Author: Jessica Stanton

2024 Season Podcast Awards and How to Apply

Podcasts have grown to be such an incredible medium for education, entertainment, storytelling, news sharing, and a way to find and build community with like-minded individuals. As podcasters, we know how much time and effort goes into the planning, producing, and promotion of every episode. Whether you’re an individual carrying the weight of the production yourself or you have a team of people behind you, you deserve to be recognized and celebrated for your work. Your audience notices the passion you pour into your show and podcast awards are another way for the world to participate in this praise. 

If you’re a podcaster who wants to be considered for a podcasting award but you don’t know where to start, you’re in the right place. Join us as we break down popular podcast awards, their eligibility, and how to apply or be nominated. 

The information and dates in this article are representative of the 2024 awards season. Most if not all of these awards are presented on a yearly basis so if you miss this year’s submission deadlines, you can use the 2023 dates as a guide for when to apply in 2024 for the 2025 awards season.

2024 Season Podcast Awards and How to Apply

Webby Awards

  1. Overview & Deadlines

The Webby Awards are one of the largest, well-known internet awards honoring outstanding work on the internet, including podcasting. 

The early entry deadline for the current award season is Friday, October 27, 2023, and the final entry deadline is Friday, December 15, 2023

  1. Categories 

Categories recognize outstanding work in podcast episodes, series, limited series and specials, across creativity and marketing, crime and justice, sustainability and environment, best host, best writing, and more. 

  1. Eligibility, Guidelines, and Fees

The Webby Award Competition is open to all organizations and individuals involved in the process of designing, building, managing, maintaining, marketing, or promoting digital work. To be eligible for the current season, the work must be live and accessible to its intended audience for some period of time between October of the year before through February of the year after.  

The regular entry fee for the 2024 award season is $435 for the early entry deadline and increases to $495 for the final entry deadline. 

Visit the Webby Awards website for more detailed information on eligibility, guidelines, and fees. 

  1. Judging Criteria 

There are 3 categories that the Webby Awards base their judging criteria on: 

  • Concept and Writing
  • Quality of Craft
  • Overall Experience

For more details on judging criteria and all things Webby Awards visit, https://www.webbyawards.com/ 

Podcast Academy’s Ambies

  1. Overview & Deadlines

The Ambies “celebrate excellence in podcasting and elevate awareness and status of podcasts as a unique and personal medium for entertainment, information, storytelling, and expression.” 

Entries for the 2024 season are open from August 1, 2023- November 17, 2023. (Podcasts launching AFTER November 17 can still apply and submit their files once the podcast has officially launched). 

  1. Categories

The Ambies have two main categories of awards: Show Recognition Categories (including awards such as Podcast of the Year, Best Indie Podcast, Best Business Podcast, Best Comedy Podcast, and more covering several other genres of podcasts) and Talent Recognition Categories (including awards such as Best Podcast Host or Hosts, Best Reporting, Best Scriptwriting, Best Production and Sound Design, etc.)

For the full list of categories, check out, https://theambies.awardsengine.com/categories 

  1. Eligibility, Guidelines, and Fees

The Ambies are open to production companies, individual producers/ creators, and distributors of a podcast series that published 3 or more episodes during the award season’s previous year (January 1, 2023- December 31, 2023, for this award season). 

Early bird pricing for Podcast Academy members is $150 and bumps to $200 for regular submissions. 

Pricing for non-members starts at $200 for early bird pricing and bumps to $250 for regular submissions. 

Visit The Ambies website for more information on eligibility, guidelines, and fees

  1. Judging Criteria 

All entries are listened through entirely and evaluated by a ‘Blue Ribbon’ panel of judges, composed of members of The Podcast Academy. Evaluations from this panel will then determine the nominees in each category. 

From there, voting opens to members of The Podcast Academy for one month and winners announced at the live Ambies ceremony on March 26, 2024. 

People’s Choice Podcast Award

  1. Overview & Deadlines

The People’s Choice Podcast Awards gives podcast fans the opportunity to nominate and vote for their favorite podcasts across a variety of categories. Podcasters are encouraged to work with their audience and ask for nominations so if you have an engaged and supportive audience, this award might just be for you. 

The 2024 annual awards will open for registration from February 1, 2024, through July 31, 2024. After the voting period, winners will be announced at a live ceremony held in conjunction with International Podcast Day on or around September 30th. 

  1. Categories

Categories range from the best female hosted podcast, best male hosted podcast, best in arts, best in business, best in comedy, and so on throughout various categories. 

For a full listing of categories, see the Podcast Award’s past winners

  1. Eligibility, Guidelines, and Fees

The People’s Choice Podcast Awards are International and open to all shows, regardless of country of origin or language. All nominees are required to have posted on or before July 31 and have a minimum of 10 published episodes (documentary series with under 10 episodes are still eligible. 

Although this is a nomination-based award, podcasters wishing to be eligible to be nominated can register through the registration page incurring a $50 registration fee per category. 

Visit the Podcast Awards website for more information on eligibility, guidelines, and fees.

  1. Judging Criteria 

After the nomination period ends, a nomination committee- made up of three Podcast Awards team members- reviews the top 10 nominated shows, validates eligibility, and announces the slate of shows to be voted on. 

