Click Editing: The Fast Podcast Post-Production Method

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Dare we say it... "this one simple trick"... will save you hours of podcast editing!

Editing is a pain. Well, it is for most people at any rate.

I do know podcasters who get a lot of satisfaction out of editing. In the right context, I’m one of them. If you’re producing something slick, refined, highly edited, then it’s worth the result.

But, standard, day to day, common garden editing, where you’re removing mistakes, coughs and ummmms you just can’t bear to let slide. THAT’S a pain…

The problem is, the majority of us edit this stuff out by listening through our recording. You can speed it up in Audacity, giggle your way through that even-hilarious chipmunk voice, but even then it still takes quite a while.

Well, there’s a technique to cut this down in a huge way. It’s the way I always edit my normal episodes, those that need only that standard editing I mentioned before. It’s nothing new, I certainly didn’t invent it, but it’s so useful that I’m always surprised isn’t more widely used.

So, what is this podcast click editing method? Let’s have a look.

Clicking the Click

I'll include the detail below, but here's how it works.

Podcast Click Editing: Fixing Mistakes

Click editing, as the name suggests is a method by which you click into the microphone every time an edit’s needed.

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For example, I’m chatting away and suddenly my voice catches, I cough and need to take a drink. No worries, I simply pause for a few seconds, click my tongue into the mic 3 times, pause again and then continue.

Similar, if I’m talking and I suddenly realise I’ve missed the point, or I've made a mistake – the numbers were wrong or I’ve mixed up a fact – then I do the same.

Pause. 3 clicks. Pause. Continue.

Once you’ve finished your recording, load the file into Audacity (other DAWs are available…) and then zoom in a little. Start to scroll through, left to right, and watch out for gaps. If you’re on the right zoom, the gaps and the 3 clicks will be really, really obvious.

There’s no need to listen right through, no need to review – you’re relying on your clicks to show you places to edit.

Click editing: podcast post production
Notice the 3 spikes 2/3 of the way across the timeline

When I find the edit point itself, here’s what I do. I hit play on the section right after the click, hear the re-recorded section, and then go back to find the right edit point. The corrected version will give you an indicator on the point at which you need to edit. You need to go back and find where you started that point the first time around.

Try to think about this edit when you re-start after the click. Think about something you said, just before the mistake and repeat from there. That repetition of phrasing makes this even quicker and easier.

Other Edit Points

I actually use this method for other types of edits too. For example, when I have to insert my scene transition, such as an advert, or a sting, then I’ll make TWO clicks instead. Or, perhaps I need to insert a short interview clip, again, two clicks.

When I see those double clicks, I know to listen for what to insert, rather than find a mistake to fix.

Podcast Click Editing: The Result

Using this method, I can edit a half hour show in probably 5 minutes or so. My average is, maybe, 5 to 10 edit points, which take probably 30 seconds each to edit. Then I pop in the music, save and export. Done!

Of course, you should always be listening to your own shows from time to time, refining your approach. But at least this way you don’t have to listen to every single one, and you can save a tonne of time in editing.

The Tricks with Clicks

Next time you’re recording, try it out.

If you make a mistake, just stop for a second, click your tongue 3 times, pause, then repeat the section using a similar starting word or phrase.

And if you're wondering about the rest of the editing process, check out the MEE Podcast Production process for super-quick editing.

It's a system for cleanup and editing that keeps things nice and simple, taking up little time, but also keeps the audio quality high.

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What if you've never used editing software before? Maybe you're concerned that you don't have the budget to outsource your production, but don't have the time to learn it all.

If that's the case, you might want to check out our “podcast making” tool Alitu, which practically builds your episode for you.

Alitu is really simple to use, and will take care of the processing, editing, and publishing of your podcast, without the need for any actual editing software.

So whether you're a complete beginner, or an experienced podcaster looking to drastically cut down on your production time, Alitu could be the answer you're looking for!

What Our Readers Think About Click Editing: The Fast Podcast Post-Production Method

Sorry, comments are closed.

  1. AB says:

    Colin, thank you for this – indeed the most recent time I edited my podcast, a couple of weeks ago, I found myself feeling so overwhelmed I actually started guessing at waveforms. And to my surprise I guessed correctly about 95% of the time!

    This method takes it to the next level. Great minds think alike but I think your mind is a wee bit greater than mine. Thanks.

    • Thanks for the feedback Aaron. Yeah this can really help speed the whole process up and is especially handy for extra long episodes or if you’re releasing them regularly. I know what you’re saying about visual editing though – podcasters can spot an ummm on the waveform a mile away, hah.

  2. Hi

    This is a great method. The problem I’ve found is locating the start of the section I need to edit. When I make a balls up, I tend to start the whole paragraph again so I have to find a start point 5 mins earlier.

    Also, what is really taking time in my editing is cutting out the natural gaps in my speech/reading patterns. I seem to have a Chandler Bing slight gapping in my speech (which I never have in any other kind of public speaking) so I have to chop out otherwise my potential listeners will ask “could this podcaster be…….any more annoying” Any suggestions?

    • It’s just something you’ll improve on as you go along Chris. You’ll be much more aware of it than your listeners would be too I’d bet. I wouldn’t worry about running through and chopping every pause aside from the odd excessive one. Just keep working at it and you’ll find your flow.

    • Quick one from me too here Chris, I tend to only repeat the last sentence. Or as little as possible before the mistake. It’s quite easy to do this once you’ve practiced a little.

      You can often remember how you started that sentence and so can start “Take 2” with the same wording. That makes it a lot easier to find the start of the edit, and cut out from there.

      I usually just have to skip back 20s or so from the ‘triple click’ to find it in that case.

      Hope that helps!

  3. Sven says:

    Nice One! Saves my time

  4. Great idea, thank you! I will try it next time for sure.

  5. Darrell says:

    Brilliant! Thanks for sharing this mental-health and time saver1

  6. GENIUS!!! Sometimes it’s the simple things that save tons of time and money!!!! Thanks Colin!!