Outsourcing Your Audio Editing
Audio editing is one of the most vital aspects of any production process. Whether you’re working on a podcast, audiobook, internet video, or video game, the quality of the audio edit can mean the difference between an outstanding finished product that wows your audience, and a second-rate project riddled with audible imperfections.
While there is a wide variety of audio editing software available on the market, audio editing is both an art and a science. You may be competent enough to complete the basic audio editing for a low stakes project that won’t be widely distributed, but when you’re producing a professional project that will reach a lot of ears, it’s best to seek out an experienced audio engineer who can produce a polished work that will powerfully represent your brand.
Why Should I Outsource My Audio Editing?
Audio and audiovisual content are being published and consumed at higher rates today than ever before. As a result, the average consumer has developed a natural ability to pick up on weaknesses in the quality of the audio they’re listening to. When an audio track hasn’t received a proper edit, common flaws such as popping and clicking sounds will stand out as glaring mistakes that are bound to detract from the overall impact of your project.
Audio editing is also a time-consuming process. Whether you’re a creative producer or a voice actor, performing your own audio editing can eat up time that would otherwise be devoted to building your business, marketing your services, and producing work for other clients.
As a voice actor, it is also important to ensure that the performances you’re sending to clients are of the best possible quality. With all the additional duties a voice actor must take care of, from auditioning, to updating your demos, to completing jobs, you may not have the full capacity to meticulously edit all of those audio files on your own.
The Benefits of Hiring an Audio Engineer:
For producers who are simultaneously at work on a number of different projects, time is often of the essence. Looming deadlines and changing client demands make juggling the multiple moving parts of a project tough to manage. Handing off one stage of your production process to a reliable audio engineer will take a lot of the weight off of your shoulders, and free up time and energy that can be better directed elsewhere.
Time is money. If you find that your time is better spent tackling a different objective, like focusing more on the recording process or attracting new clients, then you may find that outsourcing, while requiring you to pay a freelance audio editor to take on the audio editing work for you, may actually reduce costs in the long run. In fact, hiring a talented audio engineer to edit your work for you may provide the opportunity to earn even more money, because it will enable you to take on more projects.
Although there are competing theories about the most effective length for a commercial, it’s probably safe to say that not every single one of your projects will be entirely short and sweet. Consider the workload of producing something like a long-form narration. Do you really have the time to spend an extra 5 to 10 hours editing these lengthy files? If not, outsourcing your audio editing to a freelancer may be the right decision.
When you try to balance every aspect of a multifaceted production, you run the risk of burnout. Because of this, it’s important for creatives to introduce self care practices into their daily lives. Acknowledging that both your professional projects and your personal health may benefit from outsourcing components of your work can be an important part of this. Hiring an audio engineer will give you the freedom to pick and choose which projects you can afford to edit on your own, and which ones you could really use the extra assistance with.
For voice actors working out of home studios, it’s crucial to set boundaries between your professional and private lives by incorporating physical activity, fresh air, and unwinding exercises into your routine. Just because you record the entirety of your vocal performances from home doesn’t mean that you should automatically take on all the technical elements required to perfect a recording, or that the audio quality won’t benefit from getting an extra pair of ears.
If you work with the same audio engineer on a regular basis, then you can guarantee that your audio will sound the same from project to project. An audio pro will be able to set your levels to a consistent setting each time, ensuring that the final products your clients receive will all possess the same amount of professionalism.
On top of that, when you are publishing multimedia content that represents a brand, it’s imperative that you maintain a sense of consistency. The audio quality of your work shouldn’t feel out of place when compared with the other content that your brand is associated with. All the audio that your brand produces should work in tandem to drive home the tone and personality of your brand voice.
Types of Audio Editing
From an outsider’s perspective, audio editing may appear to be a relatively straightforward process—especially if you’re already tech-savvy when it comes to other aspects of media production. However, there are a number of different components of audio editing that the audio engineer you hire will be professionally trained in, including:
1. Basic Editing
This involves removing mistakes and any other unwanted background noises that may have been picked up by the microphone. An essential part of an audio engineer’s education involves ear training, which can help identify where a sound sits within a range. Just by listening through an audio track, a skilled audio engineer will be able to pinpoint inconsistencies and adjust a mix so that it sounds just right.
Audio engineers are adept at slowing down or speeding up the cadence of your recording, as well as integrating smooth transitions so that the end product has the optimal flow for a listener to follow along with.
Editing sound effects into your audio recording is a great way to enhance a story and supplement visuals. When sound effects are sprinkled throughout an audio recording, however, they need to be seamlessly integrated. Simply dropping sound effect files into audio software isn’t going to cut it, and a professional audio engineer will know exactly how to fine-tune the effects so that they fit right in with the track as a cohesive whole.
4. Format Conversion
Your client may need you to convert your final file into a format other than the one that your initial audio files were recorded in. While this can occasionally be a relatively easy process, in other cases you may need an expert’s help to ensure that you don’t forfeit the quality of your audio during the conversion process. A trained audio editor will have experience working with a wide range of file formats.
How to Become More Efficient at Audio Editing
If you feel that you are not busy enough to justify outsourcing your audio editing, and still want to manage this aspect of the production process yourself, then there are ways that you can become more efficient at editing your audio. Here are a few key tips that will help you take care of your editing process more succinctly:
- Don’t edit for more than 3 or 4 hours at a time. You need to take breaks in order to give yourself both a mental break and physical break from all the wrist and hand movements that come along with editing.
- Do watch tutorials. It’s never a bad idea to continue to seek out new skills, cheats, and editing workflows that may save you more time.
- Don’t be afraid to seek out help if the editing process becomes too laborious.
The Importance of Audio Editing Cannot Be Understated
Ultimately, the decision to outsource your audio editing depends on how busy you are and how many projects you are working on at any given time.
If you have decided to take the reins and complete all the editing by yourself, be sure to seek out tutorials and additional expert advice when need be.
Many voice talent are outsourcing their audio editing to capable audio engineers who can get the job done for a reasonable price and in a timely fashion, no matter where in the world they are located.
Whether you are a voice actor or a creative producer, when you outsource your audio editing, you’ll be able to move forward on your project with the reassurance that your reliable audio engineer will provide you with a professional-sounding final file.