Podcast Editing Tips: Speed Up Your Workflow in 5 Easy Steps
There’s a reason many podcasters forward their podcast edit’s to the Pros. Biggest reason? They simply don’t want to deal with it. The editing process is seen by most to be time-consuming, flat, and outright boring. We’ll be giving you some of our biggest time-saving tips to save you hours of editing time on your next podcast.
If you want to save yourself a couple of hours of editing right away, send us your podcast for a free trial of our editing service (no credit card required). Check that out here: Upload Form.
This is where most of you are going to skip to the next section because you think it isn’t important. “Organization” is at the top of the list for a reason. Putting in a little bit of time on the front end will almost ALWAYS save you time on the back end. Anything you can do to make finding projects and files quickly and easily will mean you’ll spend less time thinking about where you put things or looking for where you left the files. That includes sound effects, bumpers, podcast episodes, advertisements, music beds, project files, exports, and quite literally everything else.
Let’s talk about file structure real quick. Most people say you should find a way that works for you because every situation is different. I say that’s baloney. Our system works, so I’ll give that away to you because “Merry Christmas”. Feel free to add, improve, take away or whatever. If you do, comment down below what you did and why you did it to help everyone else out too.
All of your project files should be located in 1 (one) place on your computer or external hard drive. Always have a backup drive or 3 just in case because computers have a strange way of showing their love. We like to organize it like this:
User’s Mac Pro > hard drive > users > Studio 411 > Music > Podcasts > Client Name > Podcast Episode
Once you have your files organized you add folders that will be your “go-to” for that project. Like a “Source Media” folder, or even sound effects the client likes to be consistent with. That would look like this:
Here’s the part most of you are going to skip to. If you didn’t read the first part, I’d recommend you read it and come back to this. If you didn’t read it the first time, you’ve proven the point that doing things in an unorganized way will take more time to do.
Templates will not fix all of your problems. It will just set you up for faster workflow. The ultimate point I try to make with designing your template is to make sure that you:
Don’t look for things you use all the time
Are already set up
Are ultimately ready to go
Here’s what your template could look like:
When you start a new session, most DAW’s will give you the option to start a session from a saved template. All you would need is re-name the session to something appropriate. The example above is literally the template we use for most podcast applications and gives us the ability to duplicate if we need more tracks, and has instructions for some of the newer people on the team.
In Pro Tools, you have the option of leaving plugins “inactive”. This comes in handy if you need to record the podcast, you won’t be using any processing power for having them in the session. Whenever you are ready to work on your post-production, all you have to do is switch them to “Active” and you’re ready to rock and roll.
It isn’t far fetched to assume that most people calculate “speed” as equivalent to using hotkeys. Knowing which hotkeys to use is half the battle. It’s just as important to use them consistently. If you need to think about what to use, and what the command for that function is you’ve already thought about it too long. The whole point of using them is to condense your thought process and speed up your workflow. The faster you can get the required task completed, the better. It doesn’t matter how you get to the end result, just make sure that it works for you.
If I had a dime for every time anyone told me that they don’t know how to speed up their productivity, I’d have around $2.70. All jokes aside, lack of focus is one of the biggest killers of someone’s workflow. Every distraction you can think of will take its toll on the project. Do not multi-task. Do not check your emails. Do not message clients. Do not answer phone calls. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.
A 100% focus is needed to do one task right and correctly. If you do this, consistently, over time, you will get astoundingly faster than you ever dreamed you could. Pretend as though your boss was standing over your shoulder watching you work the whole time, and you’ll get the idea of the amount of focus I’m talking about. Better yet, ask your boss to stand next to you while you work and then you’ll really fly.
This is a dream come true for us software nerds. When offline bounce finally became available on our platform everyone I knew rejoiced. Except for the ones that already had it (they only made fun of us). My point is, if you’ve never heard of offline bounce do yourself a favor and make sure you jump on a platform that has it. Most podcasts we edit are between 20 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes. Offline bounce will make it up to 10x faster to export the entire length of the podcast.
When it comes to long projects, it’s going to save you lots of time to not have to wait for the entire length of the project to export for you to send it off to where it needs to go. All of that time adds up. Imagine if you never had to wait an hour to jump to the next project again.
