Editing an MOS Project in Adobe Audition

Fire Up Audition

audition-workspacethe workspace

Audition will load a default workspace for you to get going. First thing to notice are the EDITOR VIEWS in the top-left, WAVEFORM & MULTITRACK.

The WAVEFORM view is where you can edit individual audio files – chop out sections you don’t need, fade in/out, add FX, etc. The MULTITRACK view will let you work on multiple inputs/audio files at once – such as when recording, editing, and mixing interviews for an MOS (Man On the Street) project.

Also up top is the TOOLBAR – hover your mouse over each tool to show what they are. We’ll get to know these better as we find uses for them.

A brief overview of the other windows (see above image for corresponding number):

  1. Your project’s files are found in the FILES tab. This is empty until you import files or record new ones.
  2. By default this is the MEDIA BROWSER tab – but you’ll find more use here when you switch it over to the EFFECTS RACK tab when we get there.
  3. The HISTORY tab will help you jump back to undo edits you aren’t happy with. You may rarely use this, and can close it using the hamburger menu’s Close Panel.” I’ll also close the VIDEO tab since podcasting doesn’t involve syncing audio to a video file. Closing these tabs will open up some more real estate for other activities, which is nice.
  4. The EDITOR tab is where you’ll slice and dice your audio files. You’ll see in a second.
  5. The LEVELS tab is your best friend in helping you monitor your podcast’s volume, making sure it’s not peaking (red means danger) or too quiet.
  6. The SELECTION/VIEW tab shows data regarding your audio files and selections you make within a track.

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 Why Start A Multitrack Session

Audition makes editing files pretty simple, but first we’ll need to start a MULTITRACK SESSION so we can place our interviews, natural sound, voice over, music on their own tracks.

To do this, click on the MULTITRACK edit view button on top. This will bring up a prompt to choose options:

audition-multitrackpromptnew multitrack session options

Type in your session name – this could possibly be the name of your MOS topic?

Next let’s set the SAMPLE RATE to 44100. The reasons why can be googled – but in general, 44100kHz is a standard delivery format, and perfectly fine for recording voices (as opposed to say, a chamber orchestra).

Let’s set the BIT DEPTH at 24 if you can. Again, you can google for the reasons, but if you can swing it, go for it. You may find some mics limit recording to 16-bit. Don’t worry too much, though, 16-bit is still “CD quality” and will be fine.

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The Multitrack View

audition-multitrackviewXthe multitrack view

In Multitrack view we can get set up to RECORD using the TRACKS that Audition has put in your EDITOR tab.

Clicking on a track name, TRACK 1 for instance, you can rename it. I’m going to call Track 1 HOST, since that’ll be for you and your voice overs you will be recording.

To the right of the track name are track options – MUTE, SOLO, ARM FOR RECORD, and MONITOR INPUT.

  • MUTE will do just that: mute the track during recording and playback so you won’t hear it.
  • SOLO will make this the only track heard during recording and playback. Soloing can be stacked across multiple tracks, i.e. “mute everything but these solo’d tracks.”
  • ARM FOR RECORD will enable that track’s input for recording.
  • MONITOR INPUT will let you hear that track’s input so you can hear what your mic is capturing.

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 Import Your Files

Import audio files into Audition using FILE > IMPORT > FILE or the shortcut Command-I.

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Navigating In The Editor

With these files in, you can click & drag them to their own tracks – INTERVIEWS on an INTERVIEW track, NAT SOUND on a NAT SOUND track, MUSIC on a MUSIC track (label your tracks as you go). Go ahead and drag an interview in there.

audition-dragfilesinfiles dragged into respective tracks

If you hit PLAY (SPACEBAR) you’ll hear your tracks playback.

For starters – we’ll want to ZOOM IN to the front of our tracks to see the waveforms better. There is a ZOOM IN button along the bottom of the EDITOR tab, but an easier way is to hit the = (equals) key. Alternately, to ZOOM OUT, hit the  (minus) key next to it.

