At what point do you stop calling it 'editing'?

Tech talk about audio recording and live stage production.
---Hosted by Andrew MacRae & Malcolm Boyce

At what point do you stop calling it 'editing'?

Postby Nick H. » Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:04 am

This is a conversation I've had with Matt in the past, and I'm really interested to hear what people think. Over the past year or so, I've been learning how to edit in Pro Tools, and I would imagine that by now well over fifty-percent of my work at the studio falls into this category. Obviously this isn't a particularly shocking statement given how broad the term 'edit' is, and, I hasten to add, is not a matter of particularly bad musicians making up our client base. Even with absolutely stunning session musicians, a quick edit tends to be much quicker than another take.

So all of this time spent editing has, I think, begged the question of exactly how broad the term really is. For instance, if I (hypothetically, of course) have had to use editing and sample enhancements to not just correct an existing pattern, but restructure it, does that fit the definition? Or, god forbid, a bass player is so unskilled that his tracks are put into vocal editing software and manipulated in a way that is essentially writing the bass line for him, does that really constitute an edit at that point?

To take this to an extreme, Mixerman spent a great deal of his first book talking about ghosting. Now, if by way of editing, I can completely control the spaces between the notes, and, if we accept the statement, "the spaces between the notes matter as much as the notes themselves" as fact, I am not sure I see such a clear distinction between ghosting and editing. I mean, is having your part played by a different musician less indicative of your creation than when someone alters the performance via editing to ultimately also sound like a professional played it. This isn't to say that I don't understand where Bitch Slap's bass player is coming from, I would imagine most have a personal attachment to their recorded performances and feel that their's is a uniquely honest approach to a recording, but on a purely philosophical level, ghosting seems no less honest to me than intricate editing.

Again, I'm not saying that any of these arguments stand up in the real world with real, volatile musicians, but I am interested in how others look at these issues.
User avatar
Nick H.
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 142
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:42 pm

Re: At what point do you stop calling it 'editing'?

Postby Alain Benoit » Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:04 am

I've recently often thought about the same thing and tend to agree with you in the extreme cases.

A.
www.fluidaudiogroup.com

"No one has time to do it right, but we all seem to have time to do it twice."
User avatar
Alain Benoit
Self Biased Resistor
 
Posts: 1321
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 11:21 am
Location: Canada

Re: At what point do you stop calling it 'editing'?

Postby Mathieu Benoit » Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:39 am

This is a topic of converation that should get pretty interesting... I guess my first question would be what would we do if we just recorded straight to the HD24 and had no editing capabilities?

There are a few ways to look at this and it's all mostly subjective. I have never edited someone's performance only to have them come back to me and say that they don't like it that way and that I should change it back... In many cases the edits are minor and the clients are barely aware of them. In some rare cases the edits require a herculean effort on the part of the production staff but the clients are expecting them and again there are no complaints on their end.

Editing is all good and well ethically in production, since nothing is done to deceive the artist. Ghosting on the other hand is done specifically to deceive the artist and that call can really only be made by the producer. I don't condone it, but I can also see some extreme cases where, as a producer, one might be able to justify it. But it's always an absolute last resort and a decision that only the producer can make, and it's case by case. Basically, I'll cross that bridge when it's on fire.

Editing has been an accepted reality for many years though, even among the general buying public. Who here hasn't seen a band that sucks live compared to the studio? That being said even they don't want to be completely deceived. We all remember Milli Vanilli... that crossed the line and the general public made their dissatisfaction known by no longer supporting them. However there are plenty of artists who's voices are altered by way of pitch correction and that seems to be acceptable by the general public. Some artists have even taken that further buying showcasing certain artifacts of pitch correction.

Editing as a definition means to manipulate the source file. If you record a new source file without the performers knowledge and try to pass it off as the original performance... that's ghosting. Technically the line between the two is quite clear... but you're right that some edits really blur the line. Thankfully those edits are few and far between.
"Volume automation takes time. You don't got that kinda time. You could be getting naked with somebody somewhere." -Slipperman

Mathieu Benoit - Fluid Productions
www.fluidaudiogroup.com
www.facebook.com/FluidAudioGroup
User avatar
Mathieu Benoit
Drumwaiter
 
Posts: 4707
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 6:55 pm
Location: Saint John, New Brunswick

Re: At what point do you stop calling it 'editing'?

