After needing a week after production wrapped to recover from a particularly brutal cold, I am about 75% through the first editing pass of the raw audio for Cold Reboot. Similar to our earlier editing process for Iron Horses, this mainly consists of choosing the best take, and trimming out flubbed lines. One huge advantage over our previous production was the fact that we were in a podcasting studio, which means there are no barking dogs, revving trucks, sirens, airplanes, or other outside noise to get rid of. While not completely sound-proof (we could hear someone yelling if they were in the building, even with the massive steel door closed), the acoustic treatment and concrete block walls of the studio were very effective in eliminating most of the problem noises we’d had to deal with.
The new challenge for this serial comes from the script itself. No spoilers, but one of our performers had to, in essence, play two characters, who frequently speak to each other. This means recording each side of the conversation separately, using a line reader while recording to assist with veracity, so the performer had someone to respond to. Now I am stitching both halves together in editing, making sure that it sounds like both characters are responding to each other — trimming the line reader out, and replacing his voice with the appropriate performance.
It takes a bit of massaging, first editing the individual performances, then splicing them together. Each character on a different track, considering timing (are they interrupting each other? pausing to consider what the other said?), and making sure that the take I choose for each individual phrase fits best with what each character is responding to.
And at the same time there’s a bit of magic happening, taking these disparate parts, merging them together, transforming them into something that lives and feels true. The magic of post-production is how each layer — editing, mastering, sound design and effects — adds something that elevates what came before into something more real and true.
Anything about our post-production process you are curious about? Feel free to ask in the comments.