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Author Topic: Show recorded - next steps please  (Read 2121 times)

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Offline NewTaper

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Show recorded - next steps please
« on: January 18, 2015, 09:57:34 AM »
I have recorded a few shows and almost always listen to them as they are but now I want to look into putting a little shine on them. I have Adobe Audition 3.0 and I would like to know what some of the basic steps are once you import it.
Normalize then EQ?
Key words I have seen but do not know when to apply are: linear phase, Dither, izotope mbit, DC offset.
I guess I just want to know what are the most important things to check for once I bring it into Adobe before I play with EQ.

Thank You - NT

Offline boltman

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stevetoney

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Re: Show recorded - next steps please
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2015, 12:07:59 PM »
I can offer a couple of tips to help simplify your life.  First, don't over complicate the task.  Audition is a really powerful tool with tons of features, but 90% of its power you'll probably never use.  The other thing to remember is garbage in garbage out.  You can't save a piece of shit recording with software, no matter how hard you try.  Finally, YOU are the one you're doing this for so do what you think you need to do.  Some people think it's sacrelidge to futz with a recording...if you're in the boat cool.  Otherwise, let your own ears be your guide.

With that, here's the basic steps I use...some people say the order matters...I'm sure it probably does, but I really don't care.  My ears can never tell a difference what order I use.

- Apply EQ to taste.  I rarely get a recording that's lacking in something.  I try to focus generally on lows and highs.  Lots of my recordings sound better if I apply a small bump in the upper middle frequencies...I like the additional presence it adds.

- I then 'normalize' but I usually don't use the normalize function in Audition because that takes the entire recording and normalizes to the peak value (although you can highlight a section and use the normalize tool on just that section)...lots of sections might need additional tweaking from there.  So I usually amplify the gain and eyeball the levels so they peak near 0db and I'll do this in sections or songs because the FOH guy rarely leaves the master level knob untouched throughout the show.  Some people don't like doing this because they're afraid you'll be able to hear the step volume changes from one normalized section to the next in case two consecutive sections might be different by a couple of db, but I make sure and make my break points at logic steps in the music...either silence between songs or in volume transitions where one wouldn't notice the change.

Note that oftentimes I have to normalize both channels separately if I wasn't able to match my levels exactly during the show.  No big deal to do in post.

That's pretty much all I do to 98% or more of my recordings.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2015, 12:13:07 PM by tonedeaf »

Offline NewTaper

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Re: Show recorded - next steps please
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2015, 12:39:51 PM »
I can offer a couple of tips to help simplify your life.  First, don't over complicate the task.  Audition is a really powerful tool with tons of features, but 90% of its power you'll probably never use.  The other thing to remember is garbage in garbage out.  You can't save a piece of shit recording with software, no matter how hard you try.  Finally, YOU are the one you're doing this for so do what you think you need to do.  Some people think it's sacrelidge to futz with a recording...if you're in the boat cool.  Otherwise, let your own ears be your guide.

With that, here's the basic steps I use...some people say the order matters...I'm sure it probably does, but I really don't care.  My ears can never tell a difference what order I use.

- Apply EQ to taste.  I rarely get a recording that's lacking in something.  I try to focus generally on lows and highs.  Lots of my recordings sound better if I apply a small bump in the upper middle frequencies...I like the additional presence it adds.

- I then 'normalize' but I usually don't use the normalize function in Audition because that takes the entire recording and normalizes to the peak value (although you can highlight a section and use the normalize tool on just that section)...lots of sections might need additional tweaking from there.  So I usually amplify the gain and eyeball the levels so they peak near 0db and I'll do this in sections or songs because the FOH guy rarely leaves the master level knob untouched throughout the show.  Some people don't like doing this because they're afraid you'll be able to hear the step volume changes from one normalized section to the next in case two consecutive sections might be different by a couple of db, but I make sure and make my break points at logic steps in the music...either silence between songs or in volume transitions where one wouldn't notice the change.

Note that oftentimes I have to normalize both channels separately if I wasn't able to match my levels exactly during the show.  No big deal to do in post.

That's pretty much all I do to 98% or more of my recordings.

