Episode 6

What Style Of Podcast Editing Do You Need?

When you're getting ready to hire a podcast editor, it's really important to be clear on what style of editing you're looking for. Not sure what I'm talking about?

After listening today, you'll have what you need in order to understand AND communicate what you're looking for, and to assess whether the editors you're talking with are a potential fit or not.

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Links & Resources

Links & Resources

  • YaYa Podcasting - This is my friend Carrie. She offered a short course on how to edit dialog for scripted podcasts that I took because I always want to be growing and improving.
  • Top Tier Audio - I was producing multiple shows for Top Tier Audio at the time that I decided to hire my first subcontractor to edit.

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Mentioned in this episode:

15 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Podcast Editor

If you want to get the clarity you need to avoid a hiring mistake with your podcast, you will want to grab this free guide. No email required. We just want you to make the best decisionfor yourself and your show.

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Transcript
Bryan Entzminger:

When you're getting ready to hire a podcast editor, it's really important to be

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clear on what style of editing you're looking for.

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Not sure what I'm talking about after listening today, you'll have what you need in order to

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understand and communicate what you're looking for.

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And to start to assess whether or not the editors you might be talking with are a potential fit or.

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Welcome to Hiring A Podcast Editor.

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My name is Bryan Entzminger.

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I'm a podcast, editor and manager at TopTierAudio.com.

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This show is intended to help you be able to find the right podcast editor for you.

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Whether you're looking for your first editor.

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Or your next editor in season one, we're going to help you get clarity on what you really want before you

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start connecting with editors and then provide you with the tools to make the right decision for yourself.

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This show is sponsored by TopTierAudio.com.com, where we provide podcast production services for

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multi-passionate coaches, trainers, and consultants.

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Be sure to stick around to the end, and I'll tell you how you can get a free tool to help you organize

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your thoughts and make sure you don't miss anything.

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So what style of podcast editing do you need?

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Talk about a big and maybe even seemingly ambiguous topic.

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Here's the thing, though.

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It's really important that you, when you're looking for an editor are able to be clear.

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On the kind of editing that you're looking for.

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And when I say kind, we're going to talk about that a little bit more, but that's only part of the style piece.

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There's also another bit, which is way more art than science.

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And that's the perspective.

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Editor's overarching philosophy of editing.

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The way that they approach trade off decisions, that kind of thing.

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And both of these are really important topics to talk about.

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Here's the rub though.

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Not only do you need to be able to understand what you're looking for and communicate that, but you also need to be

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able to understand what a prospective editor is telling you and whether or not you think that they can deliver.

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On what they've shared, because , it's one thing to say something.

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Sometimes it's another thing to be able to actually do that.

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That's where this episode comes in now.

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I don't have the Rosetta stone of translation and I don't have a magic eight ball to help you understand whether or not what an

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editor is telling you is actually what they're capable of doing.

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But I can help you start to get your thoughts together.

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And maybe help you think through a few things that you might want to ask an editor as you start talking with them.

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So we're going to start with the art piece and this is the overarching philosophy or style of editing.

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And when I say style in this sense, I'm meaning.

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How they make trade off decisions.

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A great example might be if you're to watch a documentary and you've seen a Ken burns produced documentary before

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it has a very specific style, a very specific approach.

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And.

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Editors have this as well.

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And some of them are able to communicate it.

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Well, some of them are not, but it's important to understand the way they approach editing

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and specifically what you're looking for.

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So I'm not going to ask you right now to spend so much time thinking about what an editor

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might be telling you as what you're looking for.

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So when I think about this, the first question is really around editorial decisions and some of this will play

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into the next section as well, but what liberties.

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Do you want a prospective editor to take?

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Are there any liberties at all?

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For example, do you want an editor?

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That's going to make decisions about the content to help you along.

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Now.

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We we'll get into this again later, but think about what liberties do you want them to take?

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For example, Do you want them to cut entire sentences that sound redundant, or do you only want them to remove

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filler words or do you want them to leave it essentially as is because you really want it to be as recorded?

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All of these are potentially valid for you.

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I have an opinion.

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My opinion doesn't matter right now because I'm not talking about me.

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What's the most important to you because you're going to want to know how your editor is going to take these trade off decisions.

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For example.

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If there's something where there's some background noise or some wind or something like that, do you want

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it to remain natural and as recorded or do you want it to end up clean and easier to understand, or do you

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want it to be somewhere in between if there's something that needs to happen to make it more understandable,

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but that starts to affect the quality of the voice.

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How do you want them to approach that?

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Do you want them to leave as few of their smudges behind to help try and clean up some of the issues?

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Or do you want them to clean it up as best they can?

