Experiences on sound editing
Recently I've been editing my soon to be released Skypecasts of various people in the field of Open Source in Education and also composed some tracks in the process with Skale Tracker.
Knowing how to mix and edit sound can make unbelievable difference in how a recording is experienced by the listener. Especially with podcasts and the increasing ammount of various offerings nowadays (thanks to IT Conversations and others), a listener might also choose the recording based on quality.
With quality I don't mean your MP3 bitrate but how pleasant it is to listen. If there is a lot of background noise, hard to hear words, lots of low-fidelity information (ummm, annndddaaa....) or distortion, it is easy to skip to next one despite the content.
As podcasting could prove to be a quite popular medium, I urge everyone creating recordings and releasing them to learn the basics of sound editing and mastering. Learning basics is easy and really make a difference in the end-product. There are also free tools available to begin with.
Doug Kaye (Via Stephen's Web) has gathered some links to tips on recording and editing. Good stuff to begin with.
I personally found this one very useful for beginners trying to do their work on Audacity.
Jon Udell pointed to Transom which is an awesome resource. If you are interested in movies or overall in how to edit music, talk and ambient sounds together in a way that people can still pick up the different themes without problems, see great article by Walter Murch where he describes audio through an analogy with visual spectrum and describes the unity of clarity and density through real examples from his movies.