Editing tools


Interview editing steps

Create a transcript

  • Start with a recording that has both voices on at once
    • You get this by default with a Zoom recording
    • in Squadcast, they’re separate by default, but you can get both voices in one recording like this:
      • Click the down arrow to the right of your session (default is Reusable session)
      • Select the two you’re interested in (using checkboxes on left)
      • Click Mix Recordings
  • Upload the mixed recording to Temi (use the big button on the home page)
    • Create a transcript

Create first pass of section headings

  • First get a feel for the broad outline
    • SKIM the transcript
    • Quickly insert headings broadly describing each section - these will have descriptive titles rather than the T001, etc you’ll be using later.
    • Use heading 2 (so it doesn’t conflict with all the heading 3s you’re going to use later on)
    • Keyboard shortcut in Word to create heading 2 is Ctrl + Alt + 2
    • Think about which sections you want to cut
      • This way you won’t waste ages listening to those sections in detail - you can just ignore them from the start
      • You can use Ctrl + Alt + S in Word to strikethrough the sections you want to lose.
      • It’s also worth suffixing headings with y, n and m for Yes, No and Maybe to indicate whether sections will be kept or not.

Make a note of timestamps

  • Now start inserting timestamped labels in Audacity and Word
    • Have Audacity and the transcript open side by side
    • Do two passes:
      • On the first, just create an Audacity label + timestamp for each of your broad headings that you inserted before.
        • Go all the way to the end of the process - ie calculate total timings in the spreadsheet.
        • That way you can get a pretty good idea of what you want to keep / discard.
        • When you number the labels, leave gaps because you will be adding more granular labels later
        • For instance, T10, T20 etc (use your judgement re how big the gaps should be - leave bigger gaps than you think you’ll need)
      • On the second, add more granular timestamps, but only in the sections you’re keeping
    • Whenever you reach a point that may mark the start or end of a clip, give it a label (I just give them labels like T002, T003)
      • In Audacity:
        • Use Ctrl + mouse wheel to zoom in/out - but only one scroll click at a time! Otherwise it goes haywire.
        • click X to pause the recording there (means it will resume at the same point, which it wouldn’t if you used spacebar)
        • Ctrl + B to add a label
          • To remove a label:
          • click in the label text
          • Home
          • Shift + end
          • Delete
          • Delete again
        • Alt left/right to move between labels
      • In Word:
        • Insert the Audacity label text at the correct place in the transcription text (create a new line)
        • Add a space, and then the timestamp
          • Not in brackets
          • Include the hour even if the recording is not over an hour long (So 3m 21s would be 00:03:21)
          • Don’t include fractions of seconds
        • Add a space, and “y” for keep (= yes) or “m” if you’re not sure (= maybe), or “no” for don’t keep (= no) (followed by strikethrough)
        • It should look like this (the formatting matters for the spreadsheet later on): T020 00:03:21 y
        • Ctrl + Alt + 3 to highlight the label using heading 3 (makes it easier to find later)
          • !! Watch out though! Somehow all my text ended up being in Heading mode, even though it looked “normal” - and I have no idea how it happened. It seemed to happen after I was using Outline mode. I think maybe it happened because I started editing when I was still in Outline mode? Anyway, keep an eye out for this. The quickest way to check whether it’s happened is View Navigation pane and check that all your label headings are appearing separately.
        • Ctrl + Alt + S to strikethrough passages you want cut from the recording
        • Ctrl + Shift + N to undo the heading style (goes back to “normal”)
  • Make sure you create one last label which marks the end of the recording.

Use timestamps to calculate rough episode length(s)

  • When you’re done, transfer timestamps to a spreadsheet to get an idea of length:
    • In Word:
      • Click View Outline
      • Make sure that “all levels” is selected from the “Show level” dropdown
      • Use Ctrl + Alt + Shift + S to bring up styles dialog
      • Click the dropdown next to Heading 3 and choose “Select All XX Instance(s)”
      • Ctrl + C to copy them all into clipboard
    • In Excel or Google sheets:
      • Have headings Label, Timestamp, Include? and duration
      • Format the duration column as a time (select col, Format Number Time)
      • Paste clipboard
      • Data Split text to columns choose Space
      • Now in the fourth column (“duration”), use the formula =B3-B2 in the top non-heading cell, then drag down into all cells in this column (except the last, which should mark the end of the recording)
      • Now create min and max time totals (wherever you like), with the following formulas:
        • Min: =SUMIF(C2:C300, "=y", D2:D300)
        • Max: =SUMIF(C2:C300, "=m", D2:D300)+[cell containing min total]
        • (you’ll have to format those cells as times too - Format Number Time)

Audacity: Pull snippets / audiograms / teasers out into a new track

In Audacity…

  • Highlight the relevant section manually, or use start and end times:
    • Note start and end time
    • Place your cursor in the source track
    • Select “Start and end of selection” from the dropdown at the bottom
    • Enter start and end time
    • Press play to check it worked
  • Use Ctrl + D to copy the selection out into a new track
  • Do NOT use Effect Truncate Silence to move the snippet back to the start of its new track
    • Instead, just zoom in and highlight the empty section before the snippet… and use Ctrl + X to delete it.
  • Press Solo on the new snippet track
  • File Export Export as mp3