Advanced sound editing project

Although there is probably no practical application for this project, you will have the opportunity to use some very practical sound editing procedures.

Click on the icon to hear a sample of this project.

The project:

The concept is simple.  Create a sentence or phrase using individual sound clips from a variety of songs.  You may have to be selective in order to get words you can actually understand. 

Often, singers may not enunciate a particular word clearly enough to be understood by itself. As a matter of fact, there is a website that details with 'mis-understood lyrics', where people post songs that have lyrics that no one but the writer can agree on. Hearing the entire passage can help, because we hear the word in context, so even though we may not recognize a specific word, we can figure it out.

Getting Started:

Using the sound editor program select s segment of both tracks of the sound wave, selecting a bit extra before and after the actual word you plan on using.

Copy the selection to the clipboard, (Edit, Copy).


Fig. 1

Using the sound editor program select the segment of both tracks of the sound wave, selecting a bit extra before and after the actual word you plan on using. This will allow you to zoom in and find the exact start and end of the word.

Open a new file and paste the copied clip into the new file. Save the file with a name that you will recognize. 

Fig. 2  

Fig. 3

Zoom in on the wave so you will have a more precise control of the operations. 

Select and cut the areas before and after the word. You might want to leave a very small amount of 'lead-in', so you can apply a Fade-In and Fade-Out. This will eliminate 'clicking' sounds and help to provide a smooth transition between words.

Use the same procedure for each word of your project. I recommend saving each word as a separate file.  Open a new file and paste in each word in the proper order.

Fig. 4

This is what my file looks like with all of the words in place.  The parentheses show the individual words.

The next step is to clean up the file to make the individual words flow together as you listen to them. The orange arrows indicate spaces between the words.  You will probably want to cut out most of the spaces, unless you want a deliberate pause at a certain point.

With the words flowing together, remembering to Fade-In and Fade-Out, you can now adjust the amplitude of individual words.  Since the original songs may have all been recorded at different levels, you may have to do some experimenting to arrive at a fairly uniform volume.

Highlight the section of the wave that you want to increase and select 'Level' under Effects. Individual software packages may have different names and locations for this effect.  You will be looking for: volume, amplitude, or level.

Fig. 5

Fig. 6

This is what my completed sound file looks like.

Well, now you may be ready for the recording studio, or maybe making phony evidence for the CIA.?


Try making an entire song using passages and lines from other songs.  Tell a story, ...whatever.  The main intent of the project is to explore and refine your sound editing skills, but you might as well have some fun with it.


2006 T. Carson