Recording VO while on “vacation”

Last month I took a much-needed out-of-state family vacation. My wife also freelances, so we don’t get paid vacations, and it’s very difficult to take time off. And of course, whenever I do go away, I miss out on the jobs I would have had the week that I am gone – AND – I can’t audition while I’m away, so things are slow the week after I return. It’s a Double Whammy.


Or… it *used* to be. You see, with the advent of excellent quality portable gear, I can now take my studio on the road with me. I use a little 10-inch screen Acer netbook (don’t need much processing power for audio editing), a MicPort Pro (a tiny little USB preamp and analog/digital converter), and an AT2050 mic with a desktop stand. The whole package cost only about $450.


While I was vacationing in Palm Desert, CA with my family, I had a request from a regular client to record an 8 minute script. I was a bit nervous about this request. I had only expected to record auditions with my travel gear, not actual sessions. I wasn’t sure my audio quality would be good enough, so before I accepted the job, I sent them a sample that I recorded on-site. Happily, the client was satisfied with the results (it helps that the video I was narrating would most likely be listened to through crappy laptop or PC speakers).


I got the gig! I arranged heavy quilts in the walk-in closet of our condo bedroom, which did a great job of treating the room. I didn’t have a desk or a copy stand, which did make things tricky. I had to balance my netbook and mic on a pile of folded blankets and quilts, which was a bit unstable. It wasn’t high enough, so I had to sit uncomfortably with my head hunched over. But it only took about 20 minutes to do, so I could bear it. Another factor that made it bearable was the unexpected additional income while on “vacation,” that was enough to pay for a romantic dinner and evening at a resort with my wife!


So it was a success – it didn’t sound anywhere near as good as the audio quality of my home studio of course, but it was “good enough” for the end user’s needs. I’m happy about making the money, but I’m not happy about the intrusion to my vacation. I guess the trade-off of the portable studio rig is that I may never really be on vacation again, which makes me sad since my vacation time is so fleeting and precious as it is. Unless I go back to the mountains of Oregon, strap on a backpack and go deep in the woods – yeah, THAT’S the ticket!

AUTHOR: tomtest-wpadmin     CATEGORIES: Blog
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