Reading Aloud: The importance of quiet space.

Last night, to celebrate, I worked. I needed to turn in my recording for PodCastle and had been given an extension because of my cold last week. The dragon lady was not appropriate for this story. Even so, my voice was a little fragile and we had to stop a lot.

Actually, that’s not completely true. The reason we had to stop a lot is because we weren’t recording in a studio. We were in an office building, with Rob’s sound equipment set up as an impromptu studio. The sound-proofing was inadequate, so periodic sirens would force a halt. At that, it was quieter than our apartment. As Rob says, any sound you can hear while recording will be picked up by the microphone and seem louder than in real life.

Which meant that we had to turn off the overhead lights, because the florescent light ballast hummed. It meant that, since the room was very “live” that every lip smack, swallow, or shuffle of paper turned up on the recording. It meant that I had to stand completely still, because the floor creaked and that turned up.

But, we got the recording. Clearly, I have to come up with a different recording space before my next assignment is due.

One Response

  1. David Loftus

    Back when I volunteered to record books for the Massachusetts Association for the Blind (more than 20 years ago!), I would occasionally go for a marathon session on a weekend. I tried to break up the session by having a lunch in the middle; I found that eating food not only gave my voice a break, but made it sound better again after an hour or more of recording, for some reason.

    We were in sound-proof booths, monitoring our own readings. Since the recordings were for blind students and other clients, the recording and performance quality didn’t have to be top of the line, but I was shocked at how much popping and clicking came out of my mouth and turned up on the tape after I had eaten . . . even when I thought I had cleared and washed out my mouth.