How long does it take to edit a podcast? Editing a podcast is a time-consuming process. It can be as quick as an hour, or it could take several hours, depending on the length and complexity of the audio. Most podcasts will require multiple rounds of editing to get it just right and make sure all the sound levels are even.
There is a lot that goes into the overall editing process, and in this post, we’re going to break it all down and talk about just how long it really takes to edit a podcast episode so the next time you’re in post-production, you’ll know exactly how long everything should take!
What is Podcast Editing?
Before we get into how long it takes to edit a podcast, let’s first go over what the editing process entails.
Podcast editing is the process of taking raw audio and making it sound polished and professional by removing mistakes, adding music, adjusting levels, and more. It also includes organizing your recordings into segments if you have a multi-host show or interviews with guests.
Related: Best Podcast Editing Software
How Long Does Podcast Editing Take?
The length of time it takes to edit a podcast really depends on a few factors. These include the length of the original recording, how much post-production work is needed, and the skill level of the editor.
Generally speaking, most podcasts will take anywhere from 1-4 hours to edit, depending on the length, complexity, and type of podcast.
For example, a short 10-minute episode with no music or sound effects may only take about an hour to edit. However, if there is a lot of back-and-forth dialogue between multiple hosts and you need to add music and sound effects throughout the episode, it could take up to 4 hours or more.
The overall time needed depends on the entire episode production and the circumstances that the podcast audio was recorded in. To get to the final product, you’ll often have to spend a good amount of time editing everything, so the podcast is exactly how you want it to be.
All The Steps You Need to Take to Edit a Podcast
Editing a podcast isn’t as simple as just cutting out the mistakes. There are multiple steps you’ll need to take in order to ensure that your episode is polished and professional-sounding. Here’s an overview of the process:
1. Prepare your audio tracks
This includes transferring, trimming, renaming, and separating any files you need to work with. This part can take 15-30 minutes, depending on the number of files you’re working with.
2. Listen to and analyze your audio
This is where you’ll listen to the entire episode and take notes on any edits or changes needed. There are going to be times when you edit a whole podcast only to realize that there are sections with a lot of filler words or awkward pauses that shouldn’t be there.
Those are the things that can easily affect the podcast episodes as a whole at the end and it’s much harder to take them out when you’re done editing podcasts. This can take around 45 minutes, depending on the length of the episode.
3. Make sure all your audio levels are even
This includes adjusting the audio volume, EQ (equalization) if needed, and compressing/limiting if necessary. Here’s the part you don’t want to skimp on since this is what will make or break a podcast episode.
It’s important that all the sound levels are even within the episode, so it sounds professional and is easier to listen to. You don’t want to shock the viewer with a sudden increase in volume or any other unwanted noises that might come in the middle. This usually takes around 15-30 minutes.
4. Add music and sound effects
When it comes to podcast editing, you don’t just put a bunch of audio together. You also have to add in any intro/outro music or sound effects that you need to make the episode more interesting and engaging.
You might also have to remove background noises, add layers of noise reduction, get rid of the long pauses, and pop filter on the podcast using the pro tools you’ll be working with. Here’s a guide on How to Remove Background Noise & Static in Audacity.
This is an essential part of the audio editing, and it’s also something the podcast host will have to keep in mind, so it’s not like the audio just cuts in unexpectedly. They need to make sure it sounds natural and not like over-editing was involved.
5. Make sure everything is in the right order
This includes cutting out any dead air and moving different parts of the conversation around for better flow if necessary. One of the biggest jobs for podcast editors is to always make sure that the raw recording can be translated into a great podcast episode.
So making sure that all of the audio goes well together, the sound quality stays consistent, and the entire segments are edited in a way that the person speaking is clear and easily understood is key.
This usually takes around 30 minutes, but if your podcast is longer. Once you edit your first podcast, you’ll have a better idea of how to make the podcast audio editing process faster. However, regardless of how much editing is required here, it’s a good idea to not try to reduce the editing time at the start.
Podcast editing involves a lot of trial and error, so it might take you a couple of podcast recordings to really find your rhythm and make the technical aspects of the podcast a lot easier!
6. Export your final product
Once you’re happy with how it sounds, export the file to your desired format (mp3, WAV, etc.). Remember, Podcasts are more than just people talking, the podcast editor can change up the tone of the entire episode and make it totally different than it was in the recording session. So it’s important for the audio engineer to pay attention to help create the full effect.
