ow many passes do you do for a podcast that’s audio AND video? A possibly more interesting question is how do you listen differently during these two very different kinds of edits? And that’s where I’m pitching the editing feature today.
Is it audio or video?
Audio and video are two different types of edits. It’s true that I have some clients that want the video edited and then just repurpose the audio from that. It’s not my favorite method but for some budgets, it makes sense. In an ideal world, audio and video should be different edits.
It may seem obvious but …
audio=editing for the ear
video=editing for the eyes
You can have far more verbal stumbles in a video without viewers noticing or caring but in audio, it would be a deal breaker. I’m going to describe how I listen differently to video and audio.
Step 1: Set up my video editing notes
I always start with the video edit for two main reasons. 1. podcast videos are either lightly edited OR heavily edited. There isn’t an in-between. I edit lightly.
But before I even open Reaper, the DAW I use for video editing, I first make an outline on paper of the written assets needed (title, keywords, etc). I could make these notes in a digital document but having the paper in front of me grounds me and constantly reminds me WHAT I’m listening for. Here’s an example of my own Geopats episode I’m working on for December. For privacy reasons, I’m not using notes for clients’ episodes.
The sections aren’t always in the same place but they are always there. The timestamps are for YouTube, the title ideas are for the podcast and video, keywords are for YouTube (along with whatever TubeBuddy recommends), the sound notes are for the audio pass and the thumbnail is for the YouTube video.
Step 2: set up the video in Reaper
Then I load the files into Reaper, do some initial arranging, spot listening, and add needed effects (usually for reverb and to enhance the voices). Then I can finally start the listen-through. I listen through once at regular speed. If it’s an hour-long video I may take a break. I’m essentially taking notes for YouTube and the show notes at the same time, so I expect it to take 1.5 to 2 times the length of the video. And I price accordingly so I have this breathing (or stretching) room.
A(nother) note on Jump Cuts:
The video edit has very few cuts. Because jump cuts. I wrote about that in more detail in issue # 73’s feature (ctrl-F/cmd-F “jump cuts” to find it fast).
Step 3: The video listen through
In addition to the YouTube and show notes information, I also listen for a few things in this video pass. They’re mostly the things I do remove.
I listen to the video more than watch it
Because it's a talking head interview podcast video, I'm not doing any fancy animations or such. And frankly, there isn't a lot happening on the screen. I do have it up and I'm listening attentively and looking up at it often, but I'm usually NOT staring at the screen.
I used to. I used to do a few video passes but then I realized that their voices tell me next to everything I need to know about what's happening visually on the screen.
So I stopped. And now I mostly listen. The Reaper video screen is on and I'm taking those video pass notes but I'm also usually doing something else. Maybe I lightly tidy up my desk. Maybe I do some squats (a recent obsession thanks to Freeletics. Anything that doesn't take brainpower from my listening time for the video.
I don't do this method with new clients’ videos because I’m not used to their video habits yet. And I wouldn't do this without looking up at the screen often. Sound editing is too busy to take these notes so when there's a video and audio edit for the same episode, I definitely write down things for the show notes during the video pass.
Step 4: the audio pass
Well, that leaves the audio pass. This one is something that we talk about all the time, so I'm not going to go into as much detail here about it. I'll reiterate that it's a much more intense listening experience. Even during the moments of a few mistakes and adjustments, it's immersive.
The audio version is the second listening of the episode but in a sense, it’s the first time I’m absorbing the content. I don’t know how but I’m able to take keywords and show notes in the video pass without paying that much attention to the overall conversation. Could be the hyper-focus that comes with autism perhaps. I’m not kidding when I say I can walk away from a video edit and not remember what I just listened to.
But that never happens with an audio edit. I absorb those conversations like a sponge. Why is this? What is this? Is this a difference between audio and video OR is the show notes task the reason my retention level is so different?