Postby Malcolm Boyce » Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:43 am

Nick H. wrote:...but on a purely philosophical level, ghosting seems no less honest to me than intricate editing.
I would tend to agree with that statement if you qualify it with, the artist not knowing about the editing.

Anyone who knows me, knows my work ethic, and that I'm certainly not "anti-technology". I think, once you aren't just capturing live tracks, and then mixing them, all bets are off. That being said, I know that the first instinct for younger recordists is to warm up that editing hand and go to work, as opposed to elevating performance to a decent level, and use editing to fix gaffs, or mistakes, as opposed to just plain bad singing/playing. Many times I have had tracks in front of me that others would have micro edited without even thinking about it, but I've often thought, when will they hear what they actually sound like? I just know where my threshold is, and it's higher than many. The editing every track at least a little isn't SOP for many of us out there. Is it for you?

I was recently listening to a Jon Epworth album "Turn Off Your Name", which was released in 2008, and thinking about how, especially vocally, it wouldn't get past the hand of many young recordists but yet it is beautifully delivered and real. Things have gotten so far removed from that kind of capture of performance that I wonder if we'll ever get back.

Who here, for a given project, has spent as much time editing tracks as they have recording them? I'm not talking about comping or things like that, I'm talking about moving and tuning parts until they are in with your vision.

I know I'm getting off from what you are originally driving at. Editing is editing. A film editor doesn't get acting credits for moving parts around. I have shifted notes around in sequences performed by others for years and never thought of it as any more than editing, or really just engineering.

It's all just opinion. It is what it is.
"Once again, it is NEVER the gear that makes a good record.
It just fills Forum pages..." --compasspnt

middleaudio.com
User avatar
Malcolm Boyce
Your Humble Host
 
Posts: 3678
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 12:07 am
Location: Saint John, NB

Re: At what point do you stop calling it 'editing'?

Postby Mathieu Benoit » Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:52 am

Nick H. wrote: I would imagine most have a personal attachment to their recorded performances and feel that their's is a uniquely honest approach to a recording, but on a purely philosophical level, ghosting seems no less honest to me than intricate editing.

Again, I'm not saying that any of these arguments stand up in the real world with real, volatile musicians, but I am interested in how others look at these issues.


You are right, these arguments are purely hypothetical in nature and would not stand up in the real world with real musicians. I know that you don't mean to say that ghosting is acceptable, you are just opening a philosophical debate and playing devil's advocate. Just remember that there are a lot of people out there that want to sound "honest" and refuse to either have their performances edited or practice to make those edits a non-issue. Those same people might also believe that recording to a 4-track radio shack cassette recorder is their version of keeping it real because they can't afford a real studio or professional quality equipment.

Don't discount the fact that many people use "art" as a perfect defense against laziness.
"Volume automation takes time. You don't got that kinda time. You could be getting naked with somebody somewhere." -Slipperman

Mathieu Benoit - Fluid Productions
www.fluidaudiogroup.com
www.facebook.com/FluidAudioGroup
User avatar
Mathieu Benoit
Drumwaiter
 
Posts: 4707
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 6:55 pm
Location: Saint John, New Brunswick

Re: At what point do you stop calling it 'editing'?

Postby Malcolm Boyce » Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:58 am

I had a client once who requested me to "touch up" the tuning of the lead vocal on an entire album, but when I stretched a cello note at the end of a song he said it wasn't "honest" or "real" and had me put it back to the too short version.... and trust me, it was a lot of "touching up".
"Once again, it is NEVER the gear that makes a good record.
It just fills Forum pages..." --compasspnt

middleaudio.com
User avatar
Malcolm Boyce
Your Humble Host
 
Posts: 3678
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 12:07 am
Location: Saint John, NB

Re: At what point do you stop calling it 'editing'?

