Editing Audio

When I started in Radio, there was only one way to edit audio. That was with a sharp razor blade and a roll of splicing tape!

If you wanted to do a nice fade-out in a pre-recorded audio piece, you either had to run it back through the mixer and record it again, doing the fade manually, or you could use my old trick of using a small magnet, bringing it slowly towards the running tape to fade out, or away from the tape to fade in.

My how times have changed!

There are some wonderful audio tools available for Linux. My favorite is Audacity.audacity

You can find it in your Software Manager of any Linux distribution.

Once installed, you can import your favorite tunes, create mix tapes, correct audio problems, and a host of other things. Once your creation is done, you can then export it as any audio format you wish. MP3 being the most popular of course.

The real magic of Audacity comes to play when you are using the software to record from other media for editing and archiving as MP3 or WAV files.

A project I’ve been working on for 8 full years now, is archiving over 50 years of old reel to reel audio tape.
Our Family has worked in radio and television for well over 50 years. Something those of us in the industry are fond of doing is making Air Checks of our work. Live recordings of our shows, newscasts etc.

Using my tried and true, Teac, 7010 reel to reel deck, and an old Pentium 4 running Linux, I’ve been dubbing off hundreds and hundreds of old tapes. Some of them so old that the tape has to be reinforced before it can even be played.

My deck runs at speeds of 3 3/4 and 7 1/2 inches per second. Industry standard speeds. What happens when I mount a tape that was recorded at 15 inches per second? Easy, just record it at 7 1/2 into Audacity, and then use the Speed tool to then change the recording to the original 15ips.

Tape hiss, gone. Poor modulation, gone. 1000+ audio tapes clogging up the house, gone! Dubbing off your old record collection? Audacity can filter many of the problems found in vinyl recordings like clicks, pops, scratches, etc.

Audacity has saved my sanity with my adult autistic son. Because of his auditory processing problems, he perceives sound a lot different than the rest of us. After giving him some quick instruction on Audacity, he was able to experiment with his classical music recordings to make them sound ‘normal’ to him. What he ended up with, is changing the pitch of everything he listens to by +4.176 percent!

Audacity is powerful audio editing, right on your desktop. Give it a try!

Now, if you are a real nut for editing audio, then try Musix, an entire Linux distribution made just for audio and video editing!