Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Artist In A World Run By Math

Img_0529That's what I feel like sometimes while I'm trying to bring stories to life. I love to write stories. I love to TELL stories. And I love the medium provided by audio drama. What I DON'T enjoy is some of the tedium and frustration that comes from computers.

I remember working on our first project using some wonderful audio production software. Wonderful, once I worked the bugs out of it. Downloading patches, updating drivers, error messages that might as well be in Kryptonian. Despite spending most of my time working at a computer, I'm not a "computer person". I'm learning to be, but it does not come naturally to me.

I also don't know alot of the lingo for audio mixing that I'm sure would be helpful to know. I figured out what a "Flanger" was during production on "Spirit Blade" and only recently did I learn what a "compressor" is. (Let me tell you, I'm going to enjoy having that knowledge for "Dark Ritual")

So how am I doing all of this with so little technical knowledge? Well, I'm doing it slowly. At first. And I'm doing it with a clear vision of what I want in quality. So I develop my own short-hand and understanding of all the little mixing/audio/computer details and just keep working and experimenting until what I'm hearing matches the quality I demand of myself and our products.

As I said, it goes slowly at first. But in the last several months of mixing for "Spirit Blade", I noticed that I was completing scenes more than twice as fast as I did when I started out. Not only that, but they were sounding better, too! So with many of the early scenes that I mixed, I had to go back and re-do several things in order to keep the quality consistant throughout the entire project.

I've heard from several people that I should really switch over to using a Mac, especially given that I'm working with audio files so much. But I'm hesitant to do so. Why? Because I KNOW the devil I'm dealing with right now. I've gotten used to its bugs and have come to terms with what makes it crash. In fact, I'm still using the 1.3 version of my mixing software when the 6.0 version has been out for almost a year!

I DID actually purchase the 6.0 version, but only because I was able get it for much less than normal price and it has an auto-tune feature I want that my old version doesn't have. But you'd better believe I'll be using the old version except for the instances I absolutely need auto-tuning!

...and yes. "Auto-tune" is a recent addition to my mixing vocabulary as well.

-Paeter Frandsen


  1. I was gonna say that I came across a lot of audio words like deesser, gate, expander, compressor

  2. Hey Dave!
    Looks like that comment bug got worked out. Woohoo!
    Gate and expander are familiar, although I'm still learning what they are. Deesser I've never heard of. Care to enlighten?