After speaking with Goddess a while back I realized free tools for editing video and sounds aren’t well known. She told me about some online tool at a website she uses. This makes me wonder how many people are aware of the great open source multimedia editing tools out there. I’m going to take this time to share what I use, since I missed the morning blog post today.

OpenShot – free, powerful video editing tool

Openshot with a video in-the-making loaded up

OpenShot is free and open source, and it runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux. The main thing about it: it’s powerful and intuitive after messing with it for only a half hour or so.

It let’s you layer and combine video, pictures, and audio in layers with dozens of built in transitions and effects. There aren’t many things I can think of it should do that it already doesn’t. However, I use it in combination with Avidemux.

OpenShot is good for the bulk of post-production, mixing, clipping, etc. I use Avidemux for more heavy-handed things like cutting by frame, cropping borders, or adding logos and web addresses. These are all things OpenShot can do, but Avidemux just does them faster and in a more precise way. Let me put it like this: OpenShot is great for the right-brained amongst us, Avidemux is more in the hard, analytical left. But hey, I’m ambidextrous.

The cons, a few it has…

I think the biggest con is the hardware this program requires. For simple video editing it’s probably fine, but if you want to do any serious layering or transitions (like making a hypno video) you’ll either need a higher-end workstation/gaming machine, or you’ll have to work in batches. It can crash a lot. However, even when it crashes most the work is saved when you open it back up.

Audacity – audio mixing for the win

Audacity example

Audacity is also a free and open source audio editing tool. It’s great for doing things like removing noise from clips, layering sound effects, or adding effects like echo, reverb, or making a sound byte binaural.

It has a little more learning curve than OpenShot, and you honestly can’t take full advantage of it’s features unless you’re running Linux with Jack audio. On the flip side, doing something like isolating a sound byte from a video or cutting out some annoying background noise is fairly easy to do.

A typical workflow might look like this:

  1. Use Avidemux to strip audio from a video
  2. Use Audacity to remove or smooth over rough sounds like a chair scraping across the floor or a dog barking
  3. Use Avidemux to put the edited audio back together with the video
  4. OpenShot for any video effects and final editing







Need some help?

Like, share, or respond to this post and I’ll make some video tutorials.


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