How to Remaster a Podcast for Archving



1) Download the podcast from the original host. It will usually be an MP3 file.

2) Use Audacity or Any Video Converter to change the file into a WAV. Here is a link to the Audacity tutorials (https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/tutorials.html), or Wavpad tutorials (https://www.macaulaylibrary.org/resources/audio-editing-tutorials/prepare-sound-files-in-wavepad/, as well as those for Any Video Converter (https://www.any-video-converter.com/products/for_video_free/tutorial.html). [If you are going to be recording music as well among your other audio project, be sure to download one of Audacity's Chorus effects (https://forum.audacityteam.org/download/file.php?id=6134&sid=6267d734d40c1f977284fe959d18260a and put the .ny file into Audacity's Plug-Ins folder on your computer.]Chromebook users and others who prefer it, can also use Wavpad https://wavepad.en.softonic.com/download and its similar commands and effects.

3) Here is where you can work some preliminary audio magic. But, before we discuss that, here's a suggestion. Wait to modify EQ or compress the audio until you have gotten a 'volume-normalized' version from Levelator. However, you CAN edit EARLIER, but more about that LATER.

4) On your desktop, drag the resulting WAV file into the icon for Levelator. Levelator will "adjusts (sic) the audio levels within your podcast or other audio file for variations from one speaker to the next." To a lesser degree, it also increases the volume of squashed frequency ranges. This is a NICE feature for podcast hosts which cut off the high-end of the audio frequency spectrum. For a more detailed discussion of frequencies, visit A Guide to Audio Processing and FX For Podcasting. In fact...

5) Now, you can import the new output file into Audacity or Wavpad for a few tweaks, like EQ and compression which are discussed in the above article. (Check out the Audacity or Wavpad tutorials above if you want more information on these commands.) Of course, even before you consider those relevant options, remember that Levelator's output will be 1 (one) db lower than what's needed. So, your last step will be to adjust the volume to compensate. NOTE: When you play back the audio, you will want most of the audio peaks during your program to be in the ORANGE area, and HARDLY EVER in the red when you look at Audacity's audio meter. (For a discussion of how audio meters work, visit https://www.thedawstudio.com/metering/

6) If you have nervous guests or hosts, you can edit out excess silence (the "Truncate Silence" command in Audacity (set for two or three seconds, if you use this feature).

7) Be sure to at least spot-listen to the original broadcast for audible mistakes, gaffs, momentary technical problems (momentary audio spikes due to system transmission transients like someone accidentally hitting their microphone), or the inclusion of material in the original live broadcast which ultimately should not be heard for one reason or the other. (NOTE: Some people like to edit earlier in the process BEFORE sending the file into Levelator, as it often actually tends to make Levelator's work a bit easier and more accurate. And in practice, this acutally saves time.) By the way, in general, you can probably get away with just using EQ to boost the high-end frequencies for greater clarity at this stage if there are no significant problems with the original broadcast.

8) Lastly, render the finished audio into an MP3, export it to your desktop, and upload into your host(s). NOTE: Some podcasts will put up the cleaned audio to replace the original.