What is audio editing software?
Audio editing software enables broadcasters to edit audio files and recordings and combine them to generate new audio files and recordings. There are several different kinds of audio editing software that can be downloaded or purchased. This BH2 will provide links to tutorials on basic audio editing skills for two popular types of software: Adobe Audition (formerly known as Cool Edit Pro) and Audacity.
How can audio editing software help me serve my listeners better?
- Audio editing software enables broadcasters to perform complicated editing tasks that create more effective, engaging, and entertaining programs.
How can it help me produce better programs?
- Audio editing software helps you combine each recorded segment into a seamless program.
- You can use audio editing software make live recordings and replay the recording at a later date.
How do I get started?
- Download one of the following popular audio editing software packages:
- Adobe Audition (formerly known as Cool Edit Pro)
- Adjusting gain amplitude
- Creating fades
- Removing popped p’s and b’s
- Removing hiss, hum, and noise
- Creating multitrack sessions and mix downs
1. Download one of the following popular audio editing software packages
2. Adjusting gain amplitude
Amplitude is the overall level (volume) of sound you are recording or playing back. The gain amplitude adjustment tool allows you to control the level of your audio. You can use it to raise or lower highlighted sections of your audio file. It is most commonly used to maintain a consistent overall audio level.
- Text: Jordan, Larry, 2013. Audition CS6: Improve Audio Levels Fast! https://larryjordan.com/articles/audition-cs6-improve-audio-levels-fast/
- Video: LeRose, Nick, 2014. Adjusting Volume with Adobe Audition. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpFd-bmtmho
- Video: Jago, Maxim, 2013. Manipulate and adjust audio levels manually. https://helpx.adobe.com/audition/how-to/audition-manually-adjust-audio-cc.html
- Text: The Best 3D, undated. Audacity tutorial to increase the volume: Making it louder (Amplitude!). http://www.thebest3d.com/audacity/tutorials/make-louder/audacity-tutorial-make-louder-more-volume-increased-amplitude.html
- Video: Davis, Simon, 2010. Adjust volume in Audacity. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlKtCb88LW4
3. Creating fades
Fades create smooth beginnings, endings. and transitions. You can also use them for clean, seamless edits. A fade-in is often used at the beginning of a clip and a fade-out is often used at the end. Crossfades blend two clips together, simultaneously fading out one clip and fading in another.
- Text: Bianco, Jamie Skye, 2013. Fading In & Out Your Audio. https://digicompdiy.wordpress.com/2013/10/27/fading-in-out-your-audio/
- Video: LinkedIn Learning, 2013. Audition CS6: Using the fade controls. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntMTkWfSCd8
- Video: Mavro, Tom, 2016. Audio Keyframes - Adobe Premiere Pro Training. 1:25-3:45. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAoZSCXSfHs&t=174s
- Text: WikiEducator, undated. Using Audacity/Fading in and out. http://wikieducator.org/Using_Audacity/Fading_in_and_out
- Video: Jose, Blesson, 2014. Audacity - How to add Fade In and Fade Out effects. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7Q1azhsQsk
4. Removing popped p’s and b’s
Sometimes “p” or “b” sounds can become distorted and sound like a small explosion in the audio. This is caused when a rush of air from your lips hits the recorder or microphone too fast—linguists call these “plosives.” You can fix this by reducing the volume of the “p” or “b” or by using the equalization (EQ) tool. Please note that other “breathy” sounds like “t,” “d,” “g,” and “k” are also plosivesm but “p” and “b” are the most problematic.
- Text: Adobe Creative Team, 2013. Signal Processing in Adobe Audition CC: Filter and EQ effects. http://www.adobepress.com/articles/article.asp?p=2093891&seqNum=5
- Video: TwentyFourSound, 2017. Removing Plosives, 4:46-5:25. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3_X7qzWasg
- Video: Huggins, Jason, 2013. Removing Pops and Clicks From Voice Over Audio in Adobe Audition CS6 (Redone). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZi49M-qjfk
- Text: Theriot, Ken, 2018. How to Fix a “P-Pop” in Your Audio with a Sound Editor. https://www.homebrewaudio.com/how-to-fix-a-p-pop-in-your-audio-with-sound-editing-software/
- Video: OctuplExtras, 2015. How to Remove P-Pop in Audacity. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gx-0qqov96E
5. Removing hiss, hum, and noise
Unwanted background noise can be distracting to the listener and compromise the quality of the sound you want your listeners to hear. The best method for reducing background hiss, hum, or noise is to use the noise reduction tool. But it’s important to be careful that using this tool doesn’t give the recorded voice a garbled or “underwater” effect.
- Text: Jordan, Larry, 2014. Adobe Audition CC: Reduce Noise Pt. 1. https://larryjordan.com/articles/adobe-audition-cc-reduce-noise-pt-1/
- Video: Jordan, Larry, 2013. Adobe Audition CS6 - How to Remove Noise from a Clip. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-_JGy6fWeY
- Text: Audacity, 2018. Noise Reduction. https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/noise_reduction.html
- Video: KCG - Kodie Collings Gaming, 2012. "Noise Removal” Audacity (Step by Step Tutorial), 1:25-2:54. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAJ4Sg-nO6A
6. Creating multitrack sessions & mix downs
A multitrack session allows you to combine multiple audio tracks and mix them down into one audio file. This can be used to mix together multiple vox pop recordings or to add music or background sounds to a voice-over.
- Text: Jordan, Larry. 2012. Audition: Multitrack Editing. https://larryjordan.com/articles/audition-multitrack-edit/
- Video: Porter, Dusty, 2016. How to Work With Multitrack Sessions in Adobe Audition —Audition Tutorial. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPN92u_6-M0
- Text: Audacity Team, 2018. Mixing Audio Tracks. https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/mixing.html
- Video: ELearningUoY, 2013. Getting Started with Audacity: Mixing multiple tracks. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SM7ft8eN9RI
Other points about audio editing software
Most kinds of audio editing software have similar functions and features, so your skills should be mostly transferable from one platform to another. The tutorials in this document cover basic audio edits that are useful for regular farmer radio programs. But there are extensive online communities available for those who want to further enhance their audio editing skills.
It is simple to find online forums and communities by Googling a topic (for example, “Adobe Audition” or “audio editing”) + forum. This will yield many results, but look for online communities with active users and recent posts, and with links to trusted sources like some of those mentioned in this how-to guide. The links to the online forums for Audacity and Adobe Audition are listed below.
Where else can I learn about audio editing software?
Amplitude: The overall level (volume) of the sound you are recording or playing back.
Crossfades: Crossfades blend or merge two clips together by simultaneously fading out one clip and fading in another.
Fades: When the volume of a sound gradually increases or decreases (fade-in or fade-out).
Multitrack sessions: A multitrack session allows you to mix multiple audio files together into one file.
Plosives: A term linguists use to describe the sound when a rush of air hits the microphone too fast and distorts the sound of a consonant, usually of a “p” or a “b.”
Contributed by: Maxine Betteridge-Moes, Agricultural Knowledge Management Advisor, Farm Radio International