To move files around, use the MOVE tool – click it from the TOOLBAR up top or use the shortcut V:

audition-movetoolthe MOVE tool

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Up next, you’ll want to do some chopping. For starters, you’ll want to chop out any chatter before an answer and after. You’re looking for soundbites!

This part’s fun. Use this tool to select a region you want to chop out. Then hit DELETE. It’s that easy.

audition-editingclick & drag, DELETE

Repeat this throughout your pieces – finding good “soundbite-quality” answers so when you get to the end of the interview, you’re left with what we call SELECTS. Now with the MOVE tool you can arrange your selects according to the story you want to tell, to reinforce points, transition to new questions, or wrap things up, etc.

The Ripple Delete

If you chop out anything in the middle, you’ll leave holes of silence. If you want to bring the audio back together seamlessly after a delete, you’ll need to do a different kind of DELETE – in Audition it’s called a RIPPLE DELETE. This will remove the selection and slide everything after it over so there is no gap.

Use the TIME SELECTION tool to select the region between those approximate times. Use the waveforms as your guide, and ZOOM IN if you need to!

audition-rippleselectionselect that mess up for a RIPPLE DELETE

Now let’s RIPPLE DELETE! Use EDIT > RIPPLE DELETE > SELECTED CLIPS to make this happen.

audition-rippledeleteRIPPLE DELETE from the menu

A great shortcut for this is SHIFT-DELETE.

Mixing Music

If you play your music, chances are  you’ll see it’s super loud compared to the voices! Let’s go ahead and turn it down using the track’s tools. You’ll find the VOLUME knob just under the TRACK NAME:

audition-volumeturn down that music!

Recording In Audition

When recording in Audition, you’ll want to make sure your mic is selected as the input for our track. If you’ve got a Blue Snowball microphone, they are a great option.

To set a track’s input, use the dropdown next to the and you’ll see different options for your input.

Along the bottom of the EDITOR tab you’ll see PLAYBACK CONTROLS, and most notably, the red RECORD button in the middle.

We’re about ready to rock, let’s give it a test, shall we?

  1. ARM FOR RECORD Track 1.
  2. Turn on MONITOR INPUT so we can hear it in our headphones.
  3. Hit RECORD.
  4. Do a mic check, say something like, “Microphone check, 1, 2, 3. Testing. Microphone check.”
  5. Hit STOP.

If all went well you should now see a WAVEFORM of your recording in Track 1:

audition-micchecka successful mic check

If all is well, you’re ready to rock some voice overs intros and outros for your MOS!**

** – If you mess up, don’t stop recording, just regroup and start the sentence over again. It’s easier to chop out mistakes later than to sync up multiple takes.

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A Word On Effects

We should spend some time talking about EFFECTS – adjusting EQ, adding a COMPRESSOR and a LIMITER, but we are just about out of time here for an already long tutorial.

BUT THERE’S GOOD NEWS: We also have our own tutorial on it here: Audition FX Tutorial

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Exporting An MP3

Let’s get your show out of Audition and into MP3 land! To export your session use the menu and go FILE > EXPORT > MULTITRACK MIXDOWN > ENTIRE SESSION

audition-exportmenuexporting through the menu

This will open the following window:

audition-exportwindowexport window

We’ll want make some changes to their defaults.

  • I like to export to my Desktop so the file is easy to find. Use BROWSE to do this.
  • Change the FORMAT. Use the dropdown  box to choose MP3.
  • CHANGE the SAMPLE TYPE. This will open a window:

audition-convertsampleSAMPLE TYPE options

  • Change the SAMPLE RATE from “Same as source” to 441000.
  • Change the BIT DEPTH from “Same as source” to 16. Hit OK.
  • Lastly, CHANGE the FORMAT SETTINGS. It will open this window:

audition-mp3sets2MP3 FORMAT SETTINGS

  • Change the BITRATE to 96Kbps. This is because we just have a one-channel MONO file. A stereo show would double this since it has two channels. Hit OK.
  • Hit OK in the export window and Audition will do its thing!

Go find your file on the desktop. Voila! Congratulations!