How to Edit a Podcast

How to edit a podcast

This isn’t a how-to on how to edit a podcast. It’s about getting you to think about 2 questions;

  1. Why are you making a podcast?

  2. Who are you making it for?

These two questions will inform the creative and editorial decisions that you make during the edit of your podcast.

This is advice from Nicole Wong, Creative Producer at Gimlet Creative.

It’s easy to think that podcasting is a straightforward thing. Plug in a microphone or two, hit record, export to MP3, and upload to Soundcloud. But knowing what you’re trying to achieve and who for will be the best guides for the decisions that you make.

For a conversational podcast, editing is arguably a more straightforward editing process — removing long pauses, false starts, and extraneous passages until the discussion sounds as desired.

The process for a show like This American Life or Gimlet’s Surprisingly Awesome, shows with a strong narrative and editorial form, will take a very different approach to editing.

This comes with the territory when such shows have a wider scope of production with multiple interview guests interspersed throughout each episode, punctuated by host dialogue to ground the show’s narrative.

As such, it’s important to know where your show falls on the scale between a podcast led by a solo speaker through to one driven by multiple interviews, guests, and/or stories.

Knowing where your podcast sits on this scale, along with the two questions above, will guide your editing decisions throughout.