How To Hire An Audio Editor For Your Podcast

how to hire an audio editor

I am often asked if I can recommend anyone for varying online roles, including when someone wants to hire an audio editor. Not surprising really, since I provide podcast services, and have my own textile art and embroidery podcast. I have worked online for 10 years, and have worked with global clients. And of course since I am a mentor and trainer with FreelanceU, I am in frequent contact with a large community of skilled virtual professionals and freelancers.

Anyway, I have had several requests recently about audio editing, hiring an audio editor for a podcast. Sometimes the role will be described as an audio editor, at other times, a podcast editor, sometimes audio engineer. The terms are typically used interchangeably, often without understanding that all those terms can describe 3 different roles.

So the last time I was asked about hiring an audio editor, I found myself asking a load of questions to try and gain more clarity around the role, particularly in terms of time and skill level required, and what tasks were required.

Now it’s worth mentioning at this point that I personally don’t offer ‘just’ audio editing as a standalone service. I offer a packaged approach to podcast launch and support, which would include audio editing. I do my own audio editing. But there are plenty of people who do specialise and only offer audio editing.

Hire an audio editor

So if you want to hire an audio editor for your team or podcast, here are some questions to ask yourself before you waste anyone’s time.

First, Get Yourself Organised

Think about these questions and decide your answers. Firm up your requirements before you go off asking for recommendations or start searching in online directories. Of course there is Fiverr, and Upwork but you may prefer a more specific directory, such as the Professional Freelance Directory provided by FreelanceU.

Have you done any recordings yet?

If you haven’t done any recordings yet, then it’s worth asking advice from potential editors. They may have standard advice and information to help you help yourself and them by providing the best recording you can. Read your microphone instructions! Learn some basics on microphone use, search for some advice on setting up your recording location.

Questions to ask yourself before you try hiring an audio editor.

  • Is the recording one voice or many voices
  • Is it a multi-track recording
  • Does a podcast editing and production workflow exist?
  • What do you want to be edited?
    • take out umms and ahs
    • take out unclear repetition, waffle, change of direction mid sentence
    • take out silences
    • take out one voice or both if both voices talk at the same time

Are editing decisions needed?
What I mean here is if your recording is 45 minutes and you want it down to 35 minutes. Do you expect the editor to do that using their judgement. Or are you providing sections and timings where stuff should be removed?

  • Do you want an intro and or outro adding to start and end?
  • Do you want adverts to be inserted?
  • Are the episodes a consistent length
  • How long is a typical episode
  • How frequent are the episodes
  • Is the frequency of episodes consistent
  • How far in advance is the episode available for editing before it is needed for podcast production
  • Where will the raw audio be available from
  • Before editing starts, what backups will be needed?
  • Who will make the backups before editing begins
  • When editing is finished, where will the audio be sent?
  • What format do you want the edited audio to be in
  • Do you want audio levels to be balanced
  • Do you want audio quality to be improved
  • Do you want ‘some quotes‘ picking out of the audio for use in marketing?
  • Do you want show notes to be created?
  • If you want show notes, in what format and style do you want them
  • Do you want a transcription of the edited audio file
  • Do you want timings in the transcription
  • Do you use a transcription service

What is your budget for podcast editing?

Are you expecting miracles?

Now plenty of these tasks are not audio editing tasks, and would fall under the terms of podcast production. And someone who is a specialised audio engineer and an absolute wizard with manipulating audio to sound great would likely not be interested in creating content that spins off from the audio.

An audio engineer is typically a higher investment than an audio editor. Their level of skill is typically higher. If you have audio tracks where you used Skype or Zoom to talk with a remote guest, and the guest wasn’t using a reasonable microphone, then it is never going to sound fantastic, and probably isn’t worth the expense of getting an audio engineer to try and fix it. So align your expectations with your podcast budget, style and format.

I wrote a more detailed blog post about your podcast editing expectations, that you might like to read next. 🙂

I hope these questions help you organise your thoughts and requirements for an audio editor.

However, you may want more than ‘just’ an audio editor, and are looking for someone who can ‘do everything’ for your podcast. Let’s have a conversation about what that actually looks like, and how I can help you. You have plenty of options, let’s organise the right one for you and your podcast.

Are you ready to start? I’m here to help 🙂

About The Author

Susan

Straight-talking Podcast Advice & Practical Podcast Services For Busy Business Owners