Cut and Slip Guitar Editing Techniques
Guitar editing and tone so we'll talk a little bit about some of the techniques that that are involved and also some of the terminology so knowing the terminology is helpful when you're trying to understand this stuff because there's a lot of there's a lot of like science that goes into this um you've got you've got several different elements when you're looking at a single guitar note or a single guitar chord. So the first thing is the pick attack and that's when the pickets the string and it creates a percussive sound the next you've got the transient of the note ah the sustaining the decay of the note and then the release and the transition would be either going to a muted silence or going to the next the next pick attack um, you need to determine where they fall in relation to the grid uh based on the tempo in the performance and so by uh by looking at the performance and looking at the grid, you're goingto we're goingto I'm going to show you how to basically quantities guitars tha...
t's basically most of guitar editing has to do is kwan tai zing because you can control the pitch with your hand and with the tuning pegs um so the idea is to get when you're recording the guitar part, you want to try and get everything that goes into the computer to be pitch perfect before it goes before you keep it and then after you keep it, you could do the quanta izing I'm gonna show you now where those points fall those parameters. So this slide kind of demonstrates where the pick attack is, uh, it's actually before the note. It's it's, the smallest part on the screen if you're looking at the guitar performance on the screen, usually can't even see the pick attack, it almost looks like it's not even there it's usually in front of the note, and then you've got the transient of the note and that's the part that you can actually really see after the transient, you have the sustaining and the decay of the note. Uh, and then you've got the release in the transition, and a lot of times the release in the transition point is when the hand moves to the next chord or the next fret and there's usually a noise there, uh, of the hand moving so let's break down a single chord, starts with the pick attack, then it has a cord or a note developing the court or the notes sustains, and then you've got decay until the next strike, so we're we're just kind of zooming in here, I'm going to show you. What to look for so here's the initial pick attack which the percussive sound and then you can see from the pick attack the string starts to vibrate and it increases in vibration and as it as it vibrates more and more the cord and the notes starts to develop then from the highest point of the transient we have the court sustaining and from there decays down until there's none nothing left so how do we know where to chop the guitar where to make the cut so that we could make the edit were going to find the pick noise before the transient ever going to actually let me uh let me step back let's let's record a guitar parts so that we can show this on qi base um so yeah let's just do it I want to introduce our guitar player tlc yeah, I thought we did that this's john thanks for being here, john awesome having you tell tell us the name of your band playing a pop rock band called the home team awesome. When can people find your stuff? Yeah, we're on facebook bandcamp amazon, spotify all those things awesome the home team cool bring me in here. Yeah, cool think yeah, thanks for helping us to demonstrate this guitar stuff um let's start with the intro riff I guess let's first let's see if we're in tune ah ah wait okay, well let's if that rift doesn't use that string let's just not yeah not worry about it but go ahead and play it right play the referral quick cool so first thing I noticed and I want to see did you guys notice anything about how he played the riff maybe maybe actually show them so they could watch you play do you notice anything like wrong about how he's playing the riff it seemed like thea pick was a lot softer than down pick what do you think? I think that the maybe the top string shouldn't be ringing out so much when you're doing the other notes exactly so when you play this note right here thiss string is ringing over top of it on if you actually listen tio the the actual song you'll notice that that doesn't happen so when when he hits that high note it's the only thing that's coming through the pickups of the guitar is just the high note so you don't hear any other noises or anything in there? Um yeah and so even going from that low note to that high note you hear how instantly clamps and tightness theo so now just try to do just that now that let me turn you on it's really hard like because that like don't mute the top string because you're muting it with I see so so every time every time you hit that high note the proper way to play it would literally be to mute the top string, either with your right hand or with your left hand, which is actually very difficult try it, yeah, so even a riff that's just as simple and catches this khun b extremely complex to play properly. So, um, when you're if you're working, like with someone like me, I I mean, I'm willing to go in and do whatever it takes to get the part, right? So there might be some people who just want to record the artist for however they play, but I I have a vision in my head of what I want the rift to sound like, and I wanted to be a cz clean as possible so that you can actually understand every every little nuance of the riff itself, and so I'm going to go through great lengths to make sure that every little thing that you play on everything that we end up keeping it is perfect. So I might be willing to sit here and mute certain strings as you're playing or tell you to punch in certain parts and and do things that way so that we can get the perfect take, but right now what we'll do is we'll just have you play to the best of your ability, and I'll just punch you in so how do you do that when I have a question, how do you do