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Making silent cuts and trims

From: Digital Audio Principles

Video: Making silent cuts and trims

Okay. In this section, I want to talk about making silent trims and cuts. When we talk about trimming or cutting, we're talking about where we are in the waveform. A cut happens in the middle of the waveform, and a trim happens in the beginning or the end of the waveform. So, a cut happens somewhere in here, and a trim is when we're taking the heads or tails off a waveform. The trick to making a silent cut is to make your edit right at the zero crossing point. I'm going to zoom in really tight here on this waveform, and just show you the waveform against the zero crossing.

Making silent cuts and trims

Okay. In this section, I want to talk about making silent trims and cuts. When we talk about trimming or cutting, we're talking about where we are in the waveform. A cut happens in the middle of the waveform, and a trim happens in the beginning or the end of the waveform. So, a cut happens somewhere in here, and a trim is when we're taking the heads or tails off a waveform. The trick to making a silent cut is to make your edit right at the zero crossing point. I'm going to zoom in really tight here on this waveform, and just show you the waveform against the zero crossing.

So, we can see, here is where the waveform crosses this zero line. Here is where it crosses it again. When we make our edits, we want to make them at that point, anywhere the zero crossing is. So, I could do it here, here, and that will produce a silent cut. If we make our edit like this where there is amplitude, especially if they are on different sides of the zero line, we'll get a little pop or click, or a zzz. It's kind of a little nasty glitch sound. We will call it a pop. So, let's zoom back out and take a look at a voiceover file I have here, and see if we can do a little bit of editing to change things.

First, let's start by kind of tidying up the heads and tails. So, we've got a lot of extra sound here that kind of looks like there must be some noise there. Let's take a look. We'll solo that. Yeah, so there we go. Right off the bat, I know I don't want to start with that, so I'm going to trim the front, and I'm going to get as close as I can. Now, you can always zoom way in. Zooming is a big part of editing. So, we can see there is a little bit of sound there, maybe a little bit of room tone at the beginning of a breath. Let's back it off and see if it's really silent. Nope. So that's just kind of the room tone.

But we can't really hear it, look at the difference there. (audio playing.) So, we want to get close, but we don't want to cut it off. We want to give it a little bit of time to come in, maybe a couple of hundred samples, which is about the equivalent of a hundredth of a second. (Dave: The rumors about me in the--) A little bit more. (Dave: The rumors about me--) Now let's go and make sure we're kind of-- Now this is really kind of nitpicky because it's the very beginning. But still, it's moving a little bit. There is some of that room noise. So, we want to try and find a point where we're right on the line.

That's good enough, right there on the line. So, theoretically, this will start out without a pop, and we'll hear the voiceover. (Dave: The rumors about me in the press are completely inaccurate) Works good! Now, at the end, we notice we've got a similar story: a breath and a little lip smack. Let's get rid of that. So, we'll just trim it up. In the next section, I'll show you how to kind of put a fade on there, which is also a nice way to make fast trims without having to worry about kind of your heads and tails and making sure that they're at the zero point.

But that's the next movie. So, here is our file trimmed. (Dave: The rumors about me in the press are completely inaccurate.) Not bad! So now, let's try and make in a cut in the middle. (Dave: The rumors about me in the press are completely inaccurate.) So, let's zero in. (Dave: Completely inacc-- Completely inacc--) So, let's see.

Let's go ahead and just try and make a cut and get rid of that. Let's see, something like this. I want to try and--I want to take that in out, and I'm going to go in a Shuffle mode, which is when I delete this, what's there is going to slide up. So, watch! Boom! So, it's lit up, and I'm trying to make him say accurate instead of inaccurate. (Dave: The rumors about me in the press are completely accurate.) Well, that's not a good edit because it doesn't flow well, so we better smooth it out a little bit more. So, we'll trim the edges.

