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Old 11-07-2019, 03:43 PM
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The problem I have with some podcasts


So I am attempting to watch this podcast(it was a link provided in another thread), and it immediately reminded me of those old "Max Headroom" videos-lots of cuts that ruined the flow of conversation. It was like every single sentence was recorded separately, then the whole thing was spliced together. The cheap-ass cartoon he was commenting on flowed a lot smoother than his narrative, in fact. I have noticed this in more than a few other podcasts I've sampled, and I was wondering if there was a reason for this style of podcasting?
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Old 11-07-2019, 05:55 PM
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Another example of the same podcast style. Is there a reason for this?
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:08 PM
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Its cheap and easy. I used to do my show as a single take of 15 minutes of dialogue it would take me 4 or 5 runs to get it right. My editor talked me into just jumping back a line or two of dialog and running through it again that way the splice seems natural. On my tv show they just had me record single lines and it was really hard to sound natural. Its quicker to just redo a flubbed line and just drop it in then it is do re do a whole paragraph even if it sounds a lot better.

The other thing is I've been through 3 editors on my show and the cheapest one made the dialog sound the choppiest and did the worst job. Making money on podcasts is really hard so a lot of shows try to be produced for the lowest amount possible which tends to make them sound choppier.
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:08 PM
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Not sure if it's me or you, but I wouldn't consider either of your links podcasts and the description of the issue your having is not one I consider endemic to podcasts but to online video, and maybe more specifically the video essay.

They're using jump cuts.

There could be a lot of reasons as to why they cut so frequently, but I suspect the main one is, they have a habit of recording everything in one go and repeating lines until they like how it sounds. Then they take that hour of footage and edit out all the versions of each line that they don't like.

Honestly, while I notice jump cuts, I rarely, if ever notice them when I'm not looking for them.

Last edited by Inner Stickler; 11-07-2019 at 06:08 PM.
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:15 PM
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Yeah, this is just an artifact of cheap production. Longer cuts require more rehearsal or more takes to get more stuff right all at once, or expensive editing to make it seem like there wasn't an abrupt cut.

Also: videos aren't podcasts.
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Oredigger77 View Post
My editor talked me into just jumping back a line or two of dialog and running through it again that way the splice seems natural.
Having been in the audience for a taping of Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me once, I saw them do this sort of thing. Sometimes Peter and Carl (this was back when Carl Kasell was still around) would repeat their lines immediately after saying them if they knew they didn't get them right the first time, and also they went back and re-recorded some lines at the end of the show.

The difference, I assume, is that the editors at NPR are pros who know how to splice in the new takes so that they sound natural, while the people editing the podcasts the OP is complaining about are amateurs.

Last edited by WildaBeast; 11-07-2019 at 06:33 PM.
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:48 PM
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It takes a professional actor who puts a great deal of effort into the craft to shoot a five minute moving diatribe with no edits. Of course, if you are talking about your beloved uisge beatha, that makes it a bit more natural.
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:56 PM
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If those are the worst examples you’ve seen then stop right now. There are some out there that will make your head explode. Sure some of it is just to cut out mistakes and flubs but there is definitely a large number of podcasts that overuse jump cuts just for style purposes. Up to several times per second. Nicole Arbor comes to mind. She is trying to be funny and shocking (and failing) and the jump cuts are certainly a style choice.
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Old 11-07-2019, 07:30 PM
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When you say "podcast" I think "audio," and when I close my eyes, it's not so bad. Visually, it's shitty editing. If I were listening to a podcast, I'd not sweat it, from the small samples I experienced.
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Old 11-07-2019, 07:46 PM
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Like others said, I'm guessing the person rambles a bit and then goes back and splices together the 'good parts'.

The one that gets me is Radiolab. I love the content, but listening to it tends to annoy me. It sounds like they had three or four people tell the same story, but then edit it so it's like they take turns telling it, sentence by sentence, plus the narrator, narrating/interviewing. What it ends up sounding like is one story/interview but with a different voice every few seconds. Here's a random spot of a random episode.

