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Whether one is producing music, podcasts, game sounds, or film sound effects, Digital Audio Principles provides the tips and techniques that will make the project a success. Author Dave Schroeder explains the basics of digital audio production techniques and covers the essential hardware and software. He also discusses sound theory, frequency response, the range of human hearing, and dynamic range.
2 Track or Waveform editors are designed for working with mono or stereo files, so you don't get a lot of independent channel control. So they're not great for producing lots of music, but if you're just working with a simple file like a single voice-over file or a single stereo mix of a piece of music, it might be sufficient for just opening it up making some modifications. You can make edits, change the arrangement of sounds within the file, you can also zoom-in really close to make different changes in the waveform or eliminate little things like pops and clicks, and it's a great way to kind of clean up a sound.
It's also great for optimizing files. So if you have a three or four different voice-over tracks, and you want to make sure that they are all the same volume, you can bring them into a 2 Track Editor, change the volume accordingly and make sure they all match. It's also good for trimming the heads and tails of audio files if you want to get right up to where the sound begins, and they're also really great applications for converting your final collections to digital actually. And also if you're trying to convert existing files into different formats like digitizing your existing record collection, a 2 Track Editor will do the trick.
Some fairly common 2 Track editors are Bias Peak, Sound Forge, Audacity, and Sound Studio. You can find more information about these online. So Audacity is a dual platform editor, which means you can get versions work for it, for the Mac and the PC, and it happens to be free. You can usually find it online to download. I am sure if you Google Audacity, you will come up with some links to find it. Since we're talking about it, why don't we take a quick look at Audacity and see what you can do with the 2 Track Editor. Okay, so here we are in Audacity, and I've got one track of voice-over that we recorded in, and there is a couple of things I want to go ahead and change, and you can see it looks similar to the other multi-track program, it's the channels represented there, the waveform goes from left to right along the Timeline, and we've got some controls similar to that.
But this is really great for going in and just taking a single track and making a few adjustments to it in terms of kind of what's there and what's not and changing some of the linear relationships of things. So let's take a listen and see what we've got to work with. (female speaker: Welcome to the lynda.com video training Podcast for Friday, January 19th, 2006-- Oops! January 19th, 2007. This is--) Okay, so she clammed it there. She got the dates wrong. (female speaker: January 19th--) All right, so right about there, it sounds good.
(female speaker: January 19th, 2006.) So she kind of picked it up there, right? So here's the clam, the mistake. (female speaker: January 19th, 2006-- Oops!) So I just want to get rid of that and actually act like it never happened. So I delete it, and you notice where we had those points this whole thing slid over. (female speaker: --for Friday, January 19th, 2007.) And voila, sounds great! Smooth, clean. (female speaker: --Podcast for Friday, January 19th, 2007. This is episode 47.) Another thing we can do is use the Mute or Silence function and here we've got a little breath in between a couple of these words.
I can go ahead and highlight that, hit the Mute command, and that will silence that section between those two words or whatever I had highlighted. So let's listen to that. (female speaker: --47. This week--) It's nice and quiet. So that's cool. So this is really nice if you're working with voice-over tracks or any tracks where you have things kind of in between the sounds that you want to get rid of like breaths or pops or clicks. You can also uses this to clean up the heads and tails of your files and go ahead so that you don't have a ton of lead time. Right now what do we have? We have a lot of silence in the beginning of this, and a breath, and we don't really need that.
So we can also delete that, slide everything forward, that's where we start right from the beginning. (female speaker: Welcome to the lynda.com video training Podcast--) Very cool! The other thing we can do is zoom way in. That's one of the things that Waveform editors are pretty well known for. They are really good at zooming in to waveforms right down to what we call the Sample Level. So we can get right in there and really check it out. So these dots now represent a sample. A lot of your multi-track software is now building in the capability to get down this close and do some of this work, but Waveform editors are known for that, so you can get really, really tight into things and kind of scrutinize them and take a look.
So if you want to do some really close or high-level editing, check out things for like pops and clicks. This is a great future of Waveform editors is how close you can zoom in. Even if you have multi-track software, a lot of times it's very convenient to just have a 2 Track or a Waveform Editor for doing kind of quick and simple changes or if you're just working with one file like this, and sometimes it's a lot easier than opening up a big session with lots of channels and all the different things you have to go through. This is kind of a quick and--I don't want to say quick and dirty, but quick and very efficient way to work with sound files.
Next, we will take a look at some loop-based software.
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