When tackling foreign language voice-over editing, there are a few best practices that will absolutely set you up for success. Not only will these tips and tricks make you a better editor in general, but they will also help to streamline your projects and make your work easier in the long run.
While these techniques won’t be necessary for every project you undertake they’re always worth paying attention to.
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1. Keep Original Files
When you’re editing audio there’s a lot that can go wrong. Most of the time any issues can be cleared up by simply opening the original file and re-editing the section in question. If you don’t save your original files, however, you can set yourself back in a big way. Saving your original audio also lets you refer back to it to double-check the quality of your edits.
Almost every audio engineer has returned to their edits later on only to notice a mistake or realize that they don’t like the final result. Having your original files ready to go at this point will help you avoid having to re-record everything again just to get back to where you need to be. This practice won’t always be necessary, but when things go wrong it’s extremely handy to have your original recordings on deck, just in case.
2. Compare Settings
There are a lot of different filters you can use, each with their own, unique settings. Editing the same section of audio a few times, applying different settings for each iteration, helps you compare your settings and ultimately find one that works best. Even a small change to these settings can have a big effect on the end result and making sure you know exactly how they work is crucial.
This being so, taking a little extra time right off the bat to find the filter settings that works best for your audio will make your edits sound better and feel more professional.
3. Keep It Simple
As with all things, clutter in your audio can cause serious issues for your listeners. Furthermore, even noise cancelling filters and other effects can add all sorts of unwanted artifacts that increase with each application. Over time, these can build up and become much harder to overcome, leading to a steep decline in quality.
To avoid these issues you should only apply edits to the specific sections that require additional attention, instead of making sweeping edits across the board. You should also pay attention to noticeable background noise after edits and avoid using any additional sound effects that can be distracting or don’t relate to the rest of your audio.
4. Log Your Steps
If you keep a complete log of all edits performed throughout the course of a specific project then you can refer back to it if you need to backtrack at any point. If you have all your steps laid out in front of you, you’ll be better able to troubleshoot issues. This is especially important if you have a lot of projects on the table at the same time. Addressing individual issues can become tedious and sometimes you can lose track of how far along a project has progressed.
Your logs will save time when trying to pinpoint your next steps when returning to a particular project and also help you roll things back if necessary to make easy adjustments.
5. Schedule Breaks
Ensuring that you are rested and fresh when starting in on a project is amazingly important, as your work can suffer if you aren’t totally focused on the task at hand. Any mental fatigue that builds up over the course of a project can similarly lead to decreased quality of your final audio. When you’re too tired your mind can also wander, making you miss important steps that can make life difficult going forward. As such, taking regular breaks will not only help you remain alert and focused, but will also help you formulate your next steps by taking a step back and re-evaluating the situation with a fresh perspective.
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