Sound directors have an interesting job. However, some people consider that it is way too easy. Let us take a look at some interesting and cognitive facts so that you`ll fully understand, what it feels like to be an audio editor.
- Mark, 25, Sound Director
Sound editing is a relatively “young” profession. The director mainly works with sound editing, sound synthesizing and distortion. Such person should know both the physical aspects of sound, psychosocial aspects and have a musical education. Also, sound directors are often confused with engineers and sound operators.
1. Stereo-sounding was very confusing at first
There were only mono sound systems first. Both the instrumental and the voice were coming from the single speaker. When stereo equipment appeared, directors had a lot of trouble with mixing vocal and instrumental part. The only idea they came up with was placing voice in a separate speaker. This type of technology was used for almost twenty years.
Another interesting fact is that before the reverberators appeared, sound directors needed to record the instrumental and the vocal part in the same exact place. Acoustic specifications of different rooms made the whole record sound unnatural. Making music wasn`t that easy back in the days. Neither is it easy nowadays.
2. Sound Director cannot recreate the Sound of Human Voice
Although the technologies are developing really fast, they`re not yet all mighty. Even the most powerful computer synthesizers are not able to sound like a human. Therefore, directors cannot make a person who has absolutely no talent sound like a great singer.
The only thing editors can do is fixing some notes. The process is called mechanical tuning and it makes a voice sound more mechanical, that it does in real life.
3. It is impossible to clearly separate Voice and Instrumental
There is one sound director, whom I know. He says that people ask him to remove the voice from the song to get the clean instrumental. Although it possible to partly do so, getting the full and clear instrumental is a hard task.
The thing is that the voice range matches the range of many instruments. For example, the range of acoustic guitar matches the human voice more than 90 percent. Removing voice will result in destroying a part of an instrumental sound, which will leave the director with sounds of hats and high-ranged instruments that sound awful by themselves.
4. The lower the Voice is the better it sounds
This is just a musical fact. In fact, all the frequencies of voice lower than 100 HZ should be muffled. This is done for removing the conflict between the voice itself and the basses.
For proving this yourself simply listen to acapella of any song. The more instruments and basses particularly are used, the less natural the voice by itself will sound.
5. Different Microphones make Voice sound different
Each microphone has its` own characteristics of frequency and acoustic. Each voice is individual as well. Therefore, the first thing audio directors usually do is trying several mics for an artist, to find out which one matches the best.
6. Expensive Equipment sounds better
Again, each person hears the sounds in a special personal way. Although the more expensive equipment does provide cleaner sound, it might be not suitable for every person. Some directors feel the compression and equalizing better on cheaper devices.
By the way, one of the most important pieces of equipment is an audio interface. It transfers sound between the instrument itself and the computer. If you are completely new to music, the best way to understand what audio interface is to think about it as about the super-powerful soundcard. There is one article for you to read if you are going to enter the World of music. Here it is musiety.com. You`ll learn some useful stuff about audio interfaces from it.