How To Get Started With Audio Editing – An Overview Of Necessary Tools And Skillset

Keaton Robbins | February 11, 2022

Audio Editing Tutorial

While video and visual content have grown in popularity over the last few years, there’s another form of content that’s starting to dominate more and more— audio content. Voice-powered content like podcasts, audio ads, music, audiobooks, and other formats have risen in popularity over the last few years, and businesses need to take notice if they want to catch people’s attention.

There are many reasons why audio content makes sense. For one, it allows for more flexibility. 71% of people listen to audio content because it gives them the ability to multitask. That means that people like listening to audio content, because they can do so while driving, cooking, or even working. 

In this article

  1. Tools for audio editing
  2. A noise-free space
  3. Audio editing software
  4. Project management software
  5. Good headphones or speakers
  6. A good microphone
  7. The distribution platform
  8. Skills that every audio editor must have

So for any business that wants to grab people’s attention or share an idea, voice-based content should be a priority. That strategy might include the following: 

  • Starting a podcast
  • Guesting on other podcasts
  • Investing in audio ads
  • Creating an audio book
  • Creating a jingle
  • Creating a branded playlist
  • And many others

If you’re a job seeker looking for work that will be in high demand, becoming an audio engineer will also be a useful skill to learn. So what are the skills and tools that aspiring audio engineers, content creators, and marketing teams need to know about to successfully edit and launch audio content? You’ll learn that and so much more in this blog.

Tools for audio editing

So the first thing that you should look into is the tools that you will need to edit and publish your audio content. So here are the tools you will need to edit great quality audio content to promote your brand and add value to an audience.

A noise-free space

Creating good audio doesn’t start with having good audio editing skills. Just like photography required taking good photos and filmmaking requires great film shooting, good audio content needs good recording. And good audio recording is almost close to impossible without having a good space to record in. 

Now producing a voice over project, music track, or podcast doesn’t necessarily need a professional recording studio. All you need is a noise-free environment where you’re able to control as much ambient room sound as you can. If you can invest in noise canceling paraphernalia, that would be great. But in most cases, having heavy curtains, carpeted floors, and a cool and quiet room should do the job. 

Audio editing software

The next piece to your audio editing workflow puzzle is the audio editing software you will use to edit the audio files. There are tons of great options for audio editing software. Before landing on one, consider your current laptop and desktop setup and ensure that your machine is powerful enough to handle editing and exporting files. Thankfully, editing audio files aren’t as heavy as editing video and graphic files in general— unless of course, you’re editing longer pieces of content like audiobooks. In this case, you might need a more powerful computer. 

Here are some of the best audio editing software options available. 

  • Ableton Live
  • Adobe Audition
  • GarageBand
  • Logic Pro X
  • Descript
  • Audacity
  • Sound Forge
  • Studio One

Project management software

One of the most overlooked keys to great audio content creation is sound project management for producers. Without good project management skills and software, it’s easy to let these projects fall through the cracks. A large chunk of audio creation projects fail or get delayed because of bad project management skills. To manage projects properly, use project management software to manage content development and roll out. Some good project management tools to consider include: 

  • Monday
  • Asana
  • Trello
  • Notion
  • Wrike
  • Teamwork

Good headphones or speakers

The next equipment piece in your audio recording arsenal is a pair of good headphones and/or quality speakers. When editing audio, it usually helps to start off by editing with headphones as the far majority of people will listen to the content there. But as you start to finish up your recording, it’s a good idea to test out your audio on speakers too so that you get a good sense of what the output will sound like when blasted out.

Some professional audio engineers will even play a track on Amazon Alexa or other smart speaker devices just to get a feel of what it will sound like there. Over 150 million smart speakers went out in 2020 alone, so it’s safe to say that this listening channel is a significant factor today.

A good microphone

While most audio editing projects are only editing pre-recorded material, from time to time you may need to fix the audio by re-recording a voice-over, known as automatic dialog replace (ADR) and if so, you will need is a good recording microphone. Learning how to edit audio recordings will be a lot easier if you have a top-tier microphone that records crisp and clear voice audio. There are a whole array of amazing brands out there for recording microphones to choose from. Some of the top brands to look out for include: 

  • Shure
  • Audio-Technica
  • Bose
  • Sennheiser
  • Neumann
  • Rode
  • Blue Yeti
  • Elgato
  • HyperX

One of the biggest factors to choosing a good microphone is quality. But as a rule of thumb, it’s important to remember that good quality usually means more durability. If you’re planning to provide audio recording and editing services, then investing in a good microphone is a must. 

The distribution platform

So here’s the moment of all truth— you’ve edited your audio and you’re ready to showcase it to the world. You’ll need a distribution platform to do that. This part is important because you must take some platform factors into consideration when editing your audio files, such as the format, file size, bit rate, and so on.

Here are the three platforms you might use audio content for: 

  • Podcast —  40% of millennials and Gen-Zers trust podcast content more than other media sources. If you’re looking to launch your own podcast, you’ll need a service like Anchor.FM, Libsyn, or Buzzsprout to host your content. That podcast hosting software will then push your podcast to listen to platforms like Spotify, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Radioshack, and many others.   
  • Audiobook store — A total of 131 million people listened to an audiobook in 2021. So if you’re looking to sell audiobooks, Amazon is a great place to start. However, the challenge with Amazon is you have less control over your site experience and the market can be extremely crowded on it. So another option is to create your own online store and sell audiobooks there. You’ll need to check out ecommerce software like Shopify or Woocommerce to do that.
  • Audio ads — If you’re planning to create audio ads, then the best places to pay for them might be on a platform like Spotify, which now gets billions of listens every single month. You can also consider paying for a podcast show or online radio to play an ad or jingle for you.

When choosing a platform, choose one that will give you insights and analytics in your ad, audiobook, or podcast’s performance so that you can measure your reach and results.

Skills that every audio editor must have

On top of the tools of the trade, you’ll also need to develop your audio editing skills. There’s a lot that goes into this practice, but here are some basic tips to get you started. 

  • Learn to clean out noise — One of the most important parts of an audio experience is ensuring that it’s as clean as possible. That includes removing background noise and splicing out dead air and conversational fillers to keep the listener engaged all the way. You can use audio editing software online to do that.
  • Balance out the sound levels — The magic of high-profile audio editing comes in one’s ability to masterfully balance out sound levels. If you want to become a pro at this, then consider taking up an audio engineering course and investing in professional audio editing software
  • Make use of sound effects and scoring — One great way to improve listening experiences is to use sound effects and scoring to add flavor to your audio content. Just make sure not to overdo it as it could also ruin\ the listening experience.

Voice audio content will only continue to grow as more people turn to it. So it’s best that you start preparing to create audio content for your brand today!

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  • Avatar for Stephen Nance
    Stephen Nance
    April 8, 2022, 10:07 pm

    Thank you for all this advise audio voice over I learned alot.