Adobe Audition is an audio mixing software that can simplify producing a quality podcast. Editing podcast audio is one of the most daunting barriers for new podcast creators. It can be difficult to find a software that is both effective and easy to use. Adobe Audition is one of the most established audio mixers, and it doesn’t take too much time to pick up.
Whether you’ve used a mixer before or are just getting started, the first look at new software can be overwhelming. There are countless tools, options, and windows, and they are often not self-explanatory.
That being said, there are only a few different functions in Adobe Audition you need to understand to make a significant difference in the audio quality of your podcast. We will walk you through each step necessary to edit podcast audio with Adobe Audition at a basic level. To skip ahead, click on the table of contents below:
- Where to start in Adobe Audition
- How to record audio in Adobe Audition
- How to import audio into Adobe Audition
- How to use Adobe Audition to clean podcast audio
- Want help with your podcast editing?
Where to start in Adobe Audition
At first glance, a lot of the features and windows in Adobe Audition can look foreign. However, for basic podcast editing and mixing, only a few windows and options are important.
The largest window in the center of your screen has the titles “Editor” and “Mixer”. We will be focusing on mixing multiple tracks together, not the sound quality of individual tracks. This means that all of the functions we will explain will take place in the “editor” option of this window.
At the top left, you will see a window with the titles “Files” and “Favorites”. After recording or importing audio, your different files will accumulate in this window. If you want to edit a file, you can drag and drop from this window into the editor.
The most important designation on the opening screen is the option of “Waveform” or “Multitrack” view in the top left corner. The waveform view is used for editing a single audio file at a time, and is useful for reducing background noise and cutting audio. The multitrack view is used for mixing together multiple tracks.
Any of the options and windows outside the “Editor” window, “Files” window, and waveform vs. multitrack will not be useful for any of the functions we explain. For a more advanced walk through, make sure to check out the videos and classes listed at the end of this article.
One final thing to keep in mind is command or control and Z. This is the shortcut to undo, which will no doubt be one of your best friends as you work on your audio.
How to import audio into Adobe Audition
Importing audio into Adobe Audition is relatively simple. After downloading your audio file onto your computer, you have two options to import:
- On the menu bar, click on “file”, then “import”. There, you can select one or more audio files to import into Adobe Audition
- Pull up your file explorer window. Then, you can drag and drop one or more files into any Adobe Audition window.
Imported audio files will then show up in the “Files” window at the top left of your screen. Adobe Audition is compatible with a wide range of file formats. If you find that your downloaded audio cannot be imported, you most likely need to change your file format. The easiest way to convert audio files is to go back to whatever service you used to record your audio and change the audio file format when you “save as” or export.
How to record audio in Adobe Audition
Rather than importing, recording audio through Adobe Audition is a viable option. There are a variety of settings and modes that you can adjust, so here is a simple step-by-step guide for a podcast recording.
- Switch to waveform view. If no projects are currently in progress, this will automatically pull up a new audio file.
- If not, on the menu bar, click “file”, “new”, then “audio file”. This will give you a slate of options in a new window.
- Name your audio file.
- Leave sample rate at 48000 hertz. This only needs to be adjusted in unique circumstances.
- If you are planning on mixing multiple audio tracks, leave channels on “stereo”. If it is going to be a simple voiceover with no extra audio, change to “mono”.
- Bit depth should be set to 32 (float).
- At the bottom of your screen, you will see classic tape recorder functions like “play”,
“stop” and “record”.
- Click “record”, record your audio, then click “record” again to stop.
Recorded audio files will then show up in the “Files” window at the top left of your screen. If you are having trouble using a recording device other than your computer, click on “Adobe Audition CC”, “preferences”, then “audio hardware” in the menu bar. This will allow you to see and change the audio input and output channels Adobe Audition is using.
How to use Adobe Audition to clean podcast audio
After importing or recording your audio, you can get to work on editing. Adobe Audition has a wide slate of functions and settings, but we will focus on the three most common editing needs for podcast audio.
Unless you are mixing audio, we suggest working in waveform view. This keeps editing simple because you can focus on one audio file at a time.
Reducing Background Noise In Adobe Audition
There are plenty of ways to reduce background noise in Adobe Audition. However, more often than not, you can rely on just two functions to eliminate background noise.
The first step for either function is to highlight the section of audio you would like to edit. Simply click, scroll over the desired section, then unclick.
The first function is the “Parametric equalizer”, which will reduce noise below a set frequency. This is great at reducing more obvious background noise like a gust of wind.
- On the menu bar, click “effects”, “Filter and EQ”, then “Parametric Equalizer”.