That’s about it. I hope that this short list of tips helps you work on your next project. If you are working on something please feel free to comment below what you are working on and start a conversation with us. If you need help with your podcast project, don’t be afraid to reach out.
Every indie artist knows that time is of the essence because lets face it, studio time is most definitely money. A successful studio session can be broken down into two very powerful words: Work Flow. Developing a good work flow takes some practice and repetition, but with consistency you can manage your own in no time! Here are a few steps on how to get started to help make life a little easier and less stressful in the studio.
An important part of developing a good workflow is to prioritize. Completing the hardest tasks on your to-do list first is proven to be the most productive. By focusing on the most important/ the most difficult task, your attention and energy is strong and fresh and it allows you to put your best into the project. If you leave it last on your list, then by the time you get to it you will not be able to give it the attention it requires for it to get done.
When developing a good work flow multi-tasking is a big no-no. Multi-tasking means that your focus is split between many different things. Multi-tasking leads to becoming overwhelmed and the chance of making a mistake is much higher.
Keep everything organized
It is also very important that you try to keep everything as organized as possible. This also goes hand in hand with prioritizing.
If you need to, write down a list of all the things you need to get done. This helps with not having to figure out with what you have to do next. Many times it seems as though you have an overwhelming amount to do, but when you write everything down it is much more attainable.
Another way of staying organized is by keeping all of your sessions and files in one place where you don’t have to keep searching for where they are and having to try to remember where they are again.
Good communication goes a long way with anyone you are working with or for. If you are working with someone it is important to keep each other in the loop with what is being worked on so there won’t be miscommunication and having ended up creating more work than needed to.
It is extremely important to have a good communication with a client, make sure to keep them updated on what is going on with the project or when it will be ready so they will be able to plan for it accordingly.
Last but not least, make sure to take breaks in between. Taking breaks while working in the studio ensures you don’t get overwhelmed or stressed. Taking breaks also help with clearing your mind to be able to come back in with a fresh mind ready for new ideas! A relaxed mind is a productive mind.
Spotify ad studio is essentially an advertising platform that makes it possible for anyone to create an ad and manage it through the Spotify platform. If you are a musician, a band, or a business owner – especially in the music industry, this platform is perfect for you. It targets people who are already interested in the industry and it allows for greater communication with your followers and potential fans. Spotify offers different types of Campaign Objectives for whatever you are looking to promote.
How to sign up:
In order to sign up, you need to start with a Spotify account then sign up for Ad Studio. If you already have an existing Spotify account, then you should already be able to sign up for Ad Studio.
Types of Ads:
– 30 second (or less) audio recording that will be listened to by users who have the free subscription to Spotify – Your ad includes a clickable image which is presented on the screen for the duration of the ad and is linked to the landing page of your choice (your website, your Spotify account, a page to purchase tickets/RSVP, etc.).
How to create your first ad (once you’ve created an account with ad studio):
– Choose your objective:
The first step in this process is to name your ad and select an objective (this is your end goal. Do you want to promote your next show? Your new song? Your new merch release? Etc.) Whatever your end goal is, keep it in mind as you create your ad.
– Select your audience and your budget:
If you haven’t figured out your target demographic, it’s time to get on that, because it is highly important when it comes to setting your ad up for success.
Also, make sure you are promoting your ad in a timely manner. If your show is tomorrow, then it’s probably not a good idea to create an ad. Depending on what you are trying to get the word out about, you probably want to promote it between 2-4 weeks before the day of. This allows your followers and listeners to make plans to be there or tune in that day. When it comes to your budget, think about how many people you want to reach and how much you are willing to spend to reach them. When it comes to budgeting for an ad, it’s not about how much you spend, but HOW you spend it. Be smart and do your research.
Lastly, you will need to schedule your ad. The benefit of doing everything in a timely manner is that it gives you the opportunity to fix any issues if they happen to come up.
– Create your ad:
This is where you can get creative and start adding your image, your voice recording and your link. When it comes to all of these things, make sure that they are enticing. Make sure your voice recording is clear and that the message is straight and to the point, remember you have 30 seconds. It is also important that whoever is speaking is not monotone, or too excited, a nice middle point is just right. For your photo make sure that it is appropriate for your audience and that it reflects your brand and your message in the right way.