From there, journalists, podcast thought leaders, legacy podcasters, sponsors, and individuals of the committee’s choosing are invited to review and vote. Alongside them, a fourth of the listeners who volunteered to vote during registration will cast their ballots for a minimum of 5 shows each. 

Quill Podcast Awards

  1. Overview & Deadlines

The Quill Podcast Awards are a yearly digital awards ceremony to celebrate the achievements of podcasters and podcast companies. The awards celebrate “those who have made a positive impact in the space, become leaders in their niche, and create outstanding content.”

Nominations and voting for the Quill Podcast awards have a quicker turnaround time than most, opening in mid-April and being announced in early May of the current season. 

  1. Categories

Award categories include podcast of the year, best new podcast, genre-specific “best in” categories, branded podcast of the year, best B2B and best B2C branded podcast, best podcast agency, best podcast hosting platform, etc.

For a full list of award categories, visit the Quill Podcasting Awards website: https://www.quillpodcasting.com/qpa/quill-podcast-awards 

  1. Eligibility, Guidelines, and Fees

Unlike many other podcast awards, the Quill Podcasting Awards are free to enter and open to anyone who may want to nominate or be nominated. 

  1. Judging Criteria 

While nominations are open to the public, judging is held by a group of industry experts who come together to determine the winners. 

The Gracies

  1. Overview & Deadlines

Hosted by the Alliance for Women in Media, The Gracies shines a spotlight on women in media. Their role is to “recognize exemplary programming created by women, for women, and about women in all facets of media and entertainment by focus on the women making a positive change and further the discussion of what a fulfilling career in media looks like.”

The early bird deadline for entries closes on Thursday. December 14, 2023, and the regular deadline closes Thursday, January 18, 2024. National winners will be honored at the Gracies Gala on May 21, 2024.

  1. Categories

While The Gracies celebrates women across all walks of media, there are several categories for podcasting within their digital media awards. Podcasting awards include awards for Podcast Host- News, Podcast Host- Lifestyle, Podcast Host- Entertainment, Podcast Co-host/ Ensemble, Podcast- Lifestyle, Podcast- Entertainment, Podcast- Investigative, Podcast- Educational, Podcast- Sports, Podcast- Scripted, and Podcast- Producer.

For a full list of Digital Media categories please visit: https://allwomeninmedia.org/app/uploads/2023/10/2024-Digital-Media-with-Descriptions.pdf 

  1. Eligibility, Guidelines, and Fees

Following the Gracie’s by women, for women, or about women foundation entries must fall within these categories to be considered. Entries must be produced, directed, reported, or written by at least one woman, must reflect subject matters of interest and concern to women (but do not have to focus on women), or about a specific woman or group of women. 

Entries must have aired/ debuted for the first time between January 1, 2023, and December 31, 2023, to be eligible for the 2024 awards season.

Each category requires a separate entry form and entry fee though the fees are not explicitly listed. 

Visit The Gracies website for more information on eligibility, guidelines, and fees

  1. Judging Criteria 

The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation seeks qualified applicants to take part in the in-person and/ or virtual judging process. Once the panel of judges is established, they take part in reviewing, critiquing, and selecting award winners. 

Signal Awards

  1. Overview & Deadlines

The Signal Awards know that podcasts are everything. That’s why they “seek to honor and celebrate the people and content that raise the bar for podcasting.” The Signal Awards mission is to find the unappreciated gems in the podcast world, share them, amplify them, and celebrate them. 

The 2023 award season ran from March 2023 through October 2023 with winners announced on October 10, 2023. This gives us a good idea of when we can expect the 2024 awards season to take place.

  1. Categories

The Signal Awards focus on 4 main types of entries with a multitude of award categories within each. These types of entries include: 

  1. Shows
  2. Limited Series and Special 
  3. Individual Episodes
  4. Branded Shows and Advertising 

For a full list of award categories please visit: https://www.signalaward.com/categories/ 

  1. Eligibility, Guidelines, and Fees

The Signal Awards are open to all organizations and individuals involved in the process of creating, running, hosting, managing, maintaining, marketing, or promoting podcasts. There is no limit to the number of entries you may submit OR the number of categories you may enter. 

Fees for the 2023 awards season range between $225 for Individual Episodes up to $275 for Branded Shows and Ads. 

Visit the Signal Awards website for more information on eligibility, guidelines, and fees

  1. Judging Criteria 

Each entry is evaluated by multiple judges who provide scores based on the appropriate criteria for each category. Top-scoring entries move on to being finalists and are further evaluated to decide the winners. 

Honorable Mentions

For podcasters outside of the United States, there are several location-based podcasting awards you may be eligible for. Check out:

As the world of podcasting grows, we can expect to see more and more podcast awards popping up to recognize and celebrate the outstanding work that goes into podcasts. From established ceremonies like the Webby Awards to newer, niche-specific awards it is so important that we not only encourage excellence in our industry but celebrate it every step of the way.

Remember, you don’t necessarily have to win an award to have a successful podcast. That goes back to ensuring that your podcast is achieving the goals you’ve set out for it. If that’s happening, then you have a successful podcast.

How a Skilled Editor Can Take Your Podcast to the Next Level - Blog Cover

Hiring a skilled editor is the key to elevating your podcast from an amateur to a professional production. With the rising popularity of podcasts, it is becoming increasingly important to stand out amongst competitors. We’ll show you how a skilled editor can take your podcast to the next level.

