "cleaned-up". Often editing is required if noises occur between lines of dialogue.

Ambience - Overall Podcast Atmosphere

Ambience consists of sounds present in your recording environments. This is the pervading atmosphere of a place, specifically its background noises. For example, a podcast that is recorded at a baseball game would have an ambience with cheering fans, vendors selling treats or the crack of a ball hitting a bat.

Sound Effects - Audio Embellishments

Recording intelligible dialogue is the number one priority of a podcast recording. Adding sound effects should augment the original recording. A few examples would be doors slamming, cars passing by, or birds singing in the trees. The purpose of sounds effects is to create the illusion that the auditory environment is real, rather than fabricated.

Placing an emphasis on selected sounds can create tension, atmosphere and emotion in your podcast. It can also impart personality to the host and the characters of a podcast. Sound effects can exaggerate or diminish the listeners perception of a host or characters within a podcast. Clocks ticking can make a character sound busy or impatient, whistling can make a character sound relaxed or free spirited. Carnival noises can make a character sound silly.

Categories of Sound Effects

Category names are based on:

  1. Category
  2. Sub-Category
  3. Unique Quality

Naming this way means that when editing, sounds that are alike will be hierarchically and alphabetically arranged in your file lists.

Catalog Structure - Categorization and Classification

Categories are generic, broad names. If a group of sounds can be classified by one work, it qualifies as a category.

Here is an example:

  • Dog
  • Dog / Walk or Run
  • Dog / Bark or Growl
  • Dog / Kennel or Groomer / Eating

Summary - Key points about Sound Effects

In this chapter, we learned how to find sound effects and also how to categorize and classify them so that you can find them easily in your our own sound effect library. In the next chapter, we'll look at editing a voice-over.

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