(Dave: Accurate. Accurate) So, we've got that. (Dave: Are completely accurate.) There is a little pop there. Now, if I were to make a really lousy edit, just for demonstration purposes, and go in here, it would look something like this. We're not really at the zero. Now this should produce a pop that you don't really want to have in your edit.

(Dave: --in the press are completely accurate.) Yeah, hear the snap, the pop there? (Dave: --in the press are completely accurate.) Now, in addition to the timing not being so great, that little pop is a mess, and we have created it; it wasn't there. It's because we have made an edit that's taking place where we're not at the zero crossing. But we can still get this one to work. Let's see what we've got. (Dave: Completely accurate.) That's pretty good! Let's zoom in and take a look at about where we're at. Make the cut here on the zero. Bring this to the zero. And actually, since if one waveform is on the way down, I like the other one to kind of pick up on the way down, so we'll zoom in a little bit, give this a little bit more here.

We'll go like maybe right here where it's on the way down, and we'll check it out. (Dave: are completely accurate.) So, that's a good edit. No pop. Timing is pretty good. (Dave: The rumors about me in the press are completely accurate.) So, that's a good edit! Let me give you one more quick example of a noisy pop and an edit, and we'll do that here with our nice bass track. Three notes. (bass playing.) Let's say I just want to-- the keyboard player played this last note a little too long, and I want to take some of that out of there.

So, I'm going to go in and say, oh, we got to lose some of this. I just go in randomly and say, yeah we need what, this, like the four seconds. We've got to take that out. We delete it. Obviously, visually, we can see, this is probably not going to be a clean silent trim. Let's listen back. (bass playing.) Oh yeah, quite a pop! But we can still make this work, and we get nice and close. Zoom in, find this one on the way down, hitting the zero crossing, and find this one on the way up. Sorry, continuing on the way down.

Zoom back, zoom out a little bit there, and see if our short note works. (bass playing.) Nice! A nice silent trim! So, making your cuts across the zero line is the secret to making a good silent trim or cut. Again, we're doing this inside of Pro Tools, but this kind of editing and editing for silent trims along the zero line will work in any waveform editor. That's a general principle. So, you can apply this to any software you're working with.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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Digital Audio Principles

