II. The Edit // JAN 18th

I hope you had an intensive first week of recording behind you, collecting different versions and takes of your very own playing in the workspace of our DAW!

After this live stream, you should be able to edit your recordings, thus creating a master take that inhabits the very best parts from all of your takes ✂!

Please use this thread if you have any questions concerning the workbook or general questions concerning The Edit!


Click here to access Session 2: The Edit // Jan 18th (Live!)

Find the other sessions here: Part 1 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5



Download the second workbook here


I will post the answers to the questionnaire on Jan 24th! 

After the live stream, submit your assignments by replying to this thread!


Answers to this week's questionnaire:

 

1. Why do we group tracks?

We group tracks for two main reasons:

  • When we record several tracks in mono to achieve a stereo sound  (using one mic source per channel), we need to be able to quickly apply all the main editing techniques two both of the stereo channels at the same time. This will save in the editing process.
  • Left and Right channel need to stay in their correct phase correlation. When L and R get "out of phase" several problems will occur: First, the track will sound weirdly shifted, as sound is coming into your ear from one side and out of your ear from the other side. Second, when summing in mono, your sound will become thin as due tue the phase shift frequencies might cancel each other out, resulting in a thin timbre.

2. Why should you make an edit plan?

We make an edit plan with our score to ensure maximum efficiency during editing, making the execution of the edit just a technical task. When you need to listen back to your whole take, deciding which measure to take from which recording, you are slowing down your editing process and will do edits simply because you can, not because you want to.

 

3. If you delete an item from your DAW, what happens to it?

Nothing, as the items in the DAW are just references to files on your hard drive. There is only one exception: Right after you stopped recording a take, Reaper will ask you whether to keep this recording or not. This is the only place where you can permanently delete a track from your hard drive.


Here is a link for a step by step instruction of how to implement 4-Point-Editing into Reaper, a workflow commonly used for classical music production but usually only to be found in dedicated DAWs like Sequoia or Pyramix.

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  • Hi Martin, the first recording with an Oktava MK 012-01 at 30 centimeters from the bridge, with the AKG p120 at one meter will be the 12 fret.

    The second recording with the Zoom H4n at 40 centimeters from the hole.
    What parameters to improve them EQ and Reverb

  • Hi Martin and colleagues.

    Mi first record

    Two mics AKG P170, interface Focusrite Scarlett 18i8. The mics are positioned like ORTF and 1 m from the guitar, 18 cm apart each capsule.

    There is no EQ, reverb, etc

    My home-studio has no acoustic treatment yet.

    Forgive me my mistakes...

    João

      • martinTeam
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      • martin.3
      • 3 yrs ago
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      Joao Franco Hi Joao, what a wonderful piece, thank you for sharing your interpretation with us!

       

      Your recordings seems to be a little bit off-centered, which can be fixed by simply reducing the volume of the corresponding track. For your recording I would probably adjust the levels a little bit more to the left side, bringing everything closer to the center.

      Furthermore, there is quite a substantial noise in your recording. Not knowing the S/N-Ratio of your mics, I guess that you applied quite a lot of gain to your input channels since your recording is kind of "hot" (with your peaks landing around -4db).

       

      Preamps tend to work best if you gain them at around 2/3 of their maximum gain. If you gain them to hot, there is a lot of noise introduced into the recording (the red background grain is what we consider to be hot noise levels. By the way, the vertical red line on top of the image can be a neon light or a power adapter. I am actually not sure if I can still hear until 16khz, humans tend to lose 1khz of hearing range per decade).

       

      Here's a spectral comparison to a recording with less noise:

       

       

      So I'd recommend to gain your inputs a little bit lower so that your preamp doesn't have to do all the heavy lifting! Try to land with your peaks at aroun -10db, the rest can be done in post processing :)

      Like 2
    • martin 

      Thank you for your in depth analysis of my record (and the colleagues in this course). I'm going to apply your advices in my next record. Which plugin do you use for spectral analysis?

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      • martin.3
      • 3 yrs ago
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      Joao Franco I personally use Izotope RX 7 for my spectral analysis (and especially spectral reparing and renovating, forensics, all kinds of stuff). However, there is a spectrograph built inside of Reapler, simply open the FX window and type in "Spectrograph", then you can add this to your master channel and view your playback in a spectrograph. 

      You can also view your items already in spectral view by selecting "View -> Peak Display Settings" and then selecting "spectrogaph".

      Like 1
  • Hi  Martin  !

    Here's my take on the session A of Se Ela Perguntar. 

    I used a borrowed Zoom H5 with it about shoulder level, a bit to the right, pointing to the bridge. The x-y capsules are about 85 cm from the bridge. 

    The gain is set to 8 out of 10.

