Editing is an important part of audio post production, occurring after audio has been recorded and preparing tracks and files for mixing.
Editing can vary from altering very small snippets of audio, all the way through to re-arranging and reconstructing tracks, and furthermore creating loops and samples.
The practice alters the shape, length and locations of recorded waveforms and is necessary in order to remove any recording errors, ensure instruments and tracks are correctly in time with each other and ensure and optimize musicality of the production.
Vocal edits assist in correcting and improving the vocals performance in the recorded track. Corrections are often needed to remove flaws in the captured recording and also if there were performance issues, such as timing and pitch.
Vocal edits foremost aim to remove any breath sounds between phrases, as well as sibilance and ‘pops’. Vocal edits will also improve timing and provide flexibility for song arrangement. Depending on the vocalist’s performance, pitch corrections may need to be performed in varying degrees, i.e. the singer may be slightly flat on a note in the chorus, or part of a phrase man need reworking. Auto-tuning for creative purposes will occur during other processing stages, as this type of editing is performed prior to mixing and other creative processing.
Most edits now occur in the software based recording programs (DAWs), although traditional all-analog recording methods would require the physical splicing of tape if tracks or recording parts could not otherwise be correctly captured and aligned.
Editing is often part of audio mixing workflow, but in modern productions the two can be performed separately. This is beneficial in many ways: it can save time for mix engineers; facilitates multiple people working on projects; sometimes offers more precise results and provides more flexibility for workflows (particularly with electronic based music productions).