Soundbooth CS5 Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

Selecting audio


Soundbooth CS5 Essential Training

with Jeff Sengstack

Video: Selecting audio

Frequently, you'll want to select a portion of an audio clip. You might want to delete that segment, raise or lower its volume, apply an effect to it, remove a noise, or copy it and then paste it into another clip. In this movie, I show you only how to make selections. I go over all those editing techniques in other movies. You can make your selections based on a time range, a frequency range, or both, and you can work in the Waveform display or the Spectral Frequency display. So, let's start off by selecting a time range. We'll use the Time Selection tool to do that. That's the little T for the shortcut for the Time Selection tool.
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  1. 4m 51s
    1. Welcome
      1m 13s
    2. What is Soundbooth CS5?
      2m 30s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 8s
  2. 18m 4s
    1. Taking a look at basic sound waves
      3m 53s
    2. Taking a look at complex sound waves
      6m 43s
    3. Understanding digital audio concepts
      7m 28s
  3. 14m 45s
    1. Understanding the workflow
      5m 35s
    2. Touring the workspace
      3m 44s
    3. Customizing the workspace
      5m 26s
  4. 13m 11s
    1. Opening and importing files
      3m 59s
    2. Setting up recording hardware
      2m 35s
    3. Recording vocals and instruments
      6m 37s
  5. 1h 3m
    1. Playing and monitoring audio
      5m 10s
    2. Viewing audio waveforms and spectral displays
      6m 24s
    3. Selecting audio
      9m 14s
    4. Trimming and deleting audio
      3m 59s
    5. Copying, cutting, and pasting audio and inserting silence
      7m 55s
    6. Adjusting volume
      11m 21s
    7. Using specialized volume techniques
      6m 54s
    8. Creating and using loops
      4m 42s
    9. Stretching time and shifting pitch
      5m 14s
    10. Working with video files
      2m 22s
  6. 26m 50s
    1. Identifying noises: Hums, hisses, clicks, and pops
      5m 45s
    2. Removing background noise: Audio tape hiss
      7m 55s
    3. Removing vinyl record clicks and pops
      3m 57s
    4. Removing individual sounds
      9m 13s
  7. 13m 27s
    1. Previewing Soundbooth effects
      5m 32s
    2. Applying and adjusting standard effects
      4m 58s
    3. Applying and customizing advanced effects
      2m 57s
  8. 48m 25s
    1. Applying reverb and echo: Analog Delay and Convolution Reverb
      8m 46s
    2. Using delay-based effects: Chorus/Flanger and Phaser
      6m 8s
    3. Understanding sound-level effects: Compressor and Dynamics
      7m 0s
    4. Applying equalization effects: Graphic and Parametric
      11m 14s
    5. Exploring other special effects: Distortion and Vocal Enhancer
      7m 58s
    6. Setting the all-in-one effect: Mastering
      7m 19s
  9. 46m 42s
    1. Understanding multitrack concepts
      1m 16s
    2. Building a multitrack file
      7m 5s
    3. Adjusting track and clip volume and panning
      8m 54s
    4. Adding effects to individual tracks
      7m 38s
    5. Using Soundbooth sound effects in your multitrack file
      6m 38s
    6. Using three multitrack editing techniques: Duplicating, splitting, and cross-fading
      6m 15s
    7. Working with video in multitrack
      2m 49s
    8. Using professional production studio mixing techniques
      6m 7s
  10. 17m 13s
    1. Understanding how scores work
      3m 30s
    2. Previewing, downloading, and inserting scores into multitrack files
      4m 45s
    3. Adjusting score duration, intensity and parts
      8m 58s
  11. 10m 42s
    1. Dynamically linking to Premiere Pro and After Effects projects
      4m 31s
    2. Turning spoken dialogue into searchable metadata
      6m 11s
  12. 21m 42s
    1. Saving snapshots
      6m 23s
    2. Saving entire files or selected ranges
      11m 59s
    3. Saving and mixing down multitrack files
      3m 20s
  13. 10s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Soundbooth CS5 Essential Training
4h 59m Beginner Apr 30, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Soundbooth CS5 Essential Training, author Jeff Sengstack demonstrates how to record, edit, optimize, and enhance audio using the professional tools in Adobe Soundbooth CS5. This course covers basic audio edits, such as trimming, fading, and panning clips, removing unwanted noise, enhancing audio with special effects, and creating stereo blends from multiple tracks. An overview of recording hardware and a detailed explanation of core audio concepts are included as well. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Setting up recording hardware
  • Recording vocals and instruments
  • Viewing audio waveforms and spectral frequency displays
  • Copying, cutting and pasting audio
  • Stretching time and shifting pitch
  • Looping tracks
  • Identifying and removing noise
  • Enhancing audio with Soundbooth effects
  • Mixing audio in multitrack mode
  • Customizing prebuilt scores
  • Working with Soundbooth files in Premiere Pro projects
Audio + Music Video
Jeff Sengstack

