Editing/processing services explained:

Editing involves multiple different processes which affect or alter the original sound track. Several of the most common editing conventions are described here.  We use professional equipment and software for media transfers, editing, and signal processing.  Editing is performed in the digital domain either within the DAW (digital audio workstation, i.e. computer) software program or on outboard equipment.  Editing can be time consuming and typically takes 2-6 times the duration of the file being edited.  Keep this is mind when factoring in potential cost of your project.  

De-noise – removal of generally undesirable constant background noise, such as tape hiss, record surface noise, room noise (e.g. noise from HVAC system, water coolers, ventillation fans, light buzz, etc.).   Psycho-acoustically one is often not even aware of this noise until it is pointed out.  De-noising can  ‘clean up’  a recording considerably.  This noise is removed from the background and also between pieces without affecting the actual recording.  On the other hand spontaneous noises happening during the recording process can not be removed; examples are coughs, crying babies, emergency vehicles, barking dogs, etc.  Click here to audition  examples of de-noising.

Splicing, sequencing, spacing:

  • Splicing, as the name implies, involves cutting a selection of music, or part of a selection (sometimes even in the middle of a note), and inserting another appropriate portion in its place.
  • Sequencing is placing selections of music in the order desired.
  • Spacing is increasing or decreasing the time (space) between selections of music, or occasionally even between notes or breaths (think similar to word processing with text).

EQ (Equalization): involves increasing or decreasing the amplitude of individual frequencies within a soundtrack. For example increasing high or bass frequencies, decreasing amplitude of a specific note or standing wave frequency (some rooms, because of there build or position of musicians within the room, overemphasize certain frequencies introducing unpleasant sounds such as boominess, echo, ).  Generally EQ is done very sparingly and on a limited basis.

Ambiance:  The application of additional coloration to the sound of the program material.  Reverberation is a typical example.  Adding ambiance can also alter the perception of the size and type of the space within which the program is performed.   Introducing  ambience can alter the specific esthetic sound of your soundtrack.   For example your soundtrack can be made to sound as if it were performed in a large concert hall or in a small closed room.  (Some advanced planning during the recording process may be required.)

Pitch shift:  Changes pitch up or down.  This can be applied to the entire soundtrack or isolated portions of your soundtrack.   However, one cannot change the pitch of a vocalist’s or instrumentalist’s solo without affecting the pitch of the background accompaniment.  

Time compression/expansion:  Slowing down or increasing the tempo of your soundtrack without affecting the pitch.

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What editing/processing cannot do   ….or cannot do well :   

  • Editing cannot remove noise that is variable.  Before it can be removed, the unwanted noise must occur during a silent space and be continuous lasting at least several seconds so that it can be sampled.
  • Editing cannot correct ‘wow & flutter’ .  These anomalies are permanently introduced into the program material when substandard equipment has been used during the recording process.  
  • Editing cannot remove dropouts in media recorded on tape or major scratches on records.
  • Editing cannot remove extraneous noise that has been recorded within the soundtrack such as baby cries, clapping, coughs, emergency vehicles, dogs barking, etc.   
  • Editing cannot remove vocal solos within the soundtrack.   If you are desiring to do a voice-over, it is best to have an accompaniment tape or CD – minus the lead vocal.