Great advice and what I am looking for in general as I know my recording need the treble boost and the bass up/down almost always.
I never thought of a few songs at a time if warranted and that helps.

NT

Offline ilduclo

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Re: Show recorded - next steps please
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2015, 01:14:32 PM »
save your original unedited files FIRST!

stevetoney

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Re: Show recorded - next steps please
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2015, 01:34:40 PM »
I mistyped above...I rare get a show that's NOT lacking...

Alot of people say that you should ever EQ more than a couple of db.  While that's generally good advice, again you gotta let your ears decide.  I've EQed over 12db of low end before.  Sometimes that just makes the low end that isn't there in the first place louder and muddier, but sometimes it really helps.

It's always a good idea to come back a day later and listen again.  I've done some tweaking and come back the next day and hated what I did.  I've done it enough now though that I really know what I like so my success rate the first time around is alot higher than it was at first.

An example of the above is that it's never a good idea to master a recording right after a show, if you're gonna do alot of tweaking, if the show was a loud amplified show.  Your hearing needs to adjust back.

Offline opsopcopolis

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Re: Show recorded - next steps please
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2015, 03:51:57 PM »
My main advice is be careful with EQ. When you're first getting used to using it, it is wayyyyy easier to do damage with EQ than you would imagine.
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Offline NewTaper

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Re: Show recorded - next steps please
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2015, 04:41:03 PM »
save your original unedited files FIRST!

Always!
They go on their own hard drive first in raw format then I play with them on the computer.

Offline NewTaper

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Re: Show recorded - next steps please
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2015, 04:43:33 PM »
My main advice is be careful with EQ. When you're first getting used to using it, it is wayyyyy easier to do damage with EQ than you would imagine.
Yes, I have learned that I am to heavy handed with the highs.
Good advice I read earlier was to wait a few days after the show then play with it.

NT


Offline Fatah Ruark (aka MIKE B)

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Re: Show recorded - next steps please
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2015, 06:11:19 PM »
save your original unedited files FIRST!

You can NEVER have too many backups of your files.

When I'm done with everything I have the following versions of each recording.

1. Original unedited version.
2. Complete edited version (This will be the file you have after you apply any filters, etc that is ready for tracking).
3. Tracked out 24 bit copy
4. Tracked out 16 bit copy (this is the copy I usually share)
5. Tracked out MP3 copy (I used this for playback in my car).

On top of that I keep duplicate hard drives on site with all of those files on them as well as an off site copy. This will require 3 identical hard drives.

Seems like a lot, and it does take up a lot of space, but hard drives are cheap. I've lost shows in the past because I didn't backup correctly. Don't let it happen to you, because it's not a matter of if, but when one of those drives dies.

The reason I keep so many versions is sometimes you'll have a hard drive that will start to fail and corrupt some files...then you make your backup and the backup becomes corrupted. Doubtful that all 5 copies will have trouble.

In regards to EQing...I highly suggest you "sleep on it" after you think you've gotten everything dialed. Frequently I edit the show and after a long time of messing with things I think I have it dialed, but your ears get tired...so take some time off from listening and go back to it the next day. Sometimes you'll find that you need to maybe EQ less (that is usually the case for me). If you save your work in Audacity (don't close it) you can usually undo some steps (I'm not familiar with Audacity so I don't know how many steps you can undo).

GOOD LUCK! Welcome to the taping world...plan on spending more money. :)

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Offline yltfan

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Re: Show recorded - next steps please
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2015, 01:12:24 AM »
I agree with all of the advice here, but let me add one more suggestion: play it back on different systems before you finalize, especially if your computer speakers are not great. I like to listen on the main stereo AND in the car (as well as the computer monitors and headphones) before being sure I'm done.
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Offline bombdiggity

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Re: Show recorded - next steps please
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2015, 02:33:09 PM »
I agree with all of the advice here, but let me add one more suggestion: play it back on different systems before you finalize, especially if your computer speakers are not great. I like to listen on the main stereo AND in the car (as well as the computer monitors and headphones) before being sure I'm done.

+1.  Never assume anyone else hears the same thing you do on a single playback system. 
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