Small Business Trends

How to Edit Audio Files

By | 7 min read | Published

Learn the basics to take your audio to the next level

Editing audio files can be a daunting task. And as a beginner, you may not be familiar with the basics of sound design. But with the right tools and instructions, it can be a breeze. This article will walk you through how to edit audio files like a pro.

We discuss how to delete audio segments, add music or sound effects, and the various ways in which you can use audio editing. With these simple tips, you can create high-quality audio content that represents your brand or business in the best way possible.

Audio editing basics

The first step to editing your audio files is to understand how the process works. Audio editing generally refers to manipulating recorded sounds, such as music, dialogue, or sound effects. It is a technique to create new recordings or enhance existing ones.

There are two main types of audio editing: destructive and non-destructive. Destructive editing permanently alters the original recording, while non-destructive editing leaves the original intact and creates a new version with the changes.

Both types of audio editing have their advantages and disadvantages, so it is essential to choose the right one for your needs.

The advantages of destructive editing include:

  • Simple changes to volume or compression can be seen in the waveform
  • Stacked effects won’t require a lot of processing power
  • Faster export times since there is no need to render the changes

The disadvantages of destructive editing include:

  • It can be difficult to undo mistakes
  • Edits can only be undone in the reverse order they were made

The advantages of non-destructive editing include:

  • Edits can be made in real-time
  • The order of effects can be changed without affecting the original recording. This means that you can reorder or remove effects without affecting the rest of the project.

The disadvantages of non-destructive editing include:

  • It may require more processing power
  • Waveform changes may not be visible until the project is rendered

Audio editing techniques

There are a few basic techniques that every audio editor should know. These will help you get started with editing your audio files and give you a solid foundation to build more complex skills.

Sound editing

Sound editing techniques include:

  • Cutting: This is when you remove a section of the audio track that you do not want. Cutting is the most commonly used editing technique and is usually the first step in editing an audio file.
  • Adding or inserting: This is when you add new audio segments into an existing track. This is useful for layering sound effects or adding new dialogue.
  • Fading: This is when you gradually increase or decrease the volume of an audio track. Depending on the type of fade, this can be done either at the beginning or end of a track, or both. By fading audio clips in and out, you can create a smooth transition between two clips.
An example of an audio editing software from Adobe Audition
Mix audio using sound editing techniques in Adobe Audition (Source)

With these three techniques, you can begin to edit your audio files like a pro! Experiment with them and see what kinds of results you can achieve. Remember, there are no rules for audio editing, so feel free to get creative.

How to trim audio files

Now that you know the basic techniques for audio editing, let’s look at how to trim audio files. Audio trimming is a great way to remove unwanted sections of an audio track, such as dead space, breaths, or pauses. It can also be used to tighten up the timing of a track.

Trimming features that can be found in AVS Audio Editor
Trimming audio clip in AVS Audio Editor (Source)

Add audio to a video

Adding audio to a video is a great way to enhance your project and make it more professional. There are a few different ways to do this, depending on the software you use.

For example, if you are using Adobe Premiere Pro, simply import the audio file into your project and then drag it onto the timeline. The audio will be automatically added to the video.

Adding an audio file to a video in Adobe Premiere Pro
Adding audio to a video file in AdobePremiere Pro (Source)

If you are using Final Cut Pro, you first need to create a new audio track by going to the “File” menu and selecting “Import > Media.” Then, import the audio file into your project, and place it on the new track.

Adding audio to a video file in Final Cut Pro
Adding audio to a video file in Final Cut Pro

How to make audio transitions

Transitions are a great way to smooth out the switches between different sections of an audio track. There are a few different types of transitions that you can use, such as crossfades, fades, and hard cuts.

  • Crossfades: This is a type of transition where the end of one track is faded out, and the beginning of the next track is faded in. This creates a smooth transition between the two tracks.
  • Fades: This is when the track’s volume is gradually increased or decreased. This is often used to create a dramatic effect or make two tracks sound more like they belong together.
  • Hard cuts: Hard cuts are a type of transition where one track is abruptly cut off, and the next track is suddenly started. This is often used for comedic effect or to create a sense of tension.

Experiment with these different transitions simply by dragging them onto the timeline between two tracks. See what kinds of results you can achieve.

Sound mixing basics and techniques

There are a few different techniques that you can use when mixing audio tracks. These include:

  • Panning: This is when you place tracks in the left or right channel, giving the illusion that they are coming from different directions.
  • Equalization: This is when you adjust the frequencies of each track to make them sound better together.
  • Compression: This is when you reduce the dynamic range of a track, making the quiet parts louder and the loud parts quieter.
  • Reverb: This is when you add an artificial echo to a track, making it sound like it was recorded in a larger space.
  • Delay: Delay is similar to reverb, but it adds a repeating echo that gets quieter each time.
  • Pitch correction: This is often used to fix recordings that have been made with incorrect pitch or to change the pitch of a recording for creative purposes.

Using these techniques, you can create a professional-sounding mix that will remove unwanted sounds and make all the tracks sound great together.

Professional audio editing software

Now that you know the basics of audio editing, it’s time to start using audio editing software. The audio file editor you choose to use depends on what you want to use it for. Some software may have features that are too advanced for your needs, while others may not have all the features you need.

For example, if you are creating a podcast, you will need software designed for recording and editing audio files. If you are adding music to a video, you need software designed for working with video.

No matter what your needs are, there is sure to be software that will suit your purposes. Do some research and find the best software for your project. This can help you avoid paying for features that you don’t need and make your audio editing process much smoother.

Need help finding the right audio software?

Audio editing is a great way to improve the quality of your audio recordings. By using professional software, you can make sure that your tracks sound their best. Experiment with different techniques and transitions to find what sounds best for your project. With a bit of practice, you’ll be an audio editing pro in no time.

If you want to find the best software for your projects, check out Capterra’s directory of audio editing software. Our platform allows you to compare different software options side by side with features and user reviews to find the perfect fit for your needs.

Note: The applications referenced in this article is cited as an example to show a feature or function in context and is not intended as an endorsement or recommendation.

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About the Author

Josh Clark - Guest Contributor

Josh Clark - Guest Contributor

Josh is a writer who has worked with businesses across various sectors, including medical, technology companies, software developers, and more.

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