Long VO Editing Question (Cut Time)

I’m just starting to edit an audio book and was wondering if anyone knows how to do a “cut time” edit (command-shift X) but in reverse. Let me explain. I would like the time to shift right instead of left so that all my edit notes (which are based on a timeline in seconds) stay put. If I just do a simple “cut time” key command then all the audio that comes after the edit shifts left and now all my subsequent edit notes are not in the same place.

In the past I’ve always done my editing starting at the end of the VO and working backwards toward the beginning. I was hoping there was a better way.

Any suggestions??


Assuming you have everything in a single audio event on the timeline, you could convert the event to an audio part and then make cuts in that. For example, let’s say you have a spoken introduction, but there’s too much “dead air” between the intro and the start of chapter one; well, make a cut after the intro, another one just before ch. 1, then select and delete the audio part containing the dead air. That will leave you with two audio parts on the timeline, so you can then move the intro to the right until it butts against ch.1, leaving the rest of the work unaffected and still at the same absolute position on the timeline, so your subsequent notes will sync.

If I’ve understood correctly that would enable you to work from beginning to end, with the piece effectively getting shorter with each cut, but in a way in which the beginning of the piece starts later.

There would be other ways involving time offsets in the project, but that would involve messing with time calculations and would in my opinion be more susceptible to human error.

You should also investigate markers and the marker track, because that would allow you to drop markers as you listen to the work, the position of which could be fine-tuned later, and you could do a global split at each marker point, remove any unwanted sections and the best thing is the markers can be named and might be able to take the place of hand-written notes for you.

I dont think I understand. If events shifted the opposite direction following a cut time command, they would still be off (provided they all need to be aligned with some time anchor points like you said)?

Yes if they shifted left to right right they would be off from the original edit point (based my notes I made during recording) but that edit would be already completed (no need to deal with it again) and most important, subsequent edits points would still be where the original time was noted on the script which is the most important thing - to be able to do all the editing from top to bottom with only the edits on the “left” (completed edits) moving - not edit points to be worked on yet. i hope that clarifies. The other thing is that ALL the previously edited clips on the track need to move left to right not just the one you are working on when deleting a section in order for the voice over to not have any gaps.

Using my suggested method above, once you’ve completed more than one edit, you can then glue the parts together so they all move in unison.

Thanks Soundman. It think you are correct that your method would work but with a 500 page audio book with 4-10 edits a page, it would take to long unfortunately. :frowning: Thanks for the idea though.

hmmm, you could make a macro that will 1/ jump to next marker (that’s how i am supposing you have the sections marked) 2/ slice the event 3/ Navigate - Right (select the remainder of the event) 4/ move to the track below 4/ paste the remainder of the vo. rinse and repeat. effectively splitting the event into a separate track for each section, so when you cut time on the track, you don’t offset the events after it.

you can then bring all the events together (close gaps created by editing) by something like this:

transport-locate selection end
edit-move to cursor
(rinse & repeat)

( see my vid for how bringing events together can work https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ellGhSdmXfk#t=389 )

it seems like quite a feat… maybe you’d be better off slicing the events where the markers are and actually naming the audio events themselves so the metadata is always ‘with’ the event no matter what you do?

Well, I’m not using markers to “label” the locations that need editing. I have always done it with notes based on a timeline right on the script. Perhaps I should try doing it with markers next time and just note the marker number on the script (and what the issue was for the marker number). This way when making the edits I can also slip the markers along with a cut time command and the markers would move with the audio edits and I can work from the top (to the end) of each VO instead of having to start from the end and going in reverse.

Otherwise the other approaches (that very much for offering guys!!) seem to complex and time consuming (at least so far).

I really think that is the way to go. It’s pretty much what markers are for … you’ll also be able to navigate directly to a section with no scrolling, and do things like zoom to the size of that section. The way you’re doing it right now would basically require that the application change the origin from zero (as in time, on the left) to an arbitrary point in time on the right, depending on the duration of the recording, and then be able to do a sort “ripple edit” while at the same time not moving the absolute position of the edits on the timeline; in effect, that would require gaps in time.

You can still change to a method of working with markers though; just save a new version of your project, then navigate to each time position as per your hand-written notes and drop a marker, adding the name of the marker on your notes. If you then do a global split at each marker you can move/delete sections easily, and although the absolute time positions will change, it won’t matter because you have correlated it using the marker name in the notes.

Once you’ve set markers, you can also do neat things like select a region between markers etc., and if it all doesn’t work out, just revert to your existing project, as this is all non-destructive and makes no changes to the audio recording on disk.

yeah, btw if you put the marker track in a folder with an audio track and engage Group Editing, cutting time on the audio track will automatically cut time on the marker track…

Thanks guys. Yea I might just go ahead and add markers to the existing project should be quick to do that.

FWIW, I still think it would be cool to add an wit command that did a cut time IN REVERSE. :slight_smile:

Many thanks!!