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Editing freak
Old 13th September 2007
  #1
Gear Addict
 
magibatalla's Avatar
 

Editing freak

Hi, this is Magí from Barcelona, a newbie here in GS (just reading for quite a while).

I declare myself as an editing freak, I like everything in his right-right place and I spend a lot of hours editing almost everything I've tracked. This habit gives my productions some kind of naif sound which is ok to my taste (others might prefer leaving those performance imperfections in to keep a more natural groove).

Anyway, this tasks are very time consuming and I would like to check at which point I'm going beyond what's really necessary (I start trusting my ears but I always end matching wave forms to be in sync even between different instruments... ). How do professional engineers approach this subject? Is there people in recording studios meant to do this job?

I've recorded many good musicians which didn't make me feel like I needed to edit everything, so I went with the real take untouched. The problem comes when there are many things to edit, then I end up editing almost every single note .

I'd like to know your point of view. Thanx!
Old 13th September 2007
  #2
Gear Nut
 

I can't help you.
I am the exact same way!

Tom
Old 13th September 2007
  #3
I think this is an awful habit from DAW days.
Don't get me wrong, I am from DAW days myself but I edit only what will affect the song.
Let's say a bass player is late on the first attack on the chorus of a song... that just kills the punch of the chorus, go there and put it in place.
Editing is my friend, I get a lot of jobs because how I get those kids bands and make'em sound a little better (because of editing, tunning, etc...)
But unless I'm doing some industral/metal songs, I pretty much leave a good take untouched.
That is my point of view.
Old 13th September 2007
  #4
Well just to give you an example when editing sucks and can affect in a negative way.

Let say u doubled guitar parts.
If you adjust to perfection those guitars ...and even if you use something like beat detective...you post editing sound will sound smaller and not wider as the original(pre editing).
Editing is great and can improve many things...but can have a negative impact if you overdo things....but can improve things if you do it right and know when is good to do it.

Editing is great to correct problems and to use it in a creative way.
Old 13th September 2007
  #5
Like others, I've found things can be edited to death.

I'll edit a few things in a performance that is otherwise OK. (And, of course, there are times when you simply have no other choice... like the bass player went out and OD'd or got arrested the night after tracking, etc. Happily, I no longer work with other people or take clients, as a rule, so that unhappy circumstance is no longer pertinent to my life.)

But I've found that, generally speaking, the more you try and edit, the more things can drift away from where you thought you wanted to be. It takes 3 minutes to cut another take... it might take 30 minutes to get a bad take frankensteined into something you try to con yourself into thinking is presentable.


That said -- when I'm editing, I'm pretty meticulous. In recent times, I've been doing a lot of acoustic guitar and if I do any comping or edits, I frequently use my DAW (Sonar)'s "translucent clip" abilities (when you drag and drop edit one clip over another one, the "top" one turns translucent, so you can see the wave underneath -- invaluable for this kind of thing) to line up wave forms. I also use the wave forms of other tracks to line things up, of course, particularly since most of this acoustic stuff is not on the grid.


Better edits and less of them... that's my motto.

Old 13th September 2007
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by AMIEL View Post
Well just to give you an example when editing sucks and can affect in a negative way.

Let say u doubled guitar parts.
If you adjust to perfection those guitars ...and even if you use something like beat detective...you post editing sound will sound smaller and not wider as the original(pre editing).
Editing is great and can improve many things...but can have a negative impact if you overdo things....but can improve things if you do it right and know when is good to do it.

Editing is great to correct problems and to use it in a creative way.
agreed...

the most important factor to me is: "don't make an organic take sound programmed"
Old 13th September 2007
  #7
Lives for gear
 
-silent-sam-'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by T_MIX View Post
I can't help you.
I am the exact same way!

Tom
werd
Old 13th September 2007
  #8
Gear Addict
 
magibatalla's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeronimo View Post
Editing is my friend, I get a lot of jobs because how I get those kids bands and make'em sound a little better (because of editing, tunning, etc...)
My very same case, this is one of the things that makes me feel proud of my editing habilities. It's nice to see I'm not alone with the editing madness, and I know I should avoid editing as a routine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AMIEL View Post
Well just to give you an example when editing sucks and can affect in a negative way.
Of course, I never leave an edit if I find it to be worse than the unedited take. I've never edited a doubled guitar, but that would be really challenging .

Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
Better edits and less of them
I'm focusing on the 2nd half of your sentence Thanx to all for your 5 cents.

Last edited by magibatalla; 13th September 2007 at 08:55 PM.. Reason: quote added
Old 13th September 2007
  #9
Gear Head
 
Nick_1234's Avatar
 

Obviously everyone is going to have their own opinion, which is the beauty of forums.

I think that if I sit down and edit some tracks for hours due to bad performances you can end up overwhelming yourself and get off track from your original goal. Tangents are a pain.

But Im with you when it comes to over editing, its a habit. lol.

Respect.
Nick
Old 13th September 2007
  #10
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Unclenny's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
Better edits and less of them... that's my motto.
Sometimes it's those little 'mistakes' that, when left in, make it musical.
Old 13th September 2007
  #11
Lives for gear
 

I think it really depends on the genre you work in as well.

I work in rap mostly, and I do a lot of editing within my sessions. I don't feel like it's a bad thing though, and when done tastefully brings a lot of power and clarity to my work.

