Audio editing is the process of modifying sound recordings to improve their quality, remove unwanted noise or sounds, or change the length or pitch of a specific audio clip.
The process has been around for decades and started with engineers manually cutting and splicing analog tape, but with the introduction of new audio editing technologies, it has become more accurate and simple. Today, you have a plethora of audio editing software at your disposal that you can use to fine-tune your tracks or edit a podcast episode.
Audio editing is a difficult process that should not be underestimated. As an editor, you must not only achieve the desired sound and quality but also ensure that it is aesthetic and feasible within the time constraints.
To become proficient at audio editing you require years of technical training in software and hardware, as well as a trained ear and a thorough understanding of acoustics and musical theory. Fortunately, there are a variety of audio editing tips and techniques available to help you achieve your goal.
Importance of audio editing
Audio editing is one of the most fundamental processes in audio and video production; for example, every single track in a professional production has been meticulously edited to work perfectly.
You can’t just record something and think you’re done; recording is just the starting point. Audio editing has become an important part of the process of making great sounds.
Even for video content, audio editing is critical because audio brings an experience to life, and it’s one part of the editing process that you can’t afford to skimp on.
Let us look at some specific reasons why audio editing is so essential.
Helps invoke emotions
Sound is important because it conveys information, but with so much information bombarding us, your sound must be able to elicit an emotional response to truly engage an audience.
This concept is even more applicable to video content because the right sound allows you to access your viewers’ memories because the part of your brain that processes sounds also stores your memories.
As a result, the importance of creating the right piece of sound for the finished product cannot be overstated.
Adds depth to your content
Standalone audio or visual content can never truly capture the entire story. If you choose the right track, the audience will be in tears, whereas if you choose the wrong one, they will be reaching for their earplugs.
With perfectly edited audio, you can elevate your content. Essentially, when done correctly, audio editing elements can bring the finished content to life, engaging, delighting, and entertaining your audience.
Audio editing tips and techniques
Carefully set your volume levels
When editing any audio clip, you must exercise caution when adjusting the volume levels. The volume of your audio determines how pleasant it will sound to others.
If you keep the volume too high, the listener will immediately stop listening to the audio. Keeping the volume low, on the other hand, can make it difficult for the listener to understand the audio.
When editing multiple audio files, one simple way to adjust the volume is to import all new sounds at zero volume and then adjust the levels of different tracks to create a spectrum of high to low-level sounds.
Use the right editing tool
A good program will provide you with a wide range of effects and editing options for controlling and changing the sound of a specific aspect of the composition.
If you are just getting started, you do not need to spend a lot of money to get the right software; there is plenty of free software for simple audio editing projects that are suitable for both beginners and experienced professionals.
Filters can completely change the tone of any audio and are most commonly used to remove frequencies. However, make sure that the effects you’re using make sense, and avoid using too many different filters in one song.
Alter the tempo
Changing the tempo adds a dramatic flair and can help you set the right tone for your audience. By changing the tempo, you are adding a time-stretching effect that defies the common assumption that slowing down the audio will slow down the pitch and vice versa.
This is a great technique to experiment with and master, and while it is not always necessary to achieve the desired flare, it does open up your audio to an entirely new world of possibilities.