Editing Techniques and Decisions – “Blevisian editing”

Liveblogging of presentation by Mark Blevis

Using Cubase for sound editing.

Editing out words: He showed us how to cut out a few words. Make sure you leave the breath space in, so it sounds more natural. Most people leave the breath out.

Blended audio: All speakers wear lapel mics so there are two channels. They do not do a straight splice since there will be too much ambient noise. They have to blend/cross-fade the two. Angled lines represent fade outs/fade ins. The fade in occurs just before the fade out. He uses a cross-fade so you have two-thirds of a fade out while the full audio is on. You end up with four tracks of audio to edit. The more audio, the more difficult to edit.

Buried edit: splice mid-word or mid-sound to remove stuttering, etc.

Staggered edit: two audio tracks, has audio from one track start to interrupt the other track. One technique to edit out words.

Ninja: for 30 minutes of audio she does 4 hours of editing.

Cubase meant for multi-track recording for musicians; overkill for podcasting. It is about $800 newly purchased. Available for both Mac and PC. Also: Audacity, Garage Band. All work on same principle.

Breath will save you. If you cut out an entire line of speech. The breath gives you permission to change in dynamic. Leave those spaces. “Let your interviews breathe” (quote from Tod Maffin).

You can run an atmosphere track to fill in the gaps. Mark recommends something listenable, not looping of sound. E.g. he taped a coffee shop sound and thought they could use parts of the sound. Then they decided to record live in the cafe, so they asked them to turn down music but they turned it off. Instead he took Uncle Seth tunes and filtered them to sound like they were coming from across the room and mixed them in. Noise reduction can degrade the sound. Don’t use noisegates – when the ambient noise below a certain threshold, the recording stops – bad because when nobody is talking, it is dead silent.

Shotgun mics for interviews – don’t have to hold it up to someone so less conspicuous. Becomes more like a conversation. It is expensive. Entry level $330, $350. They are not as directional. But the better the microphone, the better the quality.

Usually records wav usually 16 bit wav, even 24 bit wav.

M Audio recorder can record directly to MP3 (and wav). How restricted are you for editing with MP3? Wav gives him more flexibility in editing with Cubase.

Tutorial: SX – SXEd (pronounced sex ed)

Wav versus AIFF – he doesn’t know a lot about AIFF.

Using Levelator – has not yet tried it. He would like to try it on something he has already produced. It is a tool by Gigavox.com . Export your audio file into wav format, and drag into the application. It goes through your audio file and finds areas that need boosting, compressing – it uses an algorithm to bring levels up and back down so it is not as shocking to the audience. It sometimes brings background noise up so it does not sound like it is in the background.

Adobe Audition 2.0 – can remove the sound of a phone ringing in the background, for example.

He does not use a lot of compression – he uses limiting because he does not want to expand the noise floor. He runs it through a maximizer to bring up the frequency.

At home for Skype calls he uses a PC with a Delta 1010 card. He mutes the monitor mix so it doesn’t play out (mutes the monitor output), then uses Skype as a line in, brings it as a line in. [This got a bit technical so hopefully Mark will blog about this for us!!]