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And it's okay if it leaves a little bit of a residue behind, because in the end it's still more understandable

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by the same token, there are generally accepted publishing.

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Standards for loudness.

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Do you want your podcast to be that louder?

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Do you want it to have a little bit more dynamic range?

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The trade off here is between whether or not somebody can hear it when they're driving in the car or whether

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or not it sounds like they're just sitting in an easy chair, listening to a couple of friends, converse.

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These are stylistic questions that you need to think about.

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Now.

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Your editor will have an opinion and.

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After you talk to the editor that you might be hiring, you may change your mind, but that's okay.

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But you need to go into this, having some thoughts around how you want them to do that kind of thing.

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And then as they think about these judgment calls, how do you want them to approach them?

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Do you want, 'em have them make the call and just continue processing.

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Do you want 'em to check with you or do you want them to make the call and say, this is what I did.

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Let me know if you want me to change it.

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And my approach is generally within the bounds of how I've agreed with my clients I'll make the change.

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And if it's something that I think they might have an opinion on, that's different than mine, I'll just let 'em know.

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But that's something that you wanted to think about in terms of the art piece and then how they interact with you.

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Hi there.

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All features are included in every single plan and plans start as low as $20 a month.

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And I'd really appreciate it.

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Captivate is what I recommend for the serious independent creator.

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So we talked about the art bit.

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Now let's talk a little bit more about editing style as it comes to not so much their philosophical

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approach, but the kind of editing they offer.

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And I'm going to break this into a couple of different categories.

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I know that I've broken content into different categories.

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And so this will kind of align with the idea of a narrative show versus a talk show.

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When I think of a talk show, generally, this is going to be something where we're talking about, how cleaned

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up do we want the audio to be generally, you're not going to be having people moving huge sections

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of audio around and rearranging the conversation.

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This is really just, do you want something where all they do?

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And all you want them to do is add the beginning of the show and the end of the show, and

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maybe any ads or breaks be clear about that.

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That's what I'm looking for, because if somebody offers more than that, that might not be the person for you.

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And that's fine.

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Next on the scale, I'd think in terms of, do they want what I would call a detailed technical edit?

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So this is where they would actually go through and probably listen to every minute of the audio.

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And likely start removing filler words and things like that.

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Or do you want to take it even a step further?

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Which would, is what I would call an edit for clarity where they're not only doing

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that, but they're also listening and going.

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Are there distractions that are actually part of the dialogue?

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Right?

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So is it something that somebody said that is actually distracting from.

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Where this story is headed.

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And if I cut that, does it change the meaning or does it just make it more clear and that I would call an edit for clarity.

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So is that something that you want or, or not along the same lines as we think about the audio

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production, are you looking for somebody who can do.

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Audio repair.

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Do you want somebody who can help remove room reverb, right?

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The echo from the room when you're recording, or do you want somebody who can maybe remove

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or reduce wind noise or the popping P sounds?

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I think I made one just a little bit ago, but you probably won't hear it because I try to take those out as best I can.

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Are you looking for somebody who can do that at a really high level?

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Are you looking for somebody that can do that?

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Basic level, or do you want somebody who does not do any of that?

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And that's perfectly valid, right?

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You might want it to be, as it was recorded.

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It's your show along the same lines and this kind of plays into that whole loud thing.

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How do you want them to approach the mix and master?

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Do you want them to be very technical and very precise, making sure that all the voices

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are balanced against each other, that it's.

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As loud as apple or Spotify or whomever wants it to be, or do you want somebody who's going to be a little bit more free

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form with it again, it's okay for you to have an opinion.

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My opinion is I always want somebody who's driving down the road at 60 miles an hour to be able to hear my show.

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And so I want a very consistent, very loud with.

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Type process and I want clean audio and that's how I approach my show.

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That's how I approach my client's show.

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That's what they want.

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So think about those things.

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Now, as we start thinking about going from cleaned up to what I would call polished or crafted shows, there

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is a little bit of a bridge and this is what I call.

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Edit down to create.

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So you might take, or your editor might take an hour long interview.

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And the end result is you want a 15 minute show out of that and you want them to make all of the

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editorial decisions, but nothing gets rearranged.

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All they're doing is choosing the parts that they want to include.

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If that's what you want, you need to be clear about that.

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And part of the reason I bring this up is because a lot of times, In Facebook groups or wherever online, I will see

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somebody ask, how much does it cost to edit an episode?

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Well, the reality is it's going to cost a significantly different amount of money for somebody who is doing what

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I would call that detailed technical edit, where they're going to go through and they're going to clean stuff up.

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They're going to remove the ums, all that stuff versus somebody who's going to take an hour of content

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and figure out how to get it down to 15 minutes.

