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  4. Editing

We may soon offer a whole tutorial on editing, but here are a few basics for now. When your audio file loads into RipEditBurn Plus's Edit window, it will show up as a waveform. You can edit this visual representation of the song nearly the same way you would edit with a word processor. Cut, copy, paste, and clear all do exactly what you would expect. Cut removes the selection from your audio but stores it in memory for later Pasting. Copy stores the selection in memory for later Pasting but does not remove it from the clip. Paste inserts whatever has been cut or copied into memory directly into the sound clip. Clear removes the selection entirely, without copying it into memory at all. Clear is useful for quickly removing unwanted parts of your audio. You can also change the audio using the effects buttons. Here is what a few of them can do:

Normalizing: Even if you don't do any other editing, you will want to normalize each track. Normalization automatically increases the amplitude of a wave file, if necessary, so that its maximum loudness is actually "loud." For example, if you have recorded the sound of a distant train whistle and it barely registers in the Waveform Window (it is too quiet), you may use Normalize to automatically increase the sound's amplitude so that it really is loud. This feature will keep the volume of your CD fairly standard so you won't have to keep jumping up to change the volume while you're listening to it. Normalize by pressing the button labeled "Normalize."

Before normalization After normalization

Fade: This feature is particularly useful to salvage a song that is cut off at the end or to gracefully get rid of unwanted applause. Simply select the section to be faded and click Fade In or Fade Out.

Amplify: The Amplify effect lets you control the inherent 'loudness' of a sound. You can use amplify to increase the amplification (loudness) of a quiet sound, or to decrease the amplification of a sound that is too loud. For example, you might record a whisper that's barely audible when played back, even with your speakers at maximum volume. You can use Amplify to 'turn up' this sound until it's at a more reasonable level.You can control the amount of amplification by changing the Amplification Factor. A factor of 1 leads to no amplification, a factor of 2 doubles the sound's amplitude, a factor of 0.5 reduces the amplitude by half, etc. Be sure you understand the difference between amplification and volume! The volume slider (and also any volume controls on your computer's speakers) only controls how loudly your audio is played back; the amplification effect is used to permanently and fundamentally alter the inherent loudness of your audio. Also be sure that you don't overdo your amplification and end up with a wave file that's clipped.

Mix: The Mix button allows you to mix two separate sound files (of the same type) together so that they overlap. To use this feature, open the first wave file in RipEditBurn Plus and then move the blinking cursor to the point where the second wave file will be mixed. Then push the Mix button and select the second sound. The files will automatically be mixed together, beginning at the cursor. You can use this feature to add a voiceover to a song. To do this, first record your voice by pressing Record, talking, and then pressing Stop. Save the voiceover and then use it as "the second wave file" in the instructions above.

Once you've finished editing the first track, save it. It helps to keep all the final wave files (ripped CD tracks, imported MP3s, voice clips, etc) in a folder on your desktop. That way you'll be able to find them easily. Also wave files are quite large and you'll want to delete them after you've made the CD.

Now, with the file still open in your Edit window, click the Burn tab. Choose Yes to have it added to your Burn List. Now you know how to prepare CD tracks for your mix CD. Click the Rip tab to continue ripping and editing tracks from CD or go to the Edit window to move on to MP3s.

Make a Mix CD

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