Chapter 13. Editing Audio

Many digital audio files, especially those you record from analog sources, will need cleaning up—for example, trimming silence from the beginnings and ends of songs, removing unwanted noise, and normalizing the volume. More sophisticated users may want to add fades, apply equalization, or create loops for use in programs such as ACID Pro or GarageBand.

Here are some common reasons for editing audio:

  • You’ve recorded tracks from a record or CD and need to remove excess silence at the beginning or end.

  • You need to adjust the volume of the tracks you’ve recorded, so all songs play at the same loudness (called “normalization”).

  • You’ve recorded material from an analog source (microphone, tape deck, turntable) and want to remove noise and even out the frequency response.

  • You need to edit dialog, music, or sound effects for a video soundtrack.

  • You want to produce an audio version of a seminar for distribution.

  • You want to extract samples from recorded material and edit them so they loop properly.

  • You want to use advanced digital signal processing to enhance the sound of samples or morph them into entirely new sounds.

This chapter covers the audio editing tools and practices you’ll use when manipulating stereo or mono audio recorded through a sound card or ripped from a CD. Included are descriptions of the common features shared by most stereo editing programs, along with tips and instructions for common editing tasks using two popular tools: BIAS Inc.’s Peak, and Sony’s ...

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