Yesterday I talked about about audio editing and why I do it. If you haven’t read that article yet, be sure to check it out and leave a comment. I’m intrigued to hear your thoughts.

As promised, today I want to share with you an audio example of editing at work.

Audio editing is obviously not some huge mystery. For the most part, it’s just about fixing timing issues. As I said yesterday, it’s not about creating a good performance, but simply enhancing a good one.

The example you’re about to hear is from my upcoming album. In fact, it’s the song featured in the HSC Production Club (which will be re-opening next week).

I played all the guitars in this song, except for the lead guitar, and my brother-in-law played bass. We’re both (if I may say so myself) good musicians and recorded good performances. However, I felt the song still needed some tightening up. Enter editing.

Here’s a clip of the original performances.

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You’ll notice that as all the guitars/bass come in, especially on those first three hits of the chorus, everything sounds fine, but there’s just a bit of looseness there. Everything is hitting at a slightly different time. I could have left it, and it would have been fine.

However, after spending a little time editing, I was able to come up with this. (Note: I only edited the guitars and bass. The drums are exactly the same.)

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Notice how everything sounds SO much tighter. I just made small little edits here and there on each track, but the sum total of all those edits is a noticeable increase in tightness. It’s not a super over-the-top change, but it also doesn’t harm the performance at all. You get the idea we were going for, but it’s just a little tighter now.

Thoughts? Let’s hear ’em. Leave a comment below.

  • Bminor

    Impressive! two clips that sound like.. you could almost say, exactly the same, but still has a totally different feel..

  • It’s all good. However … since you mentioned (in the former post) the bass pocket. Then changing these “milliseconds” can alter the feel of the performance/song. Playing in front of the beat creates excitement and forward motion/feel… It’s ALIVE. Don’t you think too much editing (using the EYE (instead of the ear)) will/could kill the feel ? Depending on the performance .. the feel/performance could indeed “get” better 🙂

    • Absolutely it COULD affect the performance. That’s the key…listening and A/B-ing things

  • That’s exactly what I would have done… and do routinely. It’s like the difference between a stage play and a movie. One wouldn’t expect to watch a movie without edits… would one? 🙂

    I have a tendency to rush my parts. So, I often nudge tracks back. Also, I like to put a very relaxed auto-tune on sustained instruments like electric bass and guitar solos to make it all sound tighter.

    As long as it sound natural (unless going for an unnatural effect)… anything goes.


  • David S.

    wow. that’s all i can say. wow.
    i definitely see the difference. now i’ll have to practice patience to edit my own stuff.

    • Jason G.

      Ha! See to me, editing is my lazy-assed way of not having to re-record something minor.

      “…man, that little transition fill on the guitar was just a tad bit early. I should re-record it for purity’s sake.”

      *thinks about breaking out the guitar rig and mics*

      “nah, I’ll just warp that little spot back a few microseconds!”

      DONE! =P

  • I do edits like this all the time. It’s like adding that extra bit of polish that makes the difference.

    I also rarely use a noise gate when mixing. I prefer to have complete control over what’s going on in the track by editing it manually.

    Good job!

  • Please tell me that you didn’t change any levels!!

    Proof positive that editing and mixing go hand and hand these days.

    Sometimes a little editing sonically makes everything sound better. Groove aside… it sounds better.