You know how when you first start doing something you spend a lot of time figuring it out and you end up with something that works really great – and then over time – you end up forgetting what it was you did in the first place – and for a while that doesn’t matter – because everything is working just fine. But then it stops working fine – and like I said – you have no idea what you did in the first place – and now you are stuck with this incredible kluge job of tangled cables and settings.
That’s where I am right now. I’ve been doing voiceover work full-time now from my home studio for more than 10 years – and have slowly added this and that to the mix of equipment. In fact I have two separate “studios” – one for my phone patch and self-directed stuff (and now Source-Connect sessions) – and another for my ISDN work. The reason? I can’t record in the self-directed studio when it rains! So I had two mics – and one of them had to be sent out for repair after a blown capsule – came back way too bright – so I bought a new mic – and all was well with the world – for a while.
A long time ISDN client recently told me that he thought my sound was sounding not so good – not my acting skills – the actual sound of my signal. We tried resetting the codec. Then we tried a different mic – the one that came back from repair. It sounded a bit better than the other, but not much. He thought maybe it could be the pre amp in the Mackie – suggesting that a different pre amp might be helpful.
So I had an audio friend come over and look at things. He saw several little knobs on the mixer that were in the “wrong” places. He adjusted some of the switches on the repaired mic. We turned off this – we turned down that – we plugged and unplugged and patched and repatched. Then I called back the engineer hearing the “problem” and he STILL heard what sounded like bad MP3 compression coming from the two older mics – one really really bad. At that point, he suggested that I bring in the newer mic from the other studio and “voila” – he was happy.
Diagnosis – old mics need to be permanently retired. Solution – buy another one of the mics he was happy with. I have been very happy with the sound of the new mic – an ADK Hamburg edition – not very expensive – and now I have two of them – one for each room.
So, with technology issues solved (for the time being anyway), I need to let all my ISDN clients know that if they had been less than happy with the sound of my room, they were in for a pleasant surprise. Of course, with the ISDN troubles ironed out for a while, wouldn’t you know that the dial tone to my phone patch came up MIA about an hour later.
Ah – technology – don’tcha just love it!!!