The Piano Editing Process

The Piano Editing Process

The Piano Editing Process – The London Piano Recording Studio

In part 4 of this series of piano recording articles, I will look at the editing process of our piano recording sessions at our WKMT Piano Studio.

Once we have recorded the desired amount of takes of the pieces we move on to the editing process. Depending on the circumstances of the session the editing will either take place in the same session or in a separate one. If possible, it is recommended to do it in the same session, so that any mistakes that can’t be fixed with editing can be re-recorded.

Typically we start by listening through the takes that have been marked as good, and listen out for any mistakes. These could be timing issues, incorrect notes, incorrect pedalling and so on. If there are no mistakes and the performer is happy with their performance then we clean up the audio by removing any unwanted space at the beginning and end of the piece, and create fades to give a smooth start and finish to the piece. If there any mistakes in the take or if the feel is wrong in places, we make note of these places and listen to the same part in different takes to see if those mistakes aren’t present. If they aren’t, we cut the piece of audio that we want our out of that take and use it to replace the piece of audio in the original take. This process is called ‘comping’, where we slice together several different takes to create one seamless sounding performance.

Once we have performed these takes for all of the pieces recorded we then move on to the final stages which is mixing and mastering.

To be continued.

Thomas Rickerby (Sound engineer) at The London Piano Recording Studio