(Updated August 19, 2010)
We knew this would be a time-consuming task, but even so we underestimated by quite a lot. Part of the reason is that we’re new to this, and so we’re learning the techniques as we go. Part is that we want the end result to be as good as possible. But mostly, it just really does take a long time.
On July 24, I completed the first ‘clipping’ pass, where I took the four recorded microphone tracks and broke them out into tracks for each of the 28 separate characters. Lots of select-copy-paste action, as well as splicing together the best clips from multiple takes.
On August 19, I completed the cleaning pass, in which I removed odd little pops, breath noises, and background sounds. It’s amazing how many of these things you start to hear once your ear is trained. This proved to be extremely detailed and time consuming work…
|Act 1||Act 2||Act 3||Act 4|
|Original recorded length||48 minutes||50 minutes||57 minutes||41 minutes|
|Time spent on clipping pass||10 hours||10 hours||12 hours||12 hours|
|Time spent on cleaning pass||25 hours||24 hours||15 hours||10 hours|
|Length after clipping pass||42 minutes||44 minutes||47 minutes||37 minutes|
Yep, the total time editing so far is 118 hours!
A life saver in the cleaning pass was a new tool we added to our arsenal – Izotope RX. This is a pretty amazing piece of software, and well worth the modest price. It lets me remove pops that defy manual clipping and smoothing, restores the cases where a recording went too hot and got clipped, and makes it possible to remove certain kinds of background noises that would have been impossible to fix by hand.