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Audition CS6 Essential Training demonstrates all of the major features of Adobe Audition and prepares sound editors to start enhancing and correcting audio—whether it's music, dialogue, or other sound effects. Author and musician Garrick Chow begins by covering how to import, record, and manage media files, from extracting audio and importing video, to creating a new multitrack session from scratch. The course then dives deep into editing, repairing, and cleaning up audio files, using the Waveform and Multitrack Editors, and the Spectral Frequency Display. It also covers how to use built-in effects, how to mix both stereo and surround audio tracks, and how to work with video projects from Premiere Pro.
I'm working here with the file 05_02_interview_phone. Now if you look up in the toolbar area of the screen, you'll see that I have the Time Selection tool selected. And in fact, it's the only tool that's available to me right now. It's the default and only tool up there that you can use when you're working in the Waveform Editor, and that's what we use to make selections. When I view the Spectral Frequency Display, you can see that gives me access to these four other tools over here. And these are the tools that you'll work in the Spectral Display area to select and repair your audio. Let me play this file for you.
(male speaker: --in 1982, and in about 1983 BD came through the back door. He's dedicated. He's--he makes you want to cry with how dedicated he is--) Okay, so you probably heard that right around the 12 to 13-second mark of this interview there's a phone chime that goes off. I'll play that section again. (male speaker: He's dedicated. He's--) So it occurs while the person being interviewed is speaking, so just muting that section and replacing it with a background noise isn't really an option in this case.
And if you look closely at the Spectral Display, you can actually see those chimes. I'm going to zoom in on that area a little bit. So as you can see, the chime actually has multiple tones, and they show up in three different areas of the Spectral Display. We got one line here, one here, and one here. And again, this is a stereo file so we're seeing the same thing down here. Now this grouping here is actually the second ding. The first one is a little harder to see because it occurs as a speaker is actually saying something, and it's kind of hidden in this blob right here. I'm going to play for you again. (audio playing) But in this case, because there are two dings and I can see the second one clearly, I have enough info to get the general idea of where it is and what it looks like.
So in order to remove or at least reduce unwanted sounds, you have to be able to select them in the Spectral Display, and that's what these four tools up here are for. Now, if you ever use Photoshop, they probably look familiar to you. Now, while the Time Selection tool does work in the Spectral Display, you probably won't find it all that useful. It doesn't really do anything that you can't do in the Waveform Editor. Now, the next tool here is the Marquee Selection tool. It lets you select specific portion of the Spectral Display as rectangular shapes. Notice it draws in both the left and right channel. The Lasso tool is for drawing irregular shapes, and the third tool is the Paintbrush tool.
I'm just going to hit Command+D on my keyboard, Ctrl+D on Windows, to deselect my current selection. Now, the Paintbrush tool is really handy for irregular selections that might need a little bit more finesse than the Lasso tool can provide. When it's selected, you can choose a Brush Size and an Opacity. And just like in Photoshop, you can use the bracket keys on your keyboard to increase or decrease the size of the brush. And as you can see, this lets you sort of paint in the area that you want to select. And the more you paint over an area, the stronger the selection and the more you can affect it. I'll just drag over here quickly, because that's just a much lighter selection there. Notice I can also move my selection, in this case, stretch it and then hit Command+D to deselect.
So the Paintbrush tool is just a selection tool like the regular Marquee or Lasso tools. The fourth tool is the Spot Healing tool, and we'll be looking at that in the following movie. But your overall goal should be to select the tool that works best for selecting the sound you want to fix or remove. It's usually going to take some experimentation, and you'll sometimes find that, for example, both the Marquee tool and the Healing Brush can accomplish the same task, or you might find that a combination of tools works best. It really depends on your file and what you're trying to do. Now in this example I have these relatively straight horizontal lines that make up the unwanted sound.
So the Rectangular Marquee tool is probably good for this job. I'm going to draw a box around the lowest horizontal line of both dings since they sort of blend together. I want to draw as close to the line as possible, because I only want to eliminate the unwanted sounds. Now, after you make a selection, you might want to check to make sure you selected what you intended. If you right-click on the Play button down here, you can check Play Spectral Selection Only, if it's not already selected. So if I play this area, I'll only hear what I have selected... (audio playing) And I can definitely hear that lower tone ringing in there.
Now, as a side note, you can also right- click the Play button and select Return Playhead to Start Position on Stop. This is useful if you need to keep reviewing the same section and prevents you from having to keep dragging the playhead back to the beginning of the section. But alternately, you can also just loop your playback, and it'll just continue to play that selection over and over again. (audio playing) So with the selection made, I could just use the Amplitude Controls here and reduce the volume of the sound. This might be useful if you have a background noise that isn't exactly unwanted, but just might be too loud.
But in this case, I want to completely eliminate the sound. So I'm just going to press the Delete key on my keyboard. I'll press Command+D or Ctrl+D to deselect. And you can see that left a blank area in the Spectral Display. Remember, the darker the area, the quieter the sounds. So a black area is pretty much silent, but this is such a narrow selection that when I play back the problem area, it's not that noticeable that something is missing because the other frequencies are still playing. (audio playing) But you should definitely be able to tell that the dinging sound has already been mitigated a bit. So let's get rid of these other two areas.
Draw a box around the next line. So again, I'm looking closely as I can kind of see the first one poking out from this blob here. And I know it lines up with this one, so I'm just going to drag a box around both of those. It kind of goes all the way to here. And again, I'll press Delete, again I'll deselect, let's give that a listen. (audio playing) So now I'm only hearing these higher tones. Now these higher frequencies don't really run into each other like the lower frequencies did. I can still draw a single marquee around both of them, but I usually like to try to be as precise as possible and only eliminate what's absolutely necessary.
So I'm going to draw two separate marquees here, making sure I capture the entirety of both of these. Delete and Delete. Again, I'll deselect, and let's listen. (audio playing) So how about that? The chimes have been completely removed from this recording, and I can still hear what the speaker is saying without any drops in the audio. Now, this recording actually has several problems with it. You probably heard that clicking sound in the background, which I think was a ceiling fan or something. I'll play that for a little bit. (audio playing) And you can kind of see these vertical lines that represent these clicks that we're hearing.
Now this is a vertical line, so maybe I can just draw a box around it as tightly as possible and try to delete that. Let's hear how that sounds. First I have to deselect. (audio playing) That was not too bad. But now there actually is one over here that's a little tougher to get. (audio playing) Actually one here too. I'll do this one first. (audio playing) Now, this one here actually occurs in this blob where we can hear the speaker's voice speaking.
So if I try to delete some of that the same way, let's see how that sounds. (audio playing) So there's definitely something noticeable going on there. I probably took out too large a chunk. But what I've done here is I've taken out too many frequencies there. So in this case, deleting those frequencies didn't really do the job because I've muted some of the speaker, and it's pretty obvious. So this is an instance where the Marquee tool really isn't going to do the job for us. Fortunately, we have another tool --in this case, the Spot Healing tool--that should work. And we'll look at that next.
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