According to Edison Research’s Infinite Dial 2023 report, 64% of the total U.S. population over the age of 12 have listened to podcasts in the past, a steady increase from recent years. In addition, an impressive 42% of the U.S. population have listened in the last month. That’s an estimated 120 million listeners in the U.S. alone.

Data only shows that podcast popularity continues to increase year over year providing even more of an opportunity to get discovered (and loved) by your target audience. 

Why is Podcast Quality so Important?

How a Skilled Editor Can Take Your Podcast to the Next Level

Skilled editing is the key to taking your podcast to the next level through creating a captivating first impression, improving clarity and flow, enhancing the overall listener experience, crafting compelling content, maintaining professionalism, and time management and efficiency. 

Creating a Captivating First Impression

As a podcaster, you likely have a goal for your content. This could be reaching the masses to get your message out to as many people as possible or maybe you’re looking to target a niche audience to sell a product or educate on a specific topic. Regardless of your goals, your podcast’s first impression is what is going to drive you further toward these goals. 

Creating and Keeping Podcast Goals

Have you ever discovered a new podcast and were turned off in the first few seconds due to poor audio quality? The rise of podcast popularity has opened the door making podcasts an easily accessible platform for anyone to join. That being said, just because you can set up a mic, freely talk into it and upload your content to the interweb in an instant doesn’t always mean you should. While it’s not rocket science, good audio quality does take some amount of effort and a skilled editor can help you achieve the results you’re looking for.

On average, people listen to 9 podcasts a week (an increase from previous reports). Making a good first impression is the first step in making sure your podcast falls into your audience’s rotation of shows. Effective editing can hook (or turn away) listeners in just the first couple of seconds. 

Improving Clarity and Flow

So you’ve hooked your new listener into continuing past the first couple of seconds of your podcast. That’s great! You still want to make sure the audio quality paired with the overall clarity and flow is up to par throughout the entirety of your episodes to live up to the listener’s expectations. 

A skilled editor can help improve the cadence and delivery of your speech. By eliminating pivots in thought, awkward pauses, or speakers talking over one another, your editor can clean up your audio making for a smoother listen for your audience.

Intentional pauses and well-paced dialogue also have an impact on how the listener perceives the content. For example, well-timed pauses can be strategically inserted to emphasize important points or allow the audience to absorb information before moving to the next talking point.

Like audio quality, the clarity and flow of your content are just a few more of the many factors a skilled editor focuses on to deliver a polished final product.

Enhancing Overall Listener Experience

A skilled editor is the key to having a smooth and seamless listening experience. I think we can all relate to sitting down watching a TV show when all of a sudden a commercial comes on that is so jarringly loud we have to reach for the remote to adjust the volume. This is a major turnoff and the same goes for podcasting. 

Good editing can take the peaks and valleys in your audio and balance it to a steady volume level throughout the main episode content, between different segments, and ads, and even match the levels of other podcast episodes across different platforms. The last thing you want to do is to have to adjust your volume when transitioning to a new episode and your editor is responsible for making these transitions as seamless as possible. 

Depending on the genre of your podcast, you may also consider adding transition music between segments, sound effects, or background music to add ambiance. Not only will a skilled editor facilitate the editing of these features into your episode, they likely will know just the place to source the perfect royalty-free sound effects and music to really enhance the listener experience. 

Crafting Compelling Content

Whether you’re recording with a guest or just yourself, you may notice either of you going off on a tangent or making side comments that aren’t necessarily relevant to the main topic of conversation. While this may be common in our natural day-to-day conversations, it can be distracting and take away from the main points in your podcast episode. 

Listeners click on your episodes because they are pulled in and interested in the topic your title advertises. Unless somehow relevant to the story, they don’t want to suddenly be pulled away by a side tangent about your family’s trip to Disney World in 2007. It’s distracting and can cause listeners to disengage from your content. 

Remember, the goal of your content is always to provide value to your audience. A skilled editor will find these side comments or irrelevant tangents and cut them to keep you and your guest seemingly on topic thus keeping your listener more engaged. 

What to Do When You Have a Bad Podcast Guest

Maintaining Professionalism

The beautiful thing about podcasting is that you can make mistakes without anyone ever knowing. A skilled editor will remove your word stumbles, mistakes, and filler words so you sound as professional as possible. While you may not notice when your friend stumbles through their words while recapping a story, I guarantee you’ll notice when your favorite podcast host stumbles through the episode or cannot stop saying ‘um’ between every thought. A good editor removes all of the unwanted fillers and fumbles so you come across as the confident and professional host we all know you are. 

Check out this before and after showing how much more professional Alesia sounds after some editing cleanup. 

BEFORE:

AFTER:

On a similar note, how many times have you seen a creator get called out for something they accidentally said on a podcast or from a clip that was wildly taken out of context?

Now, I would like to highlight the difference between creators being rightfully called out on a comment they confidently stand behind and being called out on an uneducated or accidental mistake. 

While it is obviously important to educate yourself enough to avoid saying harmful or offensive things in the first place, we all make mistakes from time to time. Perhaps you didn’t even say something offensive but instead misquoted a famous poet or credited the wrong author of a book you referenced. A good editor will go through your audio, fact-check if necessary and remove these misspeaks before it ever hits the listener’s ears. 