that when you're working with an artist, and they come in with their artistic interpretation of that riff, which you have right, and you're playing it slightly different, but it's not what you have in your head? How do you communicate that in a way, that's not, um doesn't like make him feel bad, or, you know, because you you're successful where you dio and that's doing this is what makes you successful, but how do you communicate that in a way, that's not that doesn't like just frustrate the artist. Well, the first thing you have to do is really just get on the same level of the artist and have them feel comfortable with you, like intern because you don't want it to be, like a on the big, successful guy, and you're just a little guitar player. I need to level the playing field first, and I usually just do that by getting to know him like, you know, what kind of music do you like? Maybe take him out for a drink first, you know, just get friendly so that when you do so start to make these very, um, almost intense observations and trying to tell them like hey do this and start to command them and tell them what to do they're going to listen to you a little bit more than before um the other thing is I think that when people come to a producer like me, they already realized like we're paying this guy to tell us what we're doing wrong so they kind of expect to hear like what? You know what to change um and I think a lot of people when they work with me specifically they know that I'm going to rip him apart a little bit and I think that's what they they want anyway that's what they're paying for it so usually it's not too awkward but when you're starting out and you don't really have a reputation it's a lot more difficult say, hey, I think you should news that string and then the guitar players like well, I know what I'm doing don't tell me what to do and so you just gotta work with what you got and if they're not willing to budge, then at least you did your job by trying to, um convey what's wrong and if they don't want to accept it that's fine because it's ultimately their song, so if they wanted to be that way, then that's fine, but let's go let's go and try that record this uh we make sure I've got a click sound real quick, all right? Cool. Okay, so I'm just going to give you eight counts and then you'll just come in ready? All right? So we got a performance, which is the best of his ability, at least for right now, because he's very well rehearsed. Now, if you're working with someone, you might try that a couple more times and and try to get, like, a little bit of a better take, but I'm going to show you that even with just that one take that we just did weaken still do quite a bit of stuff with this s so the first thing I want to do is just kind of look at his timing and look at it in relation to the grid so I can see he's dragging a little bit on a couple part, and I kind of feel like you might be able to do it a little tighter if I haven't tried again, so I'm just going to go ahead and have you tried again? That's too many counts. Here we go now I noticed when he switched to the guitar part that goes, it was hard for us his hand to get there fast enough, so what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna actually go through and cut those parts out first and I just know where they are because I was I was watching the screen as he played, so I kind of know what it looks like when he does it. So it happens twice and so what I'm gonna do is I'm actually just going to give you a click. I'm going to go one, two, three, four and then I want you to play just that part. Now he was able to play it a lot cleaner because that's, the only thing you need to worry about so I can just cut that part out, put it in the place. Theo sounds way better than what we had before. Um let's, let's, go back and look at the beginning. So, yeah, that high note that plays has that low note ringing over top of it here. It's almost like a chord. I wantto I want to just punch just that in. Yeah, so I'm gonna give you four counts and then you just played after four, so he just plays just I know, and what I'm going to do is, uh, see how you played it a little bit late. What you can do is you can cut, you know, just cut out the the two spots because you want this to be this is basically going to be uh a quarter note so you make a cut at the beginning of a quarter note and then make a cut at the end of the quarter note and then what you can do by using the slip technique um are the slip tool you can actually just move notes inside of the events I like to think of guitar parts as like musical notation like how long every note is if it's a quarter note if it's a half note and I make all of my edits exactly to the grid and then move the audio around inside of the of the event so now we've got that little piece put it in place and then I'm going to go through and find every place where he plays it and just replace it okay um now there's another high note this one yeah so what I'm gonna do is just also punched that in and I just cut it out and uh zoom in and make sure it's in place and then go find all the spots where that is and replace it so at this point I'm starting to notice certain parts of the rift that air played better than the others so I'm gonna basically hit play and listened for where I start to hear little sections that I think are a little bit better than the others because he's playing the same thing multiple times so if I go in and I listen through everything that he played and I find the parts that are best, I can cut those out and then use those is copying paste and intothe. So I'm gonna find the best one that goes like this. Several those see. So I don't really like any of them. So I'm going to just have you punch in one it's the den in, innit? Yeah, someone that I'm going to just leave a click going, and I want you to just play it over and over, but leave space in between each one, so instead of going to it, and then and then and then and then and then it just leave a little bit of a gap between each one.