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603558 Posts in 24453 Topics by 3474 Members - Latest Member: Silken March 28, 2017, 03:16:48 AM
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Author Topic: Wanted: Audio editing tips & tools for a personal Beach Boys related project  (Read 387 times)
bonnevillemariner
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« on: March 06, 2017, 08:31:24 PM »

As a younger and newer Beach Boys fan, there are very few Beach Boys related topics that I can claim to be an expert on. One of them is Saltair, the abandoned resort near Salt Lake City that the boys visited in 1968(?) with Bill Hesterman and photographer Cyril Maitland.  Here is the article I wrote about that visit:

https://bonnevillemariner.wordpress.com/2012/06/14/the-story-behind-those-beach-boys-photos-at-saltair/

(BTW, I welcome any corrections or new pieces of info on this event that you may be privy to-- I update it as needed.)

It was actually researching the old Saltair site that led me to rediscover the Beach Boys several years ago.  I'm currently working on a book about the resort's history.  You're probably aware that the resort's story is mostly a long, happy ride weaved with tragedy, and I'd like to put together a short audio montage that expresses that.

I'd like to do something a la Atticus Ross's "Black Hole" from Love & Mercy.  Not sure if I'll travel backward or forward in history, but on one end of the montage would be turn of the century ragtime. At the other end would be a Beach Boys track (probably "Salt Lake City"). I'll cut in subtle recordings of Great Salt Lake waves and various amusement park sounds, but the star here will be the music.

"Black Hole" is pretty much exactly what I'd like to emulate here.  Lonely, ethereal. A loving tribute but with darker tinges.  I've dabbled in audio editing before, but nothing halfway serious.  If you're the editing type, what software/tools would you recommend? What tips would you give me? What would make this project epic?
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Seagull Merlin
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« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2017, 10:17:12 PM »

A disclaimer to start, I'm an amateur through and through so everyone has their own ways of doing things.

For any of my editing I've used adobe audition not a bad program but it's pricey unless you can *Ahem* find a way to get it, A big thing in editing and trying to match quality of the tracks as best you can so that it's not too jarring for transitions. Do you have any specific questions because you can DM me and I can try my best to help you out-if you still need it that is. Adobe has a good multitrack view that makes it easy to work on collages such as the idea you have and it'll give you all the tools you need to be able to do it, it just takes time and practice to figure it out (granted I found that to be the most fun part of my early editing!)
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bonnevillemariner
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« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2017, 06:44:35 AM »

Thanks, Seagull! I'll PM you some specific questions. I'm primarily a video producer, but audio is new territory for me.

Since I first posted this request, I've been asked to write, film and produce a short documentary on Saltair by the owners of the current Saltair venue (Saltair III). I'd love to open this film with this audio piece. I'll start with the earliest concert recordings I can find, then end with parts of "Salt Lake City". The final seconds will be the words "Salt Lake City..." from the song, and this is one of the areas I might need help with. I want to pause on the last syllable of "City" and fade out in sort of a ghostly way.

The audio piece will run maybe 45 seconds. The purpose of the piece will be to tell a nutshell story of Saltair's history, ending with the Beach Boys 1968 visit. The resort closed after the 1958 season and sat stagnant and abandoned until it was consumed by fire in 1971.

Yes, I know the Beach Boys never performed at Saltair. In fact, they will be the only act included in the audio piece that didn't.  But it's important to point out that were it not for a perfect storm of sorts, the Beach Boys would have come up playing at Saltair, not Lagoon.  The two venues, which incidentally were both designed by the same architect, had been competing for decades. Lagoon actually started as "Lake Park" on the eastern shores of the Great Salt Lake, but smartly moved inland as the lake receded, while focusing on amusement + concerts rather than swimming + concerts.  Saltair stayed put when the lake receded, a water park without water, isolated on the southern shore.

Moving Lake Park to the Wasatch foothills meant no more sand or corrosive environment-- something that had plagued Saltair from day one. It didn't help Saltair that Utah's population exploded along the Wasatch Front, while the GSL's southern shore is still completely uninhabited. Why ride a train 30 miles to a defunct water park when you can walk to Lagoon? Saltair might have forged on, in spite of the forces against it, had a microburst wind not blown over the Giant Racer roller coaster, an icon of the resort. The writing was on the wall, and by fiat Lagoon became Utah's venue of note.

In hindsight, Bill Hesterman's suggestion that Mike and the boys visit the Saltair site on the day of their Lagoon concert was quite profound.  According to Bill's son, the band was quite aware of Saltair's past prominence and the trip was reverential in that regard. If not for that perfect storm, the Beach Boys would have been a staple at Saltair, and nobody would have ever heard of "the Lagoon."

Wow, that's quite an aside!

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rab2591
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« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2017, 11:27:16 AM »

It involves having to have a Mac, but I use Logic Pro X.

http://www.apple.com/logic-pro/

I made a fan mix album called 'The Beach Boys LOVE' (it was greatly inspired by the recent Beatles album of the same name - but what really kickstarted it was trying to emulate the Atticus Ross soundtrack).

The tools, even the most basic, in Logic Pro X are a dream. You can seriously transform any individual track hundreds of thousands of ways...each effect can be manipulated in any way possible (and though there is a learning curve, it really is easy to toggle these effects as intricately as you want). As an example, the heroes and villains track on my LOVE mix compiled so many elements, effects, transitions, and is put together in a mostly cohesive form.

I used synth MIDI instruments (hundreds of high quality MIDI instruments come with the program) to emulate the Black Hole track from the L&M soundtrack.

Upon searching for my thread on this mix (to show you an example of the editing possibilities) I see you already heard it so I won't bother linking it. But anywho, if you have the funds and plan to do editing work in the future, I highly highly recommend getting a Mac setup with Logic Pro X. I'm running the latest version of Logic on a 7 year old Mac with only 4 gigs of RAM and runs smooth as hell.
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