Tips for Cleaning Up Recorded Music Tracks on the iPad or iPhone

By Ryan C. Williams, Mike Levine

You’ll probably never get your audio tracks just right the first time you record them on your iPad or iPhone. If you could, nobody would need to build apps for editing audio after the fact. But more than likely, you’ll need to do some additional work on your tracks. This section contains some common tasks you’ll need to do and how to ­perform them.

Removing silence or unwanted noise at the beginning

You can either cut the sound out by splitting a clip and deleting it or using the trim functions in your audio editor to move the beginning or end points on the clip.

Some audio editors offer noise reduction functions that analyze a part of the audio, then use that analysis to remove the noise from the clip. The background noise at the beginning of your audio clip could be a great place to analyze that background noise without the main signal causing issues.

Removing breath sounds

Suppose you’re working with a vocal or narration track that sounds great, but you want to remove breath sounds from the track. You can highlight those sections and insert silence to take that noise out. This technique is preferable to cutting the sections out because you retain the natural timing of the vocal track, without risking moving the audio clips.

Adjusting volume and equalization

Most of the time, you want to handle volume and equalization concerns in the mixing process. However, especially if you’re not doing any mixing (on a solo track, perhaps) or something is particularly egregious and you want to fix it now, go ahead and fix it in the audio editor. No time like the present to solve bad problems.

Adjusting large-volume issues

Suppose you recorded a live event that alternated between speaking on a mic and really loud songs. The audio editor is a perfect tool to make the volume a little more equal. Why is this situation even mentioned? Well, the volume changes are much larger, of course, and merit a little more attention rather than an overall volume adjustment.