Postby Mathieu Benoit » Thu Jun 14, 2012 12:02 pm

Malcolm Boyce wrote:Who here, for a given project, has spent as much time editing tracks as they have recording them? I'm not talking about comping or things like that, I'm talking about moving and tuning parts until they are in with your vision.


No comment.

Actually I will comment... One client was adamant that their performances were micromanaged and edited down to the 32nd note, due to the nature of their understanding of the style of music. The performers were knowingly not able to play to the level they wanted to sound like and wanted us to make that an relative non-issue. They were self-produced and paid in cash... Was I gonna sit there and argue with them? Probably not... but it's hard, demoralizing work.

On the other hand I cut a vocal with a client last week, who isn't a strong vocalist in the classic sense of the word, but the edits were miniscule. This is a client that I am producing and and one that has been working very hard on improving the emotional impact of her voice. We tracked an entire song in 30 minutes, and edited the vocals with our eyes closed. Those edits were done in 5 minutes and we spent the rest of the day enjoying the sunshine.

That brings me to my next point: How much editing these days is being done by engineers with their eyes more than their ears?
"Volume automation takes time. You don't got that kinda time. You could be getting naked with somebody somewhere." -Slipperman

Mathieu Benoit - Fluid Productions
www.fluidaudiogroup.com
www.facebook.com/FluidAudioGroup
User avatar
Mathieu Benoit
Drumwaiter
 
Posts: 4707
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 6:55 pm
Location: Saint John, New Brunswick

Re: At what point do you stop calling it 'editing'?

Postby Nick H. » Thu Jun 14, 2012 12:07 pm

Mathieu Benoit wrote:That brings me to my next point: How much editing by young engineers is being done with their eyes more than their ears?


If my own early forays into editing are any indication: quite a bit. I think that editing tastefully takes time in the same way playing tastefully does. For me, it was a matter of taking time to consider exactly why I wanted to edit something, and to what end. As with anything, being arbitrary with edits is potentially quite destructive to the finished product. Is that kind of uniform editing becoming standard in popular music?
User avatar
Nick H.
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 142
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:42 pm

Re: At what point do you stop calling it 'editing'?

Postby Malcolm Boyce » Thu Jun 14, 2012 12:10 pm

Mathieu Benoit wrote:That brings me to my next point: How much editing these days is being done by engineers with their eyes more than their ears?
Too much.
"Once again, it is NEVER the gear that makes a good record.
It just fills Forum pages..." --compasspnt

middleaudio.com
User avatar
Malcolm Boyce
Your Humble Host
 
Posts: 3678
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 12:07 am
Location: Saint John, NB

Re: At what point do you stop calling it 'editing'?

Postby Mathieu Benoit » Thu Jun 14, 2012 12:16 pm

Nick H. wrote:
Mathieu Benoit wrote:That brings me to my next point: How much editing by young engineers is being done with their eyes more than their ears?


If my own early forays into editing are any indication: quite a bit. I think that editing tastefully takes time in the same way playing tastefully does. For me, it was a matter of taking time to consider exactly why I wanted to edit something, and to what end. As with anything, being arbitrary with edits is potentially quite destructive to the finished product.


Quoted for emphasis. This is a really good point.
"Volume automation takes time. You don't got that kinda time. You could be getting naked with somebody somewhere." -Slipperman

Mathieu Benoit - Fluid Productions
www.fluidaudiogroup.com
www.facebook.com/FluidAudioGroup
User avatar
Mathieu Benoit
Drumwaiter
 
Posts: 4707
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 6:55 pm
Location: Saint John, New Brunswick

Re: At what point do you stop calling it 'editing'?

Postby Malcolm Boyce » Thu Jun 14, 2012 12:40 pm

A side effect of the omnipresent editing in recording now is the attitude of younger performers expecting it, without even thinking about stepping up their performance or listening ability. As a player, 99.9% of the time I will give you a track that I don't hear the need for editing. Many younger players that I hear think "good enough" is when you have enough notes you can push around to make something out of it. Totally foreign to me, but I know it's just a different threshold of what's acceptable.
"Once again, it is NEVER the gear that makes a good record.
It just fills Forum pages..." --compasspnt

middleaudio.com
User avatar
Malcolm Boyce
Your Humble Host
 
Posts: 3678
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 12:07 am
Location: Saint John, NB

Re: At what point do you stop calling it 'editing'?

