Hi there, podcasters, interviewers, journalists or people who are just passing by! Are you searching for a way to ensure the highest quality of your audio recording? Then pay attention, as we’re about to share a really simple workflow to take your audio quality to the next level. And the best part is… it all takes 5 minutes or less! The clock is ticking, so let’s start!
What are we going to cover today?
We assume, that your recording is of decent quality with no major problems. And in case you’re just about to record something, be sure to skim through our post for some tips. Today we’re not going to touch upon the recording part, but we’ll focus on the simple editing techniques in Adobe Audition. And if you use free software like Audacity - you can still follow along, since the procedures are almost the same. However, if something doesn't match, take a look at this article, written specifically for Audacity.
How to eliminate noise?
This is perhaps the most important step of the entire workflow. Luckily, nothing could be easier. First, you need your “room tone” for that. A room tone is a ‘natural’ sound of your room or location. Don’t confuse it with complete silence though, the room tone is a mixture of low-volume sounds, that take place within your environment and makes up the background noise. You might not necessarily hear all of these sounds, but your microphone does pick them up. Examples include noise coming from computer fans, air conditioning or power sockets.
All you have to do is to record 5-10 seconds of silence - that will be your basis for noise elimination. If you forgot to do so deliberately - don’t worry, you probably have pauses where you don’t talk, we can also use those smaller samples. Please note, that the position of the microphone in relation to your room plays a role, so if you record something in a different spot - you’ll likely have a different room tone.
Now, that the theory is covered, let’s get to practice.
-Select the audio fragment
-Go to Effects → Noise Reduction/ Restoration → Noire Reduction (process)
-Press “capture noise print”
-Then select “entire file”
-Usually, the default settings produce nice results but feel free to play with the sliders.
How to remove silences?
No matter what it is, an interview for your thesis, a podcast or a speech - every recording will have small or larger gaps of silence. You can easily find silent fragments of your audio by looking at the waveform (highlighted on the screenshot)- it is flat and static.
Depending on the length of your audio, you can either cut these parts manually or automate the software to do it for you. In both cases make sure not to delete the silence completely, but to shorten it. Otherwise, your audio will sound unnatural and rushed.
-Look for silent fragments
-Right-click, then crop
-Go to Effects → Diagnostics → Delete Silence (process)
-Inside the Diagnostics tab go to Settings, then press “Find levels”
-Press fix by “shortening silence”
-The default setting is shortening silence by 100ms, and in most cases, it works well.
-Click the “Scan” button, click on Settings again, you’ll see a list of problems, just press “Delete all”
How to normalize and amplify volume?
These terms might sound difficult, but they stand for very simple processes. In essence, normalizing is a relative volume adjustment, while amplifying is absolute.
Normalizing audio means setting a peak or target volume for a certain part of the audio file, meaning that quiet areas will be raised to a certain volume, while the loud ones will be brought down or remain untouched. For instance, if you've recorded an interview, normalizing your audio can bring all the voices to a certain level of volume, making sure that neither of them is too quiet nor too loud.
-Select the fragment you want to alter
-Go to Effects → Amplitude and Compression → Normalizing audio (process)
-Select a % or dB value and click Apply
-Make sure “Normalize all changes equally” box is checked
Amplifying means increasing/ decreasing the volume of the audio fragment by a certain amount. What it means is both quiet and loud values will be affected in the same way. You can use this feature if the entire part of the recording is too quiet or too loud.
-Select the fragment you want to alter
-Go to Effects → Amplitude and Compression → Amplify
-Select a preset and choose “Apply”
And.... that's it! Your audio should be nice and clean now! The next step is transcribing your recording into text. Fortunately, with us it can be done automatically. Check out our offers right here.