Mastering podcasts with Audacity

Open source software makes podcasting easy — too easy. Listening to a playlist of first-timer podcasts can leave your ears ringing from sudden changes in playback volume. The problem is audio mastering. Recording sound is simple, but mastering that sound — compressing volume differences, maintaining a decibel ceiling, and similar operations — is anything but. Fortunately, an open source tool offers everything you need for mastering podcasts and other spoken-word recordings. Audacity is well-known among podcasters on all platforms for its ability as an editor; here are some tips and tools for mastering and adjusting volume, aimed at podcasters, but they could apply to anyone who needs to produce a spoken-word recording under less-than-perfect conditions. —Johnathon WilliamsMastering podcasts with Audacity (News Forge)

I wish I knew about this argument a few months ago, when I was just starting to introduce podcasting to my “Media Lab” class.

The podcasting was one unit in a one-credit course that also includes working on the student paper and a term project, and of course we talked about the culture of podcasting and the nature of radio journalism, so I didn’t spend a whole lot of time on technical excellence.

But maybe if I had known about this article, I would have been able to be a little pickier about the sound quality.