I have been podcasting for more than 2 years and have released 74 Develop Great Managers podcasts. It has been quite a journey – like nothing I have ever done before! I am a content expert but had no experience interviewing, recording, editing, or posting podcasts.

I enjoy creating podcasts and love helping managers to learn from the experts. But I have not been happy with the amount of time that I spend editing, assembling, and improving the quality of the final product.

That is, until now!

This post and podcast describe an editing and content consumption platform called Spext that I have started using which dramatically simplifies the podcast creation process and allows listeners to more effectively listen to and share segments of my podcasts.

If you are interested in producing your own podcasts, or if you create training, internal company messaging, or other similar audio recordings, this might be a good tool for you as well.

Disclosure – I was so impressed with the software and team that I have invested in the company.

The first section is on my original podcast creation process. This is followed by a quick overview of Spext and then how my podcast creation process changed. I then cover content consumption with Spext. And finally wrap everything up, including the amount of time I am now saving on each podcast.

Original Podcast Creation Process

Here is the process that I have been using for my podcast creation for the last year or so. Note that I have done some video recordings as well and posted them on YouTube. When I did that, I used different tools, but have moved back to audio-only.

There are five steps to my process.

  1. Prepare for the podcast.
  2. Record the content.
    • Sometimes I record two or three in a row if the topic is big enough
    • When I do an interview, I first ask a series of questions that I turn into one podcast, and then ask about their career journey that I use for a second podcast.
  3. Record an introduction.
  4. Edit the content and introduction.
  5. Assemble and clean up.
  6. Export and publish.
  7. Market

I will not go into detail about exporting and publishing, nor will I cover marketing. Neither are relevant to this topic.

I created a generic introduction and exit that I use for all of my podcasts. I will also not describe the process that I used to create these, as they are one-time events.


There is a good deal of work required to record a podcast.

  • If I plan to have one or more guests on the podcast, I contact them, determine if they are interested, sometimes schedule a pre-meeting, and then schedule the recording.
    • In the pre-meeting, we catch up on work, life, and discuss the content of the podcast.
  • If the podcast is with other people, I create a list of questions that I ask. These tend to be high-level so that we can dig into each in more detail during the conversation.
    • I share these with the guest(s) so that they can prepare. My preference is that the preparation is limited as it makes for a more interactive conversation, but it is up to each guest as to what makes them comfortable.
  • If the podcast is just myself, I write a blog post ahead of recording. I then use this podcast, sometimes turned into a bullet list, to remind me of the information that I want to share.
  • I write an introduction. If it is just me covering the topic, I will include this at the beginning of the content recording. If I have guests, I write an introduction that includes their background and experience.

Record Podcast Content

There are three ways I record the content.

  1. On my own. I use my Blue Yeti microphone (cardioid) and Audacity.
  2. In-person. We sit across from each other talking into the same microphone (bi-directional), using the Yeti Blue microphone and Audacity.
  3. Remote. Multiple people will use their own speakers and microphone. In most cases, this is a headset that they use for remote meetings. I record using Zoom.

Here are the steps.

  • Begin the recording.
  • If I am recording with one or more guests (in person or remotely).
    • Use Audacity (in person) or Zoom (remote).
    • Chat a bit to relax the guest(s) and make sure they are clear on the process.
    • Do a very simple introduction as I will add a more formal introduction later.
    • Have our conversation.
    • Do an exit, thanking them for their time.
    • If there is a second podcast, we again make sure they are clear on the process.
    • We then go through all of the steps one more time.
  • If it is just me.
    • Use Audacity.
    • Do a more complete introduction (as I will not add one later).
    • Cover the prepared content for the first podcast.
    • Do an exit.
  • Stop the recording.

The result of this is that I have one Audacity file with the content for one or two podcasts. I make a copy of this on a separate storage device.

Record Podcast Introduction

As I mentioned above, I only do a very simple introduction when recording the content of the podcast. I go back later to record the complete introduction(s).

Here are my steps:

  • Use Audacity.
  • Use the introduction that I have written previously.
  • Begin the recording.
  • Make multiple attempts to complete the introduction, sometimes recording a section over and over until I get it right.
  • Stop the recording.

I save the Audacity file(s) on my laptop and make a second copy on a separate storage device.

Edit the Content and Introduction

  • Load the recording into Audacity.
  • Listen to the audio. When there is a segment that I want to delete, I have two options.
    • Make a cut at the beginning of the segment (Edit->Clip Boundaries->Split). Make a cut at the end of the segment. Double-click on the segment. Delete the segment (Edit->Cut).
    • Select the segment by clicking and dragging to select the full segment. Delete the segment (Edit->Cut).
  • Note that selecting and cutting takes a good deal of time.
    • I need to listen to the segment over and over in order to find the right beginning and end of the segment.
    • Typically I need to zoom in to find exactly where I want to make the cut – where there is a pause in the conversation.
    • I then zoom back out and continue the editing process.

I follow exactly the same process when editing the introduction.

I save the Audacity files and generate a .wav file for the introduction which will be used during the final assembly.

Assemble and Clean Up the Podcast

Now that I have all of the components of the podcast, I put them together, remove background noise, normalize the volume, and generate the final podcast files.

  • Open the content file with Audacity.
  • Add the introduction.
    • Import the .wav file
    • Select the “Time Shift Tool”
    • Grab the introduction and slide it is before the content
  • Do the same with the generic introduction (inroll)
  • Do the same with the generic edit (outroll) – adding it to the end of the content.

