Curriculum: Digital Editing Tutorial

Not technically curriculum, Adobe Audition is the editing software we use at KBOO. This is a basic tutorial for our basic use we hand out after the Beginning Digital Editing class.

Digital Editing Tutorial:


Opening Adobe Audition


Adobe Audition is a software program that makes it easy to edit, mix, and save audio files.

To open, click on the Adobe Audition icon from the desktop or start menu.


Getting Familiar with the Audition Work Area

Adobe Audition provides different work areas for editing sound files. To edit individual sound files, or waveforms use the Edit View. To work with multiple sound files use Multitrack View.


1. Edit View: This view allows you to edit individual audio or music waveforms. The most common tools used in Edit View are cut and paste, and adjust amplitude (or volume).

2. Multitrack View: This view allows you to see and make adjustments to multiple waveforms, overlay more than one track (as in a mix), split tracks, and fade in and out.

  1. CD Project View: This view enables you to select tracks and burn them to a CD.


Opening your audio file in Adobe Audition


1. Click on the Edit View tab in the work area window. (Note: individual sound files can only be opened in the Edit View workspace. Saved “Sessions”, which are multiple waveforms in the process of being mixed together, can only be opened in the Multitrack View.)

  1. Click on the File menu, and click Open (or use the Folder icon on the toolbar)



3. Find the file you wish to open, and click on it. Then press ‘Open’, and the file is opened into Audition. The time required by the program to open the file will vary based on the length of the file, in time, and the format of the file. (.mp3 or .wav)

4. The progress bar indicates how much time remains to open the file.



Listening to the audio file in Adobe Audition


1. Your audio appears as a waveform in the workspace of Audition. A more detailed explanation of waves and sound files is included at the end of this tutorial.

2. Be sure to listen to your audio with headphones while you edit.

3. The yellow dotted vertical line with a yellow triangle at the top and bottom is called the Time Cursor. Wherever the Time Cursor is located in your waveform, that is the point from which Audition will begin playing back your file.

4. Click around in the audio display and click play on the transport controls in the lower left corner of the window.


Tapping the spacebar on the keyboard starts and stops playback from the cursor point at any time in Edit or Multitrack view.



Editing audio files in Adobe Audition


Editing audio files requires not only a lot of listening, but zooming in and out frequently. The zoom in feature enables you to focus on very small pieces of audio that may need to be made louder, softer, or deleted altogether


Click the Zoom In Horizontally button to zoom in on the center of the visible waveform window or session.

Click the Zoom To Selection button zoom in on the actively selected waveform or session range.

Click the Zoom In To Right Edge Of Selection button to zoom in on the right boundary of the actively selected waveform range or session.

Click the Zoom In To Left Edge Of Selection button to zoom in on the left boundary of the actively selected waveform range or session.

Click the Zoom Out Horizontally button to zoom out from the center of the visible waveform window or session.

Click the Zoom Out Full Both Axis button to zoom out to display the entire waveform or blocks that are contained within a session.


Practice zooming in and out of the audio file using the Zoom tools.


You can also Zoom in and out using the wheel on the mouse. Gently roll the wheel away from you to zoom in on a specific segment of sound, and towards you to zoom out again.

Create a new blank audio track


1 Choose File > New. Alternatively, click the New File button in the toolbar (or type Ctrl-N).

2 Select a sample rate in the list, or type a custom sample rate in the text box.


For audio files that contain only voices, choose Mono. Music can also be saved in mono when it is intended to be combined with voice. This will not affect the quality of the final broadcast.


Stereo files take twice the amount of computer space than mono tracks, because there are two channels instead of one.


The standard for voice is a sample rate of 44100, mono, 16-bit resolution.






The new blank track appears in the file list as Untitled.

Editing the audio file in Adobe Audition


1. Tap the spacebar to listen to the beginning of the audio file.

2. Zoom into the beginning of the wave file.

3. As you play the audio, watch the time indicator at the bottom of the window.

4. If you come to a place in the audio where you wish to place a marker, tap the F8 button at the top of the keyboard to insert a Cue Marker at that time location.

You can use this marker to help find this place in the sound file easily, and use it to highlight the segment you wish to delete.

5. The cue can be moved by dragging the top or bottom triangle to the left or right.

To delete the cue, position the mouse pointer on top of the triangle and click the RIGHT MOUSE BUTTON, and choose Delete from the menu.

