Engineer Scott / Blog

Digital Audio Editing

Gone are the days of the grease pencil and razor blade, but the art of audio editing is more alive today than ever. As amazing as it was back then for someone to seamlessly splice pieces of tape together, they couldn't pull of any of the tricks that we can today with the tools we have available today.

Enter, the digital audio workstation (DAW). There are many out there and some of the more popular are Pro Tools, CuBase, Digital Performer, Logic, and many more. They all are powerful tools in the right hands and disastrous weapons to your audio in the the wrong ones.

One of my favorite things to do in the studio is digital editing. I love and strive to pull off the completely seamless edit every time. It isn't as easy as it may seem. It helps to have some basic knowledge of how sound and electricity works. If you have ever worked with an oscilloscope, then you have a major advantage in understanding why things in digital editing work the way they do. It all has to do with amplitude and frequency over a time period. Sound is AC and has a continuously varying amplitude,polarity, and frequency. I won't get into the sample rates and word length as I don't intend to go that deep with this post. Once you have that down, then you have to keep the music itself in mind, and how it relates to the waveform's characteristics at any given time. You can't always cut and paste where you want to and there are certain methodologies and tricks you have to use to pull off a seamless 'edit' or 'splice'. You also have to keep in mind the natural flow of the content as a whole. Just because you 'can' do it doesn't mean that you 'should' do it.

I know this is all very vague and there's much more to digital editing than just copying and pasting waveforms. I just wanted to spark some interest in the subject and hopefully pull some questions out of some of you.

Have questions? Want more? Want me to shut up? Would you like to see some short tutorials on the subject to learn more about it? Let me know.

Thanks for making it this far reading this post :-) I look forward to hearing from you. Regards- EngineerScott