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That is a different mindset.

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It's a different workflow and transparently.

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It's a significantly different investment in time for that editor to do that for you.

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So that's going to, in fact, not only what you're asking for and whether or not they're even qualified to do that.

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And also how much it's going to cost you as we continue down that spectrum more toward crafted shows or Polish shows.

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These are the things where we're talking about storytelling or narrative or documentary or reporting.

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Right.

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And I view this as kind of a couple of different approaches.

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One would be what I call crafting from notes.

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So maybe you have an interview, maybe you've got, uh, performance, something like that, where you're

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able to provide production notes and say, I want this to happen here and this to happen here and this

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to happen here, and you can provide that to them.

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And then their job within the scope of the instructions is to do what you've said that I would

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call crafting from notes, as opposed to what I would call creating from a plan or creating from a script.

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A great example would be like an old radio drama being made.

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A podcast where there is a script and there are voice actors or actors of some kind who read the script.

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And now it's the job of that editor to put all those pieces together.

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And it may or may not include sound design.

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It may or may not include a lot of different things, but you need to be clear on that because when we start

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talking about crafting from notes or crafting from a plan or a script, it starts becoming something.

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They might have to go back and forth with you multiple times in order to deliver exactly what you're looking

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for in terms of the performance, in terms of which takes are selected to be included, that kind of thing.

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Now, the reason I bring this all up is because while it might seem that the only editors out there are the

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ones that add the top and the tail, and maybe the ads in the middle, the reality is there are editors who.

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Every bit of this and probably some things that I haven't talked about as an example, I typically do something in the

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area between detailed technical edit and the detailed edit for clarity, where I do make some editorial decisions in terms of

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whether or not maybe part of a sentence needs to be coming out.

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But I don't necessarily remove entire questions.

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My friend, Carrie, over at Yaya podcasting actually offer.

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This kind of creating from a script thing where she actually works on some pretty high name, audio dramas, and she will

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take the script and all of the voiceover that's been provided.

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And even in some instances provide some sound design.

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And so it's important that you're clear on that because that will shape.

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Not only what you're looking for and how you communicate it, but also maybe where you look, if you're looking

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for an editor that offers that kind of high level, really story crafting type thing, maybe asking 300

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friends in a Facebook group, isn't the place to do that.

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So you need to be clear on these things now being clear on these kinds of things, even if it's just a 32nd exercise on your part

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to just write it down, we'll help you in the long run to make sure that you're looking for and looking in the right places.

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And then also being able to discern whether or not the person you're talking to might be the right fit for you.

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So I do hope this was helpful for you.

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If you have any questions or anything, please feel free to reach out to me.

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My email is Bryan TopTierAudio.com.com.

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I would love to hear from you next time.

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We're going to be talking about some other elements.

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We're getting really close to the end of the things to think through.

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Before you talk to an editor, we've got a couple more things after this, but we're going to think about

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some other elements that you might want to consider in terms of services that your editor might provide.

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And then we're going to start heading down the path of starting to.

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Trim down this list.

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We're going to start editing down this large brainstorming list that we've been working on for

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the past few episodes into something that's useful.

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So you'll want to make sure you do that.

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If you want to follow the show, you can find it at hire a podcast, editor.com/listen.

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That'll give you the, the major apps to select from, or just search in your favorite podcast app.

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Thanks so much for being here.

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If you'd like to be able to get the clarity you need in order to avoid making a hiring mistake, be sure to download our

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guide 15 questions to ask before hiring a podcast editor, you can find it at HireAPodcastEditor.com/15questions,

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and it'll be linked up in the show notes.

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It's totally free.

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We don't require an email address or anything like that.

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We just want to make sure that you have the tools that you need to make the right decision for you.

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That guide has the questions we'll talk about on this show.

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Some instructions and suggestions.

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Even a place to take notes.

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If you want to get even more out of a dough, be sure to subscribe to this show at HireAPodcastEditor.com/listen

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and share it with the rest of your team.

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Your work is important.

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Now.

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Go out there and make a great podcast.

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Not sure what I'm uh, stinks when you're getting ready to hire a podcast editor.

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It's really important after listening today, you'll have what you need in order to have your screen disappear while you're talking.

About the Podcast

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About your host

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Bryan Entzminger

Bryan Entzminger is the owner of Top Tier Audio, a podcast production company. He's the host of Hiring a Podcast Editor and cohost of the Podcast Gauntlet and the Podcast Editors Mastermind. He's also the founder of the Hindy Users (Unofficial) group for Hindenburg users on Facebook. He loves sharing the lessons he’s learned from his struggles and others he's met along the way so that you can have a podcast that you’re proud of without letting podcast production take over your life.