Editing a Voice-Over

How To Edit a Voice-Over in Your Podcast

GarageBand Large Editing View

  1. Identify the region of audio that you would like to edit
  2. Select the region of audio
  3. Perform your edit to that specific region
  4. Once you have completed the recording, it is now time to listen back to your takes and select the best ones to compile into a single ‘keeper’ version of your podcast.

Room Tone - Natural sound temperature

A location’s room tone is its auditory fingerprint. These are non-specific sounds generated by the natural acoustics of the room.

Editing may also be required when sounds overlap. If they occur while you or another individual in your podcast are speaking your editing can be more challenging. To preserve the original performance, try to find another take of the word(s) in question (the one you want to replace) and edit or splice the word in to replace the unusable take.

Automatic Dialog Replacement

Automatic Dialog Replacement or ADR, is simply re-recording specific lines that could not be salvaged in the edit. The sound and performance of the lines must be matched to the original performance. For a successful re-take, attempt to create the original take by recording in the same tone of voice, through the same microphone.

Editing Tools

Every multi-media software package has common tools for editing digital audio.

Most recording and editing programs have similar tools that allow you edit the audio you have just recorded.

The Selector

Clicking and dragging the cursor across any audio waveform in a track will select that range for editing. The cursor position is always indicated in the main viewing window.

The Grabber

With this tool, regions can be moved or rearranged simply by clicking and dragging them to a new location in the timeline.

The Trimmer

With this tool, regions can be quickly shortened or expanded to a desired length. To trim a region, simply click the cursor at the right or left of a region and drag towards the center. As you drag, the edge of the region is ‘trimmed off’ until you release the mouse button.

To extend a region or expand it beyond its current area, click the cursor on the appropriate edge of the region and drag outwards. The more you drag, the more audio is ‘uncovered’ until the region is restored to its original length.

The Zoomer

Clicking the Zoomer, the cursor turns into a miniature magnifying glass. To use the Zoomer, click and drag the magnifying glass over a portion of a track that you wish to view in greater detail. As you drag, a dashed box appears indicating the range that you will be zooming in on.

Summary - Key points about editing

We have learned that editing is the process of removing sections of audio that you don’t want due to a mistake, laugh, cough, sneeze or other element. Editing is very subjective and only you as the producer can discern if something should be edited out of the recording or left in.

Your finished podcast should flow seamlessly from one sentence to the next. If your editing has caused abrupt interruptions, or simply doesn’t make sense, then perhaps you should reconsider your editing style.

Written by David Ciccarelli