– Submit for approval:
Lastly, once you submit Spotify will review your ad and ensure that it aligns with their community guidelines. Once they have approved your ad, then you are good to go and your ad will launch on the day it’s been scheduled.
As music makers, this is an exciting and innovative feature that Spotify has created. It is now easier than ever for artists to create awareness of their work and to spread the word about what they are doing.
How Putting in Your 10k Hours Will Find Your Niche
Everyone is curious to know if they’re truly found the right audience for their music. We put in a lot of time to perform and refine our sound. We put ourselves out there to see if it really sticks, but how do we really know if we’ve truly found our niche?
A lot of what defines our niche is a balance between our creativity and the audience that follows the music we create. If the music changes, so does the audience. How do we find our place in the market so to speak? Here are a few things to think about:
1. Where have you invested your time?
If you want to know where to invest your time, simply look at where you have already invested your time. Lets say, for example, in the last few years you might have learned how to play an instrument for one or two hours a day. Or you might have wrote songs in a certain style. Or you might have spent a lot of time on production.
Those are good signs of where you should invest your 10,000 hours. You already invest part of that 10,000 hours so you only need to invest the rest. The difference is now you do it consciously and deliberately. You will be more effective that way.
A key thing in finding your niche is putting in your 10k hours. If you want to work on a your marketing skills and songwriting skills, you’ll need to invest the same amount of time on both to reach those 10K hours. For example, if you spend 1 hour on production, and 1 hour on marketing 5 days a week, you’ll reach your 10k hours in 41.6 years. Here are some more examples:
2 hours/day x 7 days/week = 14.8 years
4 hours/day x 5 days/week = 10.4 years
(you get the point)
2. What are your passions?
10,000 hours is an astonishing amount of time. Finding the motivation to stick to one thing for that amount of time is vastly difficult. Actually, that’s the reason why 10,000 is the magic number for world-class expertise. Most people never even reach that number. Only a select few actually reach the 10,000 hours mark and that’s why they become world class.
If you’re doing something you love to do, reaching the 10,000 hours mark will be a lot easier. You’ll be able to get through the tough times, and earn some grit. It will help you overcome complacency. If you’re not doing something you love, it isn’t likely that you’ll ever reach the 10k hours mark.
3. What opportunities does the age give you?
In the book, Outliers by Malcom Gladwell, he shows that your birth date has significant influence on your success. Gladwell shows that being born in mid 1950s is great if you want to be a computer entrepreneur. In the mid 1970s when the personal computer came to fruition, you’d be in good position to hedge that market. You wouldn’t have been too old that you already had an established job with older generations of computers. Neither would you have been too young to have the necessary skills to take advantage of the opportunity.
What opportunities does your birth date give you? What opportunities do you have right now? What opportunity is currently open for you?
Answering these questions is not easy because it’s difficult to see whether or not something will be hot. When Bill Gates did his 10,000 hours of practice to learn programming, he might not know that it would eventually put him in a perfect position to be a software mogul. You need to have faith in something and believe that the dots will eventually connect. In Steve Jobs’ words:
Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something ”” your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
Top 5 Mistakes Artists Lose Money On In Recording Studios
Lets be honest, studio time isn’t cheap. Even if you’re rolling in cash you probably won’t have many opportunities nail the best take. Inexperienced artists are more likely to make a lot of mistakes, and as you can imagine, this could lead to a lot of time and money wasted.
(Big tip: We’re offering a FREE trial of our mixing and mastering services for a limited time. Click here for more information.)
So, lets get to it:
Be On Time
There is no room for being late to a recording session. Neither the studio or the engineer will lose sleep over this. Studio time is booked on a block basis and if you don’t show up on time, there’s a good chance you’re paying around $5 every minute you’re late. The studio may even give your block away if they don’t think you are going to show up. Always get there 10 to 15 minutes early to warm up so that you can get started recording as soon as possible.
Have a Goal
Lets push the 20 minute planning session to a few days before booking your studio time. Ask yourself, what do you hope to accomplish for the day? The answer is always going to be different, but make sure that you do this before walking in the studio. It’s all too common to have a planning session and realistically, the less time you waste the more you’ll get out of your session. Remember, time is money.
