How to make your podcast workflow more efficient with Descript

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Episode Summary

As the podcasting space has developed, shows have also evolved beyond audio. Today, a podcast comprises audio, video, and written content. But, as our host Tristan Pelligrino explains, “the traditional audio editing workflow is completely broken. At least it was until Descript came along. “

Descript is at the center of the creative process at Motion. Given the importance of Descript to the podcasting production process, Tristan has a chat with the folks over at Descript about its evolution. 

In this episode, Tristan is joined by Harmony Jiroudek and Kevin O’Connell. Harmony is the Customer Success Manager, and Kevin is the Product Specialist at Descript. The three discuss features recently released and then identify what users can expect in season three.


Key Insights

Episode Highlights

The Workflow Before and After the Release of the ‘Edit in Descript’ Feature

”With SquadCast and Riverside, we have our remote recording solutions. We have guests on a show, and you record essentially from a host account, and download all those files after. And then maybe you’re going to iZotope, perhaps to clean up some stuff; maybe you’re going to Descript to start editing right away, run studio sound, and clean up the audio. 

If you’re going to use Pro Tools, Audition, Logic, or whatever else, but you’re downloading all those files, waiting for that download to complete, then you’re reimporting or re-uploading those files wherever you’re going. 

With the ‘Edit in Descript’ integration, you can start in SquadCast or Riverside and finish your recording. Click the ‘Edit in Descript’ button and immediately populate a new project with all your files, and start importing and transcribing within a couple of minutes,” Kevin explains.

Descript Local Storage

”The local storage in Descript is a temporary download to your machine, and it’s to improve the playback and editing experience. So when you import into Descript, we’re syncing with the cloud and depending on your preferences, you might have all of your original files downloaded for each project.

In that case, you might take up some hard drive space or have the ticker selected for optimizing storage. You’ll have some optimized assets that will be much smaller in file size but still allow you to play back with ease. 

When you go to ‘timeline export’, if you’re going to Audition, Pro Tools, Logic, or any of the video export partners, you’re going to download all of your original files — that have been synced — from the cloud. So it’s a way to free up some space and give you that great editing and playback experience,” says Kevin.

Using “Edit in Descript” When Creating Content Via Restream or Captivate

”With Restream, in particular, one thing that we were hearing is, ‘Okay, great, I have all these high-fidelity video recordings. We record them in Restream. Can I take this hour-long, two-hour-long stream and quickly repurpose it, get it out, get pieces out to my social media team, and start disseminating that information?’

So it works similarly. In Restream, you go to your video storage, your recordings, and click the ‘Edit in Descript’ button in the background. It automatically creates a project, and you designate where you want the project to live in your drive’s workspace.

It starts the automatic transcription in the background. If it’s multiple video files, it will automatically generate a sequence, and then, per usual, it will open up a project. You’ve got your script that you can start working with. And then, obviously, we start working from the timeline as well.

With Captivate, it’s a little bit different; it’s the reverse process. So you’ve got your podcast in Captivate, and let’s say you have an interview that you did a year ago, and you’re like, ‘We need to update this quote or this stat.’ You can go into Captivate, go to the episode, click ‘Edit in Descript,’ and it will open up the episode in Descript. And from there, you can make updates,” explains Harmony. 

Presenting a New Feature: Paste Script Track

”In Descript, currently, as we’re writing scripts and adding in different pins — that could be images, B-roll, or other music we’re adding as beds, intro or outro music, whatever it might be — when we do any copying and pasting between the temporary script and what we may have as recorded audio or video, we lose some of those pins in their placement. 

That is no longer the case. Now with ‘Paste Script Track,’ you can sketch out your ideas, add different pins and different layers and elements, and paste your recording on top of that, and it will keep the placement of all of your pins — music, images, B-roll, etc. So that allows you to sketch out the visual and audio elements before you’re tracking or recording and keep all the placement of those pieces,” says Kevin.

The Difference Between Using a Stock Voice and a Custom Synthetic AI Overdub Voice

”We have a handful of stock voices in Descript, which are great. They’re real voices of actors we hired some years ago to create these overdub voices, and they sound great. I use them. A lot of other customers and teammates use them for more generic content, whether it’s going to be live or not, where they just need a real human voice.

But the difference between using a stock voice and a custom-created synthetic AI overdub voice is the ability to create multiple styles. So being able to read sections in different styles, and you can create that from the training data you input for an overdub. 

Also, for a branded podcast or a podcast with a specific host or a narrator, having the tone and pacing set by that person’s voice helps a lot and hearing it in another voice in one of the stock voices might change the outcome and some of your editorial decisions that are made during that early editing and review process,” notes Kevin.