Audio Processing is Something I Need to Get Better At
If you record podcasts, you might run into the situation I still run into after doing this podcast thing for 5+ years at Lean Into Art and the Polytechnicast: one side of the conversation is a bit too quiet while the other side of the conversation is too loud, especially when compared to the quiet side.
The classic, pretty great overall solution to this: be versed in the skills and disciplines of an audio engineer. At least in my mind, I imagine they'd avoid these issues in the first place.
Barring that, I use a program called Levelator. It's amazing how it fixes those uneven sounding conversation-based podcasts. When looking into how Levelator works, you might think other sound processing apps could do those same primary functions of compression, normalization, and limiting. The big deal about Levelator is that it doesn't attempt all those all at once on the whole file. It works on small sections and in smart ways described on Wikipedia and on the Levelator Algorithm page.
Levelator hasn't been supported for a long time. Eventually it stopped working on OS X (at the time of this writing, I'm running OS X El Capitan). I thought I was out of luck and might need to switch to a different app I noticed Dan Benjamin mention on Twitter. Side note - I can search and remember Tweets I "liked" easily via the tool Pinboard which captures the Tweet and related links automatically.
Turns out there are two ways to be back in business with Levelator. The best option: the amazing creators of the Levelator did release a fix, though were subtle about it.
I assumed my copy from 2012 was still the latest, didn't download the update, yet found a different work around. You can copy a file (libsndfile.1.dylib) from within Levelator itself to /usr/local/lib.
Very happy to get a working copy of Levelator again. Thank you Conversations Network for such an amazing app!
If you have a podcast where the audio is not sounding right, where there are people on different levels of quality of equipment, or if somehow the Google Hangout plugin that you're capturing audio from just really wants to overdrive the other side of the conversation - use Levelator. Your listeners will notice.