Trimming is the process of adjusting where two clips touch. Just as we trim clips in video editing, we also need to trim clips in audio editing. Recently, I wrote a First Look at Adobe Audition CS6 (read it here). So, in this article, I want to look more specifically about how Audition allows us to trim clips.
In video editing, we trim to the frame (i.e. 30 fps video can be trimmed to 1/30th of a second). However, audio can be trimmed with MUCH greater precision. Depending upon the sample rate, you can trim to 1/48,000th of a second!
The tools we need for trimming are in the Toolbar at the top of the Audition window.
The Razor Blade (shortcut: R) allows you to cut a single clip, all selected clips, or all clips on all tracks at the position you click. (Type R to toggle between the different settings of this tool.
Then, position the Razor Blade where you want to cut and click.
To delete a clip, or a portion of a clip, select it and press the Delete key. To delete the selected clip and close the gap, press Shift+Delete.
NOTE: To avoid problems with clips getting out of sync, if you are working with clips on multiple tracks, the Time Selection tool may be a better choice.
THE TIME SELECTION TOOL
The Time Selection tool (shortcut: T) allows you to select regions of a clip to delete, or copy.
The easiest way to use this is to click and drag across the portion of the clip you want to delete. This selects the region to delete, indicated in white.
If you have multiple clips on multiple tracks that you need to keep in sync after the deletion, do either of the following:
You now have three options for deletion:
There are two traps you need to be cautious of:
AN ALTERNATIVE WAY TO SELECT
If you are someone that hates dragging, here’s an alternative.
Select the Time Selection tool (type T), then, position the playhead where you want the selection to start and type I to set an In. Move the playhead where you want the selection to end and type O. You can adjust the In and the Out by dragging either icon at the top of the Multitrack window.
Whether you create the selection region using the Time Selection tool or by setting an In and Out, the process of deleting is still the same.
NOTE: If you don’t have the Time Selection tool selected, you can still set an In and an Out, but you can’t delete the marked region.
If all this talk of Command-clicking to select multiple clips causes you to break out into uncontrollable trembling, there’s a Plan B: Group your clips.
If you want to treat a group of clips as though they were a single, unified clip, select all the clips you want to group, then either choose Clip > Group > Group clips or type Command+G. This groups all the selected clips together so that whatever you do to one of them, you’ll do to all of them.
To temporarily suspend a group – say to adjust the level of one clip without affecting the others – select Clip > Group > Suspend Group (type Shift+Command+G).
To break a group – select Clip > Groups > Ungroup clips.
TRIMMING THE ENDS OF A CLIP
Because the end of a clip is not selectable, you trim a clip with the mouse.
Click the lower edge of a clip and drag. (I’ve found clicking in the middle tends to accidentally adjust volume or pan, while clicking nearer the top creates fades; more on that in a bit.) Audition only supports ripple trimming – we can’t do a roll trim between two clips – which means that we can only adjust one side of the edit point at a time.
NOTE: Remember, if you want to trim multiple clips at the same time, group the clips first – type Command+G.
NOTE Here’s a cool shortcut. If you want to delete everything in a clip EXCEPT the Time Selection, select the range and type Option+T. This screen shot shows the clip “Before” (top) and “After” the trim.
The last step in this process is adding fades. Here, the flexibility is almost unlimited. In the top corner of each end of clip is a square gray box. Drag the box sideways to create a fade.
Drag the box up or down to create a curve to the fade.
Hold the Command key down to toggle between selecting a linear (straight-line) or cosine (ease-in/ease-out) fade.
The flexibility to shape your fades is just amazing.
You can easily create cross-fades by dragging the edge of one clip over the end of another. Then, grab the gray box visible at either end of the cross-fade to change the shape of each side of the fade.
The accuracy and flexibility in trimming audio in Audition offers more than we can get in our video editing software. If you haven’t had a chance to play with Audition yet, download the 30-day trial and give it a try.
NOTE: I’ve created extended video training for Adobe Audition CS6 to help you master this very cool piece of software. Click here to learn more.
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