Postby Mathieu Benoit » Thu Jun 14, 2012 12:49 pm

Malcolm Boyce wrote:A side effect of the omnipresent editing in recording now is the attitude of younger performers expecting it, without even thinking about stepping up their performance or listening ability. As a player, 99.9% of the time I will give you a track that I don't hear the need for editing. Many younger players that I hear think "good enough" is when you have enough notes you can push around to make something out of it. Totally foreign to me, but I know it's just a different threshold of what's acceptable.


I wasn't around "back in the day" but I'm not convinced that this is some kind of new phenomenon. There have always been terrible players, and they are that way because they are lazy. They weren't less lazy back then because they couldn't be edited. We are just allowing them a platform to express themselves in spite of that laziness.
"Volume automation takes time. You don't got that kinda time. You could be getting naked with somebody somewhere." -Slipperman

Mathieu Benoit - Fluid Productions
www.fluidaudiogroup.com
www.facebook.com/FluidAudioGroup
User avatar
Mathieu Benoit
Drumwaiter
 
Posts: 4707
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 6:55 pm
Location: Saint John, New Brunswick

Re: At what point do you stop calling it 'editing'?

Postby Malcolm Boyce » Thu Jun 14, 2012 12:59 pm

Mathieu Benoit wrote:
Malcolm Boyce wrote:A side effect of the omnipresent editing in recording now is the attitude of younger performers expecting it, without even thinking about stepping up their performance or listening ability. As a player, 99.9% of the time I will give you a track that I don't hear the need for editing. Many younger players that I hear think "good enough" is when you have enough notes you can push around to make something out of it. Totally foreign to me, but I know it's just a different threshold of what's acceptable.


I wasn't around "back in the day" but I'm not convinced that this is some kind of new phenomenon. There have always been terrible players, and they are that way because they are lazy. They weren't less lazy back then because they couldn't be edited. We are just allowing them a platform to express themselves in spite of that laziness.
I can only speak based on my experience. I know most players would not have the same ethic 15-20 years ago. It's not as simple as saying "lazy". They aren't being lazy, they're just growing up in a world where they think it's SOP.
"Once again, it is NEVER the gear that makes a good record.
It just fills Forum pages..." --compasspnt

middleaudio.com
User avatar
Malcolm Boyce
Your Humble Host
 
Posts: 3678
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 12:07 am
Location: Saint John, NB

Re: At what point do you stop calling it 'editing'?

Postby Mathieu Benoit » Thu Jun 14, 2012 1:51 pm

Malcolm Boyce wrote:I know most players would not have the same ethic 15-20 years ago. It's not as simple as saying "lazy". They aren't being lazy, they're just growing up in a world where they think it's SOP.


Sure, but how is that not defined as laziness? Besides, I see plenty of older musicians blissfully unaware of how bad their meter is. Let's face it Malcolm even you and I don't practice as much as we should. Maybe lazy isn' the right word, maybe it's just that there are other priorities in place.

Speaking for myself, I don't consider myself a natural musician. The people that think I am just haven't known me long enough. I had to work hard to make it look "natural" and even then I have plenty of shortcomings. Thankfully I set the bar high enough to make things work, I also focused on the groove more than chops, more on playing to the click than learning samba patterns, ect. I prioritized the things that would make me play songs that I like to play better.

Eventually I will get back to practicing like a mofo, I'd love to work with Norm again... but right now I got other things that are important and time is short. So I've opted to make other choices for now. In spite of that, the choices I made in my earlier years still make me a decent drummer for either live or in the studio. It has nothing to do with my age though, I'm not that old...lol

I've never been a huge fan of the "back in the good ole days" type of references because I find them to be really hard to prove since it's more circumstancial than anything. Certainly things have changed over the past 20 years, but I don't think human nature is one of them.
"Volume automation takes time. You don't got that kinda time. You could be getting naked with somebody somewhere." -Slipperman

Mathieu Benoit - Fluid Productions
www.fluidaudiogroup.com
www.facebook.com/FluidAudioGroup
User avatar
Mathieu Benoit
Drumwaiter
 
Posts: 4707
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 6:55 pm
Location: Saint John, New Brunswick

Re: At what point do you stop calling it 'editing'?