Don’t Waste Time
Many musicians want to learn their parts or treat a recording session like a practice session, but recording a song isn’t the same as performing it live. It’s a completely different process, and a lot of time takes a different type of practice. By the time you start recording, you need to know just how every part of the song goes. There are times that inspiration may hit, and you want to add or try something new, but those decisions need to be taken with caution. That 10 second part can quickly turn into an hour or more if you’re not careful. Rule of thumb: if it’s not working in the first 15 minutes, it isn’t meant to be.
The best way to explain a high quality recording is comparing it to video. Lets say you’re browsing for a TV at your local electronics store. You’ll might see some old 1080p and maybe the new 4K TV’s. You’ll get a pretty good idea of how much better the 4K looks when it’s placed side by side with a 1080. The microphone is basically like putting a big magnifying glass over your instrument or voice. Every imperfection will be heard in high definition (including your performance). If you don’t have great equipment try to borrow it or rent it from someone that does.
Listen to Your Sound Engineer
Your sound engineer is in charge of making sure you sound like a million dollars. It’s probably a good idea to make sure he/she does the best they can do for your project. Be respectful, and open minded to their advice. It’s not always wise to insult the cook that’s making the food you’re going to eat. In this case, the engineer is the cook making the food you’re fans will be eating. Unless you’re a seasoned engineer, it’s best to let them do their thing.
With the rise of automated mastering software, many artists are opting for the quick and easy solution to mastering. We tried to be as objective as possible, so we decided to interview up and coming hip-hop artist and rapper NATE about his experience with the service. He also offered to let us use the one of his tracks so you can hear how and why he does and doesn’t use the service.
Before we get to the interview, for a limited time we are offering a free trial of our mixing and mastering service so you can hear the difference for yourself. Click here to learn more.
Here’s the interview:
_B:What’s your overall experience with mixing and mastering in general?
NATE: Well, I’ve been on all sides of the spectrum when it comes to mixing and mastering. There’s tracks that I’ve recorded and had mixed and mastered in studio, tracks that I’ve emailed to get mixed and mastered, and tracks that I’ve mixed and mastered myself. For me, the mix is the most important part of a song, it can make or break a record in terms of being a hit. Mastering is just the polish after all the details have been tweaked to near perfection.
_B:When it comes to the business side of music, what prompts you to want to outsource the post production of your music?
NATE: For the most part, my main motivation to taking a DIY approach is money. Sometimes you record a track and you feel as if the performance you gave in your home studio can’t ever be replicated, as an artist, if we make a song and feel like the performance is great, then we feel entitled to take charge of the mixing and mastering. Why? Because we know exactly how we want it to sound, and as masters of our craft we are willing to sit at a computer for hours tweaking and twisting virtual knobs to mirror the exact sound that we hear in our head. It may not be the same for all artists, but those are my reasons.
_B:Which do you think is more important: mixing or mastering? Why?
NATE: Mixing is definitely the most important part to a song. Like I said in my answer to the first question, the mix can make or break a record. People don’t want to hear distortion at the high end of a vocal, or wait for a beat drop just to hear that the drums are non existent and hiding behind the bass. In order for an artist to give the listener a complete experience of any song, the mix of that song has to be spot on. Mastering enhances some dynamics and adds depth to certain elements, but if the mix isn’t great, then the master will not help the song. There’s a reason why the word mixing comes before mastering.
_B: I remember you mentioned using Landr before. What prompted that decision?
NATE: Well back in 2016, I wasn’t working yet and couldn’t afford any studio time. I recorded my album on Garageband and bounced everything without any knowledge of mixing or mastering. I remember someone telling me that mastering my music could help get me on the radio. The word radio was enough for me to look up different mastering sites, and Landr seemed to be the most affordable. Although the mixes were straight up awful, the mastering gave me confidence in the music I was releasing. That was pretty much why I started using the instant mastering service.
_B: What are the pro’s and con’s of Landr, in your experience?
