What are the 7 types of audio editing techniques?


Everyone would have an experience where they started to watch a video and will find out that, even though the video is crisp the audio is terrible.

This is because the audio is not being processed by audio production software. In audio production software’s various audio editing techniques are used to make the audio sound pleasant and be easy on the ears.

These audio production techniques can be employed to do editing such as amplification of the sound and even removing noise for an audio clip.

There are so many advanced audio editing techniques that are creatively used to get a listener hooked while listening to a song or an audio clip.

With proper audio editing techniques, even a mediocre audio clip can be enhanced for professional use.

The 7 types of audio editing techniques are,

  1. Amplification
  2. Compression
  3. Limiting
  4. Panning
  5. Equalization
  6. Normalization
  7. Stereo Imaging

Amplification used to increase the volume throughout the audio track.

Compression is used to change the dynamics of the volume in an audio track.

Limiting is used to limit the sounds above a required level.

Panning is used to move the sounds in and around left and right channels.

Equalization is used to manipulate the frequency spectrum of an audio track.

Normalization is used to gradually increase the volume throughout the track.

Stereo imaging is used to expand a mono sound into a stereo sound.

Just knowing the names of the audio editing techniques doesn’t make the audio clip sound pleasant. Understanding when and where to use a specific audio editing technique will have a profound effect on the quality of the audio clip.

Let’s take a deep dive and understand how to use these audio editing techniques.

Amplification

Amplification is nothing but increasing the volume throughout the audio clip to make it sound louder when played in a media player. This audio editing technique is used to boost the recorded sound.

Let’s say the recorded sound is at -52dB. This might not be audible to a normal person who is listening through a speaker.

Based on the software, the process of amplification will differ. In some audio production software, you can directly click a button to increase the volume throughout the audio clip, whereas in in some audio production software’s you have to manually input the decibel value that needs to be amplified.

In Some instances amplification can make or break the quality of the audio clip. If you amplify the volume too much above 0db you will end up distorting the audio clip.

The power or thumbing you feel from a speaker usually depends on the amplification that is done in the audio editing process to push the sound to its limits.

Compression

The best possible way to explain compression is to use an example. Let’s say you recorded yourself singing a song. It has both louder sections and quieter sections.

We cannot release the song as it is because it will distract the person listening to it. This is where compression comes into play.

 The compressor which is a function found in audio production software helps the audio engineer reduce the volume difference between the louder sections in a song and quieter sections in a song.

This will make the song sound nominal and less irritating.

Just like all audio effects, there are so many compressor options available based on the software. This audio editing technique is most used technique by studio engineers.

Limiting 

A Limiter limits the volume of an audio clip based on the input value.

Just like audio compression limiting is best explained by using an example. When you are editing an audio clip in audio production software, you will come across the volume going high above the 0db mark.

In this case, the limiter is used to take the distortion away and at the same time provide peak volume.

This audio editing technique is usually used in the process called mastering. A limiter is used to maximize the volume without distorting an audio clip. This is the last process in an audio editing project.

Brick wall limiter is one of the more famous limiters that is found in all audio editing software, and can provide incredible peak volume without distortion.

Panning

This is an obvious audio editing technique where the two channels of the audio spectrum, the right, and the left are moved around. In the real world, you will hear sounds moving from one ear to the other.

Panning is the audio editing technique that is used to perform this audio effect.

Panning is creatively used to space all the elements of an orchestra in a song. It is usually used to create space and dimension in an audio track or clip.

The main function of panning is to create separation between the instruments so that they can be heard properly in an audio clip.

Nowadays panning is used along with other digital effects to create sound spaces. This audio technique is also used for musical therapy.

Equalization 

Equalization is an audio editing technique in which the audio frequency range between 20- 20k Hz is modified to achieve a particular sound in an audio clip. You would have seen this effect on media players.

This technique is used by audio engineering professionals to achieve specific sounds by cutting certain frequencies.

For example, in a kick from a beat, you don’t need to have high-frequency sounds. If there are any high-frequency sounds it will create disturbances in the clip. The disturbances will suppress the other elements of the song.

Using equalization the high frequency from the kick is removed to create a clean beat. The equalization is usually done by professional audio engineers with trained ears who can find out the problematic frequency in any audio clip.

This audio editing technique uses a plugin inside the audio production software.

There are three main sub-functions of equalization. They are low cut, high cut, and bell boost.

  • The low cut is used to remove low frequency sounds below 400Hz.
  • The high cut is used to remove sounds above 2k Hz.
  • Bell boost is used to enhance any part of the frequencies between 20 – 20kHz.

Normalization

Normalization is used when the sound has considerable space below the 0db mark. It boosts the volume just like amplification, but makes the change gradual and based on the peak volume that is found throughout the audio clip.

If you are not sure about how to amplify the volume of a track or audio clip, normalization is the way to go. It gives more control to the user for amplification of the volume.

This technique is almost being ignored by audio professionals as the systems in audio editing software are good at handling volume amplification.

Stereo Imaging

The introduction of stereo sound gave rise to advancements in the audio production world. When there was no stereo sound, mono was used in every system. All the audio clips and songs were optimized for mono.

When stereo was introduced, the sounds and audio clips had to be optimized for stereo as well.

This is where the stereo imaging audio technique comes into play. In the case of mono, the sound is basically at 90 degrees. In the case of stereo, it has a left and right channel with a 180-degree spectrum.

The sound from a mono audio clip has to spread out throughout the left and right channels. This stereo imaging plugin is available in every audio editing software. Based on your preference you can change the amount of spread you want in a stereo sound.

What are sound editing tools?

Sound editing tools include audio production software which is used to cut, copy, and manipulate sound clips based on the needs of the user. Audacity is the most used sound editing tool even though it’s not premium software.

What is the easiest audio editing software?

Audacity is the easiest audio editing software widely used by all professionals and newbie users. The simple audacity interface makes the workflow easier. There is no complex learning curve when compared to other premium software options.

What are audio processing software and its types?

Audio editing software is also sometimes called audio processing software. Audio processing software is used to perform audio manipulations for songs, audio clips, and even for film scoring.

There are two types of audio processing software such as Digital audio workstations and DJ performers.

How do I edit audio?

You can edit audio using audio editing software such as audacity. Audacity is a free audio editing tool that can be used to start editing audio. Advanced software is used for creative manipulations in songs and movies.

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