5 Steps for Easy Audio Editing in Descript

5 steps for easy audio editing in descript 1
5 steps for easy audio editing in descript 1

Content creators are always looking for efficient tools to streamline their production processes without sacrificing quality. One such powerful tool is Descript, an innovative audio editing software that revolutionizes the production of podcasts, videos, and other audio projects.

This article lists five quick steps you can follow to edit audio quickly and effectively. 

What Is Descript?

Descript is a multifaceted media editing software that provides a unique approach to audio and video editing. Its features make it especially popular among podcasters, video creators, and media professionals. 

The core feature that sets Descript apart is its ability to transcribe audio and video content into text, allowing users to edit their media files as easily as editing a text document. This transcription is done automatically by the software’s advanced speech recognition technology, which can accurately convert spoken words into written text.

Once transcribed, users can cut, copy, paste, or delete sections of their audio or video by simply editing the corresponding text in the transcript. This text-based editing system streamlines the editing process and significantly reduces the time and effort typically required for traditional timeline-based editing.

But there’s much more to Descript, as it’s constantly looking for new ways to make the editing process easier. Read on to learn about the workflow we use in Descript to edit audio efficiently and flawlessly.

Step 1: Creating a New Project and Importing Audio Files

Let’s start from scratch and see how you can start a new project.

  1. Click + New in the upper left corner.
  2. Select Audio Project.
  1. Type the title of your project. 
  2. Drag and drop your audio files together. (This could include interview recordings, background music, and any other audio elements needed for the podcast.)
  1. Type the guest and host names.
  2. When uploading a multitrack recording, make sure that you combine two (or more) files into a multitrack sequence. (This allows for individual control over each audio track.)

Step 2: Using Descript’s AI

Descript’s AI features are a lifesaver when it comes to podcast editing, and here’s how you can use them.

Begin by listening to each track individually to assess the sound quality. Identify any tracks that require adjustment or enhancement. If you find discrepancies in sound quality, apply AI-enhanced sound features available in Descript. 

  1. Click on Show timeline in the lower left corner
  2. Double-click on the timeline to enter the Sequence view.
  1. Once in Sequence view, assign the studio sound on the track (or tracks) with the low sound quality.
  1. Set the amount of intensity between original and AI-enhanced sound. (Bear in mind that 70- 80% intensity generally works best, as you don’t want the AI to over-modify the audio or cut out parts of words.)
  2. Once finished, click Done in the upper left corner.

Step 3: Script and Timeline Editing

Script view is perfect for editing content.

  1. In the Script view, you can edit audio as you would in any text editor (e.g. MS Word, Google Docs). This step involves adjusting the written content that corresponds with the audio, which is useful for correcting transcription errors or refining the script based on audio content.
  1. In the Timeline view, perform fine editing (e.g. crossfades, inserting or shortening pauses, fade-ins and fade-outs. This helps with ensuring the audio flows naturally and maintains the intended content and style.
  2. Keep in mind that the goal of this step is to make the conversation flow, but don’t overdo it. Always remember that the right cut is inaudible and sounds natural.

Step 4: Adding Intro and Outro

Now is the time to add elements that will make your podcast episode more appealing and on-brand.

  1. Create intros and outros ahead of time by mixing voice recordings with background music. This prepares these elements to be seamlessly integrated into the podcast episodes.
  2. Make a gap clip by right-clicking at the start of the audio file and selecting Add gap clip.
  1. Drag and drop the intro above the gap clip.
  1. Apply ducking on the intro track. (Aim for 80% intensity.) This feature automatically lowers the volume of background music when a voiceover speaks, ensuring the speech is clear and not drowned out by music.
  1. Repeat the process for the outro. 

Step 5: Exporting the Audio

When exporting your final audio, it’s important that it meets the industry standards. 

Here’s how you can do this:

  1. Go to File > Export.
  1. Make sure Current composition is selected to avoid exporting only a part of the project accidentally.
  2. Also, you should be exporting: 
  • MP3
  • 2 channels
  • 44100 Hz sample rate
  • 256 kbps bitrate
    (A bit rate of 256 kbps is generally recommended for a good balance of quality and file size. For platforms with storage limitations, a lower rate like 160 kbps can be used but shouldn’t go below to avoid a noticeable loss in quality.)
  • Normalized at -16 LUFS (This is a standard loudness level for podcast platforms. It ensures consistent playback volume across different listening environments and devices.)

Bonus Tips 

Finally, here are a few bonus tips that will take your audio editing to another level.

Transition your edit to another DAW

For users who are accustomed to working with other digital audio workstations (DAWs) such as Adobe Audition, Avid Pro Tools or Apple Logic, Descript offers functionality to export projects into formats that these DAWs can read. This is particularly useful for detailed sound engineering tasks that may be more efficiently handled in those environments.

Descript is not limited to audio projects; it also supports video editing. This can be a valuable tool for podcasters who produce video content or video podcasts, allowing them to handle both audio and visual elements in a single platform.

  1. Under the Export tab, click on Timeline.
  2. Choose from a list of software tools where you want to further edit your audio.

Sync issues with transcripts

Use multitrack sequences when working in Descript to gain better control over the alignment of audio and transcript text. This approach helps in managing synchronization issues and makes it easier to match the transcript with the spoken audio.

Audio clipping during export

Always double-check the export settings before finalizing the audio file. Specifically, ensure that Current composition is selected instead of Current selection to prevent accidentally exporting only a portion of the project.

Breath sounds and pauses in audio

Instead of solely relying on AI tools to remove breath sounds and unnatural pauses, we recommend manually listening and making edits accordingly. This manual intervention helps maintain the natural rhythm of speech and avoids cutting audio that might affect the flow of conversation.

Use of clone voice system in Descript

The clone voice feature may not meet your expectations, but a Regenerate tool can be an effective alternative. This tool can regenerate specific words or phrases to correct audio errors, ensuring the timbre matches the original speaker’s voice.

Managing word gaps

For editing word gaps, it is recommended to work in the Timeline view rather than the Script view. This allows for precise control over the duration of pauses, ensuring that edits retain the conversational tone and don’t overly compress the speech.

Still have questions?

Contact us today