Notes On Editing Music

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Editing is taking things out,
getting rid of pointless part doublings and overlaps.
This creates space which allows what is already there to fill it.

Editing is nudging a part earlier or later
to sync (or not sync) better with the others.

Editing is dropping a part into a lower register,
moving a pitch up or down
a third or a fifth to make a new harmony
that was always latent, just not sounding.

Editing is finding the lowest possible volume
for a part to be clearly heard.

Editing is adding effects to change to mood.

Editing is working in passes,
noticing some issues now, and some later.

Editing is getting to know what you were originally trying to say.

Editing is saying I don’t believe it,
and putting the piece (or part thereof) away.

Editing is allowing yourself to wince,
then investigating its sonic cause.

Editing is staying hopeful.

Editing is asking yeah but what if?

Editing is seeing if the edited thing is still speaking to you,
despite (or because of) all your tweaks.

Editing is tinkering by way of small errors
to learn something about what is and isn’t working.

Editing is using your creativity in its evaluative, not generative capacity.

Editing is paying close attention to the effects of tempo.
(Slower is often the better way.)

Editing is making sure nothing sticks out.

Editing is creating little moments of difference that stick out.

Editing is bringing it all into focus.

Editing suggests that structure is sometimes more important than sound.

Editing is maximizing the seductive potentials of timbre.

Editing requires a clear mind
because without clarity neither you nor your work can shine.

Editing is polishing both your work and your understanding of it.

Editing is the systematic application of critical assessment
tempered by honesty and a generous enthusiasm.

More brettworks posts on editing:

https://brettworks.com/2014/03/05/on-editing-lessons-pruning-voice-and-style-in-writing/

https://brettworks.com/2015/12/30/on-editing-music-while-listening-and-looking-at-it/

https://brettworks.com/2014/12/11/on-ventrilo-reading-how-we-read-our-own-writing-to-see-what-were-trying-to-say/

 

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