Hiya! Hopefully I’m just being really dumb here.
I’m trying to censor songs. Forget the reason, I’m just doing it and that’s going really well. Just select the swear, go to Generate - Silence but after that, I have no idea what to do to professionally reconnect the sections without the audio sounding ‘off’, like as if I just chucked some piece of audio in that doesn’t quite fit. I’ve been using Crossfade Clips to reconnect the gap in between the bit before the silence and the bit after but this still makes the audio sound ever so slightly ‘off beat’, I guess.
I’m kinda musically inclined so I do know what a beat is, and all, but not enough to know how to make it not sound off. Can anyone help me professionally reconnect the segments of the song that I silenced the swear in, or do I just have to lump it ‘chopping’ like that?
To maintain the original rhythm, you need to “replace” rather than “remove” the part that you want rid of.
To make the edit inconspicuous, you need to replace it with audio that is as similar as possible to the part that you want rid of.
The basic procedure is:
Select the part that you want to replace and label it with a region label twice (Ctrl + B then Ctrl + B again http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/label_tracks.html)
Find a similar part in the song that does not have the swearing.
Slide one of the labels by grabbing the middle part of the “” flag with your mouse and drag it so that it lines up with the similar bit of audio.
The reason for using labels is so that we can copy exactly the right amount of audio to paste over the swearing.
Select the labelled region from the “not swearing” part and copy the audio.
Select the labelled region of the “swearing” part and paste the audio.
Optionally, you can use the Repair tool if there are noticeable clicks at the start or end of the edited section (http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/repair.html)
It’s usually impossible to get perfect-professional results. A recording studio with the original un-mixed multi-track recordings can edit the vocal track without affecting the other music. We can’t do that at home.
Sometimes I’ve had reasonably good results reversing the audio, which maintains the pitch but makes it unintelligible.
I don’t simply select & reverse. I copy the part I want to censor (plus a little extra to allow for a crossfade overlap) & copy it to a new track/file to reverse and fade it in & out. Then fade-out and back-in the original before re-mixing.
Sometimes the Reduce Vocals effect will work. It usually sounds like a “drop out” but it may be the best compromise.
Sometimes you can replace the audio with a cymbal crash or drum beat and that can sometimes be from a different song. Those can work if you can find a cymbal/drum sound with no vocals or other music because they are “not pitched”. It usually won’t sound “normal”, but it can be acceptable.
As a “last resort”, sometimes I’ll just mute the sound and leave a beat or two of silence. Of course it’s noticeable, but the beat is maintained and I find it less annoying than a “bleep”.
BTW - GoldWave ($45 USD) has a Censor effect with several different options and it has crossfade built-into the effect. Reverse isn’t one of the built-in options so that still takes an extra step, but one of the options is to replace the sound with a sound of your choice (which can be the sound you’ve copied & reversed). And, there is a “gibberish” option that scrambles the sound while (mostly) maintaining the original “tone”.
You can do that in Audacity with the “Punch Copy/Paste” plug-ins: https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/punch-copy-paste/28906/1
Other effects that can scramble the sound are, the “Reverso” effect (https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/reverso/21401/1) and “Scratch effect” (scratch.ny https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/scratching-effect/20435/2)
Thanks, all! This has actually really helped! I’ve used a mix of all of your tips and now it’s perfect enough for it to not sound clunky. Thank you!