This has been a year of new creative projects for me. In addition to some personal endeavors that have not yet seen the light of day, I joined Federico as co-host of Adapt, a new iPad-focused podcast on Relay FM. Learning the art of expressing my Apple taking speech rather than text has been an adventure in itself, but I have also grown to cultivate a very different skill: audio editing.
When I was accused of editing this iPad-focused podcast, I naturally turned to an iPad-based editing tool: every episode of Adapt was edited in Ferrite Recording Studio, and I've never tried to use a different app. podcasters I am familiar with edit in Logic, but my Mac mini device is purposely used as little as possible, so I knew when I pushed into podcasting that I wanted an iPad-based solution if possible. On several occasions I have heard and read Jason Snell extol the virtues of Ferrite, so that was the app I turned to.
Getting started with podcast editing can be extremely daunting, even with an app like Ferrite built for it. . There are many settings, and unless you have previous experience working with audio, you probably have no idea what any of them are doing. I learned a lot from Ferrite's user manual the first few days, and they mentioned the Jason Snell articles about Six Colors. And before long, I found an editing setup that worked well for me. Now I want to share it with you.
Everyone has their own preferred method of editing podcasts, so while I hope to document my own workflow will be useful, what I share should not be taken on prescription in any way. Ferrite offers a variety of tools and ways to work with it, many of which I do not use. For example, I've heard the app fits nicely with the Apple pencil, but I never use my pencil in editing ̵
The template I use for Adapt contains three tracks where sound can live: the top track is where I set my own sound, the middle track holds Federicos, and the bottom track always contains our intro and outro music. The intro music is at the beginning of the episode, while the cheating is placed about an hour in because of the average length of our show. The other two tracks, while initially blank in the template, most importantly retain the respective effect settings that I have previously configured.
For both my own track and Federicos, I used Ferrite's Noise Gate effect as part of the Adapt template. Currently, the same settings apply to both our tracks: Noise Gate has a -14db threshold, 30ms opening time and 200ms closing time. It has taken a lot of trial and error to make minor adjustments to get to these levels so they can change again, but for now they are working well for me. Noise Gate cuts noise below a certain threshold, which I primarily use to eliminate unwanted breathing sounds, but it also helps with water splits and other unwanted ones.
Besides having all my track needs set up automatically, another benefit of creating new projects from templates is that metadata such as display artwork and display name does not need to be entered more than once. I put them in months ago and they are saved with my template.
After Federico and I finish recording an episode, I jump into Ferrite, find my Adapt template and hit the new project button on the left. Then I renamed the project with the title of the new episode, and updated a few other metadata, then went into the editor.
My first step from here is to import the correct audio files. Pressing a track shows the Import option, which loads Ferrite's library – but my files aren't there yet, so I press Import again, add the recording to the library and select it from there; I repeat the same process for Federico's recording.
After the files are loaded into the editor, I tap on each and select the Strip Silence action, which divides a long, continuous stream of audio into a whole bunch of smaller excerpts. I think this is an important step to make my life easier during full editing – cutting clips is much faster when you don't have to split them from a longer track. When this step is done, I'm ready to really begin.
As I already mentioned, I like to keep my hands on the keyboard as much as I can while editing, and I am able to because Ferrite offers a comprehensive set of keyboard shortcuts, all customizable to your taste. The whole set of actions is far wider than what I actually use, but the ones I use are invaluable in the editing process. Listed below are the shortcuts I trust and the keystrokes I have configured for them.
- Spacebar = Play / Pause
- Left / Right arrow = Rewind / Fast forward three seconds
- B = Adds a chapter bookmark with title
- S = Selects what's below the game head
- Command + A = Selects all of the following audio in all tracks
- Command + S = Shares selected track on game head
- Command + Delete = Deletes selected track  An iPad app that exposes virtually all features such as a shortcut; It is even rarer to find one that lets you customize each of these shortcuts to which keystrokes you prefer. These features are common on Mac, but Ferrite is one of the only iPad apps that exposes this level of power and flexibility.
Some conversation style program editors like Adapt don't listen to the entire episode in the edit, and instead just remove unwanted bits they noticed during recording. Maybe someday I'll do it myself, but for now I prefer to work through episodes from beginning to end, making tweaks as I go based on what I hear.
As I listen through an episode, I add chapters where needed, as well as cut out moments when we had to stop talking briefly, perhaps because of sirens outside my New York apartment window. More than these things, however, I enjoy listening throughout the episode so I can make minor tweaks that result in a better finished product. These minor touches fall into two basic categories: power-induced deviations and speech polishing agents. The former refers to tiny blips that are usually remnants of the noise gate's work. Sometimes the gate will clear most of the breath, but not completely; a little bit passes through, which results in an unwanted deviation, which I trim. Speech polishing is something like shortening excessive breaks between words, when applicable, and eliminating & # 39; um & # 39; and & # 39; uh & # 39; Sounds when you do, would not make the remaining speech sound unnatural.
My process of making these smaller cuts involves some of the shortcuts mentioned above. When I hear something that needs to be removed, I do the following:
- Pause using the space bar.
- Press S to select the current clip.
- Use Command + S to split the clip at the selection point.
- Using the touch, crop the new clip to remove unwanted sound; If I make a very small cut, I will first pinch to zoom in so that my crop can be more precise.
If all I remove is a slight discrepancy between words, I can stop there. However, if the audio I deleted leaves an unwanted space between two clips, I have a few more steps to complete.
- Hit Command + A so that current and all future clips are selected.
- Take the selection via drag and drop and move it to the current location.
- Finally, I either use the left arrow to go back for a few seconds, or do it manually by touch, before I press the space bar to resume playback and make sure the edits achieved what I intended.
Depending on what form the recording is in, and how much work it needs, I can perform this action sequence just a few times per episode, but in some cases I've even done it dozens of times in a single edit . However, it has become such a habit that it only takes a few seconds per occurrence.
After listening through a full episode, it should have all the edits and chapters it needs to then export and upload to Libsyn, where Relay FM hosts the audio. The only potential work I may still need to do is add chapter-specific artwork or links if the episode requires it; if so, it is done from the chapter editor screen, which I have configured as a button in the ferrite shortcuts toolbar at the bottom of the screen. Once done, I removed from the Ferrites Library sharing icon and saved the finished episode to the Apple Files app, where it is ready to be added to Libsyn.
Over the last few months of editing the podcast, I've found that so much of the work involves setting yourself up for success. If you have poor footage, or you do not know what effects or automations to use, or you have not optimized keyboard shortcuts, pencil movements or a template to your needs, the editing process can be a major beating of manual work that takes too long. But when you land on proper preparation and configuration, editing becomes easier and less time-consuming.
Since I have never tried any other app, it is impossible for me to compare Ferrite Recording Studio with editing options. Although the app can be challenging to navigate initially alone, as the way it is organized is not the most intuitive or standard for iOS, I quickly got used to it and have no desire to edit anywhere else. It does exactly what I would hope for: provide tools that I can customize to my liking, so each edit is a pleasant experience rather than a frustration.
Developing a new creative skill is always a challenge, but it becomes much more manageable when you have the right tools at your disposal.