Thursday, February 14, 2008

Podcasting Audio Production 101

The following is a sort of quick and dirty guide to audio post-production for podcasts.

I’m trying to provide a fair view of the playing field, but can’t possibly cover everything. To begin with, there is no comprehensive list that is “everything there is to know” about audio production. The process simply doesn’t work that way. Not only is audio production an ongoing process, it is a process that should adapt itself to the specific material that you’re dealing with. What you must learn to do as a producer, more than anything else, is to listen. Everything else is just figuring out what to do when you hear something you don’t like, or how to create the sound that you have in your head.

Thus, there is no one “right” way to produce an album or a podcast. The project itself defines its needs, and the more flexible you are, and the more expansive your “toolbox,” the better. At the same time, each producer inevitably develops their own signature sound which somehow winds up a part of the final material, even if they were made with the same exact tools as another.

For most podcasting tasks I use Adobe Audition (which is essentially the same as Syntrillium’s Cool Edit Pro 2.) I’m not saying that this is the best software to use - chances are if I was working on a Mac I’d be using Digital Performer. However, it is more than sufficient for the task at hand, especially when coupled with a robust array of Direct-X plug-ins. For this I will refer to plug-ins in the Waves Platinum Bundle. I have and use many others myself, but many of the FX in this bundle are invaluable.

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