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Lesson seven: editing sound

Page history last edited by Fred Mindlin 11 years, 3 months ago

There are lots of options available for editing sound files. My personal favorite is Sound Studio, but at $80, it's not cheap. A common recommendation is to use Audacity, an open source application which has versions for Windows and Linux as well as Mac. After about a year of struggling with Audacity, which I found very hard to use, I broke down and paid for Sound Studio.


For this workshop we are using GarageBand, which comes free with Macs. Although the look of the interface is a bit intimidating, it's actually pretty easy to use. I gave a very brief outline of how to create a voiceover track using GarageBand's Podcast tool in Lesson three: laying down sound. There's a link there to Apple's mini-video on the procedure.


The trickiest part of sound editing is taking out bloopers. It's actually pretty easy in GarageBand. The best approach when you make a mistake while you're recording is to pause for a moment, then go back and start over at the beginning of the sentence or paragraph where you messed up. Finish the whole piece, keeping in mind where the blips are. Turn off the recording function so you are in edit mode. Now go back to the beginning of the blooper phrase, place the playhead just before its start, and go to the Edit menu->Split (or use the keyboard: Command+T ).


Notice how the sound file is now in two pieces, shown by the little rounded corners where the two pieces bump up against each other:



Next, find the end of the blooper, which should also be the beginning of your good re-take.


Your voiceover file should now be in three pieces: the beginning, up to your blip; the middle chunk, where you've isolated your mistake; and the third section, where you started up again and did everything perfect this time. Two more steps: first, click someplace outside of the voicetrack, so none of the three pieces is selected; then select the middle piece where the blooper is, and delete it. Your final step is to scoot the last piece of the sound file back towards the left, so it bumps up flush with the first piece. Then select both of them and go to Edit->Join 



Your voiceover is now back to a single audio file, with the blooper disappeared!



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