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Clean Cut Audio is dedicated to educating and inspiring higher standards of audio in podcasting. Every week, audio engineer and podcast producer Tom Kelly will teach editing tips, workflow tricks, and necessary values that will help you produce a better sounding podcast more efficiently.
 
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New Zealand freediver William Trubridge’s determination to overcome human limits one breath at a time has granted him several world records reaching depth up to 124 meters. In this episode, William will tell us how freedivers use breathing techniques to help them stay underwater for more than four minutes during a deep dive reaching a state of abso…
 
The two nature guides Henry Fletcher and Jay Simpson, lead walking artist residencies and conservation camps along ancient herding routes in the jagged landscape of Iceland’s Westfjords with its glaciers, moss-green mountains, hot springs, black sand beaches, and basalt cliffs. Confined to their homes due to the pandemic, Henry and Jay started to d…
 
Robert Dziak is an oceanographer and the Acoustics Program Manager at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. His job is to listen to the deep sea, collecting clues about the health of our oceans. He does that with the help of so-called hydrophones pressure-resistant underwater microphones. In this episode, he will share his findings f…
 
The latest light-installation by Dutch artist-designer Daan Roosegaarde turns a 20,000 square-meter leek field into a luminous dreamscape of red and blue light. It’s a tribute to the farmers cultivating the fields that feed the world while also inspiring us to imagine a more sustainable future. For the installation, Roosegaarde drew inspiration fro…
 
The Mexican design studio La Metropolitana produces high-end wood furniture for the interior of award-winning design hotels, restaurants, and retail stores. But this episode is not so much about their products but rather about how design can be used as a tool to tackle social issues. La Metropolitana addresses the challenges that occur when people …
 
This episode, we set on an acoustic journey through African American History and visit places like Nina Simone's childhood home, the birthplace of hip hop in New York, and, among others, Villa Lewaro, the legacy of America's first black female millionaire. Brent Leggs, the director of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, will share h…
 
The American artist Michael Jantzen approaches his work through the eyes of an inventor. Inspired by the ideas of Buckminster Fuller and his emphasis on energy efficiency in design, Jantzen uses the architectural language to create inhabitable structures that are energy-efficient, flexible, and question conventional architectural practices. His wor…
 
I wanted the opportunity to let you all know that I'm taking a break from the podcast for a while! I plan on coming back in a few months with a greater sense of purpose, focus, and a stronger grasp of how I can best educate those who are looking to make their podcasts sounds better! If you're looking to stay connected and updated, you can keep up w…
 
It's very important to know that every compressor is different and it will make your audio sound differently depending on how it processes the gain reduction. There is a time and place for every different style of compressor, and in this episode we listen to 4 different styles of compression at 3 different amounts of compression applied to my voice…
 
Meet Akosua Afriyie-Kumi, fashion designer and entrepreneur from Kumasi, Ghana. Akosua is the founder of ethical accessory label A A K S producing beautifully woven raffia bags sold in renowned retail stores such as Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie. AAKS celebrates traditional weaving techniques done by women in the North of Ghana. The production…
 
Compression is a topic I've covered extensively (but also not nearly enough) on my YouTube channel. Even with all the hours of teaching I've done on the topic, I've barely touched on the other incredible effects and benefits of learning proper compression techniques. While a perfectly dialed in compressor will certainly help level out your dynamic …
 
Death has a crazy way of putting a lot of things into perspective. With the recent passing on my dog and best friend Levi, I've been thinking a lot about what audio and podcasting REALLY means to me. It got me thinking of the Alexander Supertramp quote "Happiness is only real when shared". We as podcasters tend to hole ourselves in a spare bedroom,…
 
Something I've been seeing recently in Facebook groups and forums is people claiming they can't be great at audio because they don't have a degree or formal education in audio engineering. If that's you, let me offer some personal insight. I'm one of those chumps who spent 4 years and a TON of money on a degree in audio engineering, and I've lived …
 
Many folks think noise reduction is something that can only be done in post production, but I'm here to tell you that's a bald-faced lie. The best noise reduction is accomplished WHILE recording your podcast! "The best offense is a great defense" type of vibes. There are SO many things we can do to make sure that noise (see also: unwanted sound) is…
 
When new podcasters or audio engineers are reaching out to their peers for help with their production, it's not uncommon to hear the super frustrating and unhelpful response of "just trust your ears". Unfortunately when you're so new to audio, that means nothing. It's a lazy cop out that relieves the person being asked for help from actually teachi…
 
I vow to never stop talking about local recordings until every podcast on Earth at least KNOWS it's an option. Whether or not they choose to sound good is up to them. A local recording eliminates all the fail points and fidelity degrading processes by writing all your 0's and 1's directly to your computer without any consideration of WiFi strength,…
 
When it comes to mixing audio, you'd be hard pressed to find a more lively debate than the one between headphones and studio monitors. There are a LOT of pros and cons to each, and in this episode we explore many of the arguments for each side along with some brief lessons on HRTF (head related transfer function) and the psychoacoustics of how we l…
 
My father always taught me the worst thing you can do is to constantly compare yourselves to others. It can be limiting, anxiety inducing, and can guide you off the path you should be taking in life. Every person, every voice, and every experience is unique and should be treated as such. However! When we're duding our own audio quality, it's import…
 
The title says it all. You can almost stop reading now if you want to. But, I find buying used gear to be one of the most valuable "life hacks" when it comes to buying audio gear for podcasting. Podhacks? Anyways, in audio production, with very few exceptions, you get what you pay for, and usually spending a *little* extra money can go a very long …
 
No matter what instrument you are recording, how it was recorded, or what hardware it was recorded with, you will always capture unwanted frequencies. That's what this entire series on frequency has lead to, identifying and properly removing unpleasant sounds. While there's more to it than this, one type of very unpleasant sound is a resonant frequ…
 
As we start to wrap up this long series on frequency, we work our way towards the natural conclusion, export settings. While sample rate and bit depth can be and are recording settings and are decided at the beginning of the session, we also have options when bouncing down (see also: exporting) our sessions. The same goes for what bitrate mp3 to co…
 
This episode focuses on a phrase I say often on the show, humans are more perceptive to change than to constants. So far, this series on frequency has been in relation to 1 voice, but most podcasts feature at least 2 speakers. The fastest way to lose podcast listeners is to have a wild difference in loudness between the 2 or more speakers. However,…
 
Could this title sound any more clinical? Geez. Anyways, this is a super exciting episode! Building upon the frequency band listening exercises last week, we are now exploring more subtle and intentional moves when it comes to equalizing vocals for a podcast! In this episode we look at 10 different octave bands ranging from 32Hz to 16kHz and explor…
 
In order to produce a great sound, we first need to learn how to hear good sound. In this listening heavy episode, we isolate the 7 frequency bands in the audible spectrum to hear what they sound like in isolation, and what it sounds like when they're completely removed from the signal. All of the previous episodes and these listening exercises, in…
 
When it comes to audio and creating a good sound, everyone will tell you "just trust your ears". It's a blanket statement that really means "spend the next 30 years figuring this out, because this rabbit hole is deeper than you could possibly imagine". This becomes exponentially more difficult when we realize our audio is lying to us, ALWAYS! Build…
 
You can't master your craft until you've mastered the fundamentals ten times over. This week's episode is all about the fundamentals. What is sound? How does it travel from one place to another? What is wavelength and how does it correspond to a frequency? All of these questions are answered within the episode, and plenty of visual can be found in …
 
There are many hills I'm willing to die on, but one I never feel bad about is that your podcast, my podcasts, everyone's podcast is a performance. Even for those who are "just talking to their buds around a couple cold ones" are still in front of a microphone working a non-zero amount to create a product for someone to potentially listen to. I thin…
 
"With great power comes great responsibility". We all know the phrase, but when it comes to editing a podcast, we don't keep it in mind. The ability to edit audio on such a microscopic level is an INSANELY POWERFUL ability, and we need to use this power for good and do it responsibly. JOIN THE FUN ON PATREON! I think what people struggle with the m…
 
I see a lot of folks (sometimes myself, even) using the word "editing" as a catch-all term for anything that comes after recording a podcast. If you're a solo creator, meaning you don't collaborate with another on the production, this may not be a big deal. Call it whatever you want, no one has to know. BUT, this becomes a much bigger issue when yo…
 
When it comes to interfaces, mixers, and portable recorders, not all are created equal. I would even dare to say neither of them are comparable to each other! There are many reasons why I think this, but the spec we're focusing on today is the preamps, and specifically the noise created by budget quality recording devices. Let's start at the very b…
 
One of the most exciting and most crucial times in a podcaster's career is either buying gear for the first time, or finally upgrading after months or years of steady growth and eventual justification for spending all that hard earned cash. However, there's a lot of unanswered questions when it comes to "what gear should I buy". The WORST answer to…
 
I've said it over and over and over again, your audio is mainly defined by your microphone technique and your recording environment. Last week we recorded mic technique, so here we are with the environment! Reverberations are caused when a sound (ie. your voice) bounces off your walls over and over again, hundreds of times a second, and each time i…
 
I've said in the past that the most important factors to your sound is your environment and your microphone technique. The two are linked together pretty closely, and one slight change to either can drastically affect your signal. In this episode, we explore several different microphone techniques with the Shure SM7b, not to find which one is "righ…
 
Being a podcaster or a podcast producer can be lonely business. Long nights in your pitch black walk-in closet, the basement, or the forgotten spare bedroom can take its toll on anyone brave enough to enter to wild world of podcasting. The reason so many podcasts fade out after 7-8 episodes (which is so lovingly called "podfading") is because the w…
 
While we are all striving for the best audio we can achieve, learning all the ins and outs of audio can be daunting, especially when we really just want to be focusing on the content of our podcasts. This episode is geared towards the low hanging fruit, the techniques anyone can put into place with their current equipment to immediately and dramati…
 
Since the beginning of time, or podcasting at least, it has been generally well received that having great audio quality isn't really that important, especially when compared to content and marketing. That may have been true for a long time, but the times they are a-changin' my friend. With massive media corporations and A-list celebrities entering…
 
Often times in life, the only thing holding you back from achieving greatness is yourself. I find this true to be for audio. In podcasting, there is this culture I can't quite wrap my head around that seems to always be aiming for the bottom. "Don't buy that nice microphone what you can totally get away with this $17 karaoke microphone from Radio S…
 
Welcome to the brand new Clean Cut Audio podcast. This is a show for new and seasoned podcasters who are looking to take their audio production to the next level. Every week, Tom will share actionable tips and tricks that you can implement into your podcasts RIGHT NOW that will make them sound great, and make them easier and faster to produce. In t…
 
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