Academy Dashboard Forum Production Production Techniques Radio edit methods

  • This topic has 5 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 5 years ago by auntiebeeb.
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  • #43843

      Hi everyone

      I'm expecting to be asked to provide radio edit mixes for an album I did a couple of months ago and wondered what methods are generally used to achieve this.

      What come to mind are; inserting tone (will sound rubbish), reversing the naughty word (could work), editing in a cleaner word (might be best). One of the words is in an exposed section of the song, the rest are in quiet busy sections.

      Is there a standard method out there? How's it done in pop world?



      Jeff Macdonald

        I am by no means an expert, but as a radio listener, especially during the 90's I found that the most commonly used methods are replacing the offending word with a cleaner one, or silence in the vocal track during the offensive word (I have heard the entire song go silent for that word as well). The silence can be really weird and jarring if the whole word is cut. In my opinion this is best achieved by removing only enough of the word that it's not technically present, but there is enough to allow the mind to recreate it. I agree with you though that a tone over the word would be a bit aggressive. Reversing it might work, but it's still there so there is some risk. I would try a creative edit to replace the word with another one that is present somewhere in the track; however, I think much of this is going to come down to what is preferred by the client and label (if applicable). The partial silence might be a good fall back option if there isn't anything that can fit the cadence and rhyme scheme.

        In the few projects I have done that wanted 'radio' friendly versions of songs we just tracked a clean and regular vocal line for those sections and printed a separate clean mix. This way we were able to get a 'clean' word in the lyric that flowed with the rest of the lyrics for that version.




          Thanks Jeff, I like the sound of doing a partial edit, I'll keep that in mind. Ideally, I think I want a re-recorded vocal to drop into the offending sections and hope it matches without too much faffing about with eq and such.

          Jason Davenport

            Hi Sara,

            I would agree with everything Jeff has mentioned. I would also add that reversing, and/or smearing the word has been done as well. I have also heard versions where they cut out just the offensive word in such a way as to make it very evident they cut it. "Sober" by Tool would be a good example of that method. "What It's Like" by Everlast is another prime example of a quite noticeable edit. Hope that helps!


              Hi Jason, thank you. I can see that the band might prefer that method used by Tool and Everlast so I'll suggest it if they ask


                The band was happy with the result where I just muted the swear word and lifted the music slightly to fill the gap. Thanks all 🙂

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