Time To Edit: The Questions Start To Emerge

So there are things I know personally that I’m on the look out for when it comes to editing.  Here’s a brief list:

  1.  Reduce/remove hum noise
  2. Boost vocal quality
  3. Add a commercial
  4. Add music

These are just the things I’m thinking about in terms of editing.  I can only imagine there is a wealth of other issues I should be considering; and I will find those things in due time!  But for now let’s keep things simple while I’m learning this process.

First of all, reduce hum.  Now, by hum I mean the white noise that you would hear with any lower end audio recording unit such as your iPhone, internal computer mic, or other cheap recording device.  There’s a definite “hum,” “hiss,” and other noise artifacts.  This really isn’t very pleasing to the ear whatsoever!  And it also gives off a feeling of lack of professionalism.  Is this podcast professional?  Not yet, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want it to sound as good it can!  So we must reduce this terrible noise.  As I search the Googles for items like “reduce noise artifacts in garage band” or “noise cleaning garage band,” I keep getting tutorials of doing it with a prior version of the software.  Apparently an older version of Garageband had a podcast feature that had special controls to do all of the editing one would want to do for a nice clean crisp podcast!   For whatever reason, it appears the developers at Apple have decided that was no longer a necessary feature and have removed it from the code.  So now what?  Well, we keep searching until we land on a creditable source that shows us what to do with the new software!

I stumbled onto an Apple support thread labeled “How do I remove background noise in Garageband?”  You can read it here.  It actually gave very straight forward and easy steps to follow.  Click view-> Click show inspector-> Click noise gate check box-> mess with the slider.  It looks like this:


These are very basic functionalities of Garageband but, based off recommendations from my music industry cousin, you can go quite a bit further by messing with the frequency bandwidths in the built in equalizer.  I found the noise gate feature to much too limited.  Matthew; my cousin; set me up with an equalizer template for me to mess around with to get the levels where I needed them to be to have a good sounding vocal and reduce irritating hum, hiss, or other artifacts.

My cousin, again, connected me with a little template he had put together to reduce vocal noise artifacts; or the hums and rings of your voice bouncing off the mic.  It’s called the AUGraphics Unit and looks a little something like this:


This is all foreign to me right now but hopefully not for long.  This surely made a HUGE difference in hum reduction however, it does make my voice sound a little “tin canny” and I still heard the flow of air in the background.  I’ll go with it for now.  I did ask him about this and he said that the best way to make sure there is nothing in the background is to get your setup perfect prior to recording so that is next!  I’ll have to do some good research on prepping settings and my environment for the next episode.  He did provide me with an article to help better audio recording found here.

Without diving TOO far into noise editing for my first go at this, there was one more thing I did and it was mess with the master EQ levels myself.  This is ALL trial and error when you really are not well versed in the meanings of everything.  So basically, you use your ears and intuition on what sounds good and not.  I gotta say, I don’t totally hate it!  Between the recommendation my cousin gave me and messing with the settings myself, it came out “listenable.”  I will keep learning and experimenting with this process more and more and make sure to keep you filled in on how I do everything.

So we’ve now edited out some noise and boosted the vocals a decent amount; more to come on that; which leaves us with adding music and a commercial.  We can start with the commercial.

First I opened a new track and messed with doing test records to adjust audio settings to get it where I wanted.  I put on a midwestern accent and started to record a burger joint commercial.  I added some echo and reverb to make it sound funny like a high energy radio commercial.  This will need some high octane music added for sure!  I wasn’t sure how to add this new track into my episode track.  You would think you can just drag and drop but it’s just not that easy.  So I had to look this up on what to do and saw that there is a list of audio sources that link right into garage band from iTunes.

But my track wasn’t in iTunes.  So how do I get it there?  Save or Save As gave me no option to do so because there is no iTunes folder to save to.  To the interwebs I go.  A quick Google search to the rescue revealed such an easy process.

Oddly, the google search had this image as the first hit but if you click the link, the page is no longer available…silly Apple.

So now that it’s saved in iTunes, I can locate it in my file directory in garage band to throw in.  The screen shot below shows my file directory and under music is a few files I’ve gathered from this process.  The commercial is LOC1 C1 (Life of Chenz Commercial 1).


Now that I have the track in my master track, how do I separate my podcast episode RIGHT where I need it split so I could squeeze my terrible commercial in?  Google AGAIN.  So I found this nifty recording article put out by UC Berkley about the basic of editing recordings and after I weeded through the things I didn’t quite need, I found it: “Splitting.”  Again, pretty easy task.  Drag your cursor to where you want the split to occur, go to edit, hit split and boom, the track breaks apart, allowing you to move the pieces around freely.

Screen Shot 2016-10-13 at 9.27.38 PM.png

So now that I have my tracks lined up, they flow rather effortlessly!


This leaves us with just one final thing, for now.  We need to add music!  But I see that being a fairly extensive step and here’s why… It’s not as simple as just dropping a song in and calling it a day.  There’s a little thing called…licensing…and copyright companies don’t take the topic lightly.  To feature a song on your recording and have it sent out publicly, is technically stealing as you did not pay to use that.  So I need to figure out my rights, and potentially where to get public domain music (probably not the greatest stuff) so that copyright isn’t an issue.  We are going to do a nice long post on that topic next!


Stay tuned lovers, this is starting to go somewhere!

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