At this point, I have a complete podcast, but the volume of the segments is different and there is background noise. The final step is to fix these issues, still in Audacity.

Starting with background noise. I do this for both the introduction and the content.

  • Select a good segment where there is no talking
  • Click Effect->Noise Reduction
  • In “Step 1”, click the “Get Noise Profile” button
  • Select the full track
  • Click Effect->Noise Reduction
  • Leave the settings as is in “Step 2” and then click “OK”.

Then I work on normalizing the sound. It is my experience that the Normalize effect does not work well enough. So I adjust the sound manually.

  • If the sound is not loud enough.
    • Select the full track.
    • Click Effect->Amplify
    • Adjust the Amplification and click OK
    • If I am not happy with the results (too loud or too quiet), I click undo (curved back arrow) and try again
  • I then use the “Envelope Tool” on each track to make fine adjustments to lower some areas of the volume where it is too high.
    • Click on the envelope and adjust the volume
    • Repeat…

After all of this, save!

Spext Content Creation

Spext is a great way to edit podcasts. Here is how they describe the tool.

Spext looks like a doc but makes audio editing & publishing as easy as text. Edit audio by editing the auto-generated transcript & add music or voices.

This changes everything! All you need to do is edit the text. Spext does the rest for you.

Spext provides the core capabilities that podcasters require. Note that this aligns perfectly with the features that I have been using for my podcast.

  • Remove background noise
  • Normalize volume
  • Add background music
  • Insert clips (introduction, advertisements, etc.)
  • Export in many formats (.wav, .flac, .mp3, .sesx, .txt, .doc, .srt, .vvt)

The tools that I mentioned above have a large number of additional features. But for me, the features provided by Spext are perfect for my use case!

New Podcast Creation Process

The new podcast creation process is similar in a number of ways.

  1. Record the content using the same tools (Audacity or Zoom).
  2. Record an introduction (using Audacity).
  3. Delete segments of the introduction and content that are not needed for the final version.
  4. Assemble the final podcast from multiple parts.
  5. Remove background noise and normalize the volume.

What is different is how simple this is to do with Spext.

Edit the Content and Introduction

  • Load the recording into Spext (upload).
  • Read the transcribed content, selecting the sections that I want to delete and “Cut”.
    • You can still see the original text greyed out in case you want to add it back.
  • Where gaps are too long in the conversation, denoted by a “-” for each second, I select some and “Cut”.
    • This improves the flow of the conversation.
  • If desired, filler words can also be removed. Some of these, such as “uh” and “um” are highlighted in red to make it easy to find them.
    • Use the same process, select and “Cut”.

That’s it. You are done!

I follow exactly the same process when editing the introduction.

There is no need to save files. That happens automatically.

Export the introduction so that it can be added back when assembling the podcast.

  • Select “Export”.
  • Select .wav or .mp3.
  • Download the exported file.

Assemble and Clean Up the Podcast

Now that the files are edited, we assemble, remove background noise and normalize volume.

Assemble the podcast

  • Go to the content file (in Spext)
  • Select the location where you want to insert the introduction (there will be a + sign).
    • Click on the +, Sound, Upload Music, Upload from Computer
    • Select the introduction .wav file and click Open
    • Give the file a name
    • The file is inserted
  • Repeat for the inroll and outroll
    • If you have used these files previously, they will be there – you do not need to upload them again.

You can choose to change the fade in and out for the files that you added. I will not go into detail about how to do this.

Now that you have assembled your podcast, it is time to remove the background noise, normalize the volume, and create the final version.

This is INCREDIBLY easy. Just click the “Export” button on the upper right. You will be asked if you want the background noise removed and the volume normalized. By default, these are selected. You can unselect as well. Then proceed with the export. I use .mp3 as that is the format I post with.

Once the export is complete, you can download the file.


Spext Content Consumption

In addition to the creation capabilities that Spext provides, it also has an impressive set of consumption capabilities that makes listening and sharing snippets of a podcast a unique experience.

Spext provides a player much like the players on other sites. But what is unique is that there is a “Read” tab that contains the transcription of the podcast. As the podcast plays, the words are highlighted in the text.

If you find a section of the podcast that you want to share. All you do is select the words, sentences, or paragraphs for that section. You then click on “Snippet.” The result is a URL that you can share on social media, email, or anywhere else.

When the person clicks on the Snippet, they will only hear that section of the podcast!


As you can see from the discussion above, Spext dramatically simplifies the creation of a podcast. Let me give you a rough idea of how much time it saves me. Note that editing and cleanup are dependent on the length of the podcast, so assume these are averages for a 20-minute podcast.

EditingAssemblyClean Up
Old Approach80 Minutes15 Minutes30 Minutes
Spect Approach30 Minutes10 Minutes0 Minutes

There is more to creating a podcast than editing, assembly, and cleanup. But for these three areas, Spext reduces the time that I spend by 70%. I could not be happier!!

The other really cool aspect of Spext is allowing for more consumer/user engagement. They can easily take a clip from a podcast and share it with others.

Spext is not for everyone. At least not yet. But for my use case, and I expect lots of other podcasts, training, or other audio production use cases, it has the features required and provides a great consumption experience!

See Also

Categories: PeopleTools


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *