10 Tips for Editing Interview-Based Podcasts
As traditional radio reporting is shifting more and more to podcasts, we’ve seen a proliferation of startup companies and broadcast organization spreading into the field. With them has come a growing opportunity for new work: suddenly, the niche job of organizing audio for podcasts is not so niche. But what do I mean by organization? Well, think of This American Life, Serial, or something on Gimlet: these programs flow in time, with voiceovers leading to interviews, sometimes taking us into courtrooms, placing us in the middle of phone calls, etc. It’s someone’s job to lay this audio out in a linear fashion—to cull it from source files and put it up in DAW.
The someone referred to here is now a wide cross-section of individuals: story producers now sit down with Pro Tools on the regular; audio engineers who worked in film now may find themselves called by a television network looking to expand out into podcasts and hoping to farm this production work to knowledgeable people (such was the case recently for me, when one of the four broadcast networks came to me for a podcasting job). This article offers concrete tips for organizing audio in these podcasting circumstances. It’s geared to an interesting segment of people: story producers, audio engineers, post-production mixers, and anyone else interested in forging a career within this Wild West of an industry.