It must be a nightmare to edit these and make them coherent.
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Old 11-07-2019, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Balthisar View Post
When you say "podcast" I think "audio," and when I close my eyes, it's not so bad. Visually, it's shitty editing. If I were listening to a podcast, I'd not sweat it, from the small samples I experienced.
Yes, but even on audio it can get aggravating. It feels like they are so concerned about running time that they need to squeeze out every natural pause that gives language human pacing. I really prefer those pauses. The audio podcast featuring Clay Jenkinson has a very nice flow, and sometimes you even actually learn stuff.

Last edited by eschereal; 11-07-2019 at 07:58 PM.
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Old 11-07-2019, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by WildaBeast View Post
Having been in the audience for a taping of Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me once, I saw them do this sort of thing. Sometimes Peter and Carl (this was back when Carl Kasell was still around) would repeat their lines immediately after saying them if they knew they didn't get them right the first time, and also they went back and re-recorded some lines at the end of the show.

The difference, I assume, is that the editors at NPR are pros who know how to splice in the new takes so that they sound natural, while the people editing the podcasts the OP is complaining about are amateurs.
The actors are pros too. When recording wild lines for my tv show it was really hard to get the tone of voice correct for a single line so that it sounds like it flows from the previous sentence. We'd have a producer and a sound guy and sometimes a script producer to make sure the words, pacing, and tone of voice were exact. Since I didn't have that on my podcast the editor would basically tell me to run back to the beginning of the paragraph that way my voice flowed into it naturally and then he could pull a sentence out and blend it as needed.

I do run back and immediately run back paragraphs with mistakes. I don't have anyone else listening to me live when I do the podcast since the budget is 1000 times less. I did try to have my editor in the room but he wasn't any better at catching live mistakes than I am.
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Old 11-07-2019, 09:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildaBeast View Post
Having been in the audience for a taping of Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me once, I saw them do this sort of thing. Sometimes Peter and Carl (this was back when Carl Kasell was still around) would repeat their lines immediately after saying them if they knew they didn't get them right the first time, and also they went back and re-recorded some lines at the end of the show.

The difference, I assume, is that the editors at NPR are pros who know how to splice in the new takes so that they sound natural, while the people editing the podcasts the OP is complaining about are amateurs.
More the difference between radio (audio) and video. If you trained a video camera on the professionals of Wait, Wait... while they were redoing their lines, and then spliced the video to the perfect audio track, you'd see the same effect that the OP is complaining about.
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Old 11-08-2019, 12:36 AM
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More the difference between radio (audio) and video. If you trained a video camera on the professionals of Wait, Wait... while they were redoing their lines, and then spliced the video to the perfect audio track, you'd see the same effect that the OP is complaining about.
Yes, I think a lot of this problem is down to video vs. audio. My wife is a university math professor and lately she has been recording a series of online lessons for her courses. Her visuals are basically PowerPoint slides with Kahn Academy-esque scribbles in real-time as she covers the lesson.

As she is recording, she will undo and re-record lines she thinks she flubbed and then cut them out later in editing. Since her visuals are basically static, the focus is really on the audio and the edits are for the most part seamless. If she had a camera on herself the entire time, the effect would be similar to the examples posted by the OP.
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Old 11-08-2019, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by eschereal View Post
Yes, but even on audio it can get aggravating. It feels like they are so concerned about running time that they need to squeeze out every natural pause that gives language human pacing. I really prefer those pauses.
My podcast player has a setting to get rid of any dead air. When it accidentally gets turned on, I notice the change from normal right away.
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Old 11-08-2019, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Jet Jaguar View Post
Yes, I think a lot of this problem is down to video vs. audio. My wife is a university math professor and lately she has been recording a series of online lessons for her courses. Her visuals are basically PowerPoint slides with Kahn Academy-esque scribbles in real-time as she covers the lesson.

As she is recording, she will undo and re-record lines she thinks she flubbed and then cut them out later in editing. Since her visuals are basically static, the focus is really on the audio and the edits are for the most part seamless. If she had a camera on herself the entire time, the effect would be similar to the examples posted by the OP.
For video this problem is solved by using two cameras typically one with a wide shot and then one in close up. In the wide you can help set the scene and either cover that the mouth motions don't match the words or give a second perspective to jump to to cover the flubbed dialog. But two cameras and editing them together is more expensive.
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