Keep in mind that not every production company promises to listen to every word of your podcast and edit for context. Here at Galati Media, our team is intent on listening to every word of your podcast so that we can ensure both hosts and guests sound as clear, concise, and professional as possible. 

Time Management and Efficiency 

At first glance, it may not seem like there is a lot that goes into podcasting. In reality, there is a lot of behind-the-scenes work that you may not be ready for or quite frankly, have the time for.

Time Management

It is no secret that editing a podcast episode is time-consuming. On average, it takes an editor 4 times the length of the podcast audio just for editing. Take that and factor in writing the copy for your show notes, uploading to your hosting platform, creating promotional graphics, actually promoting the episode, and any other task you can think of. That is a considerable amount of time dedicated to just one episode and that can add up, especially for someone releasing new episodes weekly. 

You likely didn’t start a podcast with the dream of spending time editing. Hiring a good editor can take the time spent editing off of your hands so that you can focus on what really matters- planning valuable content and engaging with your audience.

For tips and guides on planning your podcast content:

Bonus: Hiring a full production team can free up even more of your time. Check out our services page to see how we might be able to help you.  

Efficiency

Time is not the only factor a good editor can help with. When you’re recording an episode knowing you’ll have to sit down later and edit yourself, you may be hyperfocused on the way you speak being diligent to avoid making mistakes that you’ll have to take out later. Hiring a trusted editor takes the stress off your hands knowing you can speak freely and that your editor will make you sound amazing in post-production. As a bonus, they act as an extra set of ears to catch the mistakes you may have missed yourself.


A skilled editor is no doubt an investment. While we would never frown upon someone making the decision to edit their podcast themselves, we also see the value that a skilled editor can bring to the success of a podcast. 

If you want to take a crack at editing yourself, check out The Basics of Podcast Editing and A Beginner’s Guide for Podcast Editing in Audacity.

OR 

If you’re interested in hiring a podcast production team to handle your editing and take your podcast to the next level, click here to learn more about working with our team. 


cover-a-beginners-guide-for-podcast-editing-in-audacity

Welcome to your beginner’s guide to podcast editing in Audacity! This guide is designed to walk you through step-by-step everything you need to know to start editing podcasts using Audacity. We’ll take you through importing your audio, cleaning up, cutting and repairing your audio tracks, and exporting your finished product. 

If you’re new to podcast editing and looking for a free, user-friendly software to get started, Audacity might be for you. Audacity is a popular audio editing software that you can download on your Mac or PC.

With the increasing popularity of podcasting, the expectations of a quality, well-produced show is on the rise. The podcast content itself is undoubtedly the most important aspect but poor editing and audio quality will not only lead leaders to click off the episode but may also lessen the host’s professionalism and trustworthiness. While we can expect overall quality to improve over the course of a show’s lifetime, it is important to get the hang of it quickly to increase potential listenership. A well-produced podcast is a sign that the host takes their content seriously and wants to provide a well-rounded experience for their listeners. 

Why is Podcast Quality so Important?

Like anything, you’ll need to find your groove when it comes to editing your podcast. We’ll walk you through what you need to know to familiarize yourself with the platform, tools, and settings so that you can feel comfortable getting started. Refer back to our post: The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Podcast Editing for more insight on editing your podcast for context, clarity, and cleanliness.  

If you try editing out for yourself and find that it just isn’t for you, get in touch and see how we can help! Our team of professionals can handle everything from editing your content, podcast monetization, and marketing strategy to the implementation of the entire podcast strategy. So if you want to sit back and record your episodes and let someone handle the rest, we’re the team for you. 

A Beginner’s Guide for Podcast Editing in Audacity

Since we’ve tried to capture as much information as possible in this beginner’s guide to podcast editing in Audacity, there’s a lot of info to digest. In this guide, we will walk through the following details:

  1. Getting Familiar with Audacity
  2. Importing and Managing Your Files
  3. Editing Tools and Techniques 
  4. Enhancing Audio Quality
  5. Adding Final Touches
  6. Exporting Your Final Product

Getting Familiar with Audacity

Once you’ve downloaded Audacity onto your computer, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the program. You can both record and edit within Audacity so if you’re looking for an all-in-one tool, this might just be the one for you. 

Upon opening Audacity, you’re met with a blank canvas. At the top of the page, you’ll find the menu and toolbar. This is where you’ll find a lot of the tools and settings we’ll talk further about in this blog post that you will use to edit your podcast in Audacity. 

The middle gray area is your timeline. This is where your tracks will appear once they are imported. Not pictured in the above photo is each track’s control panel that will appear on the left-hand side. Each track you import will have its own controls giving you options to adjust volume, mute track, move track, etc. 

On the bottom, you will see both the transport toolbar and the status bar. The transport toolbar allows you to navigate the full length of your audio tracks and the status bar provides information including the current time during playback or the length of the selection. 

Keep in mind that Audacity’s layout may evolve with new updates and some tools and settings may shift. If you’re having trouble finding something, please refer to Audacity’s official website for up-to-date information. 

The 3 Common Tools You’ll Use Most Often When Podcast Editing in Audacity

Now that you’re familiar with the layout, let’s dive deeper into 3 of the most commonly used tools when editing a podcast in Audacity. 

