Editing audio can be a nightmare. Or not.
There are two distinct parts to editing. One lies with the presenter. The other lies with the sound engineer.
Let’s start with the presenter.
The worst thing you can have on your audio is a continuous number of ums and ahs. If your sentence goes like this: Um, what we’re trying to um, do um, ah…then you’re needlessly creating a distraction factor in your audio. It’s rather irritating to hear an endless barrage of ums and ahs. And it’s more irritating when you know that most presenters can fix this problem in under fifteen minutes.
So how do you fix those ums and ahs almost instantly?
Listen to these audio files and practice for 15 minutes and you’ll get better instantly.
In an M4a file (with chapters) Reducing_Ums.m4a
In an mp3 file Reducing_Ums.mp3
So once you remove those ums and ahs, you instantly create a much cleaner sounding file. Because if you’ve ever had the insane idea of wanting to edit ums and ahs, it’s an endless and thankless job. It’s better to get rid of the ums and ahs in the first place.
So moving along to the sound engineer’s editing role.
The sound engineer just needs to have the following:
- A sheet of paper
- Knowledge of a single software shortcut: The Marker shortcut
The Sheet of Paper:
The sheet of paper is meant to make any notes as the audio rolls along. Sometimes the audio engineer may have an idea or notice something. At that point the audio engineer must put that idea down on paper. Therefore having a pen and paper handy is pretty critical. So if you’re in session 1 and the audio engineer has something to note down, then that notation must be made on the paper. So on with session 2, 3, 4 etc. Having the paper is important because even if you do put a marker (see below) you may not remember the reason for the marker. Having a note on paper helps you quickly jog that memory and align it to the marker.
Knowledge of a single software shortcut: The Marker shortcut
In every recording program there’s a shortcut called the “Marker”. In Wiretap Studio (for Mac) this is Command + Shift + T. In Sound Forge (for Windows) the shortcut is simply “M”. When an error is made, or if something has to be marked on a file, or if something has to be deleted, the marker should be deployed. So the sound engineer should hit “M” or Command+Shift+T on the keyboard at that very point. And if needed, where the error ends. This way you don’t have to listen to the whole audio all over again; you just have to focus on the marked sections.
And that’s where the paper comes in. The note on the paper co-relates to the marker and hence it’s easy to see what you need to do with the marked section.
And there you have it. Editing is a snap if you take the care to follow these three instructions
- Remove your ums and ahs.
- Keep simple paper notes.
- Use the marker shortcut on your software.