This is not editing advice, but a story about editing audio. There are plenty of places and videos that explain in clear and simple terms how to do the technical elements of sound editing. I have no interest in making one of those, because they already exist. The biggest thing I have learned over the major editing effort of my two new audio books is an improvement in editing technique. ACX, the book production people for Audible post videos about how to do these things, but they are very early stage (even if the process itself is not all that complicated). In particular, they differentiate between ‘editing’ and ‘mastering’, making clear to say ‘finish editing first before you start mastering’. (I have encountered similar distinctions in some other videos, but no one wants to clearly say where one finishes and another starts). In my head, mastering is simply the latter stage of editing, so the functions blur into one another, particularly when I found that the thing that makes the most audio errors is not, in fact, me making a mistake, but slight distortions created after Equalization. I think, although it is not clear, that Equalization is in ACX’s ‘mastering’ phase. I therefore have to ‘edit’ after an ‘editing phase’, which is to delete these errors, which is no big deal. Being clear, simple and straightforward in ‘how to’ videos is important on any topic. As always, also, efficiency is key, which is to say ‘no waffle or repetition’.

Anyway, I will perhaps tell stories about stories and telling stories in the future, which I think is a more interesting topic. But this time I thought I would tell a technical story.

Here’s a more interesting story about mastering. It took me such a long time to put things through a filter, I rediscovered actually listening to audio books (because the mastering stage is quite mechanical once you have the settings correct--later I can absorb all the techniques together and be more efficient). Andi Arndt is quite the compelling reader!