    I think it's a bit noisy, with a hiss at the more quiet parts. I tried to google a bit on how to fix it and ended up trying a FIR filter that I think helped (I'm not putting it here, here's the untouched version).

    What do you think of it? 

    Thank you very much for you feedback! Looking forward to the next classes!

    P.S.: Ignore the bad playing! :)

    []'s

    Walter

    • Sorry for the extra spacing between lines. I didn't find a way to edit it. ;/

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      • MirceaTeam
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      • Mircea
      • 3 yrs ago
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      Walter I got you! I edited the post for you. Forumbee, the forum software we use here on tonebase has its... particularities, and one of them is that it creates really wide paragraph separation from a single "enter" character.

      So basically, here is the difference:


      Some text, going to press "enter" once now

      New paragraph text


      ---- Compare with: ----


      Some test, going to press "enter" twice now

       

      New paragraph that looks unnecessarily far away.


      Sorry about this! Just wanted to clarify in case you were wondering 😉

      Like 1
    • Mircea thanks! :)

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      • martin.3
      • 3 yrs ago
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      Walter You did a wonderful job with that recording. It is true that the Zoom preamps tend to be a bit noisy, especially in the upper range, so I would recommend trying to set the rec levels a little bit lower.

      This means that we need to get closer to the sound source, 85cm isn't too close, yet! The scientific rule is that you will gain 6db when you reduce the distance by half. And keep in mind: 6db is a lot since decibel is a logarithmic scale, so you are actually gaining double the volume by halving the distance! In your recording, I could hear quite a lot of a small room reverb, so getting closer to the source will benefit the sound of your recording AND make things easier when we are going to apply artificial reverb in the next lesson (as mixing two differen reverbs usually sounds a little bit off).

      Concerning noise reduction: I have never used the FIR-plugin for that (I use a plugin suite called Izotope RX for all my audio forensics), here's a useful video on that topic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31phzT7pxkk


       Looking at the noise profile of your recording, a de-noiser can certainly improve the quality of your recording. But denoising and other forensic audio work is usually the very last step in my post processing. Usually I try everything in order to avoid that, since this kind of work is one the most intrusive processes you can do to audio! But sometimes it really does magic things 🧙‍♂️

      Btw., at the end of every commercial recording, I record around 10-20mins of silence (Mircea   remember that cold november night outside of the church?) in order to obtain a prefect noise profile of the room ambiance, so that I have enough material to work with.

      Like 1
    • martin Hi!

      Coincidently, I'm fighting with the edits now! :) 

      I'll try to record again at about 50/60cm and reduce the gain a bit to see if it sounds better. 

      Do you record 10-20 MINUTES?? I thought that maybe 10-15 seconds would be enough for that noise profile. I attached the noise profile that I got from Reaper.

      About the: "I could hear quite a lot of a small room reverb". That's another issue: I know the theory, but I can't hear it (yet). :) 

       

      Thank you for the feedback.

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      • martin.3
      • 3 yrs ago
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      Walter Awesome, I look forward to that! With these actions you are optimizing the "Signal-to-Noise-Ratio" (S/N-Ratio). You can find this ratio also on data sheets of microphones, indicating the noise level of any given microphone.

       

      It's recommended to record a couple of minutes in order to have the de-noiser plugin of Izotope perform at its best level, but I like take the time at the end of a recording to have a drink outside of the location with the musician congratulating ourselves for a successful recording 🍻

       

      Oh, I just checked, newest edition of Izotope only needs a few seconds, that's odd. Gotta dring faster then!

      Like 1
  • Thanks for the ready-made audio files. I am a novice.. so when you say 'simply drag and drop them onto your Reaper timeline' I have no idea what that means! Could you explain in simple terms, or maybe demonstrate that process in tomorrow's session? 

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      • martin.3
      • 3 yrs ago
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      Nicola Williams hi Nicola, I will demonstrate drag&dropping the files today, but there are multiple ways to do that! 

      You can go to "„Insert -> Insert Media Item” in order to import the wav files I've prepared.

      When a window pops up, select "import on single track", this will sequence the files one after another!

      Like 1
    • martin I have clicked insert, then insert media file, then chosen your WAV file, clicked open, it appears in Reaper. Hooray! But alas, no window pops up asking me to select 'import on single track'. When I repeat the process with the next file, this seems to delete the first one, so I only end up with one file. I am using a Mac.

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      • martin.3
      • 3 yrs ago
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      Nicola Williams I will adress that in the workshop today! You need to select either all of them at once during import or move your playhead further down the timeline, as the files will always be imported where your playhead is!

