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    Recording Session Nightmares

    John Melley - Monday, December 13, 2010
    Last week I sent out an email to my newsletter subscribers and asked them to share some of their weirdest experiences, while recording or performing.

    The winner of the voted best story will win a $50 Starbucks gift card, or something of equal value if you're not a coffee drinker.

    I'm happy to say the stories I've received so far are great, so if you have a great recording session story, send me an email to: John@JohnMelley.com and share it with us. I'll post them and the story that receives the most votes will win the $50 Starbucks gift card, or something of equal value if you're not a coffee drinker.

    Read On!

    Hi John, good to hear from you

    I specialize in audiobook narration, and a big part of my enjoyment in doing this comes from volunteering at RFB&D.  I get to read/record all sorts of books for them, from technical instruction manuals, to medical textbooks, to fiction.  Recently I had a children's book by author Jon Seizka (sp?) called "Spaceheadz".  I was having great fun with it until I got to a chapter 4 pages long of the hamster speaking.  4 WHOLE PAGES of "eeek weeeeek eeeeek eeeeeee, weee eeek"! This one got me both laughing and out of breath.  I can now add a 3rd language to my capabilities..... hamster!

    Kind regards,

    Ann

    Hey John,

    My nightmare has reoccurred a few times, recording my interviews over the phone and nothing on playback.

    Flipped the wrong switch.

    We’ve been caught saying some things with the mics open at the Meadowlands.

    Once I called an entire race with the mic off, or they didn’t record the race, so I had to improvise over the replay.

    Watched the replay show with bad edits inadvertently left in.

    I’ve done spots with the wrong dates or inserted words that weren’t in the script (Freudian slip)

    Ken Warkentin


    Dear John,

    The funniest and most embarrassing thing to ever happen to me was at a recording session in Berlin, Germany.  I was assigned to the American Forces Network and scheduled to do an interview with the incomparable Count Basie.   First of all, I was so doggone nervous meeting such a giant of a talent, and would you believe - the Count was in his
    underwear in his hotel room eating peanuts from a planters bag?

    He greeted me and asked me to take a seat.  In hooking up my Nagra Reel-to-Reel and plugging it into the wall socket as a safety precaution in case the battery failed I began my interview.  Half way through it, I happened to look down and notice that the mic cord was dangling.  The darn thing wasn't even connected to the recorder.  You talk about a red face. Whew!  By then Mr. Basie noticed it too and he began to laugh and laugh - then I began to laugh and laugh as tears rolled down my face.  Being the kind gentleman he was, he said don't worry sonny, we can start all over again whenever you're ready.

    Ed Tooma

     

    Hi John,

    About 25 years ago, I had a client who sounded like a sloth on downers, but insisted that he do his own tag line.  This was many years before digital manipulation would have allowed me to time compress him, so I used an old trick I learned years before.  Several wraps of tape around the capstan increased the speed of the tape slightly, speeding up the delivery but not so much that it distorted his voice.  Judicious splicing of the resulting tape made him sound a lot less like he was on Quaaludes.  What they say about multimedia these days was always true: it's all about the workarounds.

    Calvin B. Littlefield

    Dear John,

    Does singing the Ave Maria in church and swallowing a bug interest you?  I was singing a solo and straight out...... mouth open....bug in and gag, cough, gag! 

    It was difficult to explain to the congregation what had happened, so I continued and re-grouped. Maybe that's how you all got your show-biz genes.

    Elinor Melley A.K.A. “Mah!”

    So send YOUR  great recording session story to: John@JohnMelley.com and share it with us. I'll post them and the story that receives the most votes will win the $50 Starbucks gift card, or something of equal value if you're not a coffee drinker.
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