Why am I posting on a Saturday?! What is happening?!
Oh right, it’s Blaugust, the evil scheme concocted by Belghast where bloggers try to post every day in August. I initially wasn’t going to participate, and I’m still not sure I’ll complete it, but I’ve had a bit of creative doldrums lately so… eh, let’s give it a shot.
Anyway, other people have asked me about this topic in the past and so here is my list of Audacity plugins and features that will vastly improve your quality of life as a podcast editor. These things combined have easily taken up to 3 hours off of my editing process, which is pretty significant.
Chris’s Dynamic Compressor
In the past I’ve talked about just using Levelator for drag-and-drop post-processing, but a few months ago I switched to Chris’s Dynamic Compressor and I’ve been very pleased with the change. Levelator is great but kind of a blunt tool — this compressor plugin is much more flexible and does a better job in my opinion. You will probably want to play around to find the right settings for your voices, and you still want to run the Audacity Normalizer filter too.
Nyquist Noise Gate
Discovering the existence of noise gates was a revelation for my editing. No more highlighting and silencing background noise! Just highlight part of the track with background sound and run the plugin on the “analyse” setting. Take the number it gives you and run it over the whole track. Voila, low level noise is now silence. Which works well with…
Props to Belghast for pointing this out on Twitter. Truncate Silence is a standard effect for Audacity that I never bothered exploring until recently and boy, was I wrong. This effect compresses silences that are a set length or longer. Run it over all your tracks at once to keep conversation moving along and automatically remove any trace of those “so I have nothing to say now” moments.
Sync Lock Tracks
This feature is under the Tracks menu in Audacity and is amazing for multi-person shows. Once you’ve got everyone’s voice tracks lined up, activate this feature and never worry again about messing up the sync during editing.