Proper podcast mastering can make the difference between your podcast sounding professional or amateur. Podcast mastering is a form of post-production in which adjustments are made to the audio files. It gives the final product that professional “polished” sound or “shine” that people associate with a high-quality product.
Podcast mastering is one of the most effective vehicles if you want to transition from an amateur to a professional podcaster. This post-production process will alter your audio for a music release, TV show, or podcast. In other words, mastering will polish your audio, changing it into a high-quality sounding show.
If you edit your podcasts and have ever wondered, “why doesn’t my podcast sound as good as others?” then keep reading!
What will happen if you leave your podcast unmastered?
The volume will be too low.
An unmastered episode may seem much quieter than other podcasts, and the user’s volume must be set louder than usual. You need podcast mastering to even out the volumes.
Volume levels are inconsistent.
Some parts may be loud, and some may be soft. A sudden laugh or shout might be startling to the listener if they had initially increased the volume to hear correctly. Conversely, more delicate passages may be inaudible in noisy environments like when listening in a car or on a subway.
Noise or other imperfections.
Hisses, fans, traffic noises, distortions, or other unwanted sounds are audible in the recording.
Poor tone / audio character.
Your audio may be harsh, lacking clarity, or muffled. You will be unable to obtain broadcast-quality style sound without podcast mastering.
What are the characteristics of mastered podcasts:
It corrects your tracks’ volume level.
One of the primary considerations why you need podcast mastering is volume control. After stitching together all the audio files, you will need this, especially in an interview-type podcast show. Podcast mastering will make sure that the audio levels of different tracks are even. The audio level should be regular and coherent to other content and podcasts.
Consistent volume levels.
Audio files need to have a leveled volume from start to finish. Each track needs to be similar to the others, too. Podcast mastering will ensure that there are no sudden loud passages within the audio. It is not pleasing to hear yelling or sudden laughter. It will also make soft passages easier to hear.
There will be little or no noise in each episode.
After podcast mastering, the audio will be clean and free of any background noise. It can also delete imperfections like distortions, hissing, plosives, and unnecessary echoes. No matter how much podcasters try to record in a quiet place, there are times when they cannot avoid some irrelevant sounds.
Professional sound quality.
Another advantage of podcast mastering is acquiring a professional sound quality. Mastering will turn harsh sounds into something clear and audible, comfortable to listen to, and give your episodes a “professional” rich, polished sound. Podcasts that are easy on the ears will attract more listeners.
Better sound means better credibility.
Unstable volume levels might frustrate listeners, causing them to lose interest in the podcast and possibly stop listening. An adequately mastered podcast is equally proportionate to a credible show. Good quality sound will reflect an authoritative and trustworthy podcast. It will leave a good impression and satisfy listeners since more of them will easily understand and appreciate your content.
It helps you ace the competition!
The podcast industry is expanding together with advancements in technology. Thus, saturation in the area requires each podcaster to have their niche. One of the effective ways to help your podcast stand out from the rest of its competitors through mastering your audio professionally. You’ll need those outcomes if you want people to listen to your music and think, “Wow.”
Save time and money: Ask for help from the Professionals!
If you are unsure how to do podcast mastering yourself, do not just try without proper knowledge. The mastering process can take time. It also needs a good ear that can spot errors right away. You also need dedication and patience when doing this task.
If you are not knowledgeable in maneuvering specific mastering techniques and tools, you will most likely spend extra time figuring it out. Another thing to consider is that not all audio hardware and software are the same. These things will always be based on the genre and category your podcast belongs to. The best type of equipment and the most expensive programs will not guarantee success, either. Be wise and work with a professional sound editor or audio engineer if you are not qualified.
You can use a variety of tools to carry out the podcast mastering process. A qualified audio engineer will choose the best tools for a particular show type. Examples are gates, compressors, equalizers, and other noise reduction and correction systems. Don’t worry if this sounds complicated. We can take care of all the details at Podkick to help you.
It’s not just about podcast mastering.
It’s crucial to remember that mastering is a process for optimizing and bringing out the finest in your recorded audio. It is not possible to improve terrible audio. Podcasters should always address an echoey or noisy room, a distorted microphone, and other issues at the source.
If you start with bad audio, you’ll end up with bad audio. The ultimate output can be fantastic, however, if you start with decent audio! Sometimes podcast mastering cannot help if the audio quality is deficient upon record.
Here are some ways to improve your audio before mastering:
Your equipment matters.
The type of equipment you use during recording will significantly affect the quality of your audio. To ensure that you will end up with high-quality audio, try to use sophisticated equipment. It is a hard rule in podcasting to never rely on built-in microphones in your devices.
If you do not have high-end microphones at your disposal, you can use your AirPods. During recording, it is also best to use headphones to hear your voice. In that way, you can modulate it properly.
Find the right environment.
Studio recording is always better than remote recording. However, nowadays, the pandemic encourages podcasters to set up home studios. If you opt to do so, make sure that the room is soundproof.
You should never hear outside noises while recording. Make sure as well that the room is not very empty. Bare rooms will allow the sound to bounce back and forth, creating undesirable echoes in your audio recording.
Preparation is key
Planning is also crucial to the end quality of your podcast. Do not rely on mental notes. Make sure to get your episode script ready. You should orient each of your guests on the interview flow, including their specific parts.
This will help both of you to avoid beating around the bush. Unnecessary parts in the podcast may mislead listeners. It also makes your recording prone to stutters, filler words, and poor content that degrades its quality.
Podcast mastering’s primary goal is to improve and develop an already well-crafted mix in its final form for listeners. When designing the mastering, you’ll need more fine-tuning abilities with your audio filters, such as EQs, stereo wideners, and saturation, to give the mix a streaming-friendly feel.
While you may always try to master your podcast independently, working with a sound professional has several advantages. A master recording is one of the most critical aspects of podcast production, and it can make or break you as a professional podcaster.
Need help in achieving a high-quality podcast? Podkick provides audio production, online mixing and mastering, and other services to help you improve your sound and bring your podcast to life! Contact us today – we are excited to contribute to your success!
Mary Achurra is a freelance content marketer. She helps business owners and entrepreneurs attract and retain customers by creating quality, engaging content.