Selecting audio

Frequently, you'll want to select a portion of an audio clip. You might want to delete that segment, raise or lower its volume, apply an effect to it, remove a noise, or copy it and then paste it into another clip. In this movie, I show you only how to make selections. I go over all those editing techniques in other movies. You can make your selections based on a time range, a frequency range, or both, and you can work in the Waveform display or the Spectral Frequency display. So, let's start off by selecting a time range. We'll use the Time Selection tool to do that. That's the little T for the shortcut for the Time Selection tool.

I've already selected it here and I've got my Editor panel opened to this clip, which is a monaural clip of a voice. Click the little Play here and there you go. (Woman singing) Now, I want to select, let's say, this first phrase here. So, I'm just going to do a rough selection of that by using my Time Selection tool by clicking and then dragging across that little portion there. That clearly is not going to be exact. And if I hit the loop button here and click Play, (Woman singing: When the sun sets on the water's edge. When -) Pretty close, but I would rather get a little bit tighter to the beginning, and a little more exact in the out.

So, I can zoom in to do that. Now, I've shown you the Zoom tool before to zoom in on the Timeline, but I want to zoom in using a keyboard shortcut. So, I'm going to use the Plus or the Minus key. Plus to zoom in, Minus to zoom out on the numeric keypad. So, I'll press that to zoom in, pressing plus, minus to zoom out. And I can also use the keyboard shortcuts on the regular keypad. Next to the numbers, at the top, you'll have a Hyphen/Underscore key that looks like a Minus key, so that zooms out. Then you've got a Plus/Equal key and if you press that that zooms in the same way, and it's a probably more convenient way to do it.

And notice that as you zoom in, the zoom centers on the current time indicator as you zoom in. Now, I want to adjust this selection to make it a little more exact. And I can do that by dragging these edit points using the Trim tool here. If I hover over these little in and out points, this being the In Point, this being the Out Point, I get this Trim tool that shows up, this contact-sensitive cursor here. If I click on that, I'll drag that right to the beginning of her phrase. Now, it looks like the phrase ends right there, so I'm going to drag that one over.

Now I've made a more exacting selection. I'll click the Play and see if that thing loops the way I want it to. (Woman singing in repeated loops: When the sun sets on the water's edge) Actually, the little Out Point didn't quite work out. I want to hear the edge. So, maybe it's right there is the proper place. Let's try that again. (Woman Singing: When the sun sets on the water's edge. When -) That's better. So, now that'll obey the adjustment there, using this little Trim tool. If I want to set exact points down to the time code, I can change the time code down here.

Let's say, if roll over here a little bit, you'd rather have the very beginning of this little clip be at, let's say, 11.5 seconds, for example, if I really want to do it based on the time code. I can go down here and click this and have it be 0.5. If I press Enter or Return, it moves the current time indicator there but not the selection. And the way that I can get the selection to go there is by clicking in this little In Point. I'm going to set the In Point to the current time indicator. That makes it exact to the current time indicator. And I can do the same thing for the Out Point.

Let's say I want the Out Point to be 15.5 seconds, for whatever reason I want. So, I go over here and make this 0.5. And now it's moved the current time indicator but has not changed the Out Point. So, I'm going to click the little Set the Out Point guy here and that will move the Out Point to the current time indicator. That's another way to set a selection based upon a specific time. I can also make selections using what's called Markers. So, I am going to click here to undo all this. You can put Markers here and then use the Markers to help you make a selection. I will change with different file to do that.

I want to do this one based kind of on the beats. I am want to see the whole file here by pressing the Backslash key. There is the whole guy, and I'm going to move toward the beginning. And then I want to set Markers kind of based upon the rhythm of the piece, places where I might to trim things out or change the volume, or whatever. And you can set Markers using a keyboard shortcut. That's the Asterisk key on the numeric keypad, or you can use the Markers panel, the little Plus button here on the Markers panel, which I've opened here. There is the Plus button to apply a Marker. If I click one now, it'll add a Marker right there.

And now, if I click Play and use the Asterisk Key on the numeric keypad, I can add markers that way. (Music playing.) So, I have just added three markers using the Asterisk key, kind of based upon the rhythm of the piece. I want to zoom in on these guys a little bit and show you how you can make selections. So, I'll also press the Plus key a couple of times here. And if I want to make a selection here, I can use the Time Selection tool and if I click here, it will sort of jump, or snap to the Marker line.

