It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a…..lawn mower? leaf blower… snow plow… car radio (insert any noise here). Sound and the home studio – how noises I never noticed before – make me crazy.
I have a professional home studio…. “Professional” in the sense that my sound is great. I have recorded countless spots for radio, TV and the Web in my studio. These spots have been National, Regional, even recordings that have been played in a giant football stadium. I know many fellow Voice Artists have created home voice studios of their own. These studios range from full on sound-proof whisper rooms to holding a giant quilt over their head while recording, and everything in between. I am somewhere in the middle of these two extremes. I have a quality microphone, a good interface, and a dedicated closet that I have lined with bedding and popcorn mattresses. When there is no outside noise at all, my studio is perfection. The challenge is that I live on a busy street, directly behind a Landscape company, right next to neighbors on both sides who have dogs and cars and like to hang out gabbing with friends while their car radio blasts loud rock and roll music at the high end of the speakers range – the kind of loud that you can actually feel because it is THAT loud. The funny thing about this is, I have always been a “city girl” at heart. These types of background noises truly never bothered me before; I actually enjoyed them to some degree. The carefree city girl in me has been replaced. Now, as I make my way in this world of voice over and building a career, I rely on silence to pay the bills. These constant noises are my arch enemy, my kryptonite. Sometimes they feel like they are mocking me…like they are anxiously awaiting that moment when I need to record to suddenly decide to make an appearance. Murphy’s Law is very active in my world. I can’t tell you how many expletives I have had to remove from recordings from being frustrated (and I am NOT someone who swears). I will be in the moment of a beautiful read when a giant truck starts beeping loudly in my ear – ruining my momentum, stopping my recording and frustrating the hell out of my spirit. These constant interruptions delay my work, stress me out, and make recording an intermittent activity. So what is a Professional Female Voice Talent to do? How do you make a living when the loud world around you is trying to trip you up and test you? Well, until I have my “perfect” situation where I live on a dead end street in a quiet neighborhood and have invested in and installed a sound proof Whisper Room in my home – you just DO.
I must push through, I must work around these noises, stay up very VERY late, or get up before anyone else is sane enough to roll out of bed, and find those moments of peace. Those brief windows of time where the magic can happen without interruption. Those precious seconds where I can be “in the moment” and actually do what I am truly meant to do. Connect with someone else’s words, give them meaning and life, and speak them into a microphone, in my perfect, imperfect room.