Friday, January 27, 2012

A Day in the Voice Over Studio Where My Toys Totally Saved My Butt...

Ever have one of those days where even Murphy's law fails? One of those days where anything that CAN'T go wrong does?

Yeah that was a couple of days ago for me.

Gearing up for an early morning voice over directing session with a phone patch, our studio's main workstation decides it's too tired to show up for work, and wont boot up. I have no way to record. Rather than ripping a workstation out of one of our other booths, I happened to have my Zoom H4n on hand, and after jury-rigging some cabling, I have everything connected to record and send audio to our ISDN box. It was ugly, but it totally worked.

After the talent shows up we get word from our client that there are significant changes to the copy. No problem. We'll print it out and make some copies. Except for the fact that our network (basically an old router) has just failed, and wouldn't you know it, we use network connected printers. So not only can our computers not access the company email, but even if we were to download the files from our phones, we still wouldn't be able to print them.

Around the time we start talking about ripping apart  one of the printer stations and are trying to find USB cables to connect the printers directly to a computer, I finally snap on a better idea. When I'm not working some VO, I also happen to be a tech blogger, and I just so happened to have received a review unit of an Android tablet. I ALSO own an HP Touchpad, and I needed to record two people in the booth at the same time. Hmmmm... What to do...

Thankfully the copy was in PDF. Downloaded the files to each tablet, set the screen timeout to over ten minutes, disabled notifications (to avoid any embarrassing bleeps or squawks during the session), and then used my phone to follow along.  Boom.

All of this happened before 9am.

Mornings like that really test you. It's never about assigning blame, only solving the problem in that moment so you can actually get work done. It's also really satisfying to know that consumer gear is getting to a point where it can actually serve as a pretty functional backup to our main line work systems.


  1. Nice work!! Those are the fun times. I don't like to assign blame either, but I really and truly HATE Murphy. :)