Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Adding A Beep Tone to Mask A Cuss Word

Into each life a cuss word or two must fall out of a mouth. There are times when you might needs to deal with the full expression of the intent of the speaker. You might have to defuse an f-bomb in your video.

I will respect a request from a speaker to remove or mask it. If I can. There are people that can chain up sixteen word combos. Not sure what I'm gonna do about those. One f-bomb is far easier to deal with if you have what you need.

I'm giving a general overview because video editing software packages differ on how to do this task. I just want to give a basic idea of how I patched the cuss word using basic consumer video editing software.

The Details

For quick and dirty video editing I'm using Serif Movie Plus X5. 
  1. I visually zoomed up the track window to allow me to better see the video and audio track area.
  2. I set up a marker at the beginning of the f-bomb and another one at the approximate end.
  3. I hop over to Media College Sound Effect page. I needed a 1 second beep. Found just what I needed. I download it and save it in my audio and sound effects folder.
  4. Back in Movie Plus X5 I unlink the video and audio tracks. I'm not sure at this point if I need to cut the audio f-bomb out or just mask it. I do not want to cut the video; that is why I unlinked the tracks.
  5. I import the beep tone into the the media bin. I then move it to a second audio track. 
  6. I align the beep tone at the edge of the first marker. In the screen capture above it might seem long but it is only one second in duration. It just covered the cuss word and allow the next word "senior" to be heard clearly. 
  7. I test it out a couple of times to make sure it is a good cover for the cuss word. There is no looping function so I had to manually start and stop the player.
I could have also edited out the word and just had a blank space. I have to tell you adding the beep was easier. I would have loved to have found one of those "a-oogah" horn sounds. Not really fitting with the panel discussion.

Now I have to say that I am not always gonna clean up or patch f-bombs in flight. I want to as much as possible to maintain an authentic record of an event. In this case, I was asked to remove it and I agreed to do so.

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