Podcasting is full of processes.
There is a process for coming up with your show idea, a process for picking the right gear, a process for setting up your studio, a process for launching your show, and even a process for how your market your show.
However, the process for how to simply build one episode for your show is just as important as all the other moving parts.
There is no one way to design a process for building just one episode, but I find that building a show in clips gives you more control over the final product.
When you dealing with only clips, they are easier to manage, edit, organization, and check for quality.
When production speed is at a premium, having a quick way to work on only parts of an episode’s content is far more efficient than trying to work with one really big *.wav file.
Additionally, working with only audio clips is a very Agile-based approach that leverages the capabilities of Adobe Audition’s multitrack session utilities.
This means I can reuse music, intros, outros, and even ads in multiple episodes, making the production process faster by reducing both recording and publishing time.
By utilizing the multiple track features of the software, you can add, delete, and move around any part of your recording without having to worry where it lives within the recording.
The capability to visualize the parts of the whole and find specific sections without any considerable time wasted searching, is the greatest benefit to working with clips.
Here’s how it works.
Podcast episode publishing process
The following is my 25 Step process for publishing a podcast episode using clips and multitrack mixdowns:
1. Create a show format outline with clear sections
Your show format can include whatever you want it to include.
A sample of what a typical show’s script outline might have a is as follows:
- Title page (for all my publishing metadata)
- Clapperboard (like in the movies)
- Pre-Roll (optional)
- Segment #1
- Mid-Roll (optional)
- Segment #2
- Final thoughts
- End-Roll (optional)
2. Write a script
Create a script with either detailed copy or a simple bulleted outline that fills in each section of your show’s format.
This script will later become the base for your show notes.
I’ve been blogging for over 3 years, so I like to take two related blog posts and use them as the basis for an episode on a particular topic.
3. Organize your files
Create a new folder within your show’s project folder using the episode number and name (e.g. /mod000-why-is-off-road-racing-fun).
4. Start a new recording
Open Adobe Audition and go to File -> New -> Audio File.
5. Give your audio files specific names
Give your audio file a name (e.g. podcast-000-clapperboard) and make sure it is saving to the new folder with the same episode number.
6. Test your gear
You need to always conduct an equipment test prior to any recording session to make sure you’re actually recording.
Nothing like having the cat run across your mixer to change all your settings in one foul swoop.
7. Stick to your script
Your script should keep you in scope by making sure you only record those clips needed for this particular episode. If you have new ideas or want to save sections for other shows, make a note of it and move on.
8. Always review your work
After each and every clip recording, listen to that clip and use the Adobe Audition’s editing tools to cut out any long pauses, coughs, sniffs, ums, ahs, or parts you don’t want your listener to hear in the final version.
9. Save your work
When you have completed your edits, always save your work. Always.
10. Work through your script
Repeat Steps 4 thru 9 by going through your outline section-by-section.
By chunking your audio recordings this way you allow yourself the chance to catch your breath between takes, drink something, and correct your posture.
11. Putting it all together
It is time to build the foundation for your entire episode by creating a Multitrack Session.
In Adobe Audition go to File -> New -> Multitrack Session.
You only need to build this the first time, since you can reuse it as the template for future episodes.
12. Stitching clips into the timeline
Add each clip into your multitrack session.
If they are not in your Adobe Audition File Pane, you can Open or Import them as needed.
This is a good time to upload any clips you have recorded with other devices such as a field recorder.
13. Match clip loudness
Align each clip to where you want them to go on your timeline.
Right click on each clip and select Match Clip Loudness.
This will make all your clips equalize at the same volume level.
14. Organize clips by track type
Use the Multitrack Tracks to organize your repeated clips, make one track your music, another, your intro/outros, etc.
15. Export your work
When you ready go to File -> Export -> Multitrack Mixdown -> Entire Session.
This will create an *.mp3 file of your entire episode.
16. Export settings
In the Export Multitrack Mixdown options pane, make sure it has the correct name, it is saving to correct folder, and is using the desired sample type.
You can impact the file size by adjusting the Sample Type (but use this with caution and experiment with it first).
17. Review what you have created
Review the exported *.mp3 file of your show to make sure all clips are correct and nothing strange occurred during export.
18. Fix your mistakes
If you discovered any mistakes during your review, it’s time to deal with those changes now.
Go back and make any corrections in the Multitrack Mixdown file (*.sesx), then repeat Steps 15 thru 17 until you are satisfied with the result.
19. Upload to your media host
Now it is time to open your media hosting account (I use Libsyn.com) and go to Content -> Add New Episode.
Upload the latest version of your episode’s *.mp3, keeping an eye on your storage usage meter for the month.
20. Add your episode metadata
Using the publishing metadata from my show format outline (see Step 1), you will now fill in all the RSS fields that will be used to display your podcast on most podcasting platforms (e.g. iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, iHeartRadio, TuneIn).
Make sure you click the checkbox that will add your content to the ID3 tag of your episode.
21. Social media add-ons
Using the Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn publishing options, add the sub-title of the episode to what will become the first social media posts for this episode.
22. Publish your episode
When everything is uploaded and filled in, I hit publish and cross my fingers.
The first news that your episode has successfully been published is usually through your desktop iTunes software.
Do not be surprised if it takes several hours to show up on any podcasting platform website.
23. Preparing you show notes
Now with my episode published to Libsyn, I go to my website and create a new post, copy and paste my script into the HTML areas of my post layout (built in WordPress), then Publish the post.
24. Test your website media players
Once the new episode show notes have been published, you can start to test your RSS feed by using the player plugin on your WordPress website (if you have one — if you don’t have one, contact us and we’ll help you add a player to your site).
If your latest show starts to play, you know everything is working properly.
25. Marketing your episode
Prepare the next wave of social media posts that will be used for notifications in the middle and end of the week (mine is a weekly show).
This can also be used for social media discussions group posts (where allowed).
Now with your episode recorded, edited, and published, you can start thinking about your next episode.
This could include your process for checking your shows schedule and taking note to what content you might already have.
Otherwise, this would begin your research process into your next topic or include what you need to know about your next guest.
A note of caution when it comes to publishing your podcast episodes.
Always be aware of caching.
Caching can make you THINK your show didn’t publish when it really did.
Always check other sources before you think your media host is down.
Now go be heard.