Editing really isn’t a super complex tax. It simply requires patience and practice, and the payoff can be huge.
There are times when editing is necessary, and there are times when it’s not. Today I’ll give you three reasons why you should edit your tracks, and tomorrow I’ll give you three reasons why you shouldn’t edit your tracks. Sound good? Okay, let’s jump in.
1. Fix Noticeable Timing Issues
This is probably the most obvious reason to edit, but it’s worth mentioning again. There will come times when you’re recording (either yourself or someone else) where there will be those trouble spots, places where the guitar just got REALLY out of time with the drums, or the bass came in a half-second early.
These things happen. Sometimes you miss them during tracking. Sometimes this is just the best your going to get out of the musician. (Let’s be honest, sometimes we don’t have the luxury of recording A-list musicians.)
In these cases, the timing issues are obvious, and most people are going to notice them. It’s in your best interest to fix them.
It shouldn’t take long. These types of timing issues can usually be fixed with just a minute or two of editing without negatively affecting the quality of the audio.
2. Tighten Up a Good Performance
Once you’ve fixed the major timing issues, is there any room for MORE pocketing? Or lets say you are recording extremely talented musicians, is it still possible that you’ll want to pocket those tracks as well? A lot of times the answer is yes.
Whether you agree with it or not, a lot of musicians and their fans are expecting a very polished, tight recording. Even if the musicians NAIL their parts in tracking, there may be small, subtle timing difference between the various instruments. While the tracks may sound fine without any editing, a few hours of pocketing can push them over the top in terms of tightness and a (perceived) “professional” sound.
Don’t believe me? Nearly every professionally-produced album that comes out of Nashville (particularly in the country music industry) has gone through this pocketing process. These session musicians are insanely talented, but their tracks still get pocketed.
Something to think about.
3. Get Rid of Unwanted Noise
It’s very possible to produce a recording out of your home studio that sounds like it was done in a professional facility. One of the tell-tale signs of an “unprofessional” home recording is the unnecessary noises that somehow don’t get removed somewhere along the way.
Things like lip noise from the vocalist, the sound of the musicians moving around between sections of the song, pops and clicks in the audio from edits without crossfades, can distract the listener and make them question the quality of the recording.
You may not think this is an issue, but those little noises get amplified quite heavily once you compress and master your final mix. Suddenly a little annoying noise becomes a lot more noticeable…and therefore distracting.
Okay, time to hear from you. What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Have a suggestion? Leave a comment. I need 10 comments before I’ll post tomorrow’s post on when you SHOULDN’T edit your tracks.