Quick Audio Editing Tutorial

I’ve been asked a couple of times to make a quick visual tutorial of editing an audio file in audacity.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Audacity is notorious for crashing, so SAVE SAVE SAVE after every edit if necessary. It’s a good habit to get into).

So… without further ado –

I’ll start with the easiest edit, cutting out a portion of the audio on both left and right tracks.

An example of selecting a section of both left and right tracks
An example of selecting a section of both left and right tracks

 

CutSelection
To Delete the Section of Audio, Select “Cut” from the Menu, Use the Shortcut Buttons Ctrl+X, or The Scissor Tool on the Menu Bar

 

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Next, let’s delete a section of audio from only ONE channel.

You Need to Split the Track into Separate Channels First
You Need to Split the Track into Separate Channels First

 

Then Select the Portion of Audio from ONE Channel ONLY
Then Select the Portion of Audio from ONE Channel ONLY

 

This is the MOST IMPORTANT PART about editing audio out of one channel only. You MUST choose silence audio and NOT cut. This way the audio will stay synched.

Silencing the Selection
Silencing the Selection
AfterSilence
It Should Look Like This After You Silence The Selection

As a rule, I try to merge the tracks back into a stereo track after I make an edit in one channel as shown above, so here is a screenshot to show how to do that:

Switch Back to Stereo After Silencing One Channel
Switch Back to Stereo After Silencing One Channel

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Now, after you’ve done all your editing, you want to make the audio into a stereo track, but you also want the audio to be the same on both channels. Here’s how to do that.

CollapseTracks
You Need to “Collapse” the Two Tracks Into One, by Turning it From Stereo Into Mono
DuplicateChannel
You Then Make a Duplicate of That Channel

 

Create a Right and Left Channel
Create a Right and Left Channel

 

Make Them Back Into a Stereo Track (With Left & Right Channels Defined)
Make Them Back Into a Stereo Track (With Left & Right Channels Defined)
And This is What the Finished Product Should Look Like!
And This is What the Finished Product Should Look Like!

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So those are the basics, it’s a bit more complicated than that, but doing is the best way to learn. Hopefully, this will get you started – or it will fill in a few gaps. I was lucky enough to have a tutorial when I first started out, but without pictures. I thought this might be a nice way to illustrate (literally) how to do the main types of edits.

Any questions? Feel free to comment below. 🙂

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