GOHP Audio Editing Tips
Once you've recorded your oral history interview, it's time to get editing!
Whether all you want to do is take out a few "ums" and "ers", or whether you want to get right into it and add music, intros, and outros, we've got the tips and tricks you need to get you started. But don't be shy, the best way to learn it to get in there and have a go, so check out the tips and lessons below, then have a crack yourself - you'll be amazed at how easy it is to start editing your very own interviews!
Audio Editing Software
There are all sorts of audio editing software packages out there that you can use to edit your interviews. We won't be listing all of them here, but a few of the more useful and/or popular ones are:
The GOHP recommends using Audacity - free, open source, cross-platform audio software for multi-track recording and editing. Audacity is versatile, has some excellent features, and best of all - it's free!
For those with the means, Adobe Audition is a professional audio workstation for mixing, finishing, and precision editing. However, Audition does not come free, and is offered as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud software package.
Only available for Apple products, but very much usable on your iPad, Garageband is one of the world's most popular music creation apps in the world, and has all you need to edit and mix your oral history interviews
There are heaps of different how-tos, help guides and video tutorials for Audacity floating around the web, some of them are very good, some not so much. Below, we've tried to link you to as many as the good ones as we can find, but if you find something good, let us know so we can share it with everyone.
Audacity Manuals and Guides
The Audacity Manual: It's big, it's complicated, but somewhere in there you'll probably find the answer you'll need. Click on the link to check out the manual written by the Audacity team about their own software.
If you're looking for something a bit simpler to start with, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Centre for Teaching and Learning offers up this comprehensive, but easy to follow Guide to Using Audacity
Audacity Video Tutorials
Want to get started? These two videos from YouTuber Brian Gallagher give a quick but good introduction to how to use Audacity. Once you've got the basics, you'll be able to edit your interview tracks and make a basic podcast.
QNS Recording and Editing Guide
From the Queensland Narrating Service comes this slightly older, but simple and easy to follow series of videos about how to record, edit and export a narration track, lessons which can be easily applied to your oral history interviews. Click here to see all the videos in the series.
Want all the information at once?
From YouTuber Kyle Stedman This video shows some of the most common and simple tools in the free audio editing program Audacity, covering recording, adjusting volume, audio compression, selecting and deleting clips, importing music, splitting tracks, and adjusting the volume. Made primarily for students in writing and rhetoric classes at Rockford University, but it could be useful for anyone! (13:15)
Pressed for time?
From Cyberdog Studios at John McCrae Secondary School in Ontario Canada comes Audacity Editing 101 - 12 tips in 10 minutes. This really is a snappy guide to nearly all the Audacity basics. This video covers importing files, sound levels, splitting tracks, and much more. Once you know these tips, you'll be well on your way to producing some quality interview podcasts!