Audacity editing process help


I’m about to launch a podcast soon. I’d very much love if you could all help me streamline my editing process. This is not a professional product, it’s mostly interviews recorded in person. Since I’m a very analytic person I already watched many hours of tutorial videos, but I still yet to find a process I feel okay with. I would really like to find a method that could be applied to most of the episodes with minimal tweaking. Right now it seems many effects does the same and I can not really differentiate between them.

My process right now is basically 1) editing the raw interview into the final version 2) noise reduction 3) limiting 4) normalizing to -3,2dB

I dont use compression, because I don’t really understand it but I would like to start using it. I don’t use equalizer or any other effects. If you could help me insert compression (and understand it full, like when to go 2:1 ratio or when to go for example 5:1 ratio) that would already be lovely. So if you could share your editing process and explain why you do what I’d be grateful.

Right now I have a file where the volume levels are constant throughout the recording and one where it has significant differences. What would you do differently in this case? Thanks in advance.

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I killed off the commercial at the bottom of your posting. Was that the only reason you posted?

We get a lot of bogus postings and hidden ads on the forum.


How are you shooting the interviews?

It’s a danger sign when a New User shows up with an arm-load of effects, filters, corrections, and adjustments without getting the basic recording process sorted first.

There’s no shortage of people planning interviews via Skype, Zoom, Meetings, and Chat, but crash and burn from technical problems. That’s a lot harder than it looks.

The other bad example is the explainer with terrific video, color, illustrations, and effects, but sounds like he’s recording in a bathroom. My silly joke is I can tell how big his bathroom is by analyzing the echoes. I can’t listen to his stuff.

The other extreme is interviews in a quiet restaurant with a phone placed on the table. That works way better than you think.

Interviews on the run can be done, too, but they have their own problems.

That interviewer with the blue wires is holding about $1000 USD.


Any music in your production? Intro, outro, bumpers, stingers? That can change which effects work for you.

If you produce a pile of back and forth Q and A with a medium amount of volume variations, Chris’s Compressor may work for you. Apply it to the final mix of the show and it will produce a “broadcast” compressed and leveled show. I change the first variable, Compress ratio from the default 0.5 to the stiffer 0.77 and it produces work nearly identical to the local NPR station.


The latter case is what compression is for: to even-out variations in volume.
The LevelSpeech2.ny plugin is good for podcasts, it’s a compressor-limiter combo.
[ The optimum compressor settings will be different for speech and music: i.e. they should be processed separately ].