Selection Tool

The selection tool is one that you will undoubtedly use the most in editing. This tool allows you to select segments of the audio by clicking and dragging within the track. 

This tool also allows you to pinpoint a specific playback point making it easy to move around to different parts of the track. Simply select a timestamp on the track and press the play button in the toolbar (or the spacebar on your keyboard) to begin the playback. 

Envelope Tool

The envelope tool is helpful when it comes to controlling audio levels within the track. You can use this tool to adjust the audio levels on the entire track or pinpoint specific points on the track to adjust apart from the rest. 

I find myself using this tool most often when adding in background music and transition effects. I can lower the volume to my desired levels and create custom fade-in and fade-out effects. 

Zoom

The zoom tool allows you to zoom in and out on the track. It is helpful when you’re editing a track and want to select and remove a specific part of the waveform. By zooming in, you are able to see the waveform at a very granular level and see exactly where the portion you wish to remove begins and ends. This tool is equally as helpful to zoom out and view your project as a whole. This can help you visualize where the different elements of your podcast overlap and ensuring you don’t have any unwanted dead space in the project. 

Importing and Managing Your Files 

Now that you’re familiar with the layout, it’s time to begin editing. If you didn’t record your track in Audacity or want to add in your intro and outro or background music, you’ll need to know how to import. 

  1. Go to the Menu Bar. 
  2. Under File, select Import. 
  3. Select Audio.
  4. When the window appears, locate the audio file on your computer and click Open. 

You can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + I to quickly import files without going into the Menu Bar. 

PRO TIP: You always want to make sure you’re editing in WAV format to achieve better results. MP3 is great for storing and delivering files as it compresses the audio and keeps it small. 

Once you’ve imported the files you are working with, you can arrange them in whatever way you work best. To move tracks up or down on the timeline, click the dropdown arrow in the track’s control panel on the left-hand side. A menu will pop up with options to move track up, down, or to the top or bottom.

Audacity automatically creates a separate track for each new piece of audio you import. If you wish to combine files onto one track, you can click and drag the clip you wish to move. Alternatively, if you wish to split a clip and move a portion of it onto a new track, you can do this as well. 

  1. In the Menu Bar, click Tracks.
  2. Click Add New.
  3. Select the type of track you wish to add to your project.

Keep in mind, only like tracks can be combined together. If you wish to combine a section of audio from a stereo track with a mono track, you’ll have to split the track before moving it. 

To slide audio files across the timeline, hover your mouse over the top of the track where a hand shows. You can then click and drag the track into your desired location. 

Editing Tools and Techniques

Now that your tracks are imported and organized, it’s time to start editing. How you edit your podcast is going to go hand in hand with your content to establish how you show up as a professional in the space. 

When it comes to editing, there are several tools and techniques you’ll commonly use that are important to know. 

Splitting Tracks

There are quite a few reasons you may want to split a track. In podcast editing specifically, I find myself using this tool most often to endcap sections of audio I want to move or delete as a whole. I also use it to mark sections from the episode I plan to pull out to repurpose for social media content. 

14 Ways to Repurpose Your Podcast Content

To split a track:

  1. Use your selection tool to pinpoint the exact location on the track you wish to split.
  2. Right-click on that section and click Split Clip (you can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + I) to split the track.

Copying and Pasting

While editing, you may want to move around and reorder certain sections of audio. One easy way to do this is to copy and paste the content you wish to move. In Audacity, copying and pasting content is as simple as it is on any other platform. 

  1. Select the portion of audio you wish to move. 
  2. Right-click on the audio and click Copy (you use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + C) to copy the content. 
  3. Use the selection tool to select where you wish to paste the content on the track. 
  4. Right-click on this area of the track and click Paste (you can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + V) to paste the audio to your desired location. 

Removing Unwanted Sections

Every piece of content you work with will need some work to clean up things like long pauses, heavy breaths, filler words, misspeaks, etc. You can easily remove these sections of audio by:

  1. Using the selection tool to highlight the portion of audio you wish to remove.
  2. Right-click on that section and click Cut (Ctrl + X) or use either the Backspace or Delete key on your keyboard to remove the section. 

Generating Silence 

There may be instances in editing where you come across a heavy breath or filler words you wish to remove without completely deleting that section of audio. This is where the silence tool comes into play. You can obviously use this tool for a variety of other reasons, these are just examples of where I tend to use it most often. 

  1. Using the selection tool, highlight the track or section of audio you wish to silence. 
  2. In the Menu Bar, select Generate. 
  3. Click Silence (or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + L). 

Fade In and Fade Out

The Fade In and Fade Out tool is incredibly useful for creating transitions between different audio tracks. I use these tools most often when creating a seamless transition between the podcast’s intro and outro tracks and the episode content itself as well as when I am adding in transition sounds.

The fade tools can also be used to clean up harsh cuts when removing words that may be connected. You may notice after cutting out unwanted sections that the audio no longer sounds as smooth as you would like. To fix this you can use the fade tool to smooth out any of these areas for a seamless transition into the speaker’s next set of words. 

  1. Using the selection tool, highlight the portion of audio you wish to apply the effect to. 
  2. In the Menu Bar, select Effect. 
  3. Click Fading. 
  4. Choose either Fade In or Fade Out. 

