Recording - March 2017 - 8

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Cleaning up around edits

Compliments and suggestions

Greetings Bruce Kaphan! I recently read your articles on
preparing your mix (September through November 2016)...
thanks for the info!
I have a question: does one need to create "in and out fades"
for every instance on a given track (guitar, vocal, etc.) where
there is a punch in or punch out, even if there are no audible
clicks or pops? My DAW is Cakewalk SONAR, which works
well for me. Thanks for your time from a longtime reader,
Adam Town
Zachary, LA
Bruce Kaphan replies:
Hi Adam: Thanks for writing, and for being a longtime
Recording reader!
Arguably, one need not create fades or crossfades for
every edit on a track, yet to be safe and certain I always
do. Perhaps it's because I've been working in digital audio
since the 1990s, when some systems exhibited less than
repeatable behavior. Back then, I experienced clicks/pops
intermittently coming from the edges of seemingly inactive
audio regions. Seriously-I could play back the same
passage a dozen times, and it might click only once. But
that was one too many times!
As a result, whenever I see the beginning or end of an audio
region, I make sure to feather it. As technology has evolved, I
often wonder if my paranoia about clicks/pops is vestigial...
but it takes so little effort (e.g. batch fades) to protect against
the possibility, however small, of clicks/pops, that for me it's
just become low-cost insurance and a well-ingrained habit.
As technology has democratized recording, I frequently
find myself mixing tracks engineered by folks who haven't
been engineering for very long. As I indicated in the
"Prepare Your Mix" article, one of the first things I do is to
examine edits, and often this results in my completely eliminating
all the fades and crossfades that are there and starting over,
due to sudden shifts in noise floor, jagged breaths, and other
mangled bits.
In conversations with relatively inexperienced engineers,
one reliable question I'm asked is, "what are all the different
crossfade shapes for?" Especially in an important and prominent
track like a lead vocal, at times even the smallest differential
in background noise due to the wrong crossfade shape can
distract the listener's ear. Compared to that, clicks or pops are
a non-starter!
Bigger faux pas notwithstanding, if a cranky DAW happens
to spit out a pop when you're not paying attention, do you
really want to have to deal with it after the project has been
mastered and is in distribution? I know I don't! Best-BK

Dear editor: I would like to compliment your magazine. Several of your series, such as First Steps and Specs: Removing
The Mystery, have been outstanding. I consider myself to be
a fairly knowledgeable engineer-I have been recording most
of my life, first as a hobby and, for about the last decade, as a
small recording studio owner. Yet I still find two or three tidbits
in each article that either I did not know or that improved my
understanding of a particular concept.
I subscribe to several recording-oriented magazines. However,
most of the rest seem to concentrate on reviews to the exclusion
of all else, or interviews of artists (often interesting, but usually of
little help to the engineer to improve his/her skills). Recording, on
the other hand, provides really helpful information.
One thing I would like to see is a series on advanced
techniques for engineers. For example, a discussion on how
some of the special effects in some of today's hit songs were
achieved. Although it is not always obvious as to how a
particular effect was achieved, an interview with the engineer
or that used a particular effect could be helpful.
For another example, I have never seen an article with a detailed
step-by-step instruction of how you would implement parallel
compression in a DAW such as Pro Tools. I have never been
particularly excited about the results I obtain, so there is
probably a better way to go about it than what I do. I am
sure there are other techniques that would benefit from a
step-by-step approach. Again, keep up the good work.
Larry Seiler
lossenderosstudio.com
Dear Larry: Thanks very much for the kind words. We work
hard to stay relevant in a changing world, and it's good to
know that we're reaching folks with information they can use.
Your suggestion is a very interesting one, and as I flesh out the
editorial calendar for 2017 and beyond, I will definitely keep
it in mind; I can tell you that Paul Stamler and others already
have some interesting advanced articles in the works.-MM

Correction
Sharp-eyed readers Michael Parson McNamara and Kelley
Kenison caught the same error in my "Rough Guide To Microphones" (October 2016): while the beyerdynamic M160 is in
fact a hypercardioid ribbon, the M130 is a traditional figure-8.
Kelley goes on to write: "I own these mics and have had lovely
results recording my baby grand, and other sources, in Mid/
Side. I'm probably not the first to point it out, but just in case!
You guys very rarely get anything wrong." Thanks for the vote of
confidence, Kelley, and sorry for the error.-MM

Write to us at: Talkback, Recording Magazine, 5408 Idylwild Trail, Boulder, CO 80301
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8

RECORDING MARCH 2017


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - March 2017

Contents
Recording - March 2017 - Intro
Recording - March 2017 - Cover1
Recording - March 2017 - Cover2
Recording - March 2017 - 1
Recording - March 2017 - 2
Recording - March 2017 - 3
Recording - March 2017 - 4
Recording - March 2017 - 5
Recording - March 2017 - Contents
Recording - March 2017 - 7
Recording - March 2017 - 8
Recording - March 2017 - 9
Recording - March 2017 - 10
Recording - March 2017 - 11
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Recording - March 2017 - Cover3
Recording - March 2017 - Cover4
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