Learn to Animate

Editing Audio

Audio can be completely transformed in Audacity - both to improve the quality in certain ways and to literally change the way it sounds. For basic trimming and rearranging, OpenToonz works just fine.
Audacity projects save as .aup files. When opening a project from a different computer, make sure that the .aup file and _data folder are both in the same location on the new computer. To open that project:
  1. File → Open or (CMD-O)
  2. Select the .aup file from your computer
Sometimes pre-existing audio (recorded outside of Audacity) needs to be edited. This could be audio recorded in OpenToonz, on a handheld recorder, or royalty free music/sound effects.
  1. At the top menu, go to File → New or CMD-N (if you already have an ongoing project with recorded audio, open it and skip ahead)
  2. At the top menu, go to File → Import → Audio
  3. Select all audio tracks you want to add through the file browser and select open
  4. Rename your track(s) if the names are not descriptive of the content (this makes keeping track of your dialog/sound effects much easier)
    1. Click on the track name
    2. Select "Name"
    3. Type a name for your track and select ok
Distracting levels of ambient, background "noise" should be removed before doing any other effects.
  1. Choose a section of your audio track that is just background noise to create a profile
    1. Left-click on the waveform at the beginning of that noise location
    2. Move your cursor to the new end location for your track and shift-left-click (selected area of track will be a darker greyish color)
    3. At the top menu, go to Effect → Noise Reduction
    4. Select "Get Noise Profile"
  2. Remove the noise
    1. Select the entire track (click on the track header - the left side of the track)
    2. At the top menu, go to Effect → Noise Reduction
    3. Preview the noise reduction with the current settings
    4. Make adjustments if necessary then press "Ok"
    5. Play your track to hear the change in noise quality
Trimming your audio track allows unwanted audio at the beginning and/or end of the track to be removed.
  1. Left-click on the waveform on a location you want to edit
  2. Move your cursor to the new end location for your track and shift-left-click. The selected area of track will be a darker greyish color
  3. When a section of your waveform is selected, you can use the trim tool from the edit toolbar or in the top menu: Edit → Remove Special → Trim Audio
Your resulting track will just be the length of the selection, with empty space where any audio was removed. You can use the "Time-shift" tool to move the track to a different position in the timeline.
Time-shifting allows you to move your audio to a different position
  1. Change to the "Time-Shift" tool in the toolbar
  2. Line up the cursor on the left edge of the track and drag to the new position. Release when the track has been repositioned
  3. Change back to the "Selection" tool
To cut or copy, first select a portion of the track.
  1. Cut removes the selection without leaving empty space:
    1. Shortcut: Cmd-X
    2. Edit → Cut
    3. Cut tool
  2. Copy:
    1. Shortcut: Cmd-C
    2. Edit → Copy
    3. Copy tool
  3. Paste:
    1. Shortcut: Cmd-V
    2. Edit → Paste
    3. Paste tool
  1. Exporting the only track:
    1. File → Export Audio...
    2. Type your file name - it is helpful to use a descriptive name
    3. Choose a file location
    4. Choose a file format (16bit wav or 16bit aiff)
    5. Select "Save"
  2. Exporting multiple tracks at once:
    1. Make sure all tracks are NOT muted
    2. File → Export Multiple
    3. Update the Export Multiple Audio window:
      1. Choose a file location
      2. Choose a file format (16bit wav or 16bit aiff)
      3. Leave the "split files" option set to "Track"
      4. Change the naming system if desired
      5. Select "Export"
    4. Editing the metadata is optional, select "OK" when ready
      1. Repeat as necessary for each track of audio
In Audacity:
  1. Import a copy of your audio tracks
  2. Remove Background Noise
  3. Trim and arrange track as necessary
  4. Add effects as needed(like "Change Pitch" to change the gender of a voice)
  5. Export Audio in .wav format
  1. Right-click on the first cell of an empty column in the Xsheet (or right-click on any first cell in the Timeline)
  2. Select "Load Level"
  3. Use the Browser to select your audio file (.wav or .aif files) and select "Load"
  4. You might be asked to choose between importing and loading the file:
    • Importing - makes a full copy of the audio in the "Extras" folder (this makes backing up your work easier - recommended)
    • Loading - loads the file from the existing location (keeps the project size down and helpful when the file might be edited more outside of OT)
Use the normal program shortcuts to make edits to your audio level:
  • Delete → removes frames from the audio level and leaves empty frames behind
  • Cmd-X → cuts frames from the audio level without leaving empty frames
  • Cmd-C → copy frames
  • Cmd-V → paste copied or cut frames
Keep in mind these edits do not change the actual audio file, just what is exposed in the Xsheet/Timeline.
  1. Columns:
    1. Left-click on the drag handle (either the top or left edge of the column header or the left edge of the selected cells)
    2. Drag the column or selection to the desired position
  2. Layers:
    1. Left-click on the top edge of the layer (or the top edge of the selected cells)
    2. Drag the layer or selection to the desired position
Sometimes you might want to export the soundtrack, often to combine with your animation in a video editing program.
  1. File → Export Soundtrack
  2. Choose an export location (Desktop is always easy to find)
  3. Give the soundtrack a name and select "OK"