Production time
  • How long does it take for you to produce one minute of finished product?

    I've found myself employing up to ten times as much to record, review and make what retakes are necessary before I even go into editing stuff toghether. I was wondering if that's just me being anal or if it's not that far from average. I fear the former.
  • For every hour or so of audio I record, the final length is roughly 30 minutes (this includes white space, gaps between the lines I record, which can be long in the initial).

    From there, the editing time itself has been gradually improving, as I've tried more and more techniques. Originally, when I would just edit straight through in a single "catch all" pass, two hours of audio might take me as much as 10-12 hours to process.

    One thing I've done to speed this up is by actually going through on a quick pass and trimming all of my white space down to about a second (not even listening to it, just looking for empty spots and trimming down). This will cut it down to around 1:20-1:30. From there I do a full pass, and even with the pacing adjustments (which I had to do anyways), the editing time cuts down to about 8 hours.

    Another thing I've tried doing is burst editing instead of sitting down and going start to finish. I'll set a goal of maybe 5-10 minutes of edited audio, get it done, take a 30 minute break to play a game, browse online, talk to people, etc, then jump back into it. Keeps the tediousness down and my motivation up.

    Using my new methods, I turned an easily week-long ordeal into something I could do start to finish in 3 days, assuming I have enough free time those days.

    In truth though, you can never really spend "too much time" editing something. The more you put into it, the greater the quality, but you have to find the compromise between quality and what is simply "good enough". I used to be obsessive about catching every vocal pop, but that alone took many hours. Finally I just decided to go for the big ones, and while you can still catch some of the small ones in the recording, it's not that bad. As you go along and improve you're editing efficiency, you just have to find out what works for you, and what you can live with.
  • You see, my problem is that I'm a perfectionist. I don't really spend that much time on editing (with which I refer to patching takes together, removing noises, adjusting pauses/timing and applying post processing) but on the recording itself. I end up doing a bajillion retakes of a line because "it doesn't quite sound right" or "it could be way better than this" purely from the point of view of acting. It's not just that, of course, if I ended up making an unpleasant noise with my mouth mid-sentence that I know I won't be able to edit out (very often on "f"'s and "th"'s), that warrants a retake too in my opinion. But the vast majority is just because of acting: stress, intensity, vocal timbre if I'm in-character and the like.

    And the problem is that I feel a grand part of what improvement I've made in quality with time comes from this: that I stress a frigging lot about my acting and take a lot of time recording. So I don't know how much I can relax my method and was wondering how you guys deal with it.
  • Ah, that side of things.

    That's usually my biggest problem starting out. Any time I start recording, I always feel like I'm messing up, and it takes me forever to get even the first few paragraphs out. Afterwards though, as I get more into the flow and character, it's not as bad, up until about 30 minutes when my voice starts to sound worn out.

    What I do is, with the exception of the very beginning, I never stop, go back, and restart (which from what I researched, is the normally recommended way). If I feel like I've messed up a line, made an abnormal noise, or if I want to try saying it a different way, I will wait for roughly a second gap and then do it again. Sometimes I can end up saying the same line 10+ times in a row until I feel satisfied. If I need to stop and take a break or think/read it through, I will pause the recording, wait as long as I need, then resume where I left off.

    This of course, leaves me with many extra copies of the same line, which I can then choose the best from. In some cases, if I like the start of one and the end of the other, I'll attempt to splice them together. Doesn't always work, but more often than not you can't even tell where one began and the other ended.

    As I'm sure you know, some lines are near impossible to get out without some vocal pop or blunder. At some points, I just give in, do my best, and save the fixing for post-processing.

    I don't actually know if you already do it this way or if you do it the starting over way, but I've had the best experience with it this way. More time later in editing, but it'll save you time in recording, which is good for keeping it consistent and all in one session.
  • I have not done any real stats gathering, but for one hour of finished, edited, product takes me approximately 6 hours of record time.  I'll start around 8am recording and I can get through 10k-15k of words.  I find that, for me right now, 10k worth of words is a good six hours of record time.  This includes breaks as well.   Like others I'm a perfectionist so if I flub a line, even in a minor way...or don't like the way I read it then I'll go back and redo it.  I find that doing an outloud read ahead helps a great deal.  Since I'm kind of reading Heroes as I go along I have to do a read ahead or pay the price in re-takes.  I'll read a line and realize that I did it in the wrong tone or manner etc. so reading ahead is a must just prior to recording.  I will typically read ahead 2-3 pages worth then go back and record once I have a feeling for the tone and what folks are saying.

    I stop and backup, a lot, but am thinking of moving to the powering through and leaving that to the editing phase method...adds time to the editing, sure, but I guess it's a trade off of recording vs. editing and streamlining the process.  For chapter 15 of Heroes I'll try that method and see how it works out.
  • Ah yes reading ahead is absolutely necessary. I've read PH back in January but I'll be damned if I can remember what I had for dinner yesterday, nevermind an encyclopedia of a fic like it. I too usually skim the text quite ahead to get a feeling of the general tone and scene and then read more carefully a couple of paragraphs at a time.

    Then I start recording and end up obsessively doing retakes over retakes because lel. Then I relisten to the whole thing and find out that some lines still sound wrong, especially when considering how they should fit in the general flow of speech and narration, so - you guessed it - retakes. This second revision usually happens as I edit and montage stuff toghether.
  • You are not alone Aanok. I too spend probably ten times longer editing than recording. In my case however part of it is the sheer joy of using the technology. I love the editing process. I could (and do) do it for hours on end. I always record in 30 minute blocks then divide those into ten minute segments so that processing changes don't take forever on the computer. I really can't stand noises. Each time I edit a piece I find something new I want to do. At first I did not de-breathe my edits but since I found some easy keyboard shortcuts I am doing that now. I don't take them to zero for I find that a touch of breath can be a bit dramatic. I usually take breaths down to 20%. If I go back and listen to my earlier recordings I sorta cringe at the breaths, though no one has ever mentioned them to me. Some folks breathe quieter or use equipment that doesn't emphasize it as much so it isn't that much of a problem. Same thing with sibilance though I do have software that gets most of that.
  • Yes I too like to keep breaths in for dramatic purposes, although talking with folks over here is making me painfully aware of them. It's probably for the best, though, because I'm starting to pay more attention and removing them when need be.
    As far as editing goes, I usually keep in a single session everything that's between a set of asterisks (I have no idea if there's an appropriate typographical term for them, I call them "segments" in my head). It's not standardized as it can range from a couple of minutes to 40+, but works fine enough.