Psychometric Research - Professional Tools for Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy Practitioners
Hypnotherapy CD Tutorial - Editing your voice

Now you've successfully recorded your voice it's time to edit it.

Start by giving a name to the audio track: click the track drop down menu, choose "Name..." and set it to something like "Voice".  Also in the track drop down menu, choose "Waveform (dB)" - this will cause the waveform to be displayed using a logarithmic scale which makes it much easier to see what you're doing.  You can also resize the track to enlarge the waveform further - resizing it as big as you can fit on your screen will make the editing much easier: maximise the Audacity window to fit full screen, then choose "Fit Vertically" from the View menu.

So now select the Zoom tool from the toolbar at the top left and firstly right-click on the waveform to zoom out all the way so you can see the complete recording (if you zoom out too far, left-click to zoom back in).  Another way to zoom out all the way is to click the "Fit project in window" button which is located over to the right with some other zoom function buttons.

You should clearly see the places where you tapped the microphone to indicate a mistake or some background noise that needs removing.  If instead you made a note of the time positions where mistakes were made then you will have to locate these points by reading from the scale along the top.

Now, still using the zoom tool, click and drag from just before to just after the first one of the microphone taps.  The display will zoom into the waveform.  If you need to zoom in further just click and drag with the zoom tool, selecting the area you wish to enlarge.  If you zoom in too far, right-clicking with the zoom tool will zoom out.

Once you have zoomed into the area around the microphone tap (about 10 seconds before and after is usually good), change to the Selection tool (on the toolbar at the top left) and click a point a few seconds before the microphone tap.  Now click the play button and listen to hear the mistake or noise that the microphone tap is indicating - turn your speakers up quite loud so you can hear well.  In the example shown below there is the noise of pages turning - note that if the noise is quite quiet you may not actually see it in the waveform display, so you will have to go by what you hear.  Click the stop button to stop playing.  If you let it play beyond the zoomed area then it will jump to the next part of the waveform - if this happens just click play again to jump back to where you were before (but this time press stop before it plays beyond the zoomed area).

Once you have listened and identified where the noise is, still using the Selection tool, click and drag to select from just before the noise up until after the microphone tap.  Click the play button to listen to the selected section to check that it covers all the noise and that no part of your speech is selected.  If you need to adjust the selection you can click and drag the edges (the mouse pointer will turn into a pointing finger when it is in the right place).

Now from the Edit menu, choose "Silence".  The offending noise and the microphone tap will be silenced.  Click with the Selection tool a few seconds before the edit and click play to listen back to what you have done.  If you have missed any part of the noise you can select and silence it as you have just done.  If you've accidently silenced some of your speech remember that there is always the undo function (on the Edit menu).

If the gap in the speech is now too long you can select an amount of time in the gap and choose "Delete" from the Edit menu.  If you delete too much time or you just want to add a bigger gap you can select the amount of time you wish to add and choose "Silence" from the Generate menu (not the Edit menu!).  Inserting a gap in this way will cause the display area to reset to showing the whole track.  Zoom back in again using the "Zoom In" button (located over to the right with some other zoom function buttons) - don't zoom back in using the normal Zoom tool or you will loose your position.

Once you have listened back and are happy with your edit, zoom out by right-clicking with the Zoom tool, or click the "Fit project in window" button .  Then use the zoom tool again to zoom in around the next place to be edited.

This next example shows how to edit a mistake in the speech itself.  You can usually recognise visually that the start of the phrase with the mistake is the same as the start of phrase when it is said correctly, but if not then use the Selection tool and play button to listen back and find the section to be removed.

Once you have worked out which section needs to be removed, use the Selection tool to select from just before the phrase with the mistake to just before the same phrase said correctly.  Then choose "Delete" from the Edit menu.  You should now have a seamless edit - to check you can listen starting from a few seconds back.

And that's all there is to it - just repeat these steps for all other places where there is a mistake or noise.  It's a good idea to save the project regularly as you go (File menu -> Save Project).  You will find that with practice you can become very quick at making edits - but nevertheless editing is no substitute for rehearsing your speech properly so you make a minimum of mistakes!

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