a 'standard' way of writing out edit notes?

Discussion in 'Live Sound' started by Exsultavit, Mar 3, 2006.

  1. Exsultavit

    Exsultavit Active Member

    Jan 5, 2005

    I have a few clients who provide edit notes in the strangest of formats. I have had to come up with a 'standard' way of writing out edit notes that I ask my clients to use. Of course, I'll TAKE the notes in whatever form they give them to me if they insist, but I'll let them know that it will add to the cost of an album edit if I first have to take time to reinterpret and rewrite their notes into a form that is easy to use before I can I sit down to edit their takes.

    Below is the sheet that I have put together to explain the form I prefer. Two questions:

    1. IS there a 'standard' way to note edits, used by most pros?

    2. Can you offer any suggestions to improve my suggestions?

    And here they are:

    --Basically, what is needed is a copy of the music itself, with notes written on the music

    --Always note the take number with a circle around it, above the top staff of the system.

    --At an edit point, draw a double bar line- a nice big one that extends above the system so the edit numbers are on either side of it. Write the take number that is ENDING to the left of the double bar line, and the new take that's beginning to the right of it. At the next edit point, repeat the above, writing the take number that is now ending to the left of the new double bar line (redundant info on purpose), and then the new take number to the right.... etc etc.

    That’s about it! Obviously, there will often be more that you need to communicate than this- but if this basic protocol is followed, it can save a tremendous amount of time for the editing process. Feel free to write any other special notes the editor might need on the music at the edit in question.

    Two more situations:

    --In case of repeat signs, write first time thru info as above, write 2nd time thru info below it (but still above the top staff). If there's an edit at a given bar the first time through, (for instance), but no edit the second time, then the second time thru just write the same take number on either side of the bar line, and draw an arrow across the bar line connecting the numbers. This indicates 'no change' and provides redundant info once again.

    --If you like, you can indicate the note or area that you are trying to avoid with this particular edit by circling that note or phrase. Often the editor will need to make the edit a little before or after the spot you selected for an edit- usually not more than a beat or two away. The circled area tells the editor where the limits are if they need to move your edit point a bit.

    Let me know if there is anything here that’s unclear. Thanks!

  2. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2001
    Oberlin, OH
    Home Page:
    I have seen a lot of editing notes. The classical producers I work with use colored pencils for the takes and then something similar to what you are describing for the editing. I don't see any problems with what you asking for. Repeats are always difficult to work with. I think you have to realize that not everyone will be able to do it "your way" and they may have other ways of working.

    Sometimes I get notes scribbled on the back of napkins or yellow pads full of strange symbols and notes that make no sense and I tell my clients the same thing. "if this is what you want me to work from I am going to have take my time and try and figure it out . If you could take a couple of hours and make this more readable it will make my job easier and I can save you some money"
  3. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    Feb 12, 2001
    Los Angeles, CA
    Home Page:
    That is pretty similar to what I request of my clients. I basically tell them to put a "T" at the exact edit point with the take from and to on either side of the vertical line. In the case of repeats, I tell them to use a "+" with the first time on the top and the 2nd time on the bottom.

    In addition, I ask them to make a 3 column edit sheet.

    The first column is the bar numbers (ie 1-4, 5-28B3, 28B4-37, etc.. the "B" being beat number), the second column the slated take number, the third column the reasoning/comments if necessary for the edit point. The 3rd column is rather important as sometimes the client chooses points that do not work particularly well and I need to know what issue I'm editing around. It is also a place where they can specify to pull from another point musically- ie from the exposition into the recap or similar if the music repeats exactly.


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