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Old August 23rd, 2007, 11:26 AM   #1
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Help mastering/mixing concert audio in post.

I use Sound Forge now, but I know most of the pros use Pro Tools. I work with iZotop oZone which is compatible with any application that uses VSTs really. So is there any other reason to switch audio editing applications?

What other tools does Sound Forge usually get compared against? Is Audition really a big contender in this field?

Does anyone else work a lot with concert recording and have any suggestions for plugins/programs that could really help fix up the audio?
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 11:29 AM   #2
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Just FYI ... Steinberg's Nuendo is coming on strong as a competitor to Pro Tools for post-production audio.

SoundForge is a good audio editing application but doesn't have the multitracking tools that an audio-for-video post-production tool needs. OTOH, since it sounds like you're already comfortable with SF, Vegas should be an easy transition and provides all the tools for post audio production and mixing
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 11:40 AM   #3
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I completely forgot about Nuendo. $2500 is pretty steep, but it would certainly be a big step-up from stuff like Audition and Sound Forge.

Plus this seems to be geared more towards the video post-production side than the musician side?
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 11:45 AM   #4
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I guess it's about time I bite the bullet and buy Jay Rose's book on audio post production.

What does he recommend using out of curiosity? Does he discuss software and plugins, or mostly just microphones and audio recording tips?
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 11:45 AM   #5
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I completely forgot about Nuendo. $2500 is pretty steep, but it would certainly be a big step-up from stuff like Audition and Sound Forge.

Plus this seems to be geared more towards the video post-production side than the musician side?
Remember Vegas was an audio mastering program before video post was added to it.

Are you trying to prep the concert footage for a CD or are you trying to edit it for use in the soundtrack of a video?
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 11:53 AM   #6
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Does anyone else work a lot with concert recording and have any suggestions for plugins/programs that could really help fix up the audio?
I do a lot of work with concerts, up until this year I did more music than films/docs. I started years ago with Emagic's Logic (now owned by Apple), but after a couple of years I tried MOTU's Digital Performer. Granted, I use a Mac for my Post Production work, so that may not be an option for you particularly based on the software tools you mentioned. But it is an option. Up until I "upgraded" my Dual G5 for the Intel-based Mac Pro, I used Wave's Gold plug-ins exclusively with DP. Now however, Wave's plug-ins don't work with the MAS architecture of DP using the Intel-based computers. So, I've pretty much stuck with Ozone 3.

To be fair though, I find that I rarely have to do much to my recordings. But it required a lot of trial and error and getting the right equipment in the field.

For the PC (or Mac even), I'll second Steinberg's Nuendo as probably the best tool out there. A lot of post production houses use Pro Tools, but my experience has been they have a great marketing department (thus their wide acceptance), but always seem to be playing catch-up to the other tools out there.


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Old August 23rd, 2007, 11:58 AM   #7
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...A lot of post production houses use Pro Tools, but my experience has been they have a great marketing department (thus their wide acceptance), but always seem to be playing catch-up to the other tools out there.


Wayne
Those post houses also have a tremendous investment in ProTools specific hardware so there are costs other than just the software in transitioning to another platform that mitigate against changing. A few months ago Jay Rose wrote about editing a feature in Nuendo alongside others working in ProTools and the PT die-hards were amazed that he was able to do work of the same quality as they got from PT but often in much less time and with much less hassle.
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 12:09 PM   #8
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Seems pretty unanimous. I'll definetely look into Nuendo.

I'm glad someone mentioned those Waves tools because I've been looking at them and they look awesome. Which Waves program/plugin is comparable to Ozone? Is there something in the same class as Ozone? Does it do a better job?
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 12:11 PM   #9
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How often does Steinberg update Nuendo? Version 3 seems to have been released back in 2005. Have they announced plans/eta for version 4?


EDIT: I was going to delete this post, but I couldn't. I just discovered that they are working on releasing Nuendo 4 soon based on a lot of the programming they just finished with Cubase 4. So I guess I should wait for that!
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 12:39 PM   #10
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I think people are confusing different applications...

There's editing, mixing and mastering. Each has their own requirements.

For editing there's Sound Forge, Adobe Soundbooth, Apple's Soundtrack and lots of other programs and inexpensive/free tools. In this application, you work on a single sound, say an arrow whoosh, explosion or footstep to get it just right. You can snip off the unwanted audio, stretch, EQ, normalize, reverb or whatever. It's a bit like working at the microscopic level.

Next there's multi-tracking and mixing. Pro-tools, Nuendo, Vegas and Sonar are good candidates. On the production side, you want to be able to record lots of tracks. On the post side, you want to mix them and add effects to tracks and busses. You should be able to automate the effects, so they change over time.

For the small studio, Vegas is a real winner. The work flow for multiple takes and punch ins is really efficient. As mentioned, it's Pro Tools at the top end with Nuendo making inroads.

Think of tracking and mixing as integration of lots of parts into the larger whole.

Finally, there is mastering. Now we are back to a single track process. No need for multi-tracking. The effects needed are volume setting, multi-band compression, EQ, reverb/ambiance (to be used subtly) and limiting. The idea is to tailor the final product for the end media. One would master differently for CD, radio, TV, DVD, the Web and theatrical release. Each has their own dynamic range, frequency capabilities and expected background noise levels.

Think of this as putting the wrapping paper and a bow on the final package.

The application (Sound Forge, Nuendo, Sonar, whatever) isn't as critical as the effects plug ins and your monitors and ears. Waves and Sound Forge might be more appropriate than Nuendo for mastering. Then again, I'm not familiar with Nuendo's effects. It might just be the right tool for the job.
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 01:30 PM   #11
 
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I agree with Jon.
One more newcomer to the party, as far as mastering, multi-trackers go, is Mackie's Tracktion. For myself, it's simple and intuitive to use, not nearly the learning curve as with Pro-Tools.

There's no arguement that WAVES is pretty much of a music industry standard. Nevertheless, the cost of WAVES is problemmatic. For the money Ozone will do everything WAVES will do.
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 01:41 PM   #12
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There's no arguement that WAVES is pretty much of a music industry standard. Nevertheless, the cost of WAVES is problemmatic. For the money Ozone will do everything WAVES will do.
This is 100% correct. In fact, once Waves does fix their MAS issue, I may still never use them because of how much I like Ozone.

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Old August 23rd, 2007, 03:26 PM   #13
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...
The application (Sound Forge, Nuendo, Sonar, whatever) isn't as critical as the effects plug ins and your monitors and ears. Waves and Sound Forge might be more appropriate than Nuendo for mastering. Then again, I'm not familiar with Nuendo's effects. It might just be the right tool for the job.
Nuendo is VST aware so any plugins that exist in VST or Direct X will work with Nuendo. Wavelab is Steinberg's mastering application and works well also.
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 03:31 PM   #14
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I guess it's about time I bite the bullet and buy Jay Rose's book on audio post production.

What does he recommend using out of curiosity? Does he discuss software and plugins, or mostly just microphones and audio recording tips?
It's on audio post, as the title suggests. I don't remember it recommending any particular mixing application (or console) other than talking about the advantages of some of the better plug-ins out there... e.g. multi-band dynamics.

It's a truly excellent book. Easy to understand, has very practical information, and has depth / gets into more advanced stuff.
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Old August 24th, 2007, 12:27 PM   #15
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This is 100% correct. In fact, once Waves does fix their MAS issue, I may still never use them because of how much I like Ozone.
I'm also an Izotope user. Note that their mastering tools come standard with SoundForge 9 (as does noise reduction).

One thing to consider with Waves is their copy protection. Not everybody cares, but it's a deal killer for some.
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