Common Editing Effects

These are common editing effects useful in working with audio and podcast production. Here is a brief description of each effect with a sample tutorial on how to use it.  


Compression softens the loudest part of your recording to reduce the difference between your recording’s loudest and softest moments. This creates warm (and better) sound. 

Here’s an example of how to use compression in Audacity:

Fade in/out  

Fade in/Fade out is an effect to smoothly transition into a podcast episode or audio story. There are multiple tools available in Audacity to create different styles of fade in/fade out. This brief tutorial demonstrates some of the most popular methods:

Noise Reduction 

Noise reduction is an effect that removes extraneous room noise or “room tone” from a recording. If you leave space for room tone at the start of a recording, it is very easy to remove it later using this effect in Audacity.   

Normalize Audio  

Normalizing audio adjusts the volume of your files without adjusting your range (or the difference between your audio peaks and low points. One reason to normalize audio is if you have different kinds of tracks in one project (for example, an intro, interview, and music transitions). Here is a tutorial on how to normalize audio in Audacity:

Further Resources: 

Explore other audio production terms and their meanings using this glossary. (NPR Training)

You can train your ear to identify (and avoid) common recording, editing, and mixing problems here. (NPR Training)

Explore our resources on sound design and mixing.

When you’re editing is complete, move on to the publish section.