There are some situations you instead will use the crossfade tool. With this tool, you can select two tracks (usually that overlap) and have one fade out as the other fades in, simultaneously. I may use this in instances where the ending of the intro music overlaps with the opening of the episode content. 

Enhancing Audio Quality

When it comes to audio quality, it is first and foremost important that you record in a quiet and controlled environment. This will ensure you achieve the best audio quality possible. In the technology-forward environment we live in, you can absolutely achieve a professional-sounding podcast from home. But unless you have built an at home studio, there are always going to be noises and distractions that come up that are out of our control. 

Tips for Better Podcast Audio Quality

As a general rule of thumb when cleaning up your audio quality, you want to make sure you don’t overdo it. You can use the following tools to help improve your audio quality for a more professional-sounding podcast episode. 

Noise Reduction

Were you sitting too close to an HVAC system during recording and there’s fan noise on your track? Was your neighbor cutting their lawn and you didn’t think it would appear in your recording but it did? Sometimes there is background noise that is difficult to avoid. Audacity makes removing some of this background noise simple using the following steps:

  1. Use the Selection Tool to highlight a portion of the audio where the background noise exists. Try highlighting a section without any other noise or speaking over it. 
  2. In the Menu Bar, select Effect.
  3. Click Noise Removal and Repair.
  4. Click Noise Reduction. 
  5. Click Get Noise Profile. 
  6. Select the full track or portion of the track where the background noise appears. 
  7. Go back into the Noise Reduction tool and click OK (or adjust the settings and click OK).

PRO TIP: Always edit wearing headphones. This allows you to pick up on minuscule background noises that you otherwise may have missed. 

Equalization (EQ) 

EQ allows you to adjust the balance of different sound frequencies on your audio track. This tool helps enhance your audio by correcting frequency imbalances, managing plosives and sibilance, and enhancing overall voice clarity. 

Audacity currently has 2 EQ options: Filter Curve EQ and Graphic EQ. The Filter Curve EQ option provides more control as you can manually adjust the settings and target specific frequencies. Graphic EQ is more of a fixed set of frequency bands, providing less precise control but more of a straightforward approach. If you’re new to this setting, Graphic EQ may be the better option to start with. To use this setting:

  1. In the Menu Bar, select Effect. 
  2. Click EQ and Filters. 
  3. Select either Filter Curve EQ or Graphic EQ.

Filter Curve EQ: 

Graphic EQ:

Compressor

You may be working with a piece of audio that has spikes where the volume is either too high or too low. The compressor tool helps even out the volume minimizing these spikes and making for a smoother listen. 

  1. Select the track or section of audio you wish to compress. 
  2. In the Menu Bar, select Effect. 
  3. Click Compressor. 
  4. Adjust the settings (or leave them as default until you are more familiar) and click OK.

Normalization

Similar to the EQ tool, there are 2 different normalization settings you should know about. 

  • Normalize: Adjusts the overall volume level of a track so the loudest peak reaches a specified level. 
  • Loudness normalization: Adjusts the volume to a target industry standard. (The standard LUFS, or loudness units relative to full scale for podcasts is between -16 LUFS and -20 LUFS).

To apply normalization settings:

  1. In the Menu Bar, select Effect. 
  2. Click Volume and Compression. 
  3. Select Normalize/ Loudness Normalization. 

With any of the audio-enhancing tools, Audacity has the option to create custom pre-sets so you can save time in the future by using the settings you know work best for you. 

Adding Final Touches

Adding final touches may not be Audacity specific but definitely important when it comes to editing a podcast on any platform. Depending on the genre of the podcast you’re creating, some final touches may include adding transitions, sound effects, or background music. If you don’t have a hosting platform that includes dynamic ads, this may be the time to add in any baked-in ads. 

After all of the initial edits are made, it is best practice to listen through your podcast episode one more time to review and tweak your edits as needed. When you’re editing on a granular level, you may find yourself cutting down the speaker’s natural speaking cadence and wish to add in more silence between words OR maybe now that you’re listening back you notice unwanted filler words you missed or choppy transitions. This may also be the time you take to write the episode’s show notes and pull out audio clips or quotes that can be repurposed for additional content. 

Exporting Your Final Product

Once you have taken the time to review and make any necessary revisions to your episode, it is time to export your final product! Before doing so, be sure to check into which format your hosting platform requires. If you use a hosting platform like Buzzprout, export your episode as a .WAV file as Buzzsprout will automatically convert the file into the correct format. Hosting platforms like Spotify for Podcasters (formally known as Anchor) require your file to be exported as an MP3. 

To export:

  1. In the Menu Bar, select File. 
  2. Click Export. 
  3. Choose the format you wish to export in (WAV or MP3). 

Keep in mind, Audacity is a very comprehensive editing software that we only scratched the surface of today. Once you get the hang of the basics, you can take your time exploring all of the other features Audacity has to offer. 

As you get into the groove of editing, you may be able to do all of your editing in one session. If you’re just starting out, I suggest taking a few passes on the episode focusing on different areas each time. While Audacity is a fairly user-friendly software, podcast editing in general takes practice. If podcast editing in Audacity feels overwhelming, take it step-by-step and learn as you go. You will grow and evolve your skill over time and with some practice, you’ll be a pro in no time. 

