Editing sermon audio, if you've never done it, may seem either a daunting task, or unnecessary -- after all, it sounded GREAT during the service, why wouldn't it sound GREAT on the recording???
Trust me - it might not.
Editing can be a very simple or a very tough task, depending on the problems you need to fix. One thing is for sure though, you need to process the audio if for no other reason, than to make the volume levels more consistent and fade in and fade out the beginning and end.
Keep in mind that you now have an audience for the audio content you're producing here. You've already got a live audience in the congregation that you are mixing to. You want to make sure that they are hearing the proper levels for the instruments, drums and vocals. You're listening very carefully to make sure that the guitar doesn't get overpowered by the piano.
That same care now needs to go into serving your new audience, the ones listening to the podcast. Remember, they either are in their car listening, or they have their earbuds in. So take care that you're providing as wonderful an experience as you can for them.
There are a few simple steps that you'll need to perform EVERY time you edit. If NOTHING else, be sure that you do these basic things:
- Normalize the volume levels -- this sets the volume to 100% based on the loudest part of your audio file. It's REAL important when you have recorded at a very low level
- Raise the volume levels for quite patches in the audio file. This fixes the volume differences between the worship service and the speaking or corporate prayer times.
- Fade in the beginning of the audio file / Fade out the ending. -- This just makes a nice aural experience for the listener -- it's not ABRUPT.