Editing Audio Files For a More Professional Sound

I used to think editing audio files would be too cumbersome and time-consuming to be worth my while until I actually gave it a try. Editing audio with the right software is very simple and actually a lot of fun.

I use a program called Audacity, which is a free and open source recording and editing software that you can download in just a few minutes. Audacity has all the features necessary to create great sounding audios. (Look for Part I of this article series to learn how to download, install and setup Audacity and how to record an audio file.)

Once you have the program installed it is fairly simple to record your voice. However, if you are anything like me, you will come across some words that you always stumble over whenever you record them. It is nice to be able to go into the audio file, edit out the pieces that just don’t sound right and paste in a new recording of that section.
Here are some simple steps to do just that:

  1. Make your recording from within Audacity using the record button found in the program.  
  2. When you are playing back the recording, notice that when you pause in between sentences, the track signal shows a fairly straight line. The straight lines indicate silence. When you are speaking, the signal becomes larger. This will help you to find where you can cut out bad pieces and replace them with new pieces of recordings.  
  3. When you are playing back the recording and you come to a sentence that doesn’t sound right, you can use your mouse to highlight the sentence. Start with the silence before the sentence and drag your mouse over to the silence at the end of the sentence.  
  4. After highlighting the sentence, you can press the delete key to remove the sentence from the audio.  
  5. Record the sentence again using the Record button. Notice that Audacity creates a new audio track when you record this new sentence.  
  6. Highlight the new sentence by dragging the mouse.  
  7. From the menu bar, select Edit > Copy.  
  8. Next go to your original recording.  
  9. Place your cursor at the position where you want to paste the sentence.  
  10. From the menu bar, select Edit > Paste.  
  11. After pasting the sentence in the original track, make sure to delete the second track. If you have two tracks open when you play the audio, both tracks will play at the same time. To delete the second temporary track, press the X in the top left corner of the Audio Track.  
  12. I also like to clean things up by removing some silence. When I record, I find that sometimes there…

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