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Bare-Footed, Beach-Bound VO
Gets Urgent Call, Records In Car!
By Charlie Glaize
Voice Actor - "VO On The Go"
I think you'll love this "forced experiment" on a recent quick getaway to the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
Whenever I leave town I always pack my full-blown mobile studio in a handy, small suitcase on rollers. It has all my accessories - from Firewire cables to an electrical power strip, to a small mic stand. I just drop in the hub of the studio, the Mac Book Pro, and I'm out the door.
However, this was a last-minute getaway, and we were leaving Monday afternoon, returning late Tuesday afternoon.
I figured, what are the odds I'll really need to record much over 24 hours after a really busy Monday? Besides, I am editing my niece's wedding videos using iMovie on the MacBook Pro, and I have that unit plugged into an external hard drive.
So I decided to take "Mobile Junior" - my Mac Book (not the Mac Book Pro) in a smaller travel bag, about the size of a briefcase.
That, a mic stand and a USB mic (a RODE, instead of the Sennheiser 416 that I usually hook to the MBox, which I didn't want to pack this time), should do the trick, right?
OH, SURE ...
Anyway, a couple of quick jobs did come up, naturally.
You may know how that is. You like being wanted and needed  - but not as you are headed out the door to the beach.
Yes, I was beach-bound from our friend's condo, when I realized I had forgotten the Alltel high-speed modem that allows me to connect to the net wherever I can find a cell signal, just in case there is no Wifi connection available.
And at that "bare feet wanting to jump in the ocean" moment, my trusty Blackberry was keeping me up-to-date on client emails, and here comes one now, asking for just four quick promos - and could I deliver them by Monday evening?
Yikes! I could normally record and send from a hotel or condo if I could read from the computer screen while recording using Amadeus software and the USB mic. But now without the Internet, I couldn't do that.
Solution #1 - something I'd done on previous vacations, before buying the Alltel modem:
I would go to a Wifi spot, download a script from the client's email, then record in my mobile "soundproof booth" - you guessed it - my car.
Then I'd head back to the Wifi hotel or wherever, and send the file.
But now on this getaway, we were staying with friends who did not have Internet access. Arghhh!
Solution #2: I used the Blackberry for reading the scripts while I recorded in my car! Yes, the Blackberry, in my car.
Sure, it was 90 degrees, but it was quiet there in my Honda Odyssey for the five minutes I needed to record, and I could read off the small Blackberry screen just fine, while holding the mic and using the audio software on my Mac Book.
It worked great - even though, afterward, I still had to drive to a nearby hotel to send the sound file.
All this to say, for the folks who are recording on flash recorders, maybe a Blackberry - or an iPhone - might work for reading those scripts.
And my main lesson: always pack the full-blown studio, Charlie. Leave "junior" behind!
Charlie Glaize is a veteran voice actor based in Virginia Beach, VA, who asks: "What's so bad about a working vacation?" For more about his 'VO On The Go' service, click the tab on the left side of his home page. Yet - specializing in commercials, narrations, promos and cartoon voices - he does prefer working in his ISDN-equipped professional studio.
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