With all of these combined, it should normally take you anywhere from 2 hours to 5 hours to complete the audio editing of a single podcast episode. However, that doesn’t mean that every podcast episode will take that long. There are also ways to save time while podcast editing!
Podcast Editing Tips To Save Time
One of the things that most people don’t realize is that while editing is a process that inevitably takes a lot of time. There are a few tips to make the process much faster and easier.
1. Have an idea of what you want to achieve before you start
Knowing how you want your podcast episode to sound like before you start editing can help save time by ensuring that you don’t have to go back and forth over the same parts. Mixing audio recordings might be the basic job of the audio producer, but that doesn’t mean that the hosts can’t speed up the process on their end.
When podcast recording starts, they can make sure that they’re using show notes, and sticking to a list of points while at the recording studio.
Any parts that sound unnatural can either be marked or removed entirely before the mixing process even starts. Those that pay attention from the second they start recording are the ones that can the final product much faster!
2. Use automation
Editing audio can be accelerated by using tools such as background noise reduction, volume automation, and even vocal processing.
This can save you from having to manually adjust the levels or do any tedious clean up. The editing software should have these features already available so you will have the proper tools to make your job as fast as possible.
3. Use a good microphone
Even if you’re not recording at a professional studio, it’s important to ensure that you’re recording with a good microphone that will help reduce the amount of noise you have to eliminate or add in.
It is also a lot easier to edit audio that comes from a better mix because the audio quality will be consistent and will sound natural throughout.
4. Leverage plugins
Don’t underestimate the power of plugins. There are a lot of great tools out there that can help you speed up and simplify the audio editing process.
Plugins are essential in your digital audio workstation because they can significantly take off the load from you, and you won’t have to take out time to spend editing the podcast recording for hours on end.
5. Learn how to use the editing program properly
The audio engineer must be familiar with the pros and cons of their particular software. This will help them understand what features they should or shouldn’t use, as well as allow them to make quick decisions while editing.
6. Don’t forget to back up
One of the most important things to remember is that it’s essential to back up your audio recordings in case anything happens. With podcasting, you never know when something might go wrong, so having a backup version can save hours of work if something does happen.
Backing your files up on an external hard drive or cloud storage is essential to ensuring that your audio is safe and secure.
7. Use audio editing apps
With the rise of technology and smartphones, there are now a variety of audio editing apps, like GarageBand, that allow you to do basic podcast edits on-the-go. This can save time if you’re not able to access a computer or have the time to go through a more lengthy editing process.
These apps can help you trim and adjust audio levels, add effects, and even mix music into your podcast episode. They’re a great way to do quick edits while still getting professional sounding results.
Related: How to Edit a Podcast on a Mac
8. Find ways to streamline editing
If you find yourself spending too much time editing, it might be time to look for ways to streamline the process. This could mean investing in better equipment or even adjusting your recording and editing processes.
The goal is to find a way to make podcasting as efficient and effortless as possible so that all you need to do is focus on creating great content.
9. Listen to the episode once it is edited
Once you’ve finished editing an episode, it’s important to take some time to listen to your own podcast and make sure everything sounds as perfect as possible. This will ensure that any remaining errors are caught and corrected before the podcast is released. Listening back can also help give you an idea of how the podcast flows, and what can be improved for future episodes.
10. Get a second opinion
It’s also a good idea to get a fresh set of ears on any podcast episode you’ve worked on. This could mean having someone else listen back for errors or simply giving their opinion on the production quality and sound.
Having a second opinion can help you catch any errors and make sure the episode is as polished as possible before it goes out to the world.
These are just some of the tips that will help you save time and get great results when podcast editing. With practice, patience, and determination, you’ll be able to create amazing podcast episodes in no time. So get out there and start editing! Good luck!
That’s it; you’ve finished your podcast editing tips! If you follow these tips, you should be able to create professional-sounding podcast episodes that your audience loves. Just remember to take the time to listen back and get a second opinion – and don’t forget to back up your audio files!
Related: Logic Pro Editing Tips
Mistakes That Are Slowing Down Your Podcast Editing
While everything we’ve talked about so far will help you make the process faster, nothing’s as good as the process of elimination. There are things that most editors and audio engineers make in the start that could be coming together to significantly slow down the overall editing process.
