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Audio Editing: Organising to export

 

Organising your different media assets is vital to the editing process.

Working with several different media simultaneously can prove problematic, as you have to deal with multiple media files. To ensure you can easily move projects from one computer to another it’s a good idea to keep a simple project folder structure for each file type e.g. audio, video, images, and a project folder for your Premiere file.

It can be useful to re-label your sounds to make finding key recordings easier. If you have used voice tags for your ambient sounds recordings this should be a quick and easy process.

Setting up

Setting Up your editing suite can be daunting at first.

Video editing software can look quite daunting when you open them, as there are lots of windows, presets, numbers and tools. Setting up a project is quite simple though if you follow a few basic rules and remember to keep your frame rate settings the same as your camera settings for video editing. If you are just editing audio then your sequence settings (video) aren’t vital.

Premiere is actually quite easy to use once you understand the layout. On the top left hand side of the layout is where you manage your assets. On the lower left hand side is the effects panel. The middle screen is your source where you can view your audio or video clips and start to make edits. The right hand screen shows your final output. The timeline at the bottom of your screen is where you organise your clips and start to build your productions.

Cutting

In this video Peter shows how to make some basic cuts and edits to the audio piece.

The first basic editing tool/process is cutting. Using the cut tool you can cut out any unwanted audio or video footage. Simply make cuts and select the unwanted audio and delete.

You can either make cuts in the source window using in and out points. Or you can add whole clips to the timeline and make basic cuts using the cut and selection tools.

Once you have made your basic cuts it’s important to try and even out your interview using the pen tool and adjusting the levels of the audio to make sure that the interview sounds even and natural.

Layering 

Adding layers of sound can make for a much more engaging audio piece. Watch this video to learn how to layer your clips.

When editing audio it is important to layer your pieces especially if you have interviews. You want to slowly build your audio piece around your interview adding colour and descriptions to give your listeners a more interesting experience. You can also add music to add drama or emotion and give a sense of place using natural sounds.

If you are using music you must make sure you are using royalty free music or purchase the necessary licence to use the music track in your production. Vist the multimediatrain website for a list of websites to purchase music tracks.

Adding a layer of ambient sound or room tone underneath your interview will allow you to cover up your edits and make a much smoother audio piece.

Smoothing

Once you have made all your edits it’s important to smooth out your piece.

Just like in video editing once you have made all your edits it is important to smooth out your audio piece to ensure you don’t have any sudden changes in volume or any jumps in the audio. The main tool to smooth out your audio is the pen tool which will allow you to fade in and fade out your audio.

Filters

Filters can often be used to try and correct any audio recording mistakes.

When recording audio you may make mistakes and not record audio as you intended. Perhaps you have forgotten to turn off an air conditioner or a fan and you have an unwanted background  sound. Audio filters are there to try and reduce the effect of those mistakes and rescue some of the audio. Some of the filters within premiere work well but there are more powerful tools in Adobe Soundbooth to reduce hums or hisses.

When using the noise removal tool be careful to use a piece of audio that only contains your unwanted audio. Soundbooth will then remove these frequencies from your audio file but be careful when using this tool on interviews as you can change the sound of people’s voices. Ideally remember to switch off fans and other noisy equipment and make sure you capture some room tone in case you need to remove a background hum or hiss.

Exporting

Once you have made all the edits to your audio piece it’s time to export your final edit.

When you have made all your edits its time to export your final piece. As a general rule its best to export a high quality master file in WAV which is an uncompressed file and is usually much too large for any online platform. After exporting a master file it’s good practice to create an Mp3 file that will be a much more compact and internet friendly file that can then be used online or sent via FTP for broadcasting.

Continue to the next module: Video: Introduction