      Like 1
    • Second that.

      martin And I didn’t get how to prepare and synchronize the original tracks. You showed it once very fast. Also, I’m confused now: do we start from 1 track with the different takes one after the other - or with the synchronized tracks grouped as explained in the workbook. Sorry for lack of basic knowledge... not giving up . 

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      • martin.3
      • 3 yrs ago
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      joosje Okay, let's do this! 💪

      1) Open Reaper

      2) Select "Inser -> Media File". This will open your explorer

      3) search the files you want to import

      4) select all of the files by ctrl+ right click on each of the files and confirm your selection by clicking "open" (or something like that, my explorer is in German)

      5) A window opens asking: " Insert multiple media items on seperate tracks, or sequentially on a single track?". Select "single track". 

      6) all the audio files are now a single track

      7) Right click on the Track header and select "duplicate track". This will duplicate the track with all of its contet

       8) select all the times on the first track by double clicking on the track header.

      9) right click on one of the times and select "Item settings-> Take channel mode: Mono(left)"

       10) Pan the first track to the left

       

      11) Repeat step 8-10 for the second track and select "Take channel mode Mono (right)" and pan the track to the right.

       

      Now you split the stereo channel into two mono channels. Next we will tackle take grouping 💪

       

      1) select the first item on the first track and select the first item on the second track while holding down the ctrl-key. This will select both items

      2) Hit "G", this will group the two items together, indicated by a green chain symbol on the upper left corner of the track.

      3) Right click on the chain symbol in the tool bar and select "selecting one item in a group selects group"

       

      Let me know if that step by step manual helped! But keep in mind that you can also simply work with the stereo files, you don't need to split them into two mono files. I just did that so the files look like I would have recorded them on my own on two separate tracks! Having those files as stereo wav files in your DAW is a completely fine option for post processing!

      I just like to have everything on its own track if I need to perform processing on one individual channel. But that rarely happens in a stereo recording!

      Like 1
    • martin   Thanks 1-9 perfectly clear, but

      10) Pan the first track to the left....what does that mean?

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      • martin.3
      • 3 yrs ago
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      joosje you are turning this round knob in the mixer to the left, this will playback all items on the track only from the left speaker!

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    • I have now the 4 takes double, and grouped 1 by 1. if I have done this correctly,  I still don’t know how to find the exact corresponding times in the three other takes, to replace fragments fro m 1 with 3 etc. I am not so much concerned now about mono or stereo, but just the copy and paste in the right places 

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      • martin.3
      • 3 yrs ago
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      joosje This is probably the most annoying part in editing, scrolling through endless ups and downs of waveforms! You always have to listen the position where you want to do a cut.

      There is increeeedibly expensive out there that can visually time stretch to make them look the same, then you can stack them over each other and do a very quick edit. But for me, it still didn't work accurate enough, so I find myself scrolling again. This is why take organization is very important, so you immediately know where to look for your piece of music!

      There are several gimmicks in Reaper that can speed up the process though: Go to "View-> Peaks Display Settings" and select "Spectral Peaks".

       

       

      This will color your waveform depending on the frequency, which is very helpful to find similiar pieces of music in a waveform! (By definition, a waveform only displays time and amplitude, for it to display a frequency spectrum, you would need to do a Fourier Transform, but then you cannot see the length of a sound. So Spectral Peaks is the best of both worlds!)

       

       

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    • Igornull
    • Igor.2
    • 3 yrs ago
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    Hi, Martin.

     

    So far, so good. I´ve recorded my piece (4 times) and there´s not one good take, so I´ll be watching your lesson tomorrow (I´m still at work at 8 pm) and learn how to edit my pieces. At this point I have a pair of questions for you:

    1- I´m recording with a Zoom H6 (I told you H4 last time, but I was mistaken). Do I have to set it at 48.000Hz to match Reaper? I´ve done so, but wanted to make sure.

    2- My headphones are MarsGaming (perhaps not very suitable for music) and, in the other hand, I´ve a quite good apmplifier and very good baffles. What sholud I use to listen for the "final product"?

    THANK YOU!!

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      • martin.3
      • 3 yrs ago
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      Igor Yes, have the Zoom H4 set at the same sample rate as Reaper. Some interfaces are capable of changing the sample depending on what a software requests, and some are not! 

      I would listen back on all of your devices for a final product as probably none of us (me neither) has perfectly neutral listening conditions (I have been in a perfectly neutral room once, it felt a little bit like the Rick&Morty episode where Morty experienced "true level"). The hardest test for your audio is to listen back to it in a car. If it sounds good in there, it probably sounds good everywhere!

      Like 1
    • Davidnull
    • David.5
    • 3 yrs ago
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    Hi Martin - here is a test recording I did - 2 AKG XLII panned like you said - any excess noise is my dog chewing on something or traffic

    :)

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