Below is a list of these mistakes that you could avoid to speed up your editing process even more!
Not double-checking for errors
This is a big one! When editing, be sure to pay attention to any mistakes that you may have made while recording or during post-production. Even the smallest of errors can ruin an entire episode if left unchecked. Make it a habit to listen back to your work before you move on.
Not using the right tools for the editing process
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced podcaster, having the right tools for editing can make a world of difference. Investing in quality audio software and hardware is essential for creating professional-sounding podcasts. This doesn’t mean that you can’t create decent work without them. It’s just that the difference between using better quality tools will always be visible!
Ignoring sound levels
It’s easy to overlook sound levels when editing, but it can make a huge difference in the quality of your podcast. Make sure that all of your audio is at an even volume to ensure that the listener doesn’t have to constantly adjust their volume.
Not investing in plugins and effects
Adding effects and plugins can help bring your podcast to life. Investing in quality plugins and effects can make your podcast sound more professional and polished. Sometimes, you don’t even need to invest money to get access to these plugins. There are plenty of free ones out there too! All you need to do is explore what’s out there and find something that helps you streamline your work as best as possible!
Not listening back
After you’ve finished editing an episode, be sure to listen back at least once before releasing it. This is the best way to catch any mistakes or inconsistencies that you may have missed before.
Not backing up files
This is an important step that many people forget or ignore. You never know when a file might get corrupted or lost, so it’s always a good idea to back up your audio files in multiple places. Often, you can even back up files in the cloud. This is extremely helpful for those that edit on multiple computers or have a lot of audio files.
Not investing in decent headphones in your digital audio workstation
Headphones are essential for podcast editing. Investing in a good pair of headphones can help you hear even the slightest errors while you’re editing. Having a good pair of headphones will also make it easier to identify and correct problems quickly.
Related: Best Podcast Headphones
Not taking breaks
Editing can be a time-consuming process, and spending hours on end listening to the same audio files can be tiring. To ensure that you don’t miss any mistakes, take regular breaks and come back to your work with fresh ears.
Not using the right editing techniques
There are a lot of different editing techniques, and it’s important to be familiar with all of them. Take the time to learn about the various tools and techniques for podcast editing, and experiment with them to find out what works best for you.
Spending too much time on small details
While it’s important to make sure that your audio is of the highest quality, it’s also important not to get lost in the details. Spending too much time on small details can cause you to lose sight of the bigger picture, and most of the time, the listener won’t even be able to tell the difference. While it is okay to want everything to be the best it possibly can be, it’s also important to draw a line and let a few little things slide so you can keep up with the uploading schedule!
It’s easy to get carried away when editing and end up over-editing an episode. Try to only edit out mistakes or parts that don’t add much to the episode, and leave as much of the original content as possible. It’s important that you keep the podcast sounding authentic.
Not utilizing sound effects and music
Adding sound effects and music can help bring your podcast to life, as well as give it more of a professional feel. Be sure to use these where appropriate, but be wary of overusing them, as this can quickly become distracting for the listener.
Not optimizing for different listening platforms
Make sure to optimize your podcast episodes for the various listening platforms. This includes making sure that the audio levels are consistent and that there is enough headroom for the loudest parts of the episode.
Skipping the export process
Once you’ve finished editing an episode, be sure to export it as an mp3 file before releasing it. Exporting will ensure that the audio is compressed properly and that all of your hard work is preserved for the listener.
Not asking for help
Editing can be tricky and time-consuming, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether it’s from an experienced editor or from a friend, asking for help can save you time and keep your workflow running smoothly.
These are just a few tips to help you get started with podcast editing. Just remember to take the time to double-check your work, use the right tools, and optimize for different listening platforms. If you do this, you can be confident that your podcast will sound professional and polished!
The Bottom Line
Podcast editing doesn’t have to be a long, strenuous process. You can speed up and simplify the audio editing process in many ways. From having a plan before you start recording to using plugins and good microphones, these tips can help make the editorial process easier, faster, and more organized for both audio producers and podcasters alike. For further reading, you can also check out our other post on
How Much Does Podcast Editing Cost?
So don’t be scared of podcast editing – it doesn’t have to be a daunting task! With the right tools and attitude, you’ll be able to create amazing podcasts in no time. Good luck!