5 Minute Mondays

Audio Leveling 101

September 16, 2019
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, you’ll learn how to level your audio so you don’t blow out your listeners' eardrums.

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Travis:
0:00
Today on five minute Monday, you'll learn how to level your audio so you don't blow out your listeners eardrums. Look in a five minute Mondays where we bring you the best tips and strategies for building your podcast in five minutes or less. So if you're new here, consider subscribing. Now this is week two of a four week mini series about rookie editing mistakes. These are the common mistakes that you hear in new podcasts that detract from the listener experience and stunt your podcasts growth. And today we're going to be talking about leveling. Now, I don't know if you've experienced this yet, but there've been a couple times where I was sure my eardrums must have ruptured from listening to a podcast. I had the volume set at a comfortable level. I'm enjoying a nice conversation. And then the bass from the outtro theme music drives an audio wave shaped ice pick through my ears.
Travis:
0:56
Has that ever happened to you? Well, that is why leveling is important. It keeps your podcast at a nice even volume, even as you incorporate different segments in your episode. So now I'm going to teach you how to actually level your audio. First you want to bring every audio file into your episodes project and whatever editing software that you're using. Then you're going to listen to each one with headphones on. You'll want to adjust the volume slider so that the relative volume is the same or really close. So as you're listening to each track, each person, each music track, each sound effects, whatever it is that you are incorporating in your episode. You want to make sure that before you do anything else, all of them are starting at around the same volume as you can hear it in your headphones. Now just a rule of thumb, music tracks tend to be louder than vocal tracks, so you'll, you'll find yourself dropping the volume on those more significantly than with audio tracks, normal vocal tracks, and then you also want to make sure that every person is set at the same relative volume, right?
Travis:
2:08
This is easiest if you have each person recordings, their own microphone and have it saved as a separate track because then you can just adjust each track individually. That is ideal, but you want every single person to be set at the same volume. Now when vocals and music overlap, when you start to mix and match these segments, then you want to make sure the voices are clear and easy to understand, so more than likely you're going to have to drop the music lower than you think that you need to. Even if you can understand what people are saying, even if you think voices are clear, go ahead and drop the music a little bit lower than that because when somebody is actually listening to it on the other end, you'd be surprised how big of a difference that will make. Now once you finished editing your episode, you want to quickly scrub through the different sources in segments just to make sure that the volume is consistent in any area where there's an overlap that you can clearly hear the voices.
Travis:
3:08
And then I also recommend utilizing a software like Al Phonic to really dial in your audio leveling because software can often pick up and discern what your ears can't. And I will leave a link to a guide that we put together and how to use auphonic to Polish your podcast episodes in the show notes for this episode. But at the end of the day, you want your podcast episode listening experience to be as phenomenal as possible because when somebody discovers your podcast, they're not only going to fall in love with your content, but it's going to be something they rave about to their friends. That is it for today. If you're new here, make sure to hit the subscribe button. If you're watching this on youtube or subscribe to the five minute Mondays podcast in your favorite app to squeeze even more podcast related content into your life, and if there's something that you want us to talk about on a future episode, you can click the link in the show notes to submit your question or idea. Thanks for listening and as always, keep podcasting.
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