What does the work of an audio editor entail?

Digitising thousands of hours of footage from the PBS archives is a project that requires the collective effort of many people working in specialised roles. This article is part of a series we’re publishing which describes the different jobs performed in our team, this one focusing on the work of an audio editor.

The job of an audio editor involves a number of responsibilities that are connected to the sound quality of the audiovisual footage ingested into the digitisation system and processed by video editors. Audio editing is the third step of the digitisation process in the MAVM project.

After a video clip edit has been finalised, this is passed on to the audio editor who checks the audio of the clip and uses their technical expertise to restore overall sound quality—such as removing hiss, fix gain (dB), and use an equaliser (Eq) to balance audio—as well as synchronise soundtracks with video. These interventions help correct any anomalies that may be present in the footage due to the degradation process that all physical media experience over time.

Besides having a good ear for sound, audio editors must also possess technical expertise in sound engineering techniques, as well as experience with various sound editing and recording equipment.
As you can see, the job of an audio editor requires knowledge of various sound engineering systems and techniques, and the ability to coordinate with colleagues handling video and data inputting and editing. We take a closer look at the other roles within the MAVM team in the following articles describing the jobs of video editors, metadata editors, and ingest operators.