The Realities of Audio Editing

What Editing Can’t Do

Over the years as technology has continued to improve, I have noticed an increase in the reliance of editing to compensate for, well… to put it bluntly, bad musicianship. If your singing is off in terms of pitch or timing, it can be fixed. If your bass or guitar playing is off timing or out of tune, it can be fixed. If your drummers timing is off or the drums don’t sound good, they can be fixed or replaced. Editing can do all of these things. It can make you sound better than you are but it cannot make you better than you are.

What Editing Can Do

When it comes to the possibilities of editing I have a simple description that I like to use.

There are four skill levels when it comes to a performance and the playing of an instrument. What editing can do is kick your skill level up a notch, but only one notch! If your performance is OK, editing can make it sound good but not great. No matter what anyone tells you, it is not possible to make the jump from OK to Amazing through editing. The only way to do that is through determination and practice.

To further cement the truth behind this statement, here is a 3 min. clip of Niel DeGrasse Tyson (Host of Nova Science Now) singing and then having it corrected using AutoTune. Make sure you note how he describes the skill level of his own singing and how long he says it took to correct it.

Did the corrected version sound amazing, great, good or just OK to you?

I rest my case.