Week 2: Day 1 – Editing Audio in Audition

Adobe Audition is a professional audio editing application used by broadcast stations like NPR and WHYY to edit and mix their audio stories. For a quick overview of how Audition works, click here to download the practice file and follow these steps:

To edit a single waveform…

  1. Absolutely, 100% make a copy of your audio file on your hard drive so your editing does not affect the original audio file
  2. Open Adobe Audition
  3. Go to the Main MenuFile > ImportFile
  4. Import the copy of the audio file you’d like to work with
  5. In the Editor window, adjust the track height by pressing Option – to make the track height shorter and Option + to make the track height taller
  6. Adjust the track width by pressing + to make the track width wider and to make the track height narrower
  7. To cut your audio, use these shortcuts:
         -Spacebar: Play/Pause
         -J: Move backward
         -K: Pause
         -L: Move forward
         -J+K: Move backward in slow motion
         -K+L: Move forward in slow motion
         -L (twice): Move forward at double the speed
         -J (twice): Move backward at double the speed
         -I: Insert in point
         -O: Insert out point
         -Option+K: Play from in point to outpoint
  8. Adjust the dial on the Adjust Amplitude panel floating on top of your Editor window
  9. To fade the audio in at the beginning of your story, click the Fade In button (square icon at the top left corner of your Editor window) and drag it down and to the right (in the Waveform view, this permanently changes your audio and cannot be adjusted)
  10. To fade the audio out, go to the end of your track, click the Fade Out button, and drag it down and to the left to fade the track out
  11. Once you are finished, export your file by going to the Main Menu > File > Export File
  12. Choose a Name and Location for your file
  13. Choose a Format for your file (.WAV/.AIFF)
  14. Click OK

To edit multiple tracks…

  1. In the upper-left corner of the Audition interface, click the Multitrack button
  2. Name the session you are working on, choose a location for the project folder, then click OK
  3. Click on the Editor window
  4. Control + click inside Track 1 and select Insert > Your Audio File
  5. Repeat these steps to place each of your audio clips on separate tracks
  6. Click and slide each of your tracks to the left or right to place them in the right spot
  7. To work on one track specifically, click the S (solo) in the Track window to mute your other tracks
  8. To fade your tracks in and out, go to the beginning of your track and click the Fade In/Out icon the upper left or upper right of your window, dragging it down and over to create the fade
  9. To adjust your fade, click on the Fade In/Out icon and adjust the placement
  10. To adjust the audio levels manually with keyframes,  go to the Volume overlay (yellow line under your track) and click on the Volume overlay to add keyframes
  11. Control + click to select Spline Curves (hard vs. soft levels adjustment)
  12. Adjust your levels throughout the track
  13. Repeat with each of your tracks until you are happy with your audio mix
  14. To export your mix, go to the Main Menu > File > Export > Multitrack Mixdown > Entire Session
  15. Choose a Name, Location and Format for your file
  16. Click OK

If you’re looking for more tutorials on Audition, check out the Audition CC Essential Training on Lynda.com.

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