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How to Easily Create a Clean Version of a Song

Updated on February 16, 2016

It's free and easy to create clean versions of songs. Nowadays many songs have both clean and explicit versions. These clean versions can be great for use around kids. However, there are still songs being released without a clean alternative. And even some clean versions may not be clean enough. The explicit word being used may still be very obvious. Plus clean versions usually don't edit out references to sex or drugs. The nice thing about doing it yourself is that you can edit out anything you feel is inappropriate for you or your kids.

Step 1: Download and Install Audacity

The first thing you'll need to do is download and install the free and open source software called Audacity. Audacity is a simple audio editing tool. Once installed, go to File then Open and browse to find the MP3 file you want to edit.

Audacity is easy to use even for beginners. Just go to File and then Open to load the MP3 or Wav file you want to modify.
Audacity is easy to use even for beginners. Just go to File and then Open to load the MP3 or Wav file you want to modify.

Step 2: Highlight the Area You Want to Edit

Now that the track is open in Audacity, you'll want to Zoom In to more easily find the parts you need to edit.

You'll have to zoom in and out to properly edit a track. Zoom in when you've found the portion of the song you want to modify, then zoom out to find the next section
You'll have to zoom in and out to properly edit a track. Zoom in when you've found the portion of the song you want to modify, then zoom out to find the next section

You'll have to play around with the zoom feature. If you zoom in too much, the timeline will go by so fast you won't easily be able to find the section to edit. But if you don't zoom in enough, it will be difficult to find the exact area to highlight. The best thing to do is find the general area where the inappropriate word is and then zoom in enough to highlight it.

When you highlight an area, you can press the Play button and just that highlighted area will play. Keep highlighting and playing until you get the exact word you want to edit. And make sure you highlight the whole word. If you don't highlight the whole word, it may still be obvious what it is after editing.

This is what a highlighted area will look like. You'll have to position the cursor and then highlight all of the word or words you want to modify
This is what a highlighted area will look like. You'll have to position the cursor and then highlight all of the word or words you want to modify

Step 3: Reverse the Inappropriate Words

The best way to edit the inappropriate words is to reverse them. If you try cutting them out, you'll cut out everything including the instrumental. Reversing the word makes it indecipherable without leaving blank spaces in the song. Once you've highlighted a bad word, go to the Effect menu and choose Reverse. Test to make sure the inappropriate word is no longer understandable.

Once you highlight a section, this is what it will look like. If you hit the Play button, only the highlighted portion will play. This makes it easy to test the section you've highlighted to ensure it's exactly what you want to edit.
Once you highlight a section, this is what it will look like. If you hit the Play button, only the highlighted portion will play. This makes it easy to test the section you've highlighted to ensure it's exactly what you want to edit.

That's all there is to it. Just go through the whole song, highlight every word you want to modify, go to Effects and then Reverse. Test to make sure you've modified every inappropriate word. Then go to File, Export Audio to save your file. Don't overwrite your original file. Make sure no parts of the track are highlighted or Audacity may only save the highlighted portion rather than the whole song.

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If you get a message about a missing codec when trying to export your song as an MP3 try following these instructions from How-to Geek.

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© 2016 Learn Things Web

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