Puneet Naliath , Promo Producer , Radio City

Nowadays, one does not need expensive hardware for producing audios. All the required things are available as VST (virtual studio technology) and VSTi.

Be it films, radio, music, or TV industry, post-production takes the bigger piece of the pie, in terms of both time consumption and importance.

Being from an audio background, I would keep major focus on audio post-production, with a brief introduction to video post-production. In films, post-production involves editing, color grading of the recorded video, and adding VFX and CGI (Computer Generated Imagery).

From an audio perspective, film post-production involves, editing, mixing, and processing of audio recorded while shooting or re-dubbing the lines by calling the voice over artists or actors in a studio, and then adding suitable background score and sound effects or environment sounds to it. The audio is then added to the video in sync with the scenes.

Post-Production in Radio

In radio, after audio is recorded as per the script, the recorded audio is edited, processed using VSTs or hardware. Then required sound effects and music are added and a radio commercial is rendered. The audio recorded is mostly the voice of voice over artists, as the sound effects and other environmental sounds or backgrounds and music beds are already there in the library as audio files.

In the music industry, post-production involves selecting final takes from several taken while recording vocal or instruments. Then these selected takes are balanced in a way that they complement each other rather than fighting each other for a space in the listener's ear. This is achieved by using basic volume faders in the mixer. This phase is called Balancing.

Along with balancing the level of audio, instruments need to be panned left or right in proper amount. After balancing the instrument and vocal tracks comes the next phase, Mixing.

In mixing, the tracks are equalized using equalizers. Equalization is the process of cutting down or boosting frequencies of instruments on the audible frequency spectrum (20 Hz–20 kHz). This dip or boost in the frequency is made keeping in mind that the original feel and texture of the sound being equalized is not compromised and the frequencies used by this instrument do not clash with those being used by other instruments at that time, else there could be issues like phasing etc.

Besides equalization, compression, delay, reverb are other effects added to the tracks in mixing.

After properly mixing the tracks the final mixdown is mastered.

Mastering is the final phase of audio post-production. After mastering the audio is ready to be distributed in digital or any other format. An audio is mastered by adjusting audio for ample loudness, stereo width, adding ambience, applying noise reduction to eliminate clicks, dropouts, hum and hiss, dynamic range compression and likewise.

Nowadays, one does not need expensive hardware for producing audios. All the required things are available as VST (virtual studio technology) and VSTi (Virtual Studio Technology Instrument). Not only the plugins, like equalizer, compressor, reverb, delay etc., but instruments are also available as virtual instruments that can be used in software acting as containers for such plugins and instruments. These container software are called DAW (digital audio workstation). These DAWs were also available as hardware units earlier.

This boom in the digital music production has made music production easily accessible to people even in the comfort of their bedroom. Hence the term, bedroom producers.

Not only audio, but video post-production can also be done only on software from the comfort of one's home. Though this makes it sound easy, but post-production can be a very time consuming and brain absorbing task. Be it video or audio, just a recorded audio or video is not enough to create an impact on consumers' brains. The magical long phase that turns plain recordings into releasable master audios or videos is called post-production.