Editing, editing, always editing. Any audition, any job, any…well audio really. Quite often, we don’t send audio out (whether it be an audition or job) without doing some audio editing. It really depends on the job and the situation, but we are always working in an environment. Our environment can change our mood level of productivity. This is sometimes why working in a closet for your full-time job can be crazy-making.
When I built my studio, I kept my personal aesthetic tastes in mind, and designed a space that would not only be effective for my workflow, but would also invite me to work in it and facilitate creativity. This is also true of the software environment in which you work everyday.
I am a Mac guy. I have been for a long time, and I really love how Mac’s work. I also love how they look. This is part of creating an environment of creativity for me. Can you be creative on a PC? Absolutely! It is all a personal choice. But…let’s not go down that road. On topic!!
Today, I want to talk about the different audio editing environments that we can edit in. With the typical DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) software package, you can get two basic environments (depending on the particular software): multitrack, and single-track. Both of them have their strengths and weaknesses. I’m going to quickly unpack why I prefer to use a single-track environment for most of my VO recording and editing.
Note: This is in NO WAY going to get into every detail, and is in no way an exhaustive review of editor functionality. I’m talking about workflow for voice over here…that’s it!
In the typical multitrack audio editing environment, you have a list of tracks….typically multiple…tracks. This list of tracks typically has a full suite of controls (which are great for producing music or doing full production for voice over) that you will probably never use when recording voice overs. To record in multitrack environment, you click the “record enable” button on the track you want to record on, and you press record. The DAW then records a “region” to the track or tracks that are record enabled. Every time you record again, you add another region. To edit, you manipulate the regions, and they stay separated unless you combine them. This, for my brain, is not the most effective way to work.
Single Track Editing
Many DAWs have the ability to work in a single track environment. For me, Adobe Audition does this best. In a single track environment, you don’t have multiple tracks (duh) and therefore, don’t have to enable a single track to record…because there is only one track. All you have to do is simply hit record in order to record. This removes one step from your workflow, and gives you one less thing to think about.
Within many single track audio editing environments, you have one region. Every time you record, it simply adds to the region you are working in. One file, one region, one track, not confusing! That also means that editing is that much easier. Got a section you want to remove? Just highlight it and hit delete. Gone. And the region sucks together as if it never existed. Now, I know there are ways to get close to this workflow in multitrack environments but it is not as clean and streamlined. Want to copy a section, or move a section? Highlight it and hit copy (or cut to move it) move the playhead to where you want the audio to end up, and hit paste. Done. No moving regions around, fading between them, or trying to line things up.
Voice over recording and editing is typically done in a single mono track. I have found it personally beneficial to keep my environment as clutter free as possible. THIS is why I prefer to work in the single track environment, and prefer to use Adobe Audition for editing. Simple and clean makes me feel calm, while busy and complicated stresses me out, when I get stressed out I slow down, when I slow down I make less money, when I make less money my kids don’t eat well, when my kids don’t eat well they get sick, when my kids get sick I get sick, when I get sick I can’t record voice over. I don’t like being unable to work…so I make things simple and clean.
Thanks for reading!