Tim Gillett wrote:I may be imagining it but my impression is that since DAW editing came in the editing, especially of speech such as in audio books, has generally gotten worse, not better.
I don't think that's related to the DAW as such, but the 'democratisation' is has allowed of the audio industry, resulting in the huge increase in the number of 'independent production companies' in the audio industry. A great many of those are staffed by people who haven't been trained properly and don't (yet) have the appropriate understanding and experience. That's largely because they haven't received the kind of traditional training and long apprenticeships that those who came from the world's major broadcast organisations -- the people who produced most consumer audio content before the 90s -- benefited from.
In skilled hands, DAW editing is quite evidently vastly superior to anything that could ever be achieved with razor-blade tape editing. But, as we've seen at the start of this thread, the graphical display of DAWs fools an awful lot of people into recording, editing and mixing with their eyes, often forgetting to use their ears completely!
As many will know, I am a big fan of the SADiE DAW. No use at all for MIDI-based work, but easily one of the best recording and editing platforms IMHO. It has a display mode option dating back to it's original incarnations that shows recorded audio as simple coloured blocks without any waveforms at all. It was done originally to minimise the workload on the computer's CPU/GPU but I -- and many of my friends and colleagues -- still make use of it a lot as it kind of replicates working with analogue tape in that there's basically nothing to look at, and you have no option but to use your ears.