I'm a little bit off the line, but you'll see that it jumps to it and now it's going to jump to the next marker. See how it sort of snaps there to it? If I want to continue that, I can go on to the next one and it'll snap to that one. It'll hover there if I move across, but eventually, it'll start moving there to the next one and it snaps to these Marker lines. That's called snapping. And if you're not snapping, if your particular setup in Soundbooth is not snapping, it's because Snapping is turned off. So to see Snapping, go to View > Snapping and make sure it says Snap to Markers. And that way, you can make a selection based on your Markers.

And if you do want to get rid of all those Markers, simply click on one, Shift+Click on another and press the Delete key, or press the Minus key here to get rid of all these Markers. If I want to select just part of the file based upon what I see, I'm going to zoom in a bit here, I want select only the visible range of a file, I double-click, and that selects the visible range. Now, you can tell it's the visible range because up here in the Zoom Navigator, you see this little white area. That indicates that this part right there, of the whole file is selected. If I slide it over, you see that the other parts of the file are not selected.

If I want going to change that and double-click again, it selects only that visible range. I am going to click away to undo that. If I want to select the entire file, I triple-click: one, two, three. Now you can see the whole range is selected there. And if I press the Backslash key, you can see the whole file now has been selected. I'll click away. By the way, this little blue line in the middle, if you click on that, it's not the same as clicking anywhere else. The blue line is actually a volume rubber band, it's called, where you can set volume levels within a clip, and I talk about doing this in other tutorials. But if you do click on this, you'll notice that you get a little diamond there, which is called a keyframe.

So, if you have never worked with keyframes before, this will be something new to you. But if you do click there inadvertently, you can always undo something that you've done by going Edit > Undo and it'll tell you what you're going to undo, Undo Adding a Keyframe. And the keyboard shortcut to undo something is Ctrl+Z on Windows, or Command+Z on the Mac. Now, I want to go to the Spectral View. That's a whole different way of selecting things and notice what's going to happen. See these three little tools up here that are grayed out, that are not active? When I open up with the Spectral View, watch what happens to those guys. I'll go up here and raise this gap a little bit, and bam, those three guys become available.

These are these tools to help you select things inside the Spectral View. And I want to use particularly this noises-narration clip. It selects a few things. I'll show you how that works. So here we are on the Spectral View, and this is a little audio file that I've made with a bunch of awful noises inside it, which we will use in other tutorials, but I wanted to just to show you this right now in action. There are three ways to select things inside the Spectral Frequency display. Let me show you how to do that. The first one is a Frequency Selection. Notice that it's sort of an I-beam on its side, because you're selecting a frequency, which is up and down.

So I'm going to select this frequency right there, this awful tone, if you hear it. It just goes - (Male Speaker: We hold these truths.) (Hum) You can select that hum because it's this little frequency that you can spot inside this display, and lower the volume on that sound. And that guy goes away. (Male Speaker: We hold these truths to be self-evident) Jeff: I will explain those things a little more later. I can also select things based on an area of the frequency that actually is just a part of the frequency and the time put together, by selecting on this rectangular Marquee tool.

And I want to select this noise here. I'll show you how that sounds. (Cell phone ringing) Its a little cell phone. I can select just that little section, based on both the frequency and the time, just a little segment, instead of the whole track. I'm just selecting that little portion and I can reduce the volume on that one as well, and that little tone will go away, but not completely. I'll show you how to get rid of thing completely in another movie. And then finally, you can select a very sort of random chunk of stuff using the Lasso tool. Let me go over here. (Coughing sound) There is a cough there.

You can sort of select the cough area by drawing a line around it. Kind of a random looking thing, but that's a great way to select just a kind of a rough part of a clip and remove it or reduce its level or what's call heal it, which is just something we'll do in a different movie. So in the Spectral Frequency display, you can select based on frequency, like this, all the way across the file, or you can select based on frequency and time using Marquee Selection here. I'll select that bit of frequency over that little bit of time.

Or you can make a selection based on kind of on a chunk of stuff that you want to remove by just drawing a lasso around it, as opposed to the Waveform display, where you can select things only based on time.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Soundbooth CS5 Essential Training .

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Q: After making a recording using Soundbooth CS5, I’ve discovered the stereo channels are reversed- left is right and right is left. I can’t seem to figure out how to swap them in Soundbooth. How can I adjust channels?
Also, is there a more advanced audio software that might be better for working with recorded audio than Soundbooth CS5?
A: To swap channels in Soundbooth, right-click on the file in the
Files panel, choose Insert Channels Into New Multitrack File. That will
create a multitrack sessions with the two channels on separate mono
tracks. Pan them left and right to create the swapped channels and then
choose Export > Multitrack Mixdown.

A more advanced audio recording, editing and mixing product is Adobe
Audition. The current version 3 is for Windows only. Check out the Audition 3 Essential Training in the Online Training Library.
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