Postby Malcolm Boyce » Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:15 pm

Mathieu Benoit wrote: Certainly things have changed over the past 20 years, but I don't think human nature is one of them.
I absolutely agree. I just submit that in our society, you're not "lazy" because you drive a car to work, because that's what we do. The perception these days is that's how we record.

Trends come and go. We went through a period where many were sold on the fact that you don't record whole bands together anymore. Now, it's very much back in style again. Who knows what will come next. It's when people come in assuming that you have to do things a certain way that i tend to disagree. I have people as me vague questions like "how do you record blah blah blah...?" and I inevitably answer... It depends.
"Once again, it is NEVER the gear that makes a good record.
It just fills Forum pages..." --compasspnt

middleaudio.com
User avatar
Malcolm Boyce
Your Humble Host
 
Posts: 3678
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 12:07 am
Location: Saint John, NB

Re: At what point do you stop calling it 'editing'?

Postby Nick H. » Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:33 pm

Mathieu Benoit wrote:Don't discount the fact that many people use "art" as a perfect defense against laziness.


Unfortunately, it's only subjective to a point. These people can be, and often are, wrong. Ultimately, each individual performance should exist to heighten the emotional impact of the song. I've found that in my, albeit limited, experience, good performances tend to be those that get out of the way of the song and I think a great deal of people justifying their poor musicianship via art are doing so at the expense of the song. For instance: if a guitar player is insistent about playing a C over the band's C# (which is, of course, a profound inner expression of art), I am going to, as the listener, pay attention to the needless and arbitrary dissonance rather than what the song intends to communicate. I've always hated it when people disregard the technical side of playing their instrument in an effort to out-indie each other. Music, as with all art, is primarily an expression, and to express anything coherently, there is a need to be unencumbered by the technical side of that expression. I feel that people justifying poor execution as self-expression should remember that it is possible to express oneself stupidly.
User avatar
Nick H.
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 142
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:42 pm

Re: At what point do you stop calling it 'editing'?

Postby Mathieu Benoit » Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:44 pm

Nick H. wrote:Unfortunately, it's only subjective to a point. These people can be, and often are, wrong. Ultimately, each individual performance should exist to heighten the emotional impact of the song. I've found that in my, albeit limited, experience, good performances tend to be those that get out of the way of the song and I think a great deal of people justifying their poor musicianship via art are doing so at the expense of the song.


I agree wholeheartedly.

Nick H. wrote:For instance: if a guitar player is insistent about playing a C over the band's C# (which is, of course, a profound inner expression of art), I am going to, as the listener, pay attention to the needless and arbitrary dissonance rather than what the song intends to communicate.

But if that is what they truly wanted to express, then that is their given right to express it. It's only wrong if the masses say so, I guess...

Nick H. wrote:I've always hated it when people disregard the technical side of playing their instrument in an effort to out-indie each other.


I believe the terms is "indier-than-thou" and it may or may not already be copyright of William Wittman. :lol:

EDIT: Holy crap this is my 4000th post. I literally have 25% of all posts on here. Where my scepter?
Last edited by Mathieu Benoit on Thu Jun 14, 2012 3:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Volume automation takes time. You don't got that kinda time. You could be getting naked with somebody somewhere." -Slipperman

Mathieu Benoit - Fluid Productions
www.fluidaudiogroup.com
www.facebook.com/FluidAudioGroup
User avatar
Mathieu Benoit
Drumwaiter
 
Posts: 4707
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 6:55 pm
Location: Saint John, New Brunswick

Re: At what point do you stop calling it 'editing'?

