Editing & Mastering for Air: Using Fission

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From Rogue Amoeba Software:
Fission is a streamlined audio editor designed to get you editing in minutes, not hours. It works with MP3, AAC, Apple Lossless and AIFF audio, enabling you to instantly trim and split files with no quality loss. Remove unwanted content, such as commercials, from your audio file. Re-arrange audio in a single file, copy audio from one file to another, or merge with a quick drag and drop.

Outline of Steps

Start the Fission application

Find the Fission icon on the dock at the bottom of the Mac window.


Opening your file

Once opened, use Finder to locate your WAV file. Drag and drop your file into the Fission window at right labeled "Drop File Here" or use the "Open Audio File" option at left.


The WAV file will open and the waveform will display - shown here in yellow. The Waveform is a visual indication of sound along the timeline (above), and makes editing a snap. Blank spaces are portions without sound, and the height of the yellow waveform image indicates the volume. Gaps and peaks in volume are useful indicators for where edits may be needed.

Note the "Inspector" button at top right - clicking this will show or hide the summary information and labeling tools occupying the right side of the screen.


The Basics

The Cursor and Playback: The red vertical line in the waveform is the "cursor" and is the indicator of where playback will begin when you "play" it. You can always click on the Play, Rewind and Fast-Forward buttons at the bottom to do these things, but skilled editors much prefer to use the keyboard's spacebar to start and stop playback, and manage locations of playback with the mouse instead of using the rewind and fast forward buttons.

Managing View: Fission is a visual tool, so it is important to get a good handle on manipulating the view of content rapidly. Using the mouse to adjust the view can be handled a few ways:

  • use the mouse to point and click on a specific area in your sound (in either the world view or the sound below), and use the scroller* on the mouse to zoom in and out.
  • or, you can click and drag the the magnification bar tool at bottom left to zoom in and out of the location of the red playback cursor
  • Note: the scroller on the new Mac mouse is handled by sliding your finger across the surface of the mouse. Its a handy and powerful tool once you get used to it

Precision Editing

Delete: use the mouse to click and drag across areas of audio that you want to remove and hit delete.

Some suggestions:

  • remove excess gaps and known issues in your sound first, to remove clutter and simplify the fine editing you'll get into next.
  • preview sounds that you are choose to delete briefly before hitting the delete key
  • click in the timeline behind or prior to the audio that was just deleted and review ho the remaining sounds flow together without the omitted sound.
  • if you make a mistake, choose Edit>Undo from the menus above, or press command (apple symbol) "Z" to undo the deletion

Mouse Function: As you move the mouse over (or "hover" over) different portions of the audio or selected sections, its appearance will change from a plus symbol, to a hand, to a double arrow, which in turn changes what it will do.

The plus symbol is the default, and will allow a rapid selection of where to play with a single click, or with a drag, create a highlighted section to preview or remove. Once a selection is created, the mouse hover over the red cursor will allow you to move it with a click and drag.

After highlighting, you can adjust the boundaries you've set by hovering over until the mouse becomes a


Splitting the audio


Renaming the segments