Audio Production – Evolution of an Art Form

Audio production – since 1877, when Charles Cros discovered that sound could be reproduced from a recording, people – ok, geeks like me! – have been in love with the art and science of working with audio. One hundred years after Charles made audio production possible, I began working with audio as part of my first job in radio.

In 1977, audio production tools were quarter-inch magnetic tape, a reel-to-reel recorder, a splicing block, a single-edged razor blade and a grease pencil. This method required a lot of time, a lot of patience and a long time on the steep leg of the learning curve. The hardest part of this process was that there was no visible evidence of the audio on the tape – the editor had to listen carefully, stop the tape at the first edit point, drag the tape slowly across the playback head to get the edit point located perfectly, mark that with the grease pencil, then listen for the second edit point, repeat the process, line the two grease-pencil marks up in the splicing block, cut away the unneeded tape, then carefully tape the two raw ends together. A really skilled editor could do this without creating any extra noise as the splice went by. There were very, very, very few really skilled editors, and I worked hard to be one of them.  reel to reel tape, razor blade and splicing block, Sandy Weaver Carman, audio book, audio product, audio production, podcast, writer, author, speaker, trainer, coach, Voicework On Demand

Fast-forward a decade, and really edgy radio stations started using digital recording equipment. DAT technology allowed us to record with amazing clarity, but wasn’t useful when we needed to edit the audio we’d recorded. The DAT machines quickly went the way of the dinosaur and the Betamax video format.

In the early 1990’s, true digital audio production became mainstream enough that radio stations with deep pockets could afford this technology for their air and production studios. What a sea change! All of the audio recording was done inside a computer program, which produced a wave form we could see, making editing a breeze once we learned our way around the editing program.

Adobe Audition workspace with stereo music file open, Sandy Weaver Carman, audio product, audio production, audio book, author, writer, speaker, trainer, coach, Voicework on Demand

Since the mid-90’s audio production has become so mainstream that anyone who would like to learn the process can download free audio production software, or if they’re really serious, can purchase a far superior software package. The user interface on both is relatively simple to learn and the learning leg is far less steep than in the early days of audio editing.

Why would you want to learn audio production? Maybe you want audio products, or to produce really great soundtracks for your videos. Maybe you have a recording of something and would love to “fix” it or enhance it. Or maybe, like me, you’ve got a geek gene for playing with audio! No matter what the reason, there are classes you can take to learn to produce audio.

Or, you can let me help you! I teach seminars on the subject, and also offer one-on-one coaching. No matter why you want to learn audio production, I’d love to help you.

And if you don’t want to learn to do it, but do want audio products, touch base with me. My company specializes in audio production for authors, speakers, trainers and coaches, plus we work with companies to provide professional-sounding audio at very affordable prices. See the formatting suggestions on the Sample page and contact me – all the info you need is on the right side of this page.

Do you have a question about audio products? I’d love to hear it, and maybe answer it right here. Helping people monetize their content is what we do!

Sandy Weaver Carman
CEO, Voicework on Demand, Inc.

I partner with writers, speakers, trainers and coaches, taking work they’ve already done and turning it into a revenue river. Ready to get your feet wet?

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