Postby Malcolm Boyce » Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:49 pm

Mathieu Benoit wrote:
Nick H. wrote:I've always hated it when people disregard the technical side of playing their instrument in an effort to out-indie each other.


I believe the terms is "indier-than-thou" and it may or may not already be copyright of William Wittman. :lol:

That would be correct... :lol:
"Once again, it is NEVER the gear that makes a good record.
It just fills Forum pages..." --compasspnt

middleaudio.com
User avatar
Malcolm Boyce
Your Humble Host
 
Posts: 3678
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 12:07 am
Location: Saint John, NB

Re: At what point do you stop calling it 'editing'?

Postby Nick H. » Thu Jun 14, 2012 3:11 pm

Mathieu Benoit wrote:
Nick H. wrote:For instance: if a guitar player is insistent about playing a C over the band's C# (which is, of course, a profound inner expression of art), I am going to, as the listener, pay attention to the needless and arbitrary dissonance rather than what the song intends to communicate.

But if that is what they truly wanted to express, then that is their given right to express it. It's only wrong if the masses say so, I guess...


But doesn't that just put us right back to saying that it is infinitely subjective?

For arguments sake, let's say that they arrived at playing semi-tones apart after long hours of sober contemplation. In that case, they are very likely looking for some kind of harshness because of the propensity for obvious dissonance, but is it possible that there is an objectively better way to express this?

And, more than anything, I am simply skeptical that these situations arise out of contemplation of any sort. Maybe if I thought that the artist was deliberately expressing something through a 'mistake', I would be more open and thoughtful towards it. In cases like above, I do not get that impression. This also has something to do with the listener, I think. There are musicians that I trust artistically to not be arbitrary. When Bright Eyes released "Road to Joy" with its cacophony of brass dissonance, I immediately accepted and praised that decision as a valid and fitting expression. Perhaps I should be so generous with other artists, or maybe the onus is on them to convince me, the listener, that their decisions have artistic repercussions. For me, the bottom line is that the landmark case of lead guitarist v. the rest of the melodic instrumentation in the band does not strike me as carefully considered, so I am disinclined to spend time considering how it might be the perfect way to express their existential angst and more inclined to complain about it on the internet.

Am I being too generally harsh?
User avatar
Nick H.
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 142
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:42 pm

Re: At what point do you stop calling it 'editing'?

Postby Mathieu Benoit » Thu Jun 14, 2012 3:34 pm

Nick H. wrote:But doesn't that just put us right back to saying that it is infinitely subjective?

Read the end of my post first.... Short answer: Yes.
Nick H. wrote:For arguments sake, let's say that they arrived at playing semi-tones apart after long hours of sober contemplation. In that case, they are very likely looking for some kind of harshness because of the propensity for obvious dissonance, but is it possible that there is an objectively better way to express this?

Probably, but that's hardly the point. The artist gets to choose what their expression should ultimately be. It's like saying that a person is "wrong" to dress a certain way. Sure they might be able to get laid more if they cleaned themselves up but is that their intent?

Nick H. wrote:And, more than anything, I am simply skeptical that these situations arise out of contemplation of any sort.

A lot of them don't but unfortunately we don't get to make that call unless we are producing.

Nick H. wrote:Maybe if I thought that the artist was deliberately expressing something through a 'mistake', I would be more open and thoughtful towards it. In cases like above, I do not get that impression. This also has something to do with the listener, I think. There are musicians that I trust artistically to not be arbitrary. When Bright Eyes released "Road to Joy" with its cacophony of brass dissonance, I immediately accepted and praised that decision as a valid and fitting expression. Perhaps I should be so generous with other artists, or maybe the onus is on them to convince me, the listener, that their decisions have artistic repercussions.

You shouldn't be anything other that you. Just as they have every right to feel justified in their "art" you have every right to choose to validate it with your hard earned time and money, or not. The vast majority can tell the difference between something arbitrary and something that is done with intent. Don't believe me? Every pop song on 97.3 is produced with specific intention. That intention may not jive with your listening needs but you can't deny that it's all very purpose driven. Every last note is there for a reason. Maybe that reason is to drive you bananas but at least it did something to you.

