Welcome to Mistake-ville

What’s the deal with everybody being so anti-mistakes?

We want everything to be perfect, or at least we want people to see us as “mistake-free” people who have their act together.

You know what I call those people? Booooooring.

A friend of mine is a well-known producer here in Nashville. He’s worked with lots of major artists and has some serious clout. But you know what I like about him? He makes mistakes, AND he doesn’t mind telling you about them.

Just the other day he told me about a concert he was asked to play bass for. The band called him the day before, and he agreed to play. (more…)

The “Steamboat Willie” of Audio Editing

I occasionally get some flack from people when I talk about audio editing.

First, there’s a group of people who believe that editing is cheating. They say that using audio editing tools to change the performance in ANY way makes it less musical, less real, less awesome.

Then there’s the other group of people who say I’m too “old school” in the way I do editing. My approach is super-simple, and it just requires basic editing tools. (Heck, I don’t even currently own any tuning software.) I just use the features in my DAW to get the job done.

But I personally think editing is an awesome tool, just like EQ and compression. It helps me ENHANCE the recordings, to polish them and make them ready to be mixed.

One of my readers left this comment on the site a while back: (more…)

Beware the Killer Editing Robots

Ever heard of too much of a good thing?

Yeah, if you get too crazy with your editing tools, you can completely suck the life out of your recordings.

And you know what happens when you suck the life out of something, right?

It turns into a robot…a killer robot.

To avoid lifeless, robotic-sounding tracks, check out the latest in podcasting greatness from Graham Cochrane and myself. :)

In today’s episode of the Simply Recording Podcast, we pose the question: How far is too far when it comes to editing?

Join the discussion here:

SimplyRecordingPodcast.com/editing

Joe Gilder

P.S. Did you know I’ve got an in-depth tutorial video all about editing?

Yup, I sure do. AND…it comes with practice tracks. Real life, non-robot practice tracks. Cool, huh?

‘Tis all right here:

www.UnderstandingEditing.com

Grumpy Old Fart

We’ve all met at least one.

The “grumpy ol’ fart” in the neighborhood.

You know the one. He says things like:

“Back in my day, when we would walk 15 miles uphill in the snow…”

or

“That’s the way we’ve always done it.”

He hates change. He doesn’t see any reason to try new things. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” he grunts.

Well you might think that I (being the young whipper-snapper that I am) would be against this old dude’s way of thinking.

But alas…I’m a bit of an old fart myself.

(At least about some things.)

Take editing, for example. Simple functions such as cut, copy, paste, nudge, fade, etc. have existed since the dawn of digital audio.

Fast forward a few decades, and things have advanced quite a bit, with newer and newer technologies being developed every year. We can now do so much more than we could before. (Tuning, pitch-shifting, time-stretching, quantizing, etc.)

But you know what?

I still like the “old fart” way of editing. Give me a DAW with basic editing functionality, and I’ll be well on my way to a nice, polished-sounding recording in no time.

Why? Because I stick to the basics. I keep it simple. I don’t use fancy software.

And it works for me.

It’ll work for you, too. (If you know how to do it.)

To learn the good old-fashioned editing skills (that never go out of style, no matter how many new features the latest software upgrades promise), skee-daddle on over to:

www.UnderstandingEditing.com

Joe Gilder

Why Workflow Matters (and Why It Doesn’t)

Here’s some great advice I got…

Last year I was interviewing Jon Tidey (of Audio Geek Zine and The Home Recording Show) for a product I was putting together.

We mostly talked about editing.

Now I had been using Pro Tools for years, but I had never really gotten into the “keyboard focus” stuff. (That’s essentially when you put Pro Tools in a certain mode, and keyboard shortcuts get even shorter.)

In other words, you can press just one key to do a specific task, rather than holding down a modifier AND pressing a key.

The two big ones that Jon shared with me were for zooming in and out and separating a region. (more…)

Going Click-Less

Krist asks:

How do you work with a band or artist that can’t play to a click track? How do you edit if it’s not “on the grid”?

You probably don’t run into that too much at your level, but most of us are working with folks of much less skill.

