Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Big Move, Part 1

So we decided to move. It wasn't a long distance move - only about 10 miles - but the distance hardly mattered. As I sat in my cozy little tuned-to-near-perfection voiceover cave I felt the dread of taking it all apart, jamming it in boxes, hauling it, and reassembling it. As I figured it, under the best of circumstances I would lose about 3 days of work. If anything went wrong...

Let me explain how this got started. Some people build a studio in their house in order to start a side career as a voice artist. Others are actors or radio talents (or both) who find themselves on the road schlepping from session to session and would like to cut the windshield time and get some leisure time back. I fall into that second category. It all started with a borrowed $50 mic and a Radio Shack mixer fed into my computer. Winter weather had endangered a session the previous week, and the producer at the ad agency suggested if anybody should be working from home, it should be me. Besides, my background in audio engineering and radio production would get me through the technical stuff. And so, holding the mic in one hand, and the script emailed to me in the other, I started cutting tracks. They didn't suck.

The equipment grew in number and expense. I employed some acoustical slight of hand to kill the flutter - a homemade gobo and a quilt on the wall. I moved up from a handheld karaoke mic to an AKG Perception 220 on a shock mount on a boom stand. I dug out my music stand from my days as a musician and stopped blowing takes with paper rattle. I even put a light on the stand as the little room in my 110 year-old Victorian had been wired sometime around prohibition, allowing for only a single overhead bulb. And speaking of Victorian wiring, the barely insulated stuff in the walls made for some careful configuring to avoid blowouts and buzzy audio. (One of the reasons I switched to a condenser was to kill the dynamic mic buzz.)

It wasn't Skywalker Ranch, but it made money.

And now I had to move it all.

This would have to be coordinated. First, there was the high-speed Internet to consider. A date had to scheduled when I would lose the least amount of work. Local TV work would not be a problem as our station's booth was set up for just that purpose, and if things got tight I could bend the rules just this once and do a little outside work in the booth.

The date was set. The Internet switchover was planned. Everything was a Go.

Everything, that is, except the weather.

Next post... moving during monsoon season.

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