While editing my first podcast episode I worked in Pro Tools. It was my DAW of choice at the time and since my school provided it through their computers I just continued using it. However, with the need to work out a setup that would work for me post-graduation Pro Tools didn’t have too many Pro:s after all. The main problem with Pro Tools is of course its cost. I really like Pro Tools as a DAW but the fact that there are limitations in amounts of channels, if you don’t invest in an HD-system, it isn’t ideal for a home studio. That might not be a problem in editing podcast but if you have any other work in audio, in mixing or production for example, it might become a hustle bouncing down tracks to mono and sum things which is not really friendly to workflow.
Reaper as a podcast editing tool
Concerning podcast editing only there are one or two issues with editing podcasts in Pro Tools. The first one is probably that there’s no actual way to make changes to shortcuts and the ones that exists doesn’t work too well with podcast editing. The second is that you can’t change the playback speed without altering the speed of the audio file itself. These were the main problems that made me look for another solution. Looking through YouTube videos and trying out DAW:s, Reaper then made its way as the number one alternative for podcast editing for me.
Reapers action list function is pure GOLD when it comes to quick editing. For me there are two action commands that are essential for editing a podcast episode. I use A for a list of commands that first enables Ripple editing, sort of Pro Tools shuffle mode but a bit more advanced, splits the file on both sides of the marked material, and then deletes that section. The Ripple edit mode doesn’t allow empty space between clips and therefore forces all material together. You can see why this come in handy in podcast editing. I also ride the volume a lot while editing and then I use Z as a function for splitting a file under the mouse pointer. That makes it easy to just quickly separate a phrase and then use clip gain to ride the volume.
When I’ve completed an episode I’d like to listen to it for errors. A standard episode is usually 40-50 minutes which is quite some time. Therefore, I use the playback speed function in Reaper to increase the playback speed to 1,5x. This saves me a lot of time listening for errors and it also sounds very natural. You could probably even use it while editing if you’d like.
The first podcast episode I’ve ever edited took me about 8 hours. That’s a full day of work. Now when I’ve transferred to Reaper and found a workflow I’m down to about 2,5 – 3 hours an episode. Of course, this is also due to a lot more experience but Reaper has arguably helped me a lot and is now my companion in everything from recording to mixing and editing. If you want some help with getting used to Reaper coming from Pro Tools there is great help to get over at protoolstoreaper.com. If you’re into podcast editing I’ve also made my Reaper actions available through this link. If you want any help with editing your podcast don’t hesitate to contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org.