Highlighting and deleting sections of audio

1 Click and hold the left mouse button, and highlight the section of the sound file that you wish to delete.

2 After the segment is highlighted, press the SPACEBAR on the keyboard to listen the segment you are about to delete, and confirm that you have the right spot highlighted.

3. Delete the segment by clicking on the Edit menu, and then Delete Selection (or pressing the ‘Del’ key).

Copying the audio to save


Now, say you have a long interview, and you want to pull out a couple of short clips. Rather than edit the whole interview down, it is often easier to pull out the parts you want and paste them into a new track.

1 Click on the File menu, and click New (or type Ctrl-N). This creates a new audio track.

2 Highlight the segment you want by clicking and dragging the cursor over the audio you want to save separately.

3 After highlighting the audio segment, click on the Edit Menu, and then click Copy . (or type Ctrl-C)
The highlighted audio is copied into the clipboard.

4 Double click on the Untitled track under the File list.

5 Click Paste (or Ctrl-V) to copy the audio segment into the blank track.

6 On the File menu, click Save. Be sure you are saving into the correct directory on the “Net Drive2/Public/Shared Files Net 2/your_name/ folder.

7 Change the file type from a Wav to MP3, by dropping down the Save As Type menu and clicking on to MP3.

8 Name the file with the date formatted as ‘MMDD your_name topic interviewees_name clip1’ (ex: 0424 jenka measure37 dave adams clip1.mp3 ).

Digital Sound Primer from Adobe Audition Program Help

Sound is created by vibrations, such as those produced by a guitar string, vocal cords, or a speaker cone. These vibrations move the air molecules near them, forcing molecules together, and as a result raising the air pressure slightly.

The air molecules that are under pressure then push on the air molecules surrounding them, which push on the next set of air molecules, and so forth, causing a wave of high pressure to move through the air.

As high pressure areas move through the air, they leave low pressure areas behind them. When these pressure lows and highs—or waves—reach us, they vibrate the receptors in our ears, and we hear the vibrations as sound.

A microphone works by converting the pressure waves of sound into voltage on a wire. The changes in voltage match the pressure waves of the original sound: high pressure is represented by positive voltage, and low pressure is represented by negative voltage.

Voltages travel down the microphone wire and can be recorded onto tape as changes in magnetic strength or onto vinyl records as changes in amplitude in the groove.

A speaker works like a microphone in reverse, taking the voltage signals from a microphone or recording and vibrating to re-create the pressure wave.
reflects the change in pressure from the peak of the waveform to the trough.

Cycle describes the amount of time it takes a waveform to return to the same amplitude level.

Frequency describes the number of cycles per second, where one Hertz (Hz) equals one cycle per second. That is, a waveform at 1000 Hz goes through 1000 cycles every second.

Phase measures how far through a cycle a waveform is. There are 360 degrees in a single cycle; if you start measuring at the zero line, a cycle reaches 90 degrees at the peak, 180 degrees when it crosses the zero line, 270 degrees at the trough, and 360 degrees when it completes at zero.

Wavelength is the distance, measured in units such as inches or centimeters, between two points with the same degree of phase.*


When two or more sound waves meet, their amplitudes add to and subtract from each other.

If the peaks and troughs of the two waveforms line up, they are said to be in phase. In this case, each peak adds to the peak in the other waveform, and each trough subtracts from the other trough, resulting in a waveform that has higher amplitude than either individual waveform.


A compressor reduces the dynamic range of an input signal by attenuating the

signal once it has exceeded a predetermined level. The main reasons for using a

compressor in audio recording and broadcasting are:

To reduce (or compress) the dynamic range of INDIVIDUAL audio signals so that a consistent balance between signals is easier to achieve during a mix.

To ensure that the OVERALL audio signal (the mix) level variation is within reasonable boundaries so make the listening experience more comfortable e.g. over radio, television, in car etc.

To ensure that the audio signal does not exceed the maximum permissible level and cause distortion (known as limiting).

In mastering and broadcast, fairly extreme compression is sometimes used to make the average level of a mix very close to the peak level so that it is perceived as sounding loud

Sound file formats for saving Audition files

(.mp3 & .wav)



Windows PCM (.wav)

The Wave file is an exact replica of the data transferred into the computer. The Microsoft Windows PCM format supports both mono and stereo files. The WAV format reproduces digital audio by using PCM (Pulse Code Modulation)—PCM does not require compression and is considered a lossless format.


When you save a file to mp3 format, the audio is and compressed according to the options you select. When you open an .mp3 file, the audio converts into the uncompressed internal format of Adobe Audition. You can save an .mp3 file in any format from Audition.

