How to Edit Your Own Music

Any musician will have to edit his or her own music at some point, either because they have to deal with an employer’s demands or are dissatisfied with the finished product. Knowing the basic steps behind editing your music can be a crucial skillset to be used later on.

Here’s how to edit your own music.

1. Download an affordable music editing software.

You live in an age where everything is done digitally, including recording and editing music. Once you’ve recorded your song, you can edit it through software. Nowadays, there are all kinds of software to really help you fix any mistakes in your music while at the comfort of your home.

Software such as Music Editor Free can be downloaded without charge, though paying for software tends to come with more features for editing. Audacity is another free audio recording and editing tool that can be used easily and is highly recommended by others.

2. Learn how to think like a composer.

Editing involves your musical intuition and planning. You can arrange the song so that sections of the music are deleted or moved somewhere else based on how it sounds. For example, you can place one part of a piano piece you created and add to the end as a coda. You can also compare the same takes of a song you created to see which one sounds better (and add the best parts of each take to each other).

Below is a video in which Logic Pro X software is used to rearrange music to create an improved sound.

3. Improve the overall sound quality with a few editing tricks.

Once you’ve observed how the tracks sound, you can tweak it through your editing software to make some improvements. You can reduce background noise such as recorded background voices or dead air by deleting the audio when the instruments aren’t playing or the singing voice isn’t recorded.

You can edit the pitch of an off-key note through Auto-Tune (a completely different processor) or edit off-beat notes by changing where the note is played in the song or just stretching out the time that section is played so it doesn’t sound so jarring.

Below, Audacity is used to cut out extra static in a recorded song through the edit and cut function, improving the sound overall.

The process of editing is rather mechanical and requires a clear understanding of the usage of software and techniques involved. These are the basics of the music editing process.

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Kevin Kwon is a recent graduate from UC Berkeley, currently 23 years old. He works in San Francisco, and hopes to continue in the graduate studies regarding the field of psychology.

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