Because of the qualitative vagaries of telephone (often long distance) and Skype connections, it’s rare when a podcast doesn’t require more than rudimentary edits to finalize a conversation.
In fact, it’s never.
Just like an interview being transcribed for print / online publication, those pauses, incomplete sentences, repeated points, redundancies, mouth clicks, and habitual overuse of certain words and sounds require some pruning in order for the final interview to represent the final thoughts of the subject, just in a linear, fluid fashion.
What you hear should flow as concisely as what you read in print, and editing recorded interviews, either from the source recording or from a series interviews to be arranged into a conversation is one of the key multimedia skills and services I provide to clients who lack the time to go over the nuances of a recording and editing a conversation into something fluid yet natural.
This extract demonstrates the differences between a raw reply with false starts, clicks, and incomplete sentences, and an edited response:
2) AUDIO CLEAN-UP & RESTORATION
Long distance calls can have weak connections, and sometimes they’re re-routed to the point where the interview subject may be intelligible, but the final audio is so low and muted, some restoration work must precede any basic editing, and specially final mixing.
Garbled cellphone and Skype connections can’t be fixed – you’re stuck with the digital globs due to interference or gremlins – and although there are limits as to how much fidelity can be extracted from a muddy recording, it is possible, using digital filters over several attempts, to bring out a voice to a level where it’s acceptable for a podcast.
3) CUSTOM AUDIO MIXING
The next problem is finding a balance between the restored audio of the subject, and the host whose audio levels were crisp and normal.
Cross-mixing from one to the other results in sudden shifts from clean to hissy audio, so the solution is to create a neutral noise track (something more elaborate than a room tone or ambient track in a film mix) which not only offers a ‘shared noise level’ for the subject and host, but softens the transitions as one fades away from the host’s question, and hen fades up to the subject’s reply.
The following set of clips illustrate both low volumes between the interviewer and interviewee, and balanced transitions between each speaker using a custom neutral noise track:
These are three key stages which ensures flawed master recordings can still be useful for fully edited and mixed podcast.
Feel free to browse the various interviews in the Podcast section, and email me directly (“multimedia” ” services” “at” “mondomark” “dot” “com”) with any queries regarding rates, turnaround time, and specific delivery stages of samples and finished versions. Additional samples featuring condensed conversations are available upon request.