Editing Episode 2 - The Strumpet's Plague

‘Tis the strumpet’s plague
To beguile many and be beguiled by one

– Othello IV.i

Two bowls of cat food

Essential podcast-editing equipment

Let’s see…what did I learn from Episode 1?

1. Sort out sound effects in advance
2. Throw the cast out earlier
3. Remember to feed the cats
4. Don’t confuse 2 and 3

 

That’s not a lot, really, is it?

 

 

 

So, did I put my new-found knowledge into practice? Well, I fed the cats, and the cast scuttled away almost the second I hit ‘stop’ after recording the final scene, so that’s three out of four. More usefully, I did manage to assemble a collection of sound effects before getting to the recording and editing. If, as I suggested in my Episode 1 blog, editing a radio play is like completing a jigsaw, then collecting sound effects in advance is the equivalent of having all the pieces in the box before starting the puzzle; no scrabbling down the back of the settee to find that missing corner piece with Episode 2. And having fed the cats, I don’t have to worry about them eating the jigsaw pieces. Which are, of course, actually computer files, so with this analogy stretched far beyond breaking point, I shall move swiftly on.

Archie and Nick from CSI

Action CSIence Theatre (Action Dan never looks this interested in the editing process)

My biggest challenge while editing Episode 2 is the tendency of the actors to vary in volume during scenes. This is most evident in the outraged “strumpet” of Edna Egerton (the World’s Greatest Female Pilot®), which, while splendidly delivered, is about 20 decibels louder than anything else in the scene. And so I spend a few hours chopping up waveforms, amplifying bits, reducing bits, removing background noise, and generally feeling like ‘Archie’ from CSI. I suspect that this would all be easier if I had the time to experiment with the software a bit more. When I get some free time I’ll have a play – I currently have some free time scheduled for April 2016, which by my reckoning will be just in time to edit Episode 46. Watch this space. And…erm…listen to this space?

But cats, strumpets and dodgy metaphors notwithstanding, Episode 2 does eventually come together. And Science Brian has promised that Episode 3 will have only a few simple sound effects, so I shall look forward to that.

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