0061: What’s Left: How To Make Your Pickup Editing Foolproof



Show notes:

Hey there, hero!

When doing pickups, your final product has to sound completely natural, as if that’s how you recorded it in the first place.

And sometimes, breaths can be a bit confusing. Do you edit around them? Do you include them? Do you leave them out? Do they get doubled by mistake?

I have a one-word solution: “Left.”

And I’ll show you a demo in Audacity so you can make this rule your own.

Does this help? Make sense? Let me know in the comments below.


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  1. I’m confused about one thing, David. I have always been given to understand that normal breaths are good but gasps should be removed or reduced.
    Did you leave the gasp because it was okay, or because removing/reducing it was outside the scope of the lesson?

  2. I can see the value of using the original breath, but I worked in one studio (Recorded Books) where you would always record the last sentence or sentence fragment before the pickup, thereby getting the flow in the pickup. You just cut out the repeated phrase and keep the new breath before the pickup. That’s been my go to when doing it myself ever since. BUT (and this is a big but *ahem*) you’ve got to be precise on where you’re editing or you’ll get a repeated phrase.
    Always appreciate your sensible tips. May give your technique a test run to see which I like best.

    1. That’s exactly why we teach the Stairstep method, and not punch and roll. Your timing has to be pretty accurate, and your energy has to be uniform; both eventually controllable, but I’ve never understood the need. Thank you for the comments!