Archives For editing


You finally scored a spot at a field recording nature workshop. All weekend you recorded tracks of wind, water, and wildlife in the mountains hours from home. Every morning you woke at 4 a.m. and captured hours of dawn chorus field recordings. You let the recorder run all night gathering the sounds of insects and night birds. Your audio recorder is brimming with tracks.

And now? What seemed like a good idea at the time now feels like punishment: you’re faced with mastering multiple sessions of eight-hour sound files. The amount of audio is overwhelming. It will take weeks to complete. Of course, you couldn’t have worked all day and also stayed up all night starting new takes. It’s understandable to just let a digital recorder run for hours. So, it made sense at the time.

But the problem remains: how do you even begin editing tracks that sprawl for hours? What’s the best way to master hour-long soundscapes into digestible tracks for your listeners?

Today’s post is designed to help. I’ll share solutions for solving this problem using a screenshots from editing an prolonged field recording example.

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Sky and Clouds

I’ve received some great reader emails lately. A few weeks ago someone asked about sound effects mastering. I enjoyed explaining what mastering means to me, and how I do it.

As I responded, I realized I often write things here and assume everyone knows what I’m talking about. One of these things is mastering. Well, today I’m going to take a step back and talk about sound fx mastering, starting with the basics.

Do you want to polish your sound effects? Planning on releasing them to the web? Completely new to mastering? Not sure what tools to use, or the steps to take?

I’ll explain the broad strokes of sound effects mastering. I’ll also share my own personal spin on cleaning field recordings and publishing them to the Web.

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