Hot Takes on Podcasting from our Audio Editor Sidney Evans

audio engineer

We’d like to introduce you to Sidney Evans, our Audio Editor. When Sidney joined us earlier this year, we gained a man who is equal parts thoughtful, brilliant, and sneakily good at naming podcasts. He’s a mixer of dialogue who cares as much about the quality of content as he does the caliber of audio. For a sound lover, he spends a lot of time being quiet and listening; when he speaks, you better believe something impactful is about to be said. Without further ado, here’s Sidney. 

You competed as an NCAA collegiate athlete at Fayetteville State University, where you obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications in 2013. What are some of the lessons you learned in sports that apply to being an audio editor?

Well, the most important thing is that when you put in the work, you get results. The years I worked the hardest in the off-season and did extra work during the season,  I had the most success.

The same goes for becoming an audio editor. I’ve joined groups, done free work, watched tutorials, listened to podcasts, applied for dozens of jobs, and emailed people. I literally did everything I could think of to break into the field. I truly believe becoming a part of the FRQNCY team was my reward for putting in the work because I am that passionate about what I do.

Also, having an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses is something that stuck with me as well. When starting here at FRQNCY, I felt my strength was more on the mixing side and I knew I had room for improvement as far as cutting dialogue. After a few months on the team, I can really see the improvement there, with the help of Enna, one of our amazing producers. 

Outside of FRQNCY, you have edited & engineered podcasts including Celeste the Therapist Podcast, The Minority Trailblazer Podcast, The Cope for the Culture Podcast and Our Stories Podcast. What are the characteristics of podcasts that you enjoy editing?

First and foremost, I enjoyed editing shows that are recorded using quality equipment and in controlled environments. I think the creators get the most out of my skill set when this happens because it allows me to take quality audio and turn it into exceptional audio. Also, I genuinely enjoy editing intriguing topics where the host has a solid understanding of storytelling. I know that if I enjoyed the content as an audio editor, the intended audience will as well.

What’s one thing you think every audio editor should know when they’re getting started to make them stand out?

Edit as much as possible, figure out a process that works for you, and stick with it. There are so many DAWs, plugins, tutorials, and information available when you begin to learn the craft. You can easily go down that rabbit hole and get caught not actually editing, which I have experienced. Yes, you always want to stay up to date on the tools that allow you to do your job better, but you still have to do the job. And once you have a workflow that works for you, stick with it because that is your foundation. And if need be, you can modify it down the line. 

You’re vocal about the benefits of a plant-based diet — and you’re not the only one in the FRQNCY fam. When you start dragging during a marathon editing session, what snack perks you back up?

A lot of my friends call me an old man for this, but my go-to snack is salted peanuts in the shell. I guess it goes back to my youth from playing and attending baseball games. I can effortlessly eat a whole bag without realizing it. They just work for me and I enjoy them. 

You got into podcast editing after deciding that pursuing music wasn’t for you. Any regrets about that decision?

Absolutely not. I’m grateful for that experience and glad I was able to pivot instead of just leaving the audio industry all together. It actually allowed me to enjoy music not only as a consumer but as a creator. There’s a lot of talent required to create great music. It gave me an even higher level of appreciation for those who do so exceptionally well. 

You once said that podcasters who want to have “Twitter conversations in the form of a podcast” may not have as much longevity as others. Can you speak more to that?

I believe there is truly an art to podcasting. Obviously, the industry has been growing and people are diving in. And some get stuck into taking the mindset and strategy from one medium and applying it to another. To me, that’s not ideal. For every medium you have to figure out the best approach for that one in particular. A Twitter conversation in the form of a podcast would not be compelling enough for me to listen to. I have listened to and edited enough shows to know that it’s a different art form. You have to understand the podcast medium and add your personal flair to it. 

If you were stranded on an island with access to only one podcast, what would it be? 

In Godfrey We Trust, which is hosted by the comedian Godfrey. I get tons of laughs, get to hear stories from a wide variety of guests, and learn a little bit about the experiences of those who do comedy. 

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