It’s true. I do get to work with some killer musicians. But that ain’t always the case.

Sometimes people can’t play to a click (i.e. metronome), and the best thing for the song is to kill the click and just let ‘em play.

Come editing time, though, you’re in a pickle. (more…)

Fighting New Technology

I received this response from my last email/post (“Why I don’t use elastic audio or beat detective”):

My impression of this email is that it is written for the sole purpose of selling more tutorials, and not for actually offering any constructive advice.

I would much rather see you encourage the proper use of the awesome technology we are now witness to, instead of generating fear, and using that fear to make money.  I hope that isn’t too harsh.  I am still a BIG fan of homestudiocorner, and will continue to recommended you and your ideas to my friends and coworkers.  I was just rubbed the wrong way by your message here.

Here’s my response: (I thought you may find it helpful.)

You’re completely right that there’s nothing wrong with elastic pitch or beat detective, but I’m just giving my honest take on why I DON’T use them. They’re great tools when used properly, but I simply like my simple way of editing better.

Using elastic pitch and beat detective certainly don’t guarantee that you’ll have some sort of adverse results, but if you’re not careful it IS possible. The way I edit doesn’t leave anything up to software. There’s no time-stretching, so the audio quality doesn’t get touched at all.

My way is certainly not the only way, but it works really well for me, and it works well even when I try a different DAW that doesn’t have elastic audio or beat detective.

The point of that last email was to simply explain why I choose NOT to use some tools, even though they’re totally adequate. It’s kind of liberating, you know?

And yes, I do sell a training video on editing. The thing is — if someone was expecting to buy that video and learn how to use beat detective and elastic pitch, they would have been disappointed.

You wrote, ‘I would much rather see you encourage the proper use of the awesome technology we are now witness to, instead of generating fear, and using that fear to make money.’ That’s exactly what I’m doing, encouraging people to use the technology of simple editing to get great-sounding tracks.

If anything, people are really confused and overwhelmed when it comes to fancy editing tools. I’m encouraging them that you DON’T have to be a master at beat detective or elastic audio to get great results.

I think that’s BETTER than jumping on the latest technology just because it’s there.

I teach a very simple, basic, but effective method of editing. It’s not for everyone, but it’s the way I like to work, and I enjoy it.

Thanks for the email!

That’s my honest opinion on the matter. I was editing that way long before Elastic Audio came into existence. And I enjoy it!

By the way, that editing video is here: www.understandingediting.com, if you’re interested.

Happy chopping!

Why I Don’t Use Elastic Audio or Beat Detective

Yesterday I spent the day shooting videos on drum and bass editing for my Production Club members.

With all the advances in editing technology, especially in the last 5 years, you’d probably assume I’m all about using time-stretching algorithms and beat detective to help me “quantize” my audio tracks, right?

Wrong.

Call me old-fashioned, but I’m all about SIMPLICITY when it comes to editing. (Come to think of it, I like simplicity with most things.)

That’s why I choose to manually chop up my tracks and edit them “by hand.” It’s something that’s simple, clean, and applies to all recording software.

I don’t care if you’re using Garageband or Audacity or Logic or Studio One — the basics of editing and pocketing are the same. Whenever I try to use these fancier editing tools, I end up feeling like I’m losing control of the track.

Rather than intentionally pocketing the downbeat of the first bar of the chorus, I’m trying to tell a piece of software to do that for me, all in the name of “efficiency” or the super catchy catchphrase “workflow.”

Inevitably the automagical software will try to “fix” things that don’t need fixing. Or it will stretch the audio and leave noticeable, audible artifacts.

I don’t want to spend hours getting the recordings to sound amazing, only to allow some time-stretching algorithm to come along and degrade the sound.

The way I edit doesn’t allow for any degradation in sound. It’s smooth. It’s seamless, and you can do it on any DAW.

If you want to see my exact process for editing everything from drums and bass to acoustic and electric guitars or vocals, you need to check out Understanding Editing.

You’ll learn my method and then practice on the practice tracks I provide. You’ll be a better editor by the end of the weekend.

Here’s the link: www.understandingediting.com

Have a great weekend, and happy editing!