Avoid compressing the same audio to mp3 more than once. Opening an .mp3 file and exporting or mixing it down again causes it to be recompressed. The MP3 format eliminates parts of the audio that are very high or low (not typically heard by a listener) and repetitive “sound data”. Compress too much and the sound quality is reduced from the original recording.

Glossary of radio terms


ACTUALITY - The recording made of an event or speech. It can be used as background sound under a voiceover or as an insert into a WRAP.

AMPLITUDE – Amplitude is the height or vertical distance of a waveform. Generally, the more amplitude you see in your waveform, the louder your audio is.


Amplification – though this generally means to increase the amplitude of a waveform (and hence, the loudness of the sound), sometimes we will see amplification to mean reduce the loudness

ATMOS - The ambience of a place - used as background to a voice report or WRAP. It can be used to gloss over awkward edits later.

AUDIO - Recorded sound of any kind.


BACK-ANNOUNCE - The Presenter will often read a short piece after the play-out of a report - this is scripted by the reporter and will appear on the CUESHEET.

BACK-TIMING - Working out how long there is to the top of the hour or any other dead set time so that reports or music tracks can be played in to the precise timing required.

BED - Music or sound used as background. Normally only refers to sound used during a live transmission such as a weather or traffic report.


CART - A small plastic cartridge containing tape on a loop on which reports or BEDS are stored.

CLOCKSTART - A precise timing for an event or occasion - such as joining up with the rest of the network.

CUE (CUE SHEET) - The script for the Presenter to read in order to introduce an item. This is written by the Producer or Journalist. The DURATION and OUTCUE will be written at the bottom so that the Presenter will have a warning of the conclusion of the piece.

this also means to prepare a piece of audio to be ready as soon as the current one stops. and, it's also used to describe a separate monitor channel that does not go out live so you can listen to the next piece of audio to make sure it doesn't violate FCC regs

cue, in digital editing, means to position your cursor bar somewhere in your waveform, so you can listen from that spot.


FADER - The sliding button on a Mixing Console - used to increase volume or tone. You can use a FADER to gradual


FX - Abbreviation for ‘Effects’.


IRN - The most used news provider in commercial radio. Stands for Independent Radio News.

ISDN - An enhanced digital telephone line down which quality sound can be transmitted back to a studio.



LEVELS - The level at which a sound is coming through a mixing desk. Indicated by the ‘level’ on the display meters.

LINK - The connecting piece of speech between two items.



MAGAZINE - A spoken word program made up of a variety of items.

MULTIPLEX - A bundle of digital radio channels on a single frequency.


OB - An Outside Broadcast

OFCOM (Office of Communications) - The Government body now responsible for regulating Radio, Television and Telecommunications.

ONE-LEGGED - a recording that only comes out of one side of a stereo playout.

OUT-CUE - The last words or sounds from a recording.


POT POINT - A place in a recording where it can be stopped without losing sense. The Pot Points are marked by time and word on the CUESHEET and the Producer and can hit the transmission stop button at this point if he/she so desires.

POPPING - Distortion caused by having the microphone too close to the mouth. Is especially prevalent on the letter ‘p’.

PROMO - A promotional TRAILER for a forthcoming event, program or report.

PACKAGE - A multi-voiced report using interview, ambient sound, vox-pops, recorded speeches and/or music.

P.S.A. (Public Service Announcement) - An on-air advertisement given away free for a socially responsible or charitable cause.


RAJAR - The survey that gives listening figures for all radio.

ROT (Recording of Transmission) - All stations have to record their output 24 hours a day for legal purposes. The quality is not normally good enough for re-transmission.

RSL (Restricted Service Licence) - A short term radio licence, usually on FM, available for up to 28 days at a time on low power. Used for specific events, as trials for potential full time stations or for training purposes.


SEGUE - The playing of two tracks into each other without speech in between.

SKILLSET - Sector Skills Council for the Audio Visual Industry, with offices in London, the Nations and Regions.



TRAILER - A short ‘teaser’ for an upcoming event or program.

TX - Abbreviation for TRANSMISSION.


VOICE-OVER or V.O. - Talk over a piece of music or another recording.

VOX-POP - Comes from the Latin ‘vox populi’ - literally ‘the voice of the people’. Used by reporters to get an indication of public reaction to a piece of news. A number of people will be interviewed and their replies to the same question will be edited together.


WRAP - A short feature or news report where the reporter’s voice will appear before and after an interview clip.