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FAQ - Editing

1.  What is Digital Audio Editing for Music?  Editing is a series of pre-Mixing activities to make sure everything is ready for Mixing.  These include Eliminating Distortion, Noises, Clicks, & Pops, ensuring Track Timing is aligned with the beat, Tightening Releases, and Vocal Tuning.  Another activity sometimes associated with editing is Comping, or rating and selection of the best takes and compiling them to make a single great track, especially with Vocals.

2.  Why do my tracks need Editing?  In order for your tracks to sound their very best, there are a few things that need to be done prior to mixing.  You can either do these things yourself, or pay someone (like me) to do them for you.  For example, you need to send your mixer only the tracks you want to be mixed – these means making decisions on the multiple takes you may have done and compiling (“comping”) them into the single best track you want to be mixed. Comping a final take is not part of the mixing process, but is considered an editing task. I can help you comp your takes if you need help with these decisions.  Also, many tracks need some “clean-up” which means removing unwanted noises between the pieces of the performance, unwanted breaths where the vocalist is getting air (unless it’s for emotion), other sounds from the recording studio area, clicking, popping, etc. These little unwanted sounds can show up in the master when it’s compressed and made louder for commercial release, so we need to take them out up front.  Other editing tasks include pitch correction (getting your vocals or instruments more on key); time correction (tightening up various instruments (especially the kick, snare, and bass) to keep them more in the pocket of the song’s tempo; ensuring your tracks are free of effects or other processing, unless it’s a desired part of the performance (such as a lead guitar effect).  Ideally, you would want to send the both the processed file and the clean file without the effect, in case it’s not working as intended.

3.  How do I prepare my recordings for Editing?  Decide which tracks you want to have edited, name them clearly so I know what instrument or part it relates to, bypass any effects or processing plug-ins you may have on the track, make sure the track volume is not “in the red” or causing distortion, and then render or bounce down the tracks to clean, 24-bit WAV files to send me for work.  The files can be mono or stereo, as you prefer.

4.  How do I send my music for Editing?  One of two ways:  First (and preferred), if you’re hiring me through Soundbetter.com, you’ll sign in to their site (using Facebook or your email to start your account) and we’ll have a Workroom area there where you can upload your tracks; or alternatively if you’re hiring me through using the Job Request Form on the “Get Started” page of this website, once I receive your Job Request, send you a quote, and receive your payment, then I’ll send you a MediaFire.com link where you can upload your tracks to me.

5.  How long will it take for Editing?  I usually quote one to three workdays Turnaround Time on Editing tracks as it depends on the scope of the work.  Vocal Comping takes the longest as I want to make sure to get the very best final takes from however many you send me, so that can take up to two workdays per final track.

6.  What Editing products will I get back from you? If you’ve hired me just for Editing, I will send you preview files for your review and approval, then once you’ve accepted them (with any revisions), you’ll get clean 24-bit WAV files of your edited tracks after you’ve paid.  If you’ve also hired me to do the mixing and/or mastering (package deal), then I’ll just go ahead and incorporate them into those products for you.

7.  How will I get my final tracks? It’s pretty much the reverse process of uploading – back to you through the Workroom on Soundbetter.com, or I’ll send you a MediaFire.com link if we’re working direct.