Strip silence from audio recordings with Adobe Audition

This week I’m sharing a great technique and a timesaving preset that I developed in Adobe Audition. Audition is part of the Adobe CC suite of tools, and is used for audio editing.

When I do voice over, I like to record in one “take”

That means that after reviewing and practicing my script, I hit Record and go to town! I make an effort to read one phrase at a time, and often repeat phrases until I get a version that I’m happy with.

Then comes the fun part (NOT!): I need to edit out all the pauses and the gaffes that I’ve made during recording. While it’s easier to manually select and delete this stuff in Audition than in other apps that I’ve used, it still takes a bit of time.

But here comes the fun part: I created a preset in Audition’s Diagnostics panel that detects “silence” over .815 seconds and reduces it to .796 seconds. Those are the settings that (for my style) remove the long pauses and are still allow for comfortable listening. In a recent recording, just removing the extra silence resulted in a drop from nearly 4 minutes to under 2.5 minutes. And it took just 3 seconds to apply the effect!


Original 3:53 recording

Original 3:53 recording

Modified 2:26 file after applying the silence preset

Modified 2:26 file after applying the silence preset

Now, I still haven’t found a way to keep from recording cars that drive by, my kids screaming at each other in the morning, or just my lame 1st, 2nd, or 3rd takes at a difficult turn of phrase.

I do find, however, that with the gaps removed automatically, identifying and removing the “early” takes of some phrases is easier and faster than before I developed the preset.

With another 7 minutes of editing, I’d trimmed the file to 1:28, and it looked like thisScreenshot 2016-06-30 19.00.28

To use this effect for yourself, download the file below, change the extension from .txt to .xml, and replace the existing EffectPresets.xml in your Auditon preferences directory.


On the Mac, you’ll find the preferences at


In Windows they’re at


Too techy?

NOTE: If you already have custom presets, or if you just don’t like to get nerdy, you can also set up your Diagnostics panel like this, and save the preset with your own name.

Screenshot 2016-06-30 18.48.05


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  1. Will Findlay on January 7, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    This is brilliant! Thanks. I’ve been looking for a way to take out dead space.

    • Matt Sullivan on January 8, 2020 at 10:17 am

      Hi Will, glad you like the info! Once you tweak the settings, it really improves the flow of your recording and helps the audience absorb the content.

  2. Karl on January 31, 2020 at 9:56 am

    If I have an audio recording and I want to make sure I have the best chance at detecting silence vs speech, what settings should I use? I am referring to things like sample rate or bit depth (8 vs 16 vs 32) and noise reduction. Are there built in noise reduction filters?

    • Matt Sullivan on January 31, 2020 at 1:31 pm

      Hi Karl, I’m not aware of a difference in detecting silence with different bit depths.
      However, noise-cancelation in either hardware or software will clip the transition between silence and speech, and will likely give you harsher transitions to the start of each phrase. Noise canceling is great for conference calls, but I avoid it for recorded work.

  3. Jessica Taylor on March 24, 2021 at 6:15 pm

    Thank you for this!!!

  4. Grant on April 8, 2021 at 9:20 pm

    “I still haven’t found a way to keep from recording cars that drive by, my kids screaming at each other in the morning…”
    If you have a reasonably recent Nvidia GPU, it can remove these background sounds for you automatically during recording.

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