Nick H. wrote:For me, the bottom line is that the landmark case of lead guitarist v. the rest of the melodic instrumentation in the band does not strike me as carefully considered, so I am disinclined to spend time considering how it might be the perfect way to express their existential angst and more inclined to complain about it on the internet.

dielaugh

This is possibly the best line I've seen writen in a long time.

Nick H. wrote:Am I being too generally harsh?

Who am I to say if you're expression is "too" anything... that's kind of my point.
"Volume automation takes time. You don't got that kinda time. You could be getting naked with somebody somewhere." -Slipperman

Mathieu Benoit - Fluid Productions
www.fluidaudiogroup.com
www.facebook.com/FluidAudioGroup
User avatar
Mathieu Benoit
Drumwaiter
 
Posts: 4707
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 6:55 pm
Location: Saint John, New Brunswick

Re: At what point do you stop calling it 'editing'?

Postby sean.boyer » Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:08 pm

For me personally, for rock music recording, anything more than slipping a drum beat hear or there, doing vocal composite, or splicing sections of instrument takes me out of the mindset of "editing" and into the mindset of "fabricating". And I don't like that. Call me a purist, but I barf in my mouth at the idea of using triggered sampling for drums. Why the hell bother with a guy sitting there on traps, using all your great mics you spent so much time on setting up JUST so, if you're going to come in and replace the drums with sample, then quantize the whole mess? Sounds like you should have had Uncle Midi doing that for you from the get go.

Personally, I'm WAY more inclined to leave a mistake in the audio, than to resort to drastic and noticeable replacement/sampling or whathaveyou.

That said, I consider myself a master of the invisible splice, having worked for years in the VO realm. I can edit a cough out of the the middle of the word "I'm". So, I'm certainly not above and beyond pulling some splicing magic on a track. But, for me, if I have to spend more than 5 minutes on a splice, or do it more than 2 times on a track, it's a bum take, and I'll either live with it, or re-do it.

I really try to avoid saying "we'll fix it in post" unless I'm damn sure I can do it in under 5 minutes.
sean.boyer
Active Member
 
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 1:15 pm
Location: Saint John

Re: At what point do you stop calling it 'editing'?

Postby Mathieu Benoit » Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:46 pm

sean.boyer wrote:For me personally, for rock music recording, anything more than slipping a drum beat hear or there, doing vocal composite, or splicing sections of instrument takes me out of the mindset of "editing" and into the mindset of "fabricating".


I think that is Nick's point as well. Unfortunately when you open your doors as a business you aren't so fortunate to get to choose your clients, and sometimes they expect exactly that. If you are getting paid your hourly wage either way, then that's kinda part of the job.

sean.boyer wrote:Call me a purist, but I barf in my mouth at the idea of using triggered sampling for drums. Why the hell bother with a guy sitting there on traps, using all your great mics you spent so much time on setting up JUST so, if you're going to come in and replace the drums with sample, then quantize the whole mess? Sounds like you should have had Uncle Midi doing that for you from the get go.


I totally agree with that. I do however use sample enhancements from time to time, especially for snare drums. More as a blending tool than anything and I've had great results with that as well. I will say this though, I have never used any snare samples from a library. I will record a particular snare drum in a particular way myself to achieve exactly what I intended and I'll usually make that decision before tracking the original drum track, alothough sometimes I'll make that decision come mix time if the vision for the song has changed.
"Volume automation takes time. You don't got that kinda time. You could be getting naked with somebody somewhere." -Slipperman

Mathieu Benoit - Fluid Productions
www.fluidaudiogroup.com
www.facebook.com/FluidAudioGroup
User avatar
Mathieu Benoit
Drumwaiter
 
Posts: 4707
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 6:55 pm
Location: Saint John, New Brunswick

Re: At what point do you stop calling it 'editing'?

Postby Malcolm Boyce » Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:04 pm

Mathieu Benoit wrote:
sean.boyer wrote:Call me a purist, but I barf in my mouth at the idea of using triggered sampling for drums. Why the hell bother with a guy sitting there on traps, using all your great mics you spent so much time on setting up JUST so, if you're going to come in and replace the drums with sample, then quantize the whole mess? Sounds like you should have had Uncle Midi doing that for you from the get go.


