I've been using ProTools with an M-Box for about 8 years, recording and editing spoken-word narration for a series of art guides. My guides run anywhere from 2 to 3 hours, usually anywhere from 20 to 30 tracks.

I used to have a sound engineer work on them before publishing but have done the last two titles entirely myself. They sound pretty good, but the editing took FOREVER, and I'm sure there are tools I could have used to enhance the quality of the sound.

I'd like to learn how to edit more efficiently, and to use the tools more effectively.

The one or two guides I've looked at are totally music-oriented. My question: Can anyone recommend a guide (for a non-technical beginner) that is more oriented toward editing spoken-word audio? Would the ProTools For Dummies book give me what I need? (my library doesn't have a copy for me to look at)

Thanks much.

Jane Jane's Smart Art Guides™

  • When you say 20-30 tracks, are you referring to tracks as in tracks on a CD, or as in multiple input sources?
    – BenV
    Oct 7, 2014 at 23:11

2 Answers 2


Much of John Purcell's Dialogue Editing for Motion Pictures can be applied to spoken word editing in general. I read it when I was editing an audio drama in Pro Tools.


John Purcell is the man when it comes to dialogue editing. He has some great videos which are free to watch on youtube, and fortunately for you I just happen to have them all in a playlist...

Playlist: youtube.com/watch?v=3d5XIzKlWFk&index=56&list=PLVYK-Fn-ICcXHDXNw5UWBPCZKNaNY04JS

Playlist: youtube.com/watch?v=zDwQCO7v1ME&index=56&list=PLVYK-Fn-ICcXHDXNw5UWBPCZKNaNY04JS

Personally I think the best thing you can do to improve workflow is to learn keyboard shortcuts, and in Pro Tools the best way to use keyboard shortcuts is to use the Command Focus. Here's a useful Sound on Sound article to get you started: http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jun05/articles/protoolsworkshop.htm

I hope those help you.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.