Be sure to check back in on our resources page for additional tutorials and information to improve upon your skills.


The Basics of Podcast Editing in Audacity

Learn the basics of podcast editing in this comprehensive guide. From choosing the right software to removing unwanted noise, we’ll cover everything you need to know to get started.

Since its start, podcasting has seen massive growth. Edison Research’s Spoken Word Audio Report shows that the U.S. population listens to spoken word audio daily. On average, podcast listeners will listen to around eight shows per week. This leaves room for everyone to be on their audience’s roster. 

With the increasing popularity of podcasting, the expectations of a quality, well-produced show is on the rise. The podcast content itself is undoubtedly the most important aspect but poor audio quality will not only lead leaders to click off the episode but may also lessen the host’s professionalism and trustworthiness. While we can expect podcast quality to improve over the course of a show’s lifetime, it is important to get the hang of it quickly to increase potential listenership. A well-produced podcast is a sign that the host takes their content seriously and wants to provide a well-rounded experience for their listeners. 

With anything, you can get incredibly granular when it comes to editing techniques and I’m sure we’ll expand on that in the future. Today my goal is to show you everything you need to know the basics of podcast editing from start to finish in a simple, tangible, and easy to understand framework. 

Why Is Podcast Quality So Important?

The Basics of Podcast Editing

In this guide, we will walk through the following steps:

  1. Preparing for Editing
  2. Basic Podcast Editing Techniques
  3. Additional Editing Techniques 
  4. Finalizing Your Podcast Episode 

Preparing for Editing

In culinary terms, ‘mise en place’, a French phrase meaning “putting in place” refers to the setup required before cooking. This may include familiarizing themselves with the recipe, collecting tools, gathering ingredients, and completing basic prep work. Now, you may be wondering what cooking has to do with editing a podcast but it is the preparation that we really want to focus on here. Ask any chef and they will stress the importance of mise en place for a successful recipe execution. 

Simply put, just like a chef needs to know their recipe and organize their ingredients, you’ll want to organize your files and get familiar with the audio you’re working with. This pre-editing phase is just as important as the editing itself when we are looking at the basics of podcast editing.

Creating a Quality Podcast

Organizing Your Files

Before you begin editing, it is important to have and maintain a well-organized folder structure. You’ll thank yourself later on when don’t have to backtrack and sort your increasing collection of files. 

I find it works best to have separate folders for each of the clients I work with and subfolders within those for each new episode. This way, if there are multiple versions of the episode, you can quickly and easily find the most recent version. 

PRO TIP: When labeling your files, it is best practice to label the file by podcast name (or abbreviation), episode number, and version number. Not only will this avoid confusion when searching for the most up-to-date version, the chances of you pulling and uploading an incorrect file drastically decrease. 

To be extra safe, I’ve gotten into the habit of saving my files to an external hard drive and/or an online file hosting service such as Google Drive or Dropbox. 

Understanding Your Recording

One of the first steps to editing is understanding the piece of content you’re working with. You’ll want to start by spot-checking your audio and making a note of any background noises, tech glitches, or other problematic areas so you know how best to repair and edit. 

There is a handful of repair software at different price points including Izotope RX, SpectraLayers, Acoustica, and others that can help you repair the quality of the audio before getting into the nitty gritty of editing. 

Remember, while there is a lot that can be repaired in post-production, the software is not magic and cannot fix everything. It’s important to first and foremost record (or have the host record) in an optimal environment. 

For more information on improving the audio quality of your podcast, listen to episode 34 of the Listeners to Leads Podcast: Tips for Better Podcast Audio Quality with Lisa Zawrotny

Basic Editing Techniques

Once you know what you’re working with, have prepared your mise en place, and are ready to edit, you’ll want to import your audio into your editing software of choice. I personally use Audacity as it is a free, user-friendly option, but feel free to use the software you like best. 

Other popular editing software includes Garage Band (for Mac), Descript, and Adobe Audition

As you get into the groove of editing, you may be able to do all (or most) of your editing in one session but if you’re just starting out, I suggest taking a few passes on the episode focusing on different areas each time. The two main areas you’ll want to focus on are editing for context and editing for clarity and cleanliness. It is totally up to you which order you decide to edit in. The most important thing is finding a workflow that works best for you. 

Editing for Context

Editing for context is a matter of removing tangents that do not provide value to the overall topic, incorrect information that has since been fact-checked, and cutting any dialogue that may allude to past events that are no longer relevant to the time of posting.

Whether it be to educate or entertain the listener, each podcast episode has a purpose. While you’re editing it is best to always consider what information or bits of conversation are going to be valuable to the listener and feed into the overall storyline that the episode is trying to accomplish. 

Editing for Clarity and Cleanliness

Once you’ve cut the episode down to the most valuable pieces of content, it’s time to clean up the episode to provide an overall positive listening experience. 

Enhancing Audio Quality – Two of the basic tools you may use for every podcast episode you work with to enhance the overall quality of your audio is the noise reduction tool and the compression tool.

Compression – You’ll use the compression tool when your piece of audio is filled with peaks and dips in audio to achieve consistency in volume across the track. You may use this on the entirety of the track or just in select areas that need a little more help to even out the noise. 

