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How to sound like a one-take wonder on your podcast

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Because no one needs to know it took you 20 attempts…

Sometimes when you’re in the depths of editing your podcast you’ll realise there’s something you need to re-record.

Maybe you took too long to get your point across, or you got a few facts wrong, or you just sounded bored and want to pep it up a bit.

If you’re not careful, those re-records (or ‘pickups’) can sound obvious because they’re not recorded in the natural flow of the original conversation.  Or, they’re not recorded in the same space as the original audio.

So how can you make it sound like those new bits of audio aren’t new at all?

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Record ambient noise

I touched on this last week but if you’re recording somewhere different from where you’ll be editing you should always record some ambient noise in case you need it in the edit later.

Ambient noise is just the background sound of where you recorded the podcast.

Sometimes you’ll only need 30 seconds of it or less to cover up small edits.  But it’s never a bad thing to have more than you need.

Often if you haven’t recorded enough you’ll need to loop it.  If there are recurring sounds in the audio they’ll become obvious to the listener and that’s not a good thing.  So, the longer the track you’ve got the better.

Having that ambient soundtrack in your back pocket means you can lay it under any re-records you do to make it sound like it was recorded in the original location.

It might need some tweaking e.g. lifting or decreasing volumes but it should help the edit sound pretty seamless.

How to make editing easier when you’re recording your podcast

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Turn on more than one mic when you’re re-recording

This only applies if you had a guest or co-host in the original episode.  If you’re recording solo you’ll obviously only open up your mic because that’s all that would have been turned on in the first place.  But if you had more than one mic open in the original record, turn them all on for the re-record (even if there’s no one using the other ones).

You want the re-record to sound as close to the original as possible and opening that second microphone will take in a bit more room noise which will make a subtle but important difference.

How to record high-quality audio at home

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Don’t record what you’re saying ‘cold’

I’m not talking about temperature here.

Recording something cold is when you just jump right into the sentence you’re wanting to re-record without any lead-in.

What happens when you do this is the re-recorded piece of audio sounds different to the original.  This because you don’t usually say sentences in isolation or from a standing start.  They’re part of a flowing conversation so you need to try and capture that in the re-record.

I’ll always listen to the line I said before the bit I want to re-record and say that as the lead in line to the one I’m re-doing.

This will often make it sound like it was part of the original recording.

If it’s still not sounding quite right try decreasing the volume of the start of the newly recorded line, just a tiny bit, to help cover up the transition.

Got a burning podcasting question you’d like answered? Send me an email.

Want to start your own podcast but need a little help?  Download my “How To Start A Podcast” guide or sign up for my online podcasting course, PodSchool.

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GET MY FREE PODCAST GUIDE

WANT TO START A PODCAST BUT HAVE NO IDEA HOW? THIS GUIDE TAKES YOU THROUGH ALL THE TOOLS AND TECH YOU NEED TO GET GOING!

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