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How much do you edit?
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mcm
Smart Kitteh


Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 2600
Location: w. MA, USA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 9:18 am    Post subject: How much do you edit? Reply with quote

I gotta know. DB was kind enough to give me her views but I don't want to keep peppering her with questions and besides I want to know what everybody else is doing.

How much editing do you do on your sound files before you send them to the client?

If you don't remove every pop and click and breath, do you know if the client does?

What do your clients seem to expect of you in the way of editing?

I'm asking this after spending less than an hour to record 25 minutes of narration, and then spending 9 hrs editing it. DB tells me one should expect to spend 2x the time editing as recording. How can I cut down the editing time!!!! :oops: :oops: :oops:
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Frank F
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Joined: 10 Nov 2004
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Location: Park City, Utah

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now you now the joys of being like me - a perfectionist. I do spend a bit of time editing... as DB stated (and quoting you) about twice the time editing as it does to record the project.

Today I simply take out the major errors (when asked - sometimes the client wishes to have the entire file sent to them; especially when doing Phone Patch sessions), any pickups are edited into the correct position, any "spikes" are reduced in volume level, and finally I normalize and may add a touch - I repeat this - a touch - of soft compression to even out the file. This makes an editing session come down to a reasonable amount of time.

i.e.: I have some clients which I tend to go overboard for, and have in the past spent hours and hours and hours of time editing - only to find the client used it one time or for a short ad schedule... LOL

Perfect is in the ear of the beholder....

Frank F
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Jeff McNeal
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've known VO artists who do NO editing whatsoever, but I really cut it down to a minimum. I find that the majority of my clients want the file from their phone patch as quickly as possible. So I generally just do a quick scan of the file and delete as much of the superflous comments, conversation, etc., as possible for no other purpose than to reduce the overall size of the file for faster transfer. I will occasionally use the delete silience tool in my software to remove even more dead air. But in general, I spend as little time editing as possible. That's not what I'm getting paid for.

On the other hand, if it's a single spot I'm recording and it is self directed, I will edit to reduce breaths (generally not necessary if you know how to breath through your stomach and not your chest) and edit out any obvious errors and send the track ready for them to drop in and edit the rest of the elements with.
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mikemckenzie
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it should be based on a client-by client basis. I work with six station image voices. There are a couple that I encourage to leave their out-takes and screw ups in the session because sometimes the outtakes themselves can make great, fun sounding imagers. Plus, two of the above mentioned six talents are VERY quick witted people who come up with some funny off-the-cuff stuff themselves. However, when it comes to "word-for-word" commercial copy or narration, I can tell that these folks do a considerable amount of editing. However, knowing these guys like I do, I know that they are very proficient in their production skills. Because of that, the length of time spent editing is minnimal.
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Gjoy
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 4:26 pm    Post subject: How much do you edit Reply with quote

I agree that it depends on the client really. I have some steady clients who expect the tracks to be very clean, take out the real obvious breaths, and of course odd little clicks and pops etc. I think the more you do it, the faster you get at it. A couple of major projects usually has that switch flip. Like anything else, we all get better the more we work at it. It took me a while, but I finally got to the point where I can zip through sectons, and just have an intuitive feel for where to plug in a bit of silence to keep the integrity of the sentence flow natural when I cut out an awkward breath etc.

But yeah, you can also get a little toooo perschnickity, and drive yourself nutso. I think it's a matter of what the client expects, what you've worked out in your rate to do that 'delivered clean raw tracks' thingie. And define what that means to each client.

On the other hand, I've got clients who tell me, "Ah, don't worry about it, we'll clean it up, just send it ASAP. If you aren't feeling like you work that quickly on a clean up and deliver, work that into your time table best ya can, and give the client a heads up. Thar's my two cents.

Gary.
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Dan-O
The Gates of Troy


Joined: 17 Jan 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, it makes me feel good knowing I am not alone in my editing. I thought everyone on this board were one take wonders! I am inline with the rest of the responses as for the time it takes, maybe less since I know most of the short cuts on my editor. Which brings me to my questions: What audio editor are you using? Has anyone, who is extremely proficient in that particular editor, ever given you a few lessons. I once taught my prod director, who was relatively new to cool edit, one trick that shaved 4 hours (10%) off his work week.
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mcm
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Joined: 10 Dec 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm using Audition. I'm improving - I just did a 35 minute (finished) narration and took around 6 hours to edit it- the client is paying me to edit, so one needs to spend some time to clean it up, more than for a client who plans to do their own editing. Didn't make too many mistakes, and had to divide it up into 50 files for the client. This time I totally didn't bother with removing clicks and pops, and was surprised that it didn't really seem to make a big difference in how it sounded. I mean, I like it better without 'em but it isn't bad. So, all I did was remove unwanted words, and remove breaths.