NATE: I’ll start with the pro’s, Landr is quick, you can pop your mix in and it’ll have the master ready in less than 5 minutes. Landr, is affordable for the most part, a high quality WAV file is 9.99, and a low quality MP3 is 2.99. Another pro is that Landr’s a website, the masters are always available no matter where you are. As long as you have access to a computer, you can sign in and download your masters at any time. Now as for the cons, Landr doesn’t allow you to tweak the master beyond the loudness. Sometimes you want the bass to hit harder, but there is no way to alter that unless you go back to your mix and alter it through compression and EQ. Landr also charges you a whole new master price for wanting to higher the volume of the master. Lets say you purchased a master and downloaded it with a medium intensity, if you go to your car and realize it wasn’t loud enough, you choose the high intensity, but you’ll have to spend another 10 dollars to get it.
_B: Do you trust Landr? Do you think you get what you’re paying for?
NATE: Well, it’s really hard to say whether or not i trust robots and computers, for a short answer I’ll say no to your first question. As far as the second question, I do think I am getting what I’m paying for. If i go to a professional mastering engineer with platinum credentials, and Grammy nominations, my guess is I’m going to end up paying an arm and a leg for just one song to be mastered. With Landr, I’m paying $10, I’m really not expecting a Bob Katz sounding record, but it’s good enough to get the average listener to tune in.
_B: When you’ve decided to hire Studio 411 for mixing and mastering, why did you choose to do so?
NATE: I think I started working with Studio 411 on the last leg of 2017. Other than the head engineer being my go to for any of my major releases, I felt like the studio could be a staple in my career. Somewhere that I could go and get the best sounding product, something that I can represent and promote. I wanted to work with Studio 411 because I saw the potential that it has to be the best and most credible recording studio in the city of El Paso, and even the state of Texas.
_B: There’s obviously a huge price difference between Landr and Studio 411. Why would you choose one over the other?
NATE: Here is the answer that I give people when they ask me why I spend money on recording at the studio: “I can mix a single, as best as I can to match something that’s dominating the charts for the time being. I’ll throw it into Landr, and the track will be ready for release in a couple weeks. Great art takes time, from the production, to the lyrics, and especially the post production. I haven’t had the experience needed to trust myself in engineering an entire project. I feel like there would be a lot of inconsistencies within tracks, and I don’t believe in releasing something that doesn’t sound like it was carefully crafted. I would rather take my project that I have been working on for 2 years to someone who knows their craft better than they know anything else for those 2 years of my hard work to be reflected in their mixes and mastering.
_B: Have you hired anyone else to mix and master your music before? What was the result?
NATE: I remember hiring an engineer on Fiiver to mix and master one of my tracks, the end result wasn’t bad, but the track was missing warmth, and key elements that I get from Studio 411.
_B: How difficult is it to find a qualified engineer or studio you can trust?
NATE: I feel like finding a great studio is very hard. It’s easy to be influenced by the bigger stars and going to record in the studios that they record in because you feel that if they got a hit record, then you can too as long as you record in that studio. In all reality, only the artist has the capability of creating a great record, but the environment around them can affect the performance and execution. Artist’s lose confidence because of these external factors and in most cases, never release the record. Sometimes engineers can give the artist suggestions and tips, the artists who take it are interested in making the best sounding product if they’re taking other people’s advice, but these comments can also make other artist’s feel uncomfortable and can also instill a sense of doubt in their art. I feel it all depends on the artist, they have to find an engineer that they feel comfortable with, once they have that go to person, then at the point the studio doesn’t really matter since the chemistry has been established between both parties.
_B: If you can give an artist any advice on the subject of mixing and mastering, what would you say?
NATE: Please get your tracks mixed and mastered. Shop around, talk to people, visit your local studios, I cannot tell you how many times I have listened to a song and 10 seconds in I end up closing the tab because of crazy distortion or a piercing high frequency hitting my ear drum. People who love listening to music love to listen to quality, and that includes the mix. Mixing and mastering can give the artist confidence in whatever they are releasing which can drive them to continue making art.
Landr has it’s spot in the industry as a quick solution. There’s no doubt about that. The best way to find out whether or not it’s the right solution for you is by hearing the difference for yourself and deciding if your project needs a better solution. Lets get on with the comparison.
The song was recorded and mixed by NATE. Mastering was submitted both to Landr and Studio 411. Tracks are labeled so you know which one you are listening to. Post what you hear the difference is on the comments!