How 'Hello Internet' is Edited

During the editing of the Christmas episode of Hello Internet I recorded the screen for a time-lapse video. This show was unusually long so it ended up being 11 hours compressed down into an hour. For those of you interested in the details, here is how my editing process looks:

Edit 1: The Rough Cut

Two things happen here:

1) Alignment

Brady and I use the dirty-sounding double-ender recording method: he records the audio locally on his end, I do the same on my end and additionally I record the call with both of us.

The first thing that needs to be done is to sync our two local recordings using the recording with both of us. Double-ended recording adds a lot of work but has the benefit of making the audio quality much higher.

2) Cut Boring Nonsense

There are many things that can obviously be cut: technical problems, segments that don't work out or that are just boring.

Because this phase doesn't require visual attention in the same way as other tasks, I can play a game during this phase. Prison Architect has been my go-to at this stage from the beginning.

When complete, this edit gets sent to Brady to listen to for any edit suggestions.

Edit 2: The Precision Cut

(Starts at 17:45)

This is where most of the work happens. This edit is to tighten the podcast as much as possible: I'm listening for any sentence (or word) that can be cut without loss. I don't cut all the 'ummms' because then it wouldn't sound like a real conversation but I do cut as many of the annoying ones as I can.

Any conversation over The Internet is going to have some points where the participants talk over each other. Another advantage of double-ended recording is it allows me during this edit to pull apart those sections for easier listening.

Edit 3: the Final Cut

(Starts at 39:00)

This edit is for three things:

1) Add in the sponsor reads and jingles

If I'm on top of things I've recorded my ads and gotten any of Brady's ads between cut 2 and cut 3. This is the time to figure out where they go best and to add in the theme and jingles.

2) Create the show notes.

On the final listen through I add in links to the things we have discussed in the video. While in theory I could do this in edit 1, I'd rather wait until all the cuts have been made.

(You do know about the show notes, right? You can easily look at / click on them because you're using a podcast app like you should right?)

3) Listen for errors.

I've learned from experience it's easy to make pretty embarrassing errors in edit 2, so this listen through is to catch them. While I listen to the first cut at 2x and the second cut at 1.5x this final cut is at normal or almost-normal speed because there are sometimes little audio glitches that are difficult to notice at the faster speeds.

Why Bother?

Why take all this time editing the show if it's just a casual, two-dudes-talking show? Well, let's be honest: many two dudes talking shows are death to listen to. Many people who start podcasting assume that sounding casual also means that the process of creation is casual. But it's often the reverse: a casual sound requires a lot more effort to make it bearable to actually listen to. While there are some podcast naturals who can just roll the tape and let it fly, that's not me. Luckily that can be fixed with work.