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Brand New to Post Audio Production

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Brand New to Post Audio Production

Postby Jpjb14 » Thu Jun 10, 2021 1:57 pm

Hey all,

So after the amazing help I received yesterday on my other thread regarding getting started with my new recording equipment that I plan to use for wildlife/bird/nature recording, the next step of my learning will be the post production side of things!

Now I appreciate that Post Audio production is a very very big and diverse subject, but for my situation I'm looking to start by learning the fundamentals of Post Audio production and essentially what things do in DAW software and at a basic level, what should be done to a piece of audio before exporting for use.

I have been looking at different DAW's and although I want to start with the basics, I also want to learn the basics on software that I can then use to extender my knowledge and skills - so essentially I want to learn on software that can do pro level things if you see what I mean, so its there when I come to it, but also does the bare basics too.

After zoom self research it seem like Reaper is recommended quite a bit (im a Mac user) as software that is reasonably priced and has a good amount of feature for basic levels things up to really pro stuff - So firstly am I on a good track if I go with Reaper?

And then yeah is anyone has any tips on the fundamentals of post audio processing and ideally some recommendations for a good YouTube channel where I can learn A) the basics of audio post production and then B) said software; would all be very much appreciated : )

Thank you :)
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Re: Brand New to Post Audio Production

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Jun 10, 2021 2:38 pm

Jpjb14 wrote:So firstly am I on a good track if I go with Reaper?

Yes, It's affordable, fairly easy to use at a basic level, but very powerful and well equipped, updated and enhanced regularly, and -- most important of all -- there are lots of Reaper users here who can provide support and guidance.

And then yeah is anyone has any tips on the fundamentals of post audio processing...

In an ideal world, post-production would involve nothing more than 'top and tailing' the audio you've captured in the field ,(ie. editing out any unwanted bits before and after the bit you actually want to use) and possibly optimising the signal level and dynamic range of the recording to suit your intended application/destination.

I'd get to grips with that first... and if you later need something more advanced come back with a specific challenge. :-)
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Re: Brand New to Post Audio Production

Postby blinddrew » Thu Jun 10, 2021 2:52 pm

Firstly, Reaper is a very competent DAW, it'll handle all manner of different files including most video formats if you download the codecs, it's very reasonably priced and it comes with a big bundle of competent plug-ins. For your requirements it should certainly be on a short-list.
Post-production requirements vary hugely on what the task is. For example, the videos I do for work are generally presenter-to-camera talking about something that's happening in our business. My primary focus is making sure that what they're saying is clear and easily understood. I'm really not that bothered about poor room sound, off axis response, introducing artefacts etc unless they're to the detriment of the overall intelligibility. Given the rooms we record in I'm generally happy to sacrifice all manner of things to the altar of understanding.
But if you're recording wildlife noises and the like I'm guessing your end use is going to be very different, so I'll make one suggestion that (despite what I've said above) I do try and stick to:
The best post-processing is no post-processing.
If you're after a natural and realistic sound then anything you do in post is going to introduce some manner of change. So the most important thing is to only process for a reason. There can be a temptation to throw all manner of toys at a recording because various pros have recommended them or it's worked before or it's new and shiny and you want to know what it does.
But try and avoid that.
And, of course, the best way to avoid needing to process is to get the best* recording possible in the first place.
So to start with, focus your attention on learning your new kit. How do your new mics work together? What do they sound like off-axis? What wind-protection do you need? How close can you bring them before proximity effect becomes a problem?
etc. etc. etc.

Finally, have a look at Izotope's RX suite. It comes in various flavours and prices but the entry level stuff (Elements) is frequently on sale for as little as £29.

Finally, finally, if anyone answers subsequently and contradicts me, listen to them not me, I'm a beginner here too! :)

* Obviously 'best' in this context will mean 'most fit for purpose', which might not always be 'most faithful'.

[EDIT - Hugh beat me to it in a quarter of the words!]
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Re: Brand New to Post Audio Production

Postby James Perrett » Thu Jun 10, 2021 2:59 pm

Very sensible advice from Drew - get to know your gear first before moving on to anything else.

And I'd echo the Reaper suggestion - I've been using it for 12 years or more and I still feel that I'm just scratching the surface of its power.
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Re: Brand New to Post Audio Production

Postby Jpjb14 » Thu Jun 10, 2021 5:28 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
Jpjb14 wrote:So firstly am I on a good track if I go with Reaper?

