The average podcast is built around conversation. You have a host, or a few hosts, and you have a guest or a handful of guests, and together they discuss whatever the main topic is for that episode. There are podcasts that aim for brevity, compact little bursts of concentrated information delivered through the audio medium. And there are podcasts that give themselves room to roam, that can extend for an hour, if not longer. Neither approach is better or worse, but at ModPod we are dedicated to helping make sure that when you put out a new episode, you are only ever releasing the best possible content.
Step 1: Know What You Are Aiming For
When you start a podcast, it is okay to not necessarily have the entire show figured out (although we can help with that step too). Beginning your show will require some trial and error, quite a bit of brainstorming, and plenty of time settling on the approach you want to take.
But by the time you are actually hitting record, and certainly by the time you are trying to make cuts and judgements, you should have at least a ballpark range as to the episode length you are hoping to achieve. Otherwise, it will be difficult to make any cuts at all. Some podcasts with a strong core of hosts with good chemistry do not mind rambling, off-topic discussions. That’s what listeners are actually coming for! But other podcasts are aiming for tight focus and short running times.
Knowing what you want is the first, and in many ways most crucial, step on the path towards getting it.
Step 2: What Is the Topic?
Now that you know what your desired podcast episode length is, we’ll start the process of reviewing it with an eye towards making cuts to bring the episode in line with that target.
Let’s say you want your episode to be no longer than thirty minutes, and you’ve recorded an interview that lasted an hour. That’s going to be a lot of cutting.
So the first thing we ask is, ‘What is the most important topic in this episode?’ We’ll want to know what the key theme is for this particular episode, and edit with a mind to make sure that discussion related to that item gets the priority.
We’ll also ask that you identify what we call the Key Knowledge Points. These are 1-3 core things, be they facts and topics or just crucial thematic ideas, that you believe are critical to what the episode is trying to communicate. When we review your episode, we will keep these key points in mind.
Step 3: The Cut List
We’ll prepare a detailed cut list for any and all changes we want to make to your episode. This process includes producing a transcript of the entire episode and marking out precisely where each and every cut begins and ends, so there is no confusion as to what is getting chopped.
We also provide a rough mixdown of the original audio, along with a document showing the timestamps of where the cuts will be made.
These documents and files are provided to the customer for approval. Ultimately, we are facilitators of the client’s vision for the show. While our recommendations are typically heeded, there are cases where a client decides that they actually prefer an episode be a little more rambling, a little more sprawling. And that is their decision to make, and we respect that.
Step 4: Clean Up
Even when a recording session goes well, even if you come away thinking that you have just recorded an excellent piece of audio that was on topic and on message for the entire time, there will still probably need to be some clean up. You would be amazed how many times people say “Um” or “Ah” without realizing it. Or by how long a couple seconds of silence can feel like in an audio-exclusive medium. Or by all the odd little tics and unnoticed noises that can be captured when you have a microphone inches from your mouth capturing every sound and bit of motion.
We clean those right up, making sure that your finished audio is as smooth and professional sounding as can be. Our audio engineers can strip away those mistakes and misspeaks with such precision that a listener will never even be able to identify that a change was even made.
Lots of people produce lots of podcasts, but attention to detail in such matters is a great way to make sure that your show stands out from the pack, with a crisp and compelling sound quite a ways removed from some amateurish production.
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