Editing and Production

What is involved in music editing?

The first thing involved with music editing is that we start with the best possible recording in the first place, meaning we record digitally instead of analog, as explained [here]. [link to digital recording page]

What can we edit? Here’s a short list: notes, rhythms, chords, volume, pauses, pedaling, and on and on.

On the other hand, while we have this much control in editing, we also make sure that the recording is truly theirs, and certainly record many times for each piece until it is the best they can possibly do. We as teachers have no problem saying, “nope, do it again.” This makes students practice at home hard, and concentrate and focus hard while recording.

So while digital recording involves on mostly hardware, editing involves mostly software. The studio’s main software sequencer is called Digital Performer, made by MOTU (Mark of the Unicorn). This is a roughly $700 software suite used for editing and production of sound. This is no toy, far beyond the capabilities of GarageBand. (although we have that too, and help teach students how to use it if they have it at home)

The other main software suite we use is called SampleTank, made by IK Multimedia. This is a suite of sounds, a sample workstation, with 2 DVDs of samples, over 1,800 sounds that are completely customizable. The studio has customized the best possible piano sound included, and the results you can hear by the sound quality you hear in every student’s recordings on their own webpage on this site. You have to hear it to believe it. Mr. Nazzaro has sculpted the sounds with the 50 sound shaping parameters included in this workstation, and shaped them with 33 built-in effects, like reverb and delay, to make the sound incredibly realistic when students record on the digital Clavinova.

Using Digital Performer, SampleTank, and the digitally recorded acoustic tracks, we fine tune each student’s recordings into the best possible sounds. We control sound to the 1000th of a second!

What is involved in music production?

One of the best descriptions of music production is taking the sound that was recorded and producing the final product, and, in this case, music.

This is a very important step, for without it, you have no final product. It involves the knowledge of both the hardware recording aspect, as well as the editing and refining of audio. The audio producer has to have them work together, understand the technology’s settings, parameters, and capabilities, and put them together for the final “mix”. There are actually a number of terms for this job, including “sound engineer”, “mastering engineer”, and “audio designer”. Whatever you call the job, it certainly takes a lot of knowledge.