Updated: Jan 12, 2022
Everyone could stand to work a little bit faster, get your job done a little sooner and put a little less effort in while doing it. Especially if you get paid by the project or at the end of a contract. If this sounds a little too good to be true, well for the most part it is. But, if you are editing audio there’s a few things that you can do to help you out and get faster and more efficient. Most of which just require experience, and performing the same tasks over and over until they build an impression in your mind.
Let’s go over a few common shortcuts that I use to help you with your editing, now these will all directly apply to Adobe Audition, but they are common among all DAWs and if you just look up these shortcuts in your respective program, you should be able to easily find it.
For me and my workflow I like to rest my hand so my pinky is always on the CTRL key, so any keys in the lower left corner of the keyboard, is where I've bound most of my shortcuts. I will include the default keyboard strokes in Audition in the titles, and then I will tell you what I have switched them to in order to make my editing more efficient.
Shuttle Right. (L)
Shuttle right, basically means that you are fast forwarding the audio. If it wasn’t for this action, I would have wasted about twice as much time editing, AT LEAST!
In Audition, the default position is set to L , and I have bound it to the A key, so my left hand can stay near the bottom left of my keyboard (it will become more clear, why I want my hand to be positioned there as I go through the rest).
If you fast forward too fast you could get to the point where you can’t quite hear or understand what the person is saying in the audio. You really don’t want to get to that point, just keep at about 1.5x - 2x the speed, as to better understand the pacing and the dialogue.
Select Clips to End of Session. (N/A)
This shortcut is unassigned when you first boot up Audition, and I use this one every few seconds! I have it bound to the X key. I would highly recommend assigning this one, as it is a HUGE part of my workflow when editing.
What this action does is it selects ALL the clips in your timeline (when you are in multitrack view) that are after your playhead. What this means is that, if I decide to cut out a word, I don't need to use my mouse to highlight everything after that cut, I can just tap one key and it will select everything after the playhead and I can skootch it in order to properly fade the cut.
Move Tool (N/A)
This one is also not assigned when you first boot up Audition and yet again, I use this key stroke every few seconds in my workflow! I have it bound to the D key.
There are different tools that each allow your mouse to perform different tasks. The default tool for your mouse is the Time Selection Tool, which allows you to highlight sections of your timeline. That is the tool I have selected most often, but after I make a cut, I want to nudge the rest of the clips to the left, in order to properly fade the cut together. For that task I use the move tool.
You can move the clips around without selecting the move tool, by hovering your mouse over the very top of the clip. The problem with that is, you have to be very precise when hovering over your clip in order to move it. That precision takes a second or two, when I could hit a key that my hand is already over, and now I don't need to be precise at all, I just need to grab the clip wherever my mouse happens to be.
The first thing I do when I get my clips loaded in the timeline is manually strip silence the whole episode. That means whenever someone is not talking, their track is being deleted.
I have this shortcut bound to CTRL + X, this allows my hand to continue to rest where it is and I can quickly delete any audio this unnecessary.
This is also a great action if your client gives you specific editing notes, that way you can delete the parts he wants easily and you won't move anything around.
Zoom to Preset (N/A)
Again, this one is unassigned by default in Audition, but it has been a life saver when fine tune cutting words and phrases. I actually have two presets that I have set to both zoom really far in (Shift + X), and one that zooms back out (Shift + C), that way I can quickly zoom to the exact same view range every time, without needing the mouse.
First, you will need to set your zoom presets, to do this zoom in to wherever you're comfortable making fine tune cuts/adjustments to your audio, and in your keyboard shortcut menu, search "Save Current Zoom to Preset 1" and bind whichever key you like (this is NOT the key we will be using going forward). Once you are at a comfortable distance you can save your current view to the preset.
You then want to search for "Zoom to Preset 1" in your keyboard shortcut menu, and assign it to whichever key stroke is most comfortable for you and your workflow.
Repeat the exact same steps for preset 2, if you'd like to both zoom in and out.
Bam! Now you can easily zoom in and out without needing to spend the extra time scrolling with your mouse. Trust me, it doesn't sound like it will save much time, but you will be surprised how much time you've saved when you've made over 100 cuts in one episode!
Ripple Delete (Ctrl + Alt + Dlt)
If you don’t know what ripple deleting is, it’s when you highlight any amount of audio, and in one stroke you delete the audio, and fill in the gap that would’ve been made. I have this action bound to the Z key. You can only use this action in multitrack view.
For whatever reason, this specific one took me a while to find in Audition. I had to remove a certain gap in audio, then manually grab one side, and pull it over to fill the gap. Over the course of an entire episode, this gets pretty time consuming.
When I finally found the ripple delete shortcut. Ripple deleting will save you hours when you’re editing, and if you haven’t found your ripple delete command yet, go look for it now, and never look back.
If you made it this far, consider reaching out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org to chat about great and creative ways to improve your podcast, or if you would like some help with your entire podcasting process, including launching your show, consultations, editing, or just a more personal conversation!