Editing Audiobooks in Cubase


I need a little help regarding audiobook editing in Cubase.

In order to meet the ACX requirements for audio books everytime you cut a piece of the audio in order to remove noise, clicks, pops or anything unwanted you must replace that gap of complete silence with room tone(a segment of audio recorded with the actor in the room in silence). This provides a more fluent flow and the book doesn’t sound so cut up.

Now here’s the problem:
I have a room tone of 20 seconds, but everytime I need to paste it the lenght of the gap varies. Sometimes I need to paste 2 seconds, sometimes 5 seconds, sometimes 10. Doing that manually is very slow and time consuming.

  • One solution would be to loop the room tone for the entirety of the book and place recording on top, on the same tracks. Everytime I need to cut something up, room tone would show up from underneath
  • Another solution is having a separate track with the room tone looped and sidechain compressing it to the recording of the book. This way when I cut up something the compressor would stop and the room tone would be heard.

But is there and easier and more efficient way of doing this?
I know in Pro Tools there is “Paste Special” which allows you to paste based on the lenght of the selection
Audacity also has “Punch Copy/Paste” which does the same thing

Has anyone edited audiobooks in Cubase? How did you deal whith this problem?

Kind regards,

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I admit I never edited an audio book, so I have no experience there, but the idea with the separate track and sidechain compressor was the first that popped into my mind, too, and to me it seems like a quite easy and efficient way to set up, with the added advantage that you have full control over the room signal, in case you need to change the levels afterwards or what not. You could even set it up as a template, so that for another audio book you only need to import the room file and the spoken audio file.
And with the repeat function (CTRL-K), you can easily create 1000 copies of the room file for any length of audio.
But maybe there is something I didn’t consider?

My suggestion is to loop the room tone as you suggested but do it on a separate track. In this way, you do not wind up with overlapping clips on a single track. The mixdown gives the same result.

This is the general direction I’d use too. However instead of a Compressor I’d try a Gate first.