Yes, It's affordable, fairly easy to use at a basic level, but very powerful and well equipped, updated and enhanced regularly, and -- most important of all -- there are lots of Reaper users here who can provide support and guidance.

Amazing! It seem Reaper the one to go with then and it will be really nice to know that there would be support available on here too... so yeah I think that where ill go : )

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
Jpjb14 wrote:And then yeah is anyone has any tips on the fundamentals of post audio processing...

In an ideal world, post-production would involve nothing more than 'top and tailing' the audio you've captured in the field ,(ie. editing out any unwanted bits before and after the bit you actually want to use) and possibly optimising the signal level and dynamic range of the recording to suit your intended application/destination.

I'd get to grips with that first... and if you later need something more advanced come back with a specific challenge. :-)

This make sense for sure, especially for thing like wildlife and birds, ect you would want s natural sound as possible without too much digital processing. I totally agree with what you say though, and ill get to grips with the basics first.

Thank you very much again for your support Hugh, very much appreciated : )
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Re: Brand New to Post Audio Production

Postby Jpjb14 » Thu Jun 10, 2021 5:43 pm

blinddrew wrote:Firstly, Reaper is a very competent DAW, it'll handle all manner of different files including most video formats if you download the codecs, it's very reasonably priced and it comes with a big bundle of competent plug-ins. For your requirements it should certainly be on a short-list.

Thank you - it does seem very popular, so ill keep it on the list then : )

blinddrew wrote:Post-production requirements vary hugely on what the task is. For example, the videos I do for work are generally presenter-to-camera talking about something that's happening in our business. My primary focus is making sure that what they're saying is clear and easily understood. I'm really not that bothered about poor room sound, off axis response, introducing artefacts etc unless they're to the detriment of the overall intelligibility. Given the rooms we record in I'm generally happy to sacrifice all manner of things to the altar of understanding.
But if you're recording wildlife noises and the like I'm guessing your end use is going to be very different, so I'll make one suggestion that (despite what I've said above) I do try and stick to:
The best post-processing is no post-processing.
If you're after a natural and realistic sound then anything you do in post is going to introduce some manner of change. So the most important thing is to only process for a reason. There can be a temptation to throw all manner of toys at a recording because various pros have recommended them or it's worked before or it's new and shiny and you want to know what it does.
But try and avoid that.
And, of course, the best way to avoid needing to process is to get the best* recording possible in the first place.

This makes total sense & yeah aha really echos what Hugh says above that for wildlife particularly I really want as natural sound as I can get and to be honest even when I get to the stage of wanting to use the kit to record the sound of my video; well they are also wildlife/nature so again would want natural and in fact the most editing/processing would be the video audio syncing part in video software rather than the audio software.

So yeah really helpful as put me on the right track haha : )

blinddrew wrote:So to start with, focus your attention on learning your new kit. How do your new mics work together? What do they sound like off-axis? What wind-protection do you need? How close can you bring them before proximity effect becomes a problem?
etc. etc. etc.

Thank you for this too - really good advice that put me on the right track - I do video and photography and Its kind of like that really I suppose, that regardless of what digital work you do to it, if your raw input technique - the actual devices recording the info, is not up to scratch then the final is always going to be detrimented.

blinddrew wrote:Finally, have a look at Izotope's RX suite. It comes in various flavours and prices but the entry level stuff (Elements) is frequently on sale for as little as £29.

Finally, finally, if anyone answers subsequently and contradicts me, listen to them not me, I'm a beginner here too! :)

* Obviously 'best' in this context will mean 'most fit for purpose', which might not always be 'most faithful'.

[EDIT - Hugh beat me to it in a quarter of the words!]
[/quote]

:lol: No your tips, help and advice is really valuable and along with Hugh you have really helped me a lot and put me on a good path to work!

Also thank you for the recommendation of the software too, I will definitely take a look : )

Thanks again for everything - I need to get out there now and practice practice practice!
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Re: Brand New to Post Audio Production

Postby Jpjb14 » Thu Jun 10, 2021 5:44 pm

James Perrett wrote:Very sensible advice from Drew - get to know your gear first before moving on to anything else.

And I'd echo the Reaper suggestion - I've been using it for 12 years or more and I still feel that I'm just scratching the surface of its power.

Thank you James, reaper really does seem they way to go. And yeah Drew and Hugh's advice really has been so helpful to me : )
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