For this guide will be editing our audio in a program called Soundtrap. While this might not be the same software that you are using, some of the same general principles will apply. There might be differences in how you navigate the interface.
Down along the left hand side of the screen you’ll notice a list of tracks. Each track is an individual instrument or recording. By having multiple tracks you can have several individual recordings or instruments play at the same time. For our podcast, we might have several tracks; one each for each microphone that you used during your recording, for example. Or an additional track for background music or sound effects.
Under each track you will see six buttons:
Show Track: This lists individual effects and presets for the track. (The icon will change depending on the instrument.)
Record: If you are recording directly into Soundtrap, use this button go into the recording mode for this track. (The icon is a capital 'R'.)
Volume: The volume for the individual track. (Looks like a volume knob.)
Solo: By clicking this button, all other tracks will be muted. (Looks like a pair of headphones.)
Mute: Mute this track. (Looks like a speaker with a X in front of it.)
Automation: Adjust and set automations, or settings that change as the recording plays such as volume for fade-ins and fade-outs. (Looks like a series of points on a graph.)
You will also notice the collaborate icon in the upper right hand corner. Here you can invite others, either through their Soundtrap account, or using their email.
The first step to begin working in Soundtrap is to get the audio that you want to work on for your podcast. This can be done one of two ways:
If you are using audio that you have already recorded, select the ‘Import file…’ button:
And navigate to the file that you want to use. Open the file and you should be ready to work on your audio file.
Arranging and Editing your audio
Your playhead is a purple triangle with a line that extends across the various tracks. Think of it like your mouse cursor. As you play your recording the playhead will show where within the recording you are, moving left to right. It is also the point where edits will be made.
If your playhead is moving in steps or increments, that is because you have the “Snap to grid” option on. You can turn this off by clicking on the bullseye in the upper right-hand side of the screen.
If you want to make an edit, for example, to remove a cough, or a section just filled with background noise:
You can also drag audio within tracks to rearrange them. Tracks can be copied and pasted.
Saving and Exporting Audio
When it comes to saving your work in Soundtrap you have a few options:
Save: There are two ways to save: using a purple button at the top of the screen or using the save option under File. Since Soundtrap is a cloud based software, it will save the changes to your account
Export: Find the export option via File>Export. Always choose ‘export to MP3’. This will export a finished MP3 with standardized volume levels. Note: You must save before exporting
Download mix: This will export a MP3 without standardizing the volume levels. This can be found next to the purple save button at the top the screen. Note: You must save before downloading.