I will say that when I work on rock, I have a hell of a time trying to stop myself from making things too perfect. I don't feel as though rock would need that sort of editing and would actually be hindered by it. I would always prefer a rock solid in-the-pocket performance than one I stitched together!
Old 14th September 2007
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenny View Post
Sometimes it's those little 'mistakes' that, when left in, make it musical.
You've obviously never heard any of my music. Oh... wait... you said little mistakes. heh


But, seriously, I hear you. I remember one time in the 90s working on my own project, an instrumental with an extended guitar part... This was a track I liked but it had some minor time issues in two or three spots. Just a couple little nudges of a couple phrases. But, I dunno, it was late, it had been a long day, I drank too much coffee (always), whatever, I ended up editing for hours, moving things around a couple microseconds at a time, massaging splice points, and, of course, the three or four little phrases that needed a little nudge had somehow multiplied, the more I listened...

And, then, of course, when you're moving around parts of a melodic phrase (this was long before audio phrase stretching, of course) that tends to leave an odd timing feel with the surrounding phrases, even if that was the source of hte problem in the first place...

About 4:30 a.m. I thought I was pretty much done and went out to watch Nick at Night and fall asleep.

After breakfast I went in and listened.

It... sounded... awful.

The timing was... frankenstein... things just didn't meet up right. It was awful.

I pulled out the archived file from before the edit. It was so much superior... it flowed... except for a couple little places... and I decided I could live with that. And it's been one of my more popular tracks on various download charts (that and two and a half bucks will buy me a cup of coffee but you take your metrics where you find 'em.)
Old 14th September 2007
  #13
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post

The timing was... frankenstein... things just didn't meet up right. It was awful.
ha ha ha!
I have done this soooo many times too.
It is like trying to get a blemish out of something you just painted and you end up making it HUGE.
Sometimes you get too FOCUSED on FIXING.
Old 14th September 2007
  #14
Gear Nut
 
tyro's Avatar
 

I started recording on a 10 track HD recorder with a tiny display - no edits were possible. When I moved to computer DAW, I made it a rule for myself and the bands I record to make as few edits as possible; the live take should be good enough going in and if it's not, then it's a retake. With that said, I have edited some late bass notes, odd piano timings and moved some vocal parts etc a few samples to get a better timing on a phrase. I'd say I do about three cut/move edits in each song, average. But then again I only work with bands I know in my private studio, so we're not on the clock on the sessions... A retake is nearly always better I think. YMMV
Old 14th September 2007
  #15
Gear Nut
 

The problem for me arose, once the customers realized it can be done, they think they can be a little lazy .

When you continually get them to redo their takes they think you are running up the bill. I tell them it is either you do it and pay me, or I do it and you still pay me. Who would you rather have fixing your part?
Old 14th September 2007
  #16
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by moracspace View Post
ISTOP THE MADDNESS
yes....sniff......i need help.......

it all started as a behind the scenes thing.....
i wanted the Bands to sound better in my studio than they did in someone elses, even if they did not know it was me doing it behind their backs...

now it is biting me in the butt......sniff, sniff....
and it sets a bad precedence for the next studio to deal with....

kind of like the studios who under charge..........


let's not go there....right?
Old 14th September 2007
  #17
As I said before, I agree about the style of music forcing you to do more edits... if it's punk, leave the take the way it is, if it's eletronic/industrial/death metal/whatever fits, edit it to sound the way it should Iif it's needed).

I also did a lot of edits and found that those edits made things sound worse, the difference is it takes me 2 minutes to realize if it will work or not. If not, musicians just need to get back to work.

I agree with Tyro: sometimes you need to make some "rules" when your're working, this can save you a few times...

I agree one more time: more than half the musicians that come to my studio today, know what I'm capable of (and most of the engineers today) editing wise, and they just do a lame take and ask me if it can be edited later. If it's a half-good take I'll tell them to play it again, if it's a good-but-not-as-good take, I'll just edit to make'em happy (because what they wanted really was to spread the word that I edited their stuff, like if it was a reason to be proud of... believe me, it happens a lot here.)

I have to disagree with moracspace. Today, most of the musicians that have bands here are teenagers who are developing their chops, of course I can just edit stuff without they knowing it, but the good thing is showing where I'm editing, and tell them "hey, you should study your parts better, this shouldn't be like this, and that, bla, bla, bla"

One thing that makes me the busiest "small studio" in the area is the fact that sometimes I play the shrink, the uncle, the friend... when you're working with someone's else "art" you better watch what you say, how do you say... or instead of making money and a new friend, you'll get some bad word publicity and people who will want you out of the bussiness...

just my .02c, sorry for any mistakes on my writing.
Old 14th September 2007
  #18
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lowfreq33's Avatar
 

I've got a project right now that the band specifically asked for beat detective. I probably would have done maybe 5% of the tracks, the rest was pretty good. No problem though, I'll give them what they want, it's their album. But now that the drums are perfectly lined up to the grid, the rest of the instuments sound sloppy. So here I go, using beat detective on the piano.
Old 14th September 2007
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by T_MIX View Post
The problem for me arose, once the customers realized it can be done, they think they can be a little lazy .

When you continually get them to redo their takes they think you are running up the bill. I tell them it is either you do it and pay me, or I do it and you still pay me. Who would you rather have fixing your part?
I think this is a good strategy.
Old 14th September 2007
  #20
erm the trick to both keeping the song natural and all in time is not to confirm to absolute grid but instead to conform to relative grid.

step 1: extract groove (from say kick and snare)

step 2: confrom other tracks to groove

end of editing.
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