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November 7, 2013

Clean Up After yourself

pro tools smart toolOne of my most popular and free tutorials from Puremix is about cleaning and editing tracks in Pro Tools. Something I’ve learned in my years of receiving sessions from people around the world is that you can easily give yourself a sonic head start by simply ridding your tracks of bad edits and unwanted noises. Nothing knocks a mix down from professional to amateur faster than noticeable pops and clicks.

Check it out :

Even though I demonstrated these editing and cleaning techniques using Avid Pro Tools you can apply these concepts to any DAW and I highly encourage it.


fade in pro toolsOne way that I’ve found to make this feel less of a chore is to follow the ABC rule - Always Be Cleaning. Right after I record something and I have a moment to spare I’ll perform edits and fades. I’ve gotten so fast at making edits that nowadays I can press play to listen back and I’ll simultaneously zoom in, crossfade, TAB to the next edit point, adjust, crossfade again, etc all before anyone in the room knows there was even an edit.

fade in pro toolsSpeed isn’t the key here - it’s the seamlessness of my editing that clients find impressive. Even if you take 15 seconds before playing back a punch in to clean up your edit you can avoid the “is that punch-in bad?” comment from the back of the room that forces you to do the cleaning anyways and then have to play it back again just to prove that the punch-in works.

maid cleaningAs long as your editing doesn’t interrupt and break the flow of a session I’m a big believer in cleaning at any chance you get :

  • Vocalist leaving the booth
  • Listening back and reviewing the whole song
  • Recording doubles/stacks
  • Bathroom breaks

Instead of leaving all your editing till later in the recording process if you get into the habit of ABC you’ll quickly realize how efficient it is.

Fixing edits is an often overlooked detail that once you get into the habit of doing you’ll instantly gain an increase in the sonic quality of your productions and mixes.