- Click the “HP” button at the bottom of the parametric equalizer window. This will allow you to set the “high pass” filter, which will filter out any frequency below it.
- Then, slide the blue square with the “HP” label on the graph. This will change what level of frequency will be edited out.
- Click play at the bottom left of the window to listen to your audio clip. Slide the blue HP square back and forth to find at what level the audio sounds best. Click apply. The second function is “DeNoise”, which will reduce small background noises like street noise.
- On the menu bar, click “effects”, “noise reduction / restoration”, then “DeNoise…”.
- From here, the only change you need to make is with the “amount” slider at the bottom of the DeNoise window. Slide the amount up or down to determine how much ambience noise to eliminate.
- Press play at the bottom of the DeNoise window while sliding the “amount” until you think it sounds good. Click apply.
Often, it is better to reduce the more significant background noise first, so we suggest using the parametric equalizer before the denoise function. The combination of these two functions should clean up your audio nicely.
Cutting Audio In Adobe Audition
Cutting audio can eliminate stutters, accidental curses, and unnecessary pauses. This function is one of the most important things to have in your bag as a podcast editor, as it can take good audio and make it great.
Because cutting audio is a precise process, it is important to highlight the appropriate section of audio. Waveform view is highly suggested for cutting.
- Hover your clicker over the time bar at the top of your screen and use your scroll wheel to zoom in or out on a section of audio.
- Using the “time selection” tool, highlight the desired section of audio. If you hover over the edges of the highlighted section, you can click and drag the endpoints to size the selection perfectly.
- Once you have the appropriate section highlighted, press delete.
Remember to listen through the section of audio you have cut to ensure that it sounds natural. If you accidentally cut too much or too little, you can always press control or command and Z to undo.
Properly Mixing Audio in Adobe Audition
Often, having background soundtracks and sound effects can optimize a podcast episode. They keep listeners interested and can emphasize intros, outros, or focal points in your episode.
The first step to mixing audio is to have imported audio clips or saved waveform files to mix together. Once you have collected the soundtracks you need, you can get to work on mixing in
the “multitrack” view.
- You will see that there are multiple tracks in your “mixer” window labelled track 1, track 2… etc. Drag and drop audio files into separate tracks to begin editing.
- You may want to split your audio files so that you can customize and move individual sections of an audio track. Slide the blue time indicator where you would like to split the track and hit command or control and K.
- To move any audio track or section of an audio track, click and drag to the desired location.
- You will notice a yellow line going through each individual track. If you click on this line, a small yellow diamond will appear. You can create as many of these “breakpoints” as you need. If you drag a breakpoint up or down, the volume of the track will decrease or increase until changed with another breakpoint.
While mixing audio, it is easy to introduce a fade in or fade out. This can be good for soundtracks and transitions.
- There is a small white and grey square at the edges of each audio clip. Slide this back or
forth to create a fade.
- The distance you move the square determines the duration of the fade. A yellow line will
appear to show you the change in volume over time.
- This function operates the same in both waveform and multitrack view.
After you are done editing, cutting, and mixing your audio file, there are a few steps necessary
to save and export your new audio.
- On the menu bar, click Multitrack”, “Mixdown Session to New File”, then “Entire Session”.
- After mixing down your audio file, click “file” and “save as”. Name your file and change the format to MP3 Audio for easy exporting.
Now you have a saved audio file with all the edits included. You are free to publish or open the file again to make further changes. Congratulations!
Want help with your podcast editing?
By reducing background noise, cutting audio and mixing tracks, you can make a raw podcast episode sound professional. Adobe Audition is a quality program, and it pays to understand even the most basic functions.
Note that we have just scratched the surface of what Adobe Audition is capable of. For more tips and functions you may be interested in, we would suggest looking at some youtube tutorials or online classes. Or you can have a professional edit your podcast. Find more help below or contact Truth Work Media today!
Suggested Free Youtube Tutorials:
- Mike Russell – Adobe Audition for Podcasters playlist
- Scott D. Clary – Success Story Podcast – Adobe Audition CC – Beginner To Advanced [Complete Course]
- Sound Advice – Adobe Audition CC playlist
Suggested Paid Online Classes:
- Video School – Adobe Audition CC: The Beginner’s Guide to Adobe Audition
- Skill Share – Adobe Audition: Sound post-production for Film, Documentary, Interview and Clips
- PluralSight – Audition CC Fundamentals
Other Podcasting Articles By Truth Work Media:
- How To Clean Podcast Audio
- How Much Does Podcast Audio Editing Cost?
- How To Use Zencastr with the Rode RODECaster Pro
Good luck, and happy podcasting.