Request for advice on creating a podcast
So I'm creating a podcast for the D&D sessions of my gaming group. I was wondering if anyone had any advice as to what software to use to edit the audio, IE cut out parts as wel as adding in commentry before hand, jingles and so on. I've recorded in audacity but actually going through the entire audio recording and cutting out the silences, or the bits where we diverge seems beyond me and, even it it wasn't,seems very complicated. Any advice would be greatly received.
Audacity is about as easy as it gets, not that it means it is easy. Audio editing is tedious and time consuming at the best of times. Nothing beats practice and patience, while learning a good work flow.
That said, Reaper is an option. It offers more functionality for post production. However, it is a little more complicated and entails a slightly steeper learning curve.
I would much rather edit and mix a song, where I know what is going on and what to expect, than to edit discussions, or long recordings of jam sessions. Unless you can set in file markers, or take detailed notes during the recording to help you find important spots during editing, you will have to listen through the whole recording, often several times. A one hour session may take several hours to edit.
Personally I do all my heavy creation and production in Reaper. But there's one feature in audacity which is very helpful, and that is called the Truncate Silence option. With it you can specify the volume threshold where anything that is below it is considered silence. Then you can set the maximum amount of "silence" you wish to permit, and then the exact length you wish it to be. In other words, you can specify that any sounds below say 40DB are considered silence. SO when nobody is saying anything it's silence. Then you can tell it to cut out any silence longer than say 1 second, and have no more than say a .half or full second silence. I use this all the time because I read slowly out loud when doing my vvoice acting, so I usually read a line, say it, read a line, say it, rince and repeat. I usually have spaces of around fifteen seconds of pure nothing which Truncate silence cuts down on, cutting down also on lots of editing. You'll still need to give it a listen and add a little break of silence maybe here and there when needed, but that's a lot more manageable, especially if you're able to listen to it at a faster play rate.
Windows or Mac? If Mac, I’d recommend Amadeus Pro.
Audacity can certainly do the job and is a very powerful free editing program. Do a Google search for some of the wiki articles that describe how best to use Audacity with a screen reader. There are some very good ones out there.
The easiest program to use for editing with a screen reader is Studio Recorder from the American Printing House for the Blind. This was designed to be used by the blind. Unfortunately it is rather costly.
How do I get reaper for my Mac?
Are there any guides on how to use it with a screen reader?
Is it expensive?
I'm afraid I can't tell you much about reaper for the Mac. I use it with the APC and because I have a little residual vision, it's pretty accessible once you get OSARA, that's Open Source Accessibility Reaper Add on or some such acrinim. Reaper itself can be found by downlo9ading it from the Kokos website. Just do a google search for reaper download and it should come up. Obviously download the mac version. It's $60 for a personal license, which for a DAW is a really great deal, especially considering how fully-featured it is. More importantly for people on a budget, you can "evaluate" the full version for three months officially, and unofficially as long as you want. Just download it and it will work for you. After three months it will start asking you to purchase, but you can simply select "still evaluating". There are comprehensive user manuals, a blog on the Kokos site and more video tutorials than you could ever need. The Reaper Blog Youtube channel is really great. Reaper Mania is likewise really good, though Kenny the guy running it says a lot of "like this" or "right here." Not very descriptive. Google Reaper Mac accessibility and see what you find.