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Audio Production Rooms | Post-Production Guide

Post-Production Guide

Steps for Post-Production


Use this guide to understand the post-production process, whether your project includes audio or both audio and video. Post-production includes putting a project together after all media has been recorded or located. After you are finished recording audio and/or video, you'll need to organize your project and choose editing software. Follow the guidelines below to get started.  Reminder: Always save your project as you are working as often as possible.
 

Organize your files in a project folder

It’s important to keep your original files backed up and organized on an external drive, USB drive, or the H: drive. Visit this website for more information on your H: drive. USB drives are available for loan from the Service Desk. There are also SD card readers available if you need to transfer your files.

When choosing an external drive to store your files, SSD or Solid State Drives are recommended for the most secure storage and fastest speed. For large audio or video projects, at least 500 MB of space is recommended. 

To start a project, create a project folder where you store your files that will contain all the files you need for your project. Place your files into new folders within this folder in categories that are relevant to your project so you can easily find them (e.g. “Interview” and “Music and Sound Effects”). 

Here is an example of a Project Folder:

Project folder organization example.


When you’re ready to create a project on the Audio Room’s computer, you will
copy your project folder to the desktop if you are using a USB or H: drive. Once you have finished your session, copying it back to your USB or H: Drive to overwrite and update your previous version.

A USB Drive is not fast enough to edit directly off of and communicate with editing software, however, if you have an SDD or standard hard drive, you can skip copying your folder to the Desktop and create your project on your drive.

 

Choosing your software and creating your project file

All multimedia editors create project files. Video editing software and digital audio workstation (DAW) software creates project files that contain your edits. The project file will only open in that software. For this reason, make sure you choose the software that suits the needs of your project before you start editing. 

Here is a summary of the software currently available in the Audio Rooms:

 

Name

Best Suited For

Level

Project file extension

Audacity

Audio editing. Not recommended for multi track recording.

Beginner

.aup

Adobe Audition

Multitrack audio recording and editing.

Intermediate

.sesx

Final Cut Pro X

Video editing.

Beginner

.fcpx

Adobe Premier Pro

Video editing.

Intermediate

.ppj

Logic Pro X

Recording/podcasting.

Intermediate

.logic 

Garageband (project files can be opened in Logic Pro X)

Audio recording/podcasting.

Beginner

.band

 

Immediately after creating your new project in the software, save your project to your project folder on the Desktop or your external drive. Remember, the project file “maps” itself to the location of the multimedia files you use in your project, so removing or moving them will affect your project.
 

Importing files into your project file

Your new project file will be blank. Before you import the files you are using in your project, check the properties of the files you are importing into your project. You cannot make a lower quality file higher quality by importing it into a project with higher quality settings. Right click the original files to view their properties. On the Mac computer in the Audio Room, you can “right click” the file and click on Get Info. Then click on the dropdown menu “More Info”.

File properties shown on a Mac.

Based on the example above, your project settings should also be 44100 kHz and 16 bits.
 

Your imported files will appear in the timeline, or the project window, and you'll see the waveforms of your audio if successfully imported. You may want to edit audio files individually to clean them up before importing them into your project, or convert them to different file types or settings. There may be times when you’ve captured background hum or noise. You may also have to clean up coughs, noises, and ums and ahs. Adobe Audition and Audacity are recommended for this purpose.

Here are tutorials outlining the basics:

Restoring Audio in Adobe Audition

Editing an Existing Audio File in Audacity
 

Keep your timeline tidy for your collaborators.

For more information on file management when you are sharing editing duties with others, view this tutorial by Transom.org.
 

Export to a file in your project folder

Once you are done editing and mixing, export your finished file to your project folder. DAW software will create a mix down of all the files imported to your project. It's a good idea to create a separate folder for your exports within your project folder to keep everything organized.