Noise Reduction – Noise reduction is exactly what it sounds like. This tool removes unwanted background noise that may be appearing on your track. Say there’s a lawn mower or a fan running in the background of your podcast episode, the noise reduction tool will let you select an area with the problematic noise and either remove it completely or lessen the harshness of the noise on your track. 

Removing Unwanted Sections 

Every piece of content you work with will need some work to clean up things like long pauses, heavy breaths, filler worlds, and misspeaks. While you may not notice these things when having a natural conversation with someone, I guarantee you notice when your favorite podcast host stumbles over their words or cannot stop saying ‘um’ between every thought. When in doubt ask yourself, “Will this be distracting to the listener?” If so, it is best to remove it. 

There are a couple of techniques you can use to remove unwanted sections of audio. Either you can select and cut or delete the entire section or you can highlight the area you want to get rid of and silence it. What I choose depends on where and how long I want the pause in the dialogue to be. 

PRO TIP: You may notice when you’re cutting out unwanted sections that the areas that you clipped are not as smooth as you would like. To fix this you can use the fade tool to smooth out any of these areas for a seamless transition.  

While the fade in and fade out tools do exactly what you’d imagine, in some situations you may also use the crossfade tool. With this tool, you can select two clips and have one fade out as the other fades in, simultaneously. 

Additional Editing Techniques

While the basic podcast editing techniques can be very supportive in editing your podcast, there are a few more elements that I believe are important to have a well-rounded and cohesive show. 

Adding in the intro and outro clips

Most, if not all podcasts will have an intro and outro that sets the tone for the podcast’s overall brand. The intro tells your listeners what you’re about and hooks them into sticking around to listen to the content of the episode while the outro likely has a call to action (join the community, review the podcast, find the host on social media, etc.) and thanks the listener for tuning in. 

If you don’t already have an intro or outro you are currently working with, you can find great free or low-cost royalty-free music at sites like Neosounds, Soundstripe, Audio Jungle, etc. You want your intro, outro, and music to be a reflection of your brand and how you want your listeners to feel when tuning in. 

For Example, If you have a true crime podcast, you might consider a serious, tense, and somewhat spooky music clip while if you have a health and wellness-based podcast, you might look for something more playful, joyful, and inspiring.

When you import your intro or outro segments, you’ll want to work with them on a separate audio track. While most software automatically imports the audio onto a new track, you may have to manually add an additional track on others. When you’re working on separate tracks, you can easily overlap the end of the music from the intro into the beginning of the podcast episode for a smooth transition into the content. 

Incorporating Transition Sounds & Sound Effects

While transition sounds and sound effects are not as common as some other audio elements and really depend on the genre of your podcast, I felt it was important and worth noting. Adding clips of music or sound effects to your episode can help add to the atmosphere of the storyline or break up the episode into different segments. 

Similar to selecting the intro and outro music, when selecting audio clips to add to your podcast episode, you’ll want to make sure the sound you select is royalty-free. You can find a variety of stingers (short pieces of music, often lasting no more than 5 seconds) to use as transition sounds. 

To add a transition effect, import the file onto a separate track and drag it into its placement. You may need to adjust the volume of the audio and use the fade tool for a smooth transition. Be sure to overlap the transition sound with your spoken content for a seamless flow.

Finalizing Your Podcast Episode

Review & Revisions

After your editing is complete, it is time to review and proof-listen to the episode. Listen through one more time to be sure you made all of the necessary edits and didn’t leave anything undone. This may be the time you write the episode’s show notes and pull out audio clips or quotes that can be repurposed. 

PRO TIP: Repurposing your podcast content is an incredibly valuable way to ensure the time and effort you put into your content stretches further and reaches more people in different ways.

Check out these podcast episodes on repurposing your content:

Three Ways to Repurpose Podcast Content

14 Ways to Repurpose Your Podcast Content 

Repurposing Past Podcast Content Using SEO Strategy with Erin Ollila

Exporting

Once you’ve reviewed and made the necessary revisions to the episode, it is time to export! Be sure to check into which format your hosting platform requires. If you use a hosting platform like Buzzprout, export your episode as a .WAV file as Buzzsprout will automatically convert the file into the correct format. Hosting platforms like Anchor require your file to be exported as an MP3. 

*The difference between a .WAV and MP3 is the file size. MP3 files are compressed into a smaller sized audio file while WAV files are uncompressed and much larger. 

Final Touches

The last step to finalizing your podcast episode is adjusting the loudness of your episode. This is important because, as mentioned at the top of this blog, listeners are constantly switching between shows and shouldn’t have to adjust their volume every time they play a new episode or switch to a different podcast. By adjusting your loudness to the podcast standard, you are also proving consistency which is incredibly important to listeners. 

The standard LUFS (loudness units relative to full scale) for podcasts is between -16 LUFS and -20 LUFS

*You can either adjust this in your editing software or use a tool like Auphonic for post-production finishing touches. 

Like anything, there is a learning curve that comes with the basics of podcast editing. Use this article as your starting point and begin applying new techniques as you grow and get more comfortable. What feels like a step-by-step procedural process now will become second nature over time. 

The future of podcasting is now! So whether you have a podcast of your own or edit for someone else, there is so much opportunity for growth in this industry. 

Check back in on our resources page for additional tutorials and information to improve upon your skills.