One of the dubious features of life in an apartment is that you’re at the mercy of the folks who live around you when it comes to noise. A couple of years ago, I acquired some new neighbors who, in spite of being thoroughly decent human beings, came equipped with toddlers, and those toddlers have lung and attitude like a soul singer could only dream of.
After about six months of this, I thought to myself: “Self, why don’t you just record at night?”
So, I tried that, only to discover that the kid seemed to have my studio under surveillance. For two years, I haven’t been able to record for more than twenty minutes without having to shut down due to screaming neighbor children. It’s so bad, in fact, that all of AWP–house, studio, and business office–is in the process of buying a building and moving (which also eats up a lot of time).
Meanwhile, the lack of ability to reliably record has been driving me slowly mad–and a friend noticed. Heading out of town for a few weeks, he offered me the use of his library to record in while he’s gone. So, this fall, for three weeks, I’ve got reliable quiet for recording, and just for fun I’m going to keep a diary of things here.
Here’s Day 1:
Day 1: Fought my way past piles of moving boxes to get to the old studio and pack up the equipment rack, recording rig, and mic rig. Upon arrival at [redacted]‘s house, discovered large, fire-breathing cat guarding the door. Deployed emergency stash of anchovies, then realized I had left the key at home.
Obtained entry to house through use of cunning and unscrupulous means acquired during high school adventures in gangland, Brought portable mixing board on the grounds that the big one doesn’t fit in the car. Spent three hours chasing down the noise in the new room and applying acoustical treatments to make it whisper quiet. Finished night by loading script breakouts onto the e-reader, practicing my elocution, and receiving a pedicure from a friendly neighbor. It must be nice to have neighbors that have hobbies that don’t involve squalling infants.
Not a bad first day. Day two, though, is where things really started to heat up.
Day 2: Started laying down tracks today, getting back into the reading groove. Warmed up on the first five chapters of And Then She Was Gone, then shifted to Free Will once I had my eye in. Have decided to devote the studio time to this one until it’s done. Laid down two hours of good narration audio. Waylaid halfway through recording session by rabid realtor demanding emergency meeting, had to brave long canyon full of smoke-breathing steel creatures to make meeting, whereupon was expected to sign away my soul for the fourteenth time during this house hunt. Finished day with no soul, and good audio. I count it as a win.
Tune in tomorrow, when the adventures really heat up!
Edit: The next installment is now available. Find it here.