I hope that 2:1 rule isn't supposed to apply for jobs like this, where one is expected to do the editing, because if so I'm hopeless. I can't see where I would shave off time. Dan-o, do you think that Cool Edit trick would apply to Audition???
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kgenus
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Joined: 01 Dec 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nine (9) hours is far too long to spend editting 25 minutes of copy, you need to be within or under industry standards. In reality, you need to be better than what people expect to succeed. We're all working on it so do not feel like you are alone, you are just the first to admit it here. The rule is 3:1. If it's taking you longer, you need to analyze what you are doing (while reading the copy or editting the audio), where your priorities are and resolve them quickly. It's like any other profession - if you spend too much time on one thing, something else (that needs attention) will fall by the wayside. Work on improving the one that is causing the delay - it could be editting, reading, delivery, maybe you are a perfectionist (but that's just an excuse). Whatever it is, you know and probably know how to modify your behavior to resolve it.

As a musician I was taught to read ahead, memorize the line and move to the next line. Works great with music, sucks ass with voiceovers because you place words where they shouldn't be sometimes, but once I'm in my groove, it's on. As a result, producers like to use musical terms with me, too staccato, more legato. My markings are a mix of music and voiceover style markings .... That's what works for me, it keeps me from numerous pickups, it keeps my editting time down, it becomes natural.

Kevin
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CWToo
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mcm wrote:
I'm using Audition. I'm improving - I just did a 35 minute (finished) narration and took around 6 hours to edit it- the client is paying me to edit


Six hours to edit 35 minutes is a very long time. Geez, back when we were using reel-to-reel tape and razor blades it would take maybe an hour, hour and a half tops. And that's stopping for coffee and bathroom breaks.

If you are using Pro Tools here is a tip to speed up the process: Find out what kind of files the client wants BEFORE you start recording and set up the session to use the file-type specified (AIF, WAV, whatever) then when you are finished editing you can just send them right out of your session files. That way you don't have to waste time converting them.

Another handy thing is to learn what your breaths look like in the editing program you are using. Most look like little jagged footballs that are easily deleted without having to listen for them (check after deleting them, of course). I can--bragging mode on--remove breaths during playback which saves an INCREDIBLE amount of editing time. But then, I've been editing audio since I was 19 and that, my friends, was a little after the French and Indian War.
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mcm
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Joined: 10 Dec 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I appreciate all the responses. I feel like I'm in some kind of parallel universe and wish I could see you all at work editing! Voicing those 35 minutes probably took me 37 minutes, so there really wasn't that much word-editing to do. Taking out breaths -I still don't always remember to take football-shaped breaths (what a guy-type analogy! But it's very descriptive!) so that process could have gone faster. But I totally resisted the temptation to remove the little clicks and pops and was not dissatisfied with the result in that respect.

So I don't know what to think.
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mikemckenzie
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The main thing is, regardless if it's Audition, Pro-Tools, SAW, Cool Edit, or even a good ole TASCAM reel-to-reel and splice block, getting intimate with your tools is essential. By doing so, your level of proficiency increases and it becomes nature. Just keep plugging at it, you'll win. Unlike the others on this board, I don't have any experience with Pro-Tools, by I do know Cool Edit inside and out. If you ever need any help with Cool Edit, just let me know. I'll be more than happy to help you bone up on those skills.
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mcm
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Mike. If CE/Audition has a "find footballs" function I'd be ecstatic to hear about it. Seriously, are there search capabilities?
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Dan-O
The Gates of Troy


Joined: 17 Jan 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK Doc, (It says your a PHD on your site) Here we go, your first lesson on Audition. The greatest thing about Aud & C.E. is you can edit while you’re playing back.


Load your file in track one, then click and sweep during playback, hit the delete button for each sweep. I use this to get rid of bad takes and dead spaces.

Pull all your blocks together, then go back and fine tune using the block drag option. It's in your tool bar selections at the top right, looks like this ][. You should have a 35 minute narration edited in about an hour.

This next bit of advice I have been doing for years, have told many people to do it, and have yet to meet a person who has admitted following it.

If you go to the Adobe Help Menu, click Contents and print out each tutorial. Then, put it in a binder and take it to the bathroom. Each time you visit the most private place in the house, read a lesson. You will get up to speed pretty quick. I have done this for SAW, SAW Plus, SAW Plus 32, Cool Edit, Audition and Pro Tools. My wife thinks I have bad bowels, but I am really just reading. It is an extremely efficient way to use your time.
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Bruce
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Joined: 06 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course the ultimate solution for editing out breaths is to stop breathing so much! Yeah, I know, easier said than done.

But moons ago I was a smoker and my breaths were really noisy and a nuisance. I've practiced opening my throat more when I inhale, and taking mini-breaths in the middle of long sentences, and that's cut down my editing conisderably.

As an old tape splicer, I can't tell you how many times I still giggle with delight at how easy it is to edit today. We wouldn't have given one thought to splicing a word together from two parts, but now it's a breeze. And now most sessions are just a few takes, as opposed to reading 17 takes looking for the perfect read for the engineer who didn't want to splice a bunch of bits together.

Ain't technology grand?

Bruce
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mcm
Smart Kitteh


Joined: 10 Dec 2004
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Location: w. MA, USA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Load your file in track one, then click and sweep during playback, hit the delete button for each sweep. I use this to get rid of bad takes and dead spaces.


I don't get what you're saying Dan-O, Ph.D. or not!! :wink: How is this different from just listening, highlighting and deleting what you don't want? What do you mean by "click and sweep"?

Disclaimer: I've had a total of 8 hrs of sleep since Tuesday.
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