What exactly do we audio editors and mixers do for our clients? As you may already know, it's a little more than just recording and setting levels. The above video shows a time-lapse of a typical edit, cleanup, and mix of a simple 30 second radio spot. In it you can see us edit together various phrases from different takes, adjust levels with volume dynamics, remove breaths, and mix with the music. This is all standard work to be done when preparing audio for an ad. However, editing can sometimes get a bit more complex.
The great thing about working in a program like Pro Tools is how detailed you can be in your editing. If you don't like the sound of certain syllable or consonant - replace it! If mouth clicks and pops can't be edited out, there's a special tool to get rid of them (in the video we used the pencil tool to actually redraw the waveform). It's this fine-tuning that helps ensure that the voice over sounds as smooth and clean as possible.
Sometimes script changes call for an emergency re-edit. For example, a certain word should have been plural, and the talent is unavailable to re-record. We can find an "s" from somewhere else in the read (or in extreme cases, go into the booth and record it ourselves) and after a bit of finessing, make it sound perfectly natural.
All of this is just a snapshot of the basic tasks we perform on a daily basis. There is of course a bit more that goes into it, but we won't bore you with technical details. So the next time you run into an audio engineer, say "thank you!" But make sure to say it three times in a row so they have choices to edit from. ;)