It’s time to clean up the edges of the dialogue; remove paper turning, nose whistling (I’m pointing no fingers), and a few of the little gaffs that are bound to happen. It’s meticulous work, but the process of pulling apart the sound wave like it’s salt water taffy is really cool to see. Cubase, the software, zooms in on the sound wave, allowing for precise tinkering. Instead of hacking away at a whole word, you can zoom in on the exact place where the actor popped his P’s (again, man, not judging).
It starts with the compressed sound wave. One inch contains a lot of information. Every change in pitch and timbre is expressed in a line that rises and dips as it follows our voices.
It looks like something from a movie: Evil’s voice recorded by the savvy computer genius in the lab. An Evil voice that has the tendency to pop his P’s, spiking the meter every time he says “Petroleum”. Check out the sound wave on the right; the section where the wave spikes…
But to eliminate the spike and not take out the whole letter P, Cubase needs to zoom in closer and closer until there is just the sound wave for the word Petroleum, then the syllable Pet, and then the letter P.
Notice Cubase has reduced the sound wave into a line where a section can be removed and the ends fused back together to reconnect the wave. It’s like grafting a plant, or pinching play dough together to make a really long snake that stretches from one end of the table to the other. Kind of. Without all the rolling.
Then the only thing left to do is do it again. And again. And again. Did I write meticulous? I meant tedious. In the nicest possible way. Woe, to suffer for art.