John Lukas, engineer extraordinaire at Babble-On Recording Studios, and I are embarking on a new, terribly exciting audiobook series together. Our very first session consisted of testing out various microphones and accompanying audio gear to obtain just the right sound. The story, in pictures*:
The engineering studio and the recording booth beyond, taken from the fancy sofas that I never get to sit on when I’m in session.
The headphones I use in the booth to hear both myself and John when he talks to me from the engineering studio. I initially took a picture of them because John said the last person to use them was Topher Grace. Yes, that Topher Grace. He was in recording some promo pieces for his new movie, Take Me Home Tonight. In case there was any concern, I can now assure the world that Topher Grace does not have head lice.
Shotgun mic. This was our first try, and ultimately decided against it. Not that it didn’t sound good, mind you.
Super-duper ultra-fancy expensive mic. Gorgeous, and did I mention expensive? We ultimately decided against this one, too.
The winner. A Neumann condenser mic. André, John’s boss at Babble-On and an all-around fantastic fellow, told us after the session that he’s used this mic with me before on a couple of occasions with great results. Nothing like the joy of many minds coming to the same conclusion independently. We’ve so got this.
This is a windscreen that we decided to ditch because we didn’t need it due to mic placement – as John so aptly put it, “just one less thing up in your grill.”
I think we toggled back and forth between a couple of pre-amps, and ultimately chose to go with this puppy. Honestly, I’m really not sure, but the light was on when I came out of the booth, so I assumed this is what we used. I mostly just took the photo because the light is a killer blueish-purple. How nice of me to then covert it to black and white, right? Whatevs, it’s become my special light and I am now very protective of it. Okay. Fine. Here:
Happy now? Sheesh. Moving on.
The first book we’re going to record. May Futrelle was on the Titanic and survived, her husband Jacques Futrelle, also a famous novelist, did not. I studied up on them during my stint in the Science Museum of Minnesota’s Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition portraying Nurse Evelyn Marsden. There's no way I'm letting 200+ hours of Titanic research go to waste.
I'm working from a gorgeous first edition, printed in 1911. The illustrations are divine.
John at work, editing out the page-turns and working his audio mastering magic via The Fastest Digits in All The Land. Holy cajones does that guy fly!
The ultimate goal is to get these distributed via Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. Of course we’ll let you know when they’re available, are you kidding me? Until then…you’ll just have to settle for the joy in the anticipation.
*all shots were taken on a whim with my iPhone. So, you know, don’t judge me on quality. Dammit Jim, I’m an actress, not a photographer.