I totally agree with that. I do however use sample enhancements from time to time, especially for snare drums. More as a blending tool than anything and I've had great results with that as well. I will say this though, I have never used any snare samples from a library. I will record a particular snare drum in a particular way myself to achieve exactly what I intended and I'll usually make that decision before tracking the original drum track, alothough sometimes I'll make that decision come mix time if the vision for the song has changed.

There is a whole segment of the business that thinks it's the only way to go now... to replace/augment everything with samples on drums, and they are shocked when they find out how many people don't, and get killer sounds.

That being said, I know for me that when drums need sample help, a lot of the time I know when we tracked the thing in the first place, and we are changing something the same way as "re amping" a guitar sound. Sometimes this is a choice made to get tracks happening when the time is right, and I won't break up a creative session to re-tune or try a different snare drum or two when I know I have enough to work with when we are done. It's a give and take game. On acoustic drums, it's pretty rare actually for me to use sample augmentation, and like Matt, it's most often snare drums that need help for consistency sakes. A lot of the time it's a multi sample made from the actual drum tracks on the session, so it's not like we didn't record what we wanted, it just needs a little help.

The other side of the coin is, not learning how to get decent drum sounds because "everybody" uses samples, is so common these days, and so lame.
"Once again, it is NEVER the gear that makes a good record.
It just fills Forum pages..." --compasspnt

middleaudio.com
User avatar
Malcolm Boyce
Your Humble Host
 
Posts: 3678
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 12:07 am
Location: Saint John, NB

Re: At what point do you stop calling it 'editing'?

Postby sean.boyer » Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:17 pm

Yeah, I can totally get behind that. It's just not for me, for my projects (now CLIENT projects are a whole different story. If someone else is paying me, I'll stand on the desk covered in coco powder weeping into a cereal bowl of wet news paper strips and banana slices while playing a keytar that's been glued to the wall with my nose, if it's what they really want. That said, I'll sure as hell try to talk them into instead simply getting someone who can play piano to sit down and play the piano, but hey, they're holding the $$gun$$, so what ev'.)

Lucky for me, I get to do almost all the recording for my own bands, and I have the pleasure of setting them up however I want, and using whatever methods and practices I deem appropriate during tracking and mixing. The other band members will give me their input, and I will consider it, discuss, and when applicable, concede to their direction.

I've heard a few recordings where the snare had been sampled, through out the whole song even, and I never noticed, and still can't hear it when I listen even though I know, so I guess it can be done, and done transparently. So that's cool. I guess all in all, I'm too lazy for that approach. I expend all my energy into setting up at the tracking stage, and making sure I get what I want in takes during the tracking.

That's me though. I don't begrudge anyone else for whatever things they do, as long as they sound good.
sean.boyer
Active Member
 
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 1:15 pm
Location: Saint John

Re: At what point do you stop calling it 'editing'?

Postby Mathieu Benoit » Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:19 pm

Malcolm Boyce wrote: A lot of the time it's a multi sample made from the actual drum tracks on the session, so it's not like we didn't record what we wanted, it just needs a little help.


Malcolm Boyce wrote:The other side of the coin is, not learning how to get decent drum sounds because "everybody" uses samples, is so common these days, and so lame.

Which is the engineer's equivalent to being a lazy performer. Why learn how to do it right when you can "edit" it later? Everyone wants to be awesome and they want to be that way without putting any effort into it. Ironically that laziness will get them easily 10X the amount of work to do downstream, so why not just do it right the first time? Because... it takes patience.
"Volume automation takes time. You don't got that kinda time. You could be getting naked with somebody somewhere." -Slipperman

Mathieu Benoit - Fluid Productions
www.fluidaudiogroup.com
www.facebook.com/FluidAudioGroup
User avatar
Mathieu Benoit
Drumwaiter
 
Posts: 4707
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 6:55 pm
Location: Saint John, New Brunswick

Next

Return to Sounds Good...

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron