How to create an intro (and outro) for your podcast in Audacity

How to make an efficient and foolproof podcast intro (or outro). Obtain and import a music track, record your intro monologue as a second track, then use Audacity's normalization, compression, truncate silence, and auto-ducking effects.

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Just go ahead and open Audacity. It should look just like this. And first thing is you want to just save the project somewhere. Don't wanna lose any of our work. So I'll just call it podcast intro. All right. And now you should have already found some kind of music sample that you want to use.

[00:00:21] So wherever that is, find it and just drag it in to Audacity, just like that. And you should see a waveform up here, something like this. So if you click up here anywhere, should get a sample of the audio, should be able to hear it. So let's just leave that for a minute and now go to Tracks, up here, and go to Add New.

[00:00:47] And then depending on what kind of setup you have, probably stereo, click Stereo. Alright. And now with that selected, you can, whenever you're ready, click the record button and then speak the intro that you want to have for your podcast. Something that you might have to check is you have to go up here to the Microphone Setting in this dropdown menu and make sure that it's using the microphone that you want to be speaking into.

[00:01:18] Okay. I'm going to change mine to the Rodecaster, which I prefer. Also, you might have to change this to stereo, like I have to. So I just went and did that and here you can see the result I have a track down here. So now let's just clean this up a little bit. We use this Selection Tool and just delete the part where it's empty.

[00:01:44] You can do the same on the end. We can also do some basic processing now. Like truncate silence. You see there's some gaps where I stopped to think. So just click Select, go to Effects and then do Truncate Silence. I like the defaults. Just click. Okay. All right. Just tightens it up a little bit.

[00:02:06] So now we have two tracks, audio, the music and audio for the speaking of the intro. So now what we need to do is we need to reduce the volume of the music while I'm talking. What we'll need to do is go ahead and grab this tool up here, the Time Shift tool, click that.

[00:02:28] And then now you can drag this. So I like to be pretty efficient. I don't want to make my listeners wait too long, but we might for instance, move it just, you might want to play around with it. See what feels like the right amount of time. Everybody. My name is Justin. That might be good. Maybe even a little tighter.

[00:02:52] So let's do that. Okay. So now what I think we should do is go ahead and Select both of the tracks, or you can press command-A, and let's do Loudness Normalization. Go to Effect and Loudness Normalization. And that way it'll make them the same volume and let's put the Compressor on as well. So go to Effect, good, Compressor defaults are fine.

[00:03:27] Okay. Give it a listen. "My name is Justin Murphy and this is the Other Life podcast where I talk with..." Okay. So now you have it where you want it in terms of the beginning. So now what you need to do is Select just the music track. Go ahead. And now we want to do Auto Ducking. Okay, give this a listen.

[00:03:55] "Hey everybody. My name is Justin Murphy and this is the other life podcast where I talk with..." Sounds pretty good. The only other thing we need to do is clip off this bit to where you want it, say something like about there, and give it a listen. Maybe a little bit more, that's a bit abrupt right there.

[00:04:25] All right. And then we want to do is we want to add a fade in actually what you want to do is just select this bit and then apply the Effect of Fade In. There we go.

[00:04:44] "Hey everybody. My name is Justin Murphy and this is the Other Life podcast." And then also you want to Fade Out, Select just the end of it and then click Fade Out. Alright. "Now onto the show..."

[00:05:05] And there you have it. That's all there is to it. You can tweak a little bit how long you want the intro music bit to be before the talking starts and same with after the talking, that's all up to your preferences. So for instance, I took a little bit more time to play around with what I think sounded best.

[00:05:22] And here's what I ended up with for my particular case. I actually have about four seconds of time for the music to play at the beginning. And about four or five at the end. And a little note also is that I applied the Fade In and Fade Out to just about one second. So pretty much from about here to there is where I clicked the effect for Fade Out.

[00:05:52] And then from about here to here or so is where I clicked the effect for Fade In, because Fade In and Fade Out only apply to what part of the track is selected. Okay. So I'll let you hear how it sounds. My final product that I'm actually going to use.

[00:06:19] "My name is Justin Murphy, and this is," Can you hear that? Nice, soft.

[00:06:31] But it's still a few seconds to actually listen to the music without being too long and annoying.

[00:06:43] Boom. There you go. But this basic workflow, I think, is very good and will suit most purposes. So all you have to do now is export and go to file export as MP3, and go ahead and save it. Those default settings should be fine. And then you can use that in your podcast productions from there.