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Audio Editing HELP!!

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Audio Editing HELP!!

Postby Mattyy » Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:30 pm

I end up editing audio far more than I would like to. Insert expletives here. LOL!!!
I find that after 10 or 20 minutes, my ear starts to get super picky. EVERYTHING sounds out of time :S Inevitably, I over-edit the part and BLECH..

Questions: For those who do this on a regular basis, are there any signposts or hard and fast tricks that you use in order to counterbalance this happening. Ie. What zoom level do you use? Do you only edit in context? Do you use quantization at all? Are there different tricks for different instruments? Etc...

Any suggestions are welcome here. There's such a fine line between professional and emotionless that I feel that these are valid questions for those of us who don't do this all of the time.

Thanks in advance to anyone who even takes the time to read this

Ps. I have all the respect in the world for anyone who has to do this on a regular basis :S WheW!!! What a thankless difficult process :S
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Re: Audio Editing HELP!!

Postby Exalted Wombat » Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:06 pm

Spend the time working on the performance instead. Maybe the band aren't ready for studio time yet. If you have to correct more than an occasional blemish, they definitely aren't!
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Re: Audio Editing HELP!!

Postby The Elf » Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:09 pm

My advice is not to edit to get things in time - re-perform the part to get it in time, then edit to enhance an already perfectly acceptable performance.

Of course I break this rule every day, but it's a good place to start!
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Re: Audio Editing HELP!!

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:23 pm

Mattyy wrote:Any suggestions are welcome here.

Use your ears, not your eyes! Ignore the waveform displays. Turn them off if you can, at least until such time that your ears tell you something is wrong and needs to be fixed... and then just go in and fix that one thing. Don't start looking around for others.

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Re: Audio Editing HELP!!

Postby The Korff » Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:29 pm

Some tips:

Listen while looking away from your screen. It's not easy, but the trick is to listen to something you're working on as if you've never heard it before (this gets more and more difficult the more hours you've been listening to the same few bars on a loop!), and I find it much easier to listen 'casually' when not looking at the waveforms. Not only does this prevent you making judgements about what your project looks like rather than what it sounds like, it also gets you out of the mindset of "I *can* change this, so I will."

Also, every time you make an edit, don't just listen to the couple of beats you've been tweaking, listen to the run-up — a good few bars should do the trick. This should help you figure out whether you're improving the whole thing, rather than just making a few beats sit perfectly in time with each other, at the expense of making them stand out when heard in context. Again, it's the 'big picture' thing; often worrying about the minute details makes you lose sight of what you're trying to achieve — a good, convincing performance of a song.

Cheers!

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Re: Audio Editing HELP!!

Postby Mattyy » Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:11 am

Thanks ever so much for the input guys. Very welcome.

Maybe the band aren't ready for studio time yet.


This is probably the truest statement here but I would be a fool to start turning away work because I didn't feel the performance quality was up to snuff me thinks. Then again, I might enjoy the few projects that I do work on a bit more

edit to enhance an already perfectly acceptable performance.


LOL!!! This seems contradictory but I do get what you mean

Use your ears, not your eyes! Ignore the waveform displays.


I have been doing this for the most part. It's the only way really. But it's my ears that are getting me into trouble. I hear all kinds of problems the more that I listen, especially when a part is in isolation. But, then again, I hear tuning and timing problems on the radio all of the time so... :S

don't just listen to the couple of beats you've been tweaking, listen to the run-up


Definitely going to put this into practice more. Thanks!

All of this is complicated by the fact that sometimes I like the out of tune or out of time bits. I always felt that that was the charm of any folk music such as rock and roll, bluegrass, etc... Someone should do a general public tolerance test so we as (aspiring) engineers know how much leeway that we have with such matters

Cheers.
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Re: Audio Editing HELP!!

Postby RyanA4 » Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:46 am



All of this is complicated by the fact that sometimes I like the out of tune or out of time bits. I always felt that that was the charm of any folk music such as rock and roll, bluegrass, etc... Someone should do a general public tolerance test so we as (aspiring) engineers know how much leeway that we have with such matters

Cheers.

It's always a constant struggle for me too! I can't decide if I become so accustomed to the mistaken or out of time notes that my brain rearranges them into something pleasing, or if my inner music fan finds the human vulnerability of imperfection to be much more pleasing. Either way, the best grooves are the ones with some ghost notes and stick hits. Robotic perfection isn't pleasing- it's just become so common that it's expected.
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Re: Audio Editing HELP!!

Postby G-Doubleyou » Fri Sep 27, 2013 5:52 pm

Not sure what DAW you are using, but most modern DAWS have some sort of transient detection, that will allow you to beatmap, or quantize a performance.

LPX has a groove track feature that allows you to designate a Groove Track, then select other tracks to conform.
That will help tighten up performances that have slight timing variations.

But if the musicians are not cutting it, nothing can help except practice.

Look at your business plan, you need to be selective with clients, or you will waste a LOT of time and money.



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Re: Audio Editing HELP!!

Postby Exalted Wombat » Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:22 pm

Do I get a horrible feeling that you may be tracking the band members individually? This can work with excellent, well-rehearsed musicians. But with the average band it's a sure recipe for sloppy timing, sloppy "feel" and almost inevitable over-playing. Put them somewhere they can hear each other and get them to play music. Honestly, complete separation doesn't matter!
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Re: Audio Editing HELP!!

Postby Mattyy » Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:47 pm

I can't decide if I become so accustomed to the mistaken or out of time notes that my brain rearranges them into something pleasing, or if my inner music fan finds the human vulnerability of imperfection to be much more pleasing.


I'm right with you here. Listen to the classic Stones albums from the 70s. The guitars are miles off of each other but somehow it sounds great! And I'm not even a Stones fan.

LPX has a groove track feature that allows you to designate a Groove Track, then select other tracks to conform. That will help tighten up performances that have slight timing variations.


I like to do this with drums maybe quantising 20-50% depending on the genre. I usually do it to the grid though. Using a groove track is a better idea. Thanks.

...with the average band it's a sure recipe for sloppy timing, sloppy "feel" and almost inevitable over-playing (tracking separately) .


Personally, I'm mostly mixing - my tracking skills are pretty rough so far. But a lot of people do this these days to "save time" me thinks. Poor editing engineer :S

A lot of people complain about the fact that newer music is over compressed or too harsh in the high end. Neither of these trends bother me as much as the quantized/autotuned standard that has become the norm. If you can't sing 100% in tune all of the time, that doesn't make you a bad musician. If you can't write a piece of music to save your life then... I sure ain't looking forward to the day that there's a plugin for that.

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