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The role of music in audio post-production can play a very important role in film, almost as much as acting in front of the camera or shooting scenes. It allows the viewer to feel emotions that images and words alone may not always achieve. Furthermore, through post-production, voice and sounds can be modified by modulating them, making them louder or softer, giving them a specific effect to create sensations for the viewer (for example, being underwater, hearing the sound of a room while the camera is focused on another, etc.). All professional recording software offers audio editing functions. What does editing do? Audio editing is a tool that allows audio to be manipulated in many ways. Some may wonder, what is the use of editing audio? One of the common scenarios in post-production is when the execution of several instruments is off time. Since many people starting to record do not have professional session musicians, sometimes musicians who do not do session work are not used to playing with a metronome, so their performances may be off time. This is where the editing process comes in. Editing allows you to cut, move, paste, etc. audio tracks so that they are in time with the other instruments, so that in the end, everything sounds sonically professional. Another advantage offered by editing is:

  • Remove undesirable sounds or silent spaces in a recording, as well as isolate short sections of audio for corrective or creative processes.
  • Create rhythmic loops from a small audio section.
  • Use the same audio section more than once in the same project, perhaps to change the arrangement.
  • Adjust the duration of a sound to fit in a specific space.
  • Change the structure of the song after it was recorded, for example, remove a verse, shorten the introduction, duplicate the chorus, etc.
  • Compile the best parts of different performances of the same material.
  • Create interesting or unusual creative effects.
  • Although this process can be a bit tiresome and tedious at times, it is very important to dedicate the necessary time to it; if not considered, the final product may sound very amateurish.

Audio Mixing

Once you have edited the tracks and have the final performance sounding like a song, you then move on to the mixing process. What is mixing? Audio mixing has an entire profession behind it. These audio engineers are called mix engineers. They are responsible for creating a balanced and unified song that will be subsequently handed over to a mastering engineer. (I will go into detail in the next point.) The mixing process is the combination of audio tracks and adjusting them in the stereo field position, while controlling the frequency content and dynamics of the sound through equalization and compression. It also includes the application of creative effects such as Reverb, Delays, etc., which provide the audience with a better and more enjoyable experience when listening to music. The fact that there is an entire career behind mixing music does not mean that only people who study it can do it. Most audio engineers know how to record and mix music. The only difference that a dedicated mixing engineer brings is: a pair of fresh ears and their creative talent. It is important to note that some people are more creative than others, so these engineers provide a new experience to your song. Nevertheless, it is very important to know how to mix audio, because if you send a session to a mixing engineer that has been previously mixed by you, he will rely on your mix to give the song a certain direction, and then he will determine what elements to add to improve it. Some good programs to use are Adobe Audition, Audacity, or Apowersoft.

Audacity

Imagen Audacity


Adobe Audition

Programa Adobe Audition


Apowersoft

Programa grabación de pantalla Apowersoft

Audio Mastering

Mastering audio is the final process where your stereo mixes are committed to the final delivery medium, which can be a CD ready for duplication, properly encoded audio files, or any other format. In any case, it is the job of the mastering engineer to ensure that the music is equalized and processed in such a way that the mix translates to the widest range of audio playback systems. Mastering requires a lot of experience and hours of practice, so if you are going to mix and master your product, be careful when doing so because, as I mentioned earlier, if mastering is not done well, it can destroy a good mix.

Why Master?

There are numerous reasons to master your audio. Long and tiring mixing sessions mean that some details may go unnoticed. Many mixing rooms do not have the benefit of large-format monitors with high resolution in acoustically treated rooms. This means that there may be sonic inaccuracies that need correction before release. The mastering engineer will be an expert in working with stereo audio files and will have a palate of tools and listening finesse that will add greater value to the song.

Common Mistakes in Mastering

You have to be very careful with mastering because if it is not executed well, it can completely destroy a good mix. Many people sometimes make the mistake of thinking that because they know how to mix, they can also master. This is a complete and resounding NO. Mastering is an art in itself; it requires a different set of skills more geared towards an overall vision of the song. What is NOT Mastering?

  • Mastering is not putting a limit at the end of our Master Fader and turning up the volume until it reaches commercial levels. Although this is part of the mastering process, many people confuse it with being the only required step.
  • Mastering will never be able to make a bad mix sound good. It simply cannot. Perhaps it can improve it a bit, but a bad mix will always be a bad mix.
  • Mastering is not adjusting the frequency balance of certain instruments in the mix; on the contrary, mastering deals with a frequency balance of the entire song.

This stage of post-production, like the previous two, is extremely important to have a final product that sounds of professional quality. As you become more involved in the entire music production process, you will realize that you may prefer one stage over another. It is important to ensure that the time invested in each stage is done with the same care as the others; otherwise, the final product will lack professionalism. If you feel overwhelmed by the entire package, consider collaborating with others; this is where the magic begins. References: https://www.audioproduccion.com/la-post-produccion-musical/