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Keeping and enhancing the physical audio tone of podcast episodes

One of the most challenging parts when editing audio for any podcast episode is to achieve a physical room tone in the whole sound. In my taste I prefer a "humanized" final result rather than only cutting unwanted noises or speech mistakes.

Of course clear the audio from noises, plosives, double words, um's etc is critical for a nice professional result, but make those edits too hard may lead to a robotic sound which prevents the audience from keep listening an episode for a long time. I find it very useful to keep some of those "unwanted" sounds in favor of physical sounding . Also it is important to leave some gaps between words and not just trying to delete them 100%.

Using Reverb to achieve a nice room tone

One of my favorite tools to help me enhance the physical tone of the sound is a reverb and to be more specific a convolution reverb. Convolution reverb uses real places (like existing studio rooms, concert halls, stadiums and literally anything you may think) impulse response recordings to mimic how would the incoming audio signal sound on those places.

Using a touch of convolution reverb usually after corrective edits may add some shining magic in the podcast recording. I find myself that I use it more more in my production procedure lately. The main goal is to have a good ambient hugging the main element which is obviously the human speech for projects like podcasts. Leaving a podcast recording very dry is a common mistake that causes tiredness to listeners and lead them losing their interest for the episode.

Off course it is not always necessary to add reverb, it depends on many factors. If a recording is really good in terms of keeping the physical room tone adding some reverb could ruin it.

So we do not use reverb just for using it. As every other production tool we apply it to get a better final result.

The market of Convolution Reverbs is getting bigger and bigger the last years. Some DAWs like Ableton Live 10 (standard or higher edition) comes with a great Max For Live device Convolution Reverb with many IR's from real places and even hardware etc. and many options to adjust and achieve the best possible result for each different project. I also like the Convology XT reverb which is a very professional FREE plugin coming with a good number of IR's (you could also buy some more high quality IR's from the developer's page).


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