Editing

Once tracking is complete editing begins…

A lot of people, especially musicians, hear the word editing and get very upset. In my opinion, this is for the most part due to a lack of understanding of how the recording process works, or a blatant stubbornness for a lofty ideal. So far in my short career, I have never met an artist who could not be convinced about the value of editing by simply playing them the edited vs the un-edited versions of their songs.

There is not much that is very interesting about the actual editing process,  and there are tonnes of videos on the internet teaching the technical skills, but I will give a brief outline of the editing that I did and why I did it.

Before I started editing I first had to decide on my goal. I decided that the first goal would be top make sure that the performances were all complete (no bummed notes) and that the best pieces from each take were in the final edit. Next, my goal would be to make sure that the performances were tight. Now, there are two ways of achieving this. The first is to quantize the performances to the grid, either automatically or manually. This is certainly the easier and quicker of the two methods, but some people will argue that it takes away the human feel of the music and so detracts from the performance; I am in this group to a certain extent. The second

I decided that the first goal would be top make sure that the performances were all complete (no bummed notes) and that the best pieces from each take were in the final edit. Next, my goal would be to make sure that the performances were tight. Now, there are two ways of achieving this. The first is to quantize the performances to the grid, either automatically or manually. This is certainly the easier and quicker of the two methods, but some people will argue that it takes away the human feel of the music and so detracts from the performance; I am in this group to a certain extent. The second

Now, there are two ways of achieving this. The first is to quantize the performances to the grid, either automatically or manually. This is certainly the easier and quicker of the two methods, but some people will argue that it takes away the human feel of the music and so detracts from the performance; I am in this group to a certain extent. The second

The second way is to pick an element in the song that was particularly well played, ideally the drums, and manually quantize the other instruments to this instrument and not to the grid. This preserves the feel of a human playing the instruments because they are not perfectly in time, but at the same time, it allows the band to sound tighter because they have all waivered from the click at the same moments. The only downside of this process is that it takes painfully long.

I chose to go with the second way on this record, but that is not to say that it is a better method in general, each project should be approached in the way that best serves them.

The only other thing I did in editing was to fix the timing of one drum fill that I really liked, but that the drummer had never quite nailed during tracking.

All in all, I think the editing really helped the tracks to live up to their full potential, but you can judge that for yourself later.

Thanks for taking the time to follow this series.

If you have any comments, questions, opinions or just want to say hi, then please leave a comment below.

Have a great day!

Rob

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InTheStudioWithRob

I am a sound student currently in the third year of my sound degree at the SAE Institute Cape Town, South Africa. I also have a home studio called Lauda Sound. I am passionate about both Music and Audio Post-Production, and I hope to bring a good mix of them to you guys. I hope you stick around for the fun and get in touch! Have a great sounding day!

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