Tips For Editing from your Home Recording Studio

Two Things to do that Makes ‘Editing’ Easier!

Many of you are using a home recording studio these days, especially in the US, UK and Canada.

In Australia, the trend for recording from home is not as strong as other countries, but I know it’ll grow in popularity as well.

There’s a lot of information out there about what kind of gear to get and how to set yourself up with a good quality studio, affordably.

I have a home recording studio. I use it mostly for training but I do the occasional professional job from there. I use an Avid system with Pro Tools 11, and a quality Australian microphone, a Rode NT1-A.

It’s one thing to have the right gear, but another to use it to record and edit your voice reads professionally and efficiently.

I’m sure of one thing though. The new world of voice work globally, means that more and more, especially in the non-broadcast areas, we’re responsible for the whole ‘box and dice’.

That is, we self-produce, edit, and often need to time our work before delivery.

When I’m recording a broadcast spot from home, I always deliver it edited, which includes the job being de-breathed and to time.

You need to charge a loading above the industry agreed fee for this work or simply include it in your quote.

There is no engineer and no studio cost. You are both! And you need to acknowledge that this work is above and beyond your fee for any broadcast or non-broadcast work.

Don’t undersell yourself and your expertise.

Technology allows us to access some great recording and editing programs, but if you’re new to engineering, recording and editing the job can be quite time consuming.

So, I want to share a couple of things I’ve learned (and applied) that can help your editing process become smoother and faster.

1 De-Breathing!

To make this process faster, I always work out first, where I’m going to breathe and mark that in some way on the script.

Then, when I need to take that breath, I actually stop, take in air, pause again and then move on with the script.

Recording in this way, makes it easier to see where the breath is and dead simple to remove it quickly.

2 Marking pick-ups ‘audibly’!

When you’re working through a script, it’s never necessary to get it right in one take.

When I’m recording at home, if I say the line and I’m not happy with it, or I make a mistake, I don’t go back to the top of the script, I pause, take in some air…and repeat the line.

However, before I repeat the line, so that I can see where the edit point is, I just pause and make a loud mouth click.  You could call it a ‘clucking’ sound.

It causes a spike in the wave-form which is easy to spot.  If I make a mistake again in the same spot, I give two clicks, mistake again, three clicks and so on…until I have the line or paragraph just right.

Then when it comes to editing, it’s just a matter of quickly seeing those spikes and highlighting those sections that are to be deleted, without having to listen for them.

So if home recording studios are going to become the way we record a lot of voiceover in the future then you need to make sure you’re efficient and across everything you need to make it well worth booting up the computer.  This is about being skilled and well informed on the whole process.

A little bit of extra help

I know there are times that we can talk with, and take direction from, our producer through our ISDN or Source Connect set-ups, but mostly, when we work at home, we’re sent a brief and the script and just expected to do a perfect job.  Simple!

However, know this!  It’s never that simple.

The fact is, there are many things you need to know about your script before you even begin to record it.

I love this insightful, practical and incredibly useful blog from my voice over colleague Paul Strikwerda.  I want to share with you, what Paul has so generously shared with us.  If you haven’t read it previously, have a look and take on his great advice.

And happy voiceovering!