110 video lessons · 26631 viewers

Dave Schroeder
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 50s
    1. Welcome
      50s
  2. 39m 10s
    1. What is sound?
      4m 15s
    2. Hertz and frequency response
      5m 34s
    3. Phase
      2m 39s
    4. Capturing audio
      3m 39s
    5. Sample rate
      6m 16s
    6. Bit depth
      9m 47s
    7. The waveform
      5m 3s
    8. Audio file formats
      1m 57s
  3. 7m 25s
    1. What is a digital audio workstation?
      2m 59s
    2. Typical DAW signal flow
      4m 26s
  4. 50m 33s
    1. What microphones do
      1m 57s
    2. Element types
      5m 0s
    3. Pickup patterns
      6m 51s
    4. Axis
      2m 52s
    5. Frequency response and the proximity effect
      5m 10s
    6. Phase issues
      1m 41s
    7. Microphone types
      8m 44s
    8. Miking vocals
      5m 39s
    9. Miking amplifiers
      2m 17s
    10. Miking drums
      10m 22s
  5. 16m 39s
    1. Cables and connectors overview
      2m 42s
    2. Balanced and unbalanced cables
      3m 19s
    3. Common cable types
      7m 13s
    4. Cable tips
      3m 25s
  6. 12m 16s
    1. What is an I/O device?
      1m 41s
    2. Analog to digital conversion
      3m 10s
    3. Tour of an audio interface
      4m 49s
    4. Interface considerations
      2m 36s
  7. 21m 5s
    1. What is a preamp?
      3m 21s
    2. Input levels
      5m 29s
    3. Padding
      2m 18s
    4. Phantom power
      2m 37s
    5. Phase reverse
      3m 4s
    6. Preamp demo
      4m 16s
  8. 12m 56s
    1. What is a mixer?
      5m 55s
    2. Input section
      1m 17s
    3. Channel strips
      3m 16s
    4. Master section
      2m 28s
  9. 18m 21s
    1. What is monitoring?
      2m 11s
    2. Speakers
      4m 47s
    3. Room considerations
      5m 43s
    4. Headphone types
      3m 50s
    5. Monitoring levels
      1m 50s
  10. 15m 23s
    1. What role do computers play?
      1m 36s
    2. Performance issues
      4m 11s
    3. Hard drives
      4m 38s
    4. Mechanical noise
      2m 10s
    5. Authorization
      2m 48s
  11. 6m 54s
    1. Planning for recording
      54s
    2. Doing a system check
      1m 26s
    3. Planning your inputs
      1m 42s
    4. The recording environment
      2m 52s
  12. 25m 52s
    1. Types of digital audio software
      38s
    2. Multi-track recorders/sequencers
      4m 56s
    3. Two-track recorders/waveform editors
      4m 55s
    4. Loop-based music production software
      5m 44s
    5. Plug-ins
      6m 56s
    6. Other varieties
      2m 43s
  13. 18m 59s
    1. Common components
      46s
    2. The transport
      2m 4s
    3. The toolbar
      3m 19s
    4. The Edit/Arrange window
      4m 42s
    5. The mixer
      5m 8s
    6. The file list
      3m 0s
  14. 19m 17s
    1. Setting up a session
      3m 30s
    2. Assigning inputs and getting signals
      3m 19s
    3. Input modes
      3m 28s
    4. Overdubbing and punching
      5m 14s
    5. Bouncing down
      3m 46s
  15. 19m 42s
    1. What is editing?
      1m 21s
    2. Waveforms
      2m 53s
    3. Making silent cuts and trims
      7m 1s
    4. Fades and automation
      8m 27s
  16. 1h 23m
    1. What are plug-ins?
      3m 0s
    2. Using plug-ins
      6m 11s
    3. EQs
      7m 4s
    4. Dynamics pt. 1: Compressors, limiters, expanders, and gates
      5m 40s
    5. Dynamics pt 2: Applying dynamic effects
      7m 2s
    6. Pitch shifting
      6m 14s
    7. Reverb
      9m 28s
    8. Echo and delay
      6m 23s
    9. Modulation effects: Phaser, flanger, and chorus
      9m 39s
    10. Sound tools pt. 1: About, gain, normalize
      7m 39s
    11. Sound tools pt. 2: Reverse and time compression/expansion
      6m 29s
    12. Sound tools pt. 3: Noise reducers, dither
      8m 11s
  17. 23m 43s
    1. What is MIDI?
      3m 6s
    2. Keyboard controllers
      1m 23s
    3. Computer-based virtual instruments
      1m 6s
    4. Control surfaces
      1m 6s
    5. Recording and editing MIDI
      12m 4s
    6. Virtual instruments
      4m 58s
  18. 27m 29s
    1. What is mixing?
      1m 54s
    2. Some common objectives
      3m 4s
    3. Some useful techniques
      5m 59s
    4. A quick mixing demo
      16m 32s
  19. 18m 48s
    1. What is mastering?
      2m 24s
    2. Sonic maximization
      9m 43s
    3. Final preparations and exporting
      6m 41s
  20. 13m 34s
    1. What is audio compression?
      2m 16s
    2. Popular formats
      2m 9s
    3. Bit rate, sample rate, and channels
      5m 42s
    4. Other adjustments and considerations
      3m 27s
  21. 15m 6s
    1. Essential gear
      7m 36s
    2. Voice recording setups
      1m 43s
    3. The voice production process
      5m 47s
  22. 10m 4s
    1. Analog vs. digital
      2m 48s
    2. Tube vs. solid state
      5m 6s
    3. The continual upgrade
      2m 10s
  23. 18s
    1. Goodbye
      18s

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