“I’m incredibly happy to have found The Pod! They truly seek to understand me and my co-hosts production and content style, and our finished episodes benefit from it immensely. They work with our tight timeline and within our budget, as well. We see The Pod as a valued partner of our podcast.“
Shane DeBiersDive Down Media
Defining our Terms: What do all those things mean?
Every industry has insider lingo, the audio industry is no different. If you’re unsure of what the items in the price lists above mean, you can find more detailed answers below. Just click on a heading to reveal the definition and additional information.
The removal, rearranging, or partial modification of the words, timing, and music in a podcast recording. As an example: coughs, dog barks, retaken lines, bloopers, etc. These are things we will remove. If you wish for something you said at the end of your podcast episode to instead appear at the beginning of your podcast episode, this is something we would rearrange. We’ll also remove awkward silences or long pauses. If there’s music that needs to be placed under certain portions of discussion or narration, we will place these items during the editing process (to include introduction music, midrolls, and outro music).
Recording environments are not always ideal. Ground loops, for example, could cause a hum or buzz throughout your entire recording. Or, perhaps, you didn’t realize until later that there were random clicks or pops in your recording because you microphone wasn’t firmly plugged into your audio interface device. We can’t completely fix these things (no one can) but “Audio Repair” refers to the process by which we attempt to reduce the presence of these sorts of things. If you were standing outside in a rain storm while recording your podcast, we couldn’t “remove the rain”, but we could do something to make the rain a little less distracting. Audio Repair is about reducing the perceptibly of irremovable issues/artifacts within an audio recording.
Where “Content Editing” is all about the things you said, Audio Engineering is all about managing the quality of the sound of what you said. This includes the equalization of your voice, reduction of breaths, spectral denoising, mouth declicking, and all the things related to making your audio as clear and intelligible as possible.
In both television and radio, audio is “normalized” so that no single moment of audio exceeds a certain dB threshold and so that from program to program, song to song, or commercial to commercial, the perceived loudness of what’s being heard is consistent. Imagine how annoying it would be if you had to turn the volume down for each commercial because some were louder than others. While this is already a standard in television and radio, it is not a standard in podcasting (podcasting isn’t regulated in any way). That doesn’t mean people don’t want or need that same consistence between podcast episodes and listening devices. We normalize all audio to between -16LUFS and -14LUFS depending on the platform for which it is intended. We use a combination of compression, limiting, and level automation to normalize all audio appropriately.
All files have metadata embedded in them. Thinks like the time it was created, the number of bytes it contains, or the runtime (if it’s audio or video). ID3 data is data that audio players (and other software) can access in order to display it on a screen. When you turn on the radio in your car, or connect you phone to play audio, and your radio screen identiies the album art, the song title, and the artist – that’s ID3 tagging. This metadata can also contain copyright information, notes, and other useful information.
Most Podcast Engineers (or podcast editing services/companies) provide a finished audio file to the client and expect the client to listen to that audio and let them know if anything needs to change. To no small degree this is a taxation on the client’s time. The CEO of a two-year-old startup doesn’t really want to have to serve as his or her own quality assurance. We partnered with Soluble Apps to produce PodPerfect, an internal QA program that puts the onus for quality assurance squarely where it should be: with us. When we finish editing, we pass the completed file to one of our QA Engineers to listen for mistakes, missed edits, or strange artifacts that shouldn’t make it into the final product. For the most part, this is unnecessary. Our engineers to a great job, but all it takes is one miss to create friction in the working relationship between us and our clients. The PodPerfect QA program is our way of making sure that when you get your finished audio back, you can trust that it’s 100% ready to go.
Error-Free Human Transcription
100% accurate transcription provided by a professional transcriptionist, not an automated software solution like Sonix or Descript. Transcripts are guaranteed to be error-free, except where industry language or proper nouns like names are concerned (we may not know how to spell a unique name or industry specific term, but once we run it by you we add it to the dictionary on your account so we will always spell it correctly in the future). Transcripts are provided fully-formatted, with timestamps and speaker labels.
Custom Audiograms (After Effects)
While there are a couple of good services out there which provide audiogram generators (GetAudiogram and Headliner, for example), we find that they lack the level of customization our clients need. During your onbaording process we will work with you to create a completely custom template in Adobe After Effects that we can use to create much more robust audiograms for your podcast episodes. If you already use another service to do this and you are happy with that service, we can take over the process of using that service and generating those templates. We leave this decision to you.
Scheduling and Release Management
The uploading, scheduling, and publishing of your podcast audio on your preferred podcasting hosting provider (Simplecast, Transistor, Captivate, et al). This includes show-noting, transcription upload, artwork uploading, etc.
Every podcast program has a piece of “coverart” that represents it on the podcast directories, but the same is true of a podcasts individual episodes. We will either take on the responsibility of modifying your artwork template for each episode, or we will work with you to create a new artwork template that we will then customize for each individual podcast episode.
Facebook Ads Management (and Growth Strategy)
We’re very good at growing audiences with Facebook ads, and we view the social media platform as a keystone to promotion and growth both early on and in the long term. The White Glove includes the creation and management of an ongoing like campaign, Apple Podcasts subscriber campaign, and individual episode promotion campaigns. This does not include the budget for these campaigns, that’s on you, but it does include our setup, management, and regular tweaking of these campaigns. We suggest a minimum budget of $10/day and $50/episode. If you are a weekly podcast, this comes out to about $500/month. Again, this budget is in addition to the cost of The White Glove. We do not pay for your ad campaigns.