Adobe Audition CS6: Trimming

Posted on by Larry

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.

CUTTING CLIPS

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.

GROUPING CLIPS

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.

ADDING FADES

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.

SUMMARY

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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8 Responses to Adobe Audition CS6: Trimming

  1. Ralf says:

    Hi,
    thanks for the tutorial! There is a clip (mp3) that I’d like to trim, but the razor (and many other tools) are greyed out. I have searched for a while, found nothing. Would you have an idea why that could be?
    Thank you!

    • For the tools to be grayed out, suggests that you first need to select the clip and/or the Timeline panel. Trimming MP3s is just like trimming any other clip – there’s nothing special you need to do.

      Larry

  2. SirPatrickSpens says:

    I’m having the same problem. There’s nothing I can do to activate the razor tool and a few other editing tools. Help, it’s driving me mad. When you say “select the clip and/or Timeline panel”, can you please tell me how?? I think I am but nothing’s changing.

    Thanks!

    • Sir Patrick Spens:

      There are two display options: waveform and multitrack. Some tools work in one, others in the other. The razor blade tool, and others illustrated in this article, are only available in the multitrack section. To switch between them, click the “Multitrack” button in the top left corner of the interfaced, just below the words “File” and “Edit” in the menu bar at the top.

      At which point, you can add clips for editing and mixing, and the razor blade tool will work.

      Larry

  3. Stephan says:

    Hi,

    I’ve just installed audition cs6, i run it on windows 8, but it seems that there is a problem with the software

    Here it is : i open a song, everything is loading properly in audition, i have the waveform, everything, but when i hit the play button, nothing happen, i can fast forward the headplay, but i cannot play anything, WHY
    i know audition a bit, i usually use audition 3.0 and everything works fine, but not with cs6
    Can somebody help me ?

    please send me an email

    decamenotap@hotmail.com
    Thank you very much

  4. Mark says:

    All this is good, but I cannot see a way to delete the same amount of time from all tracks in a multitrack session AND delete the data from the underlying source file. E.g. I want to delete the actual wav data, not just a clip.

    Example: I have 24 tracks of audio. The first 25 minutes are the band warming up. I want to delete the exact same amount from every wav file (say, 23 minutes worth). This reduces the amount of memory needed and load time of all the tracks.

    I can delete in the waveform view, but it then removes that track from the multitrack session (says it is now ‘out of sync’ with the session). There must be an easy way to do this, but I cannot find it…

  5. Jane says:

    Seems simple, but how do you stop using the razor tool? I can not “put it back”.

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