“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Thursday, October 5, 2023

Tomorrow Is When I Record the Audiobook of The Stuff of Life

 ...it's my first ever audiobook recording and I'm hoping that it won't be my last! Thank you ever so much to Bloomsbury and in particular to my great editor there, Liza Thompson, for asking me to do it. 

People do come up to me all the time and say that I have a nice voice. "Lovely radio voice" is the commonest phrase and it's true, even among radio people. The producers of my BBC show thought I had good bass. 

It's still nice to listen to. It puts me in my feelings. You know what I mean? I'm a recovering dissociated person and there's nothing like being in my feelings, even if they're unpleasant. That "far away" vibe is really nasty. 

The BBC made me get a Zoom H6 WAV recorder. It was $500 and it was one of the best purchases I ever made. It's still pretty state of the art a few years later. It can record at least four separate tracks, it has two mics that come with it, one of them you can set to mono which is how it's best for voice recording. I figured out how to do that yesterday. Working for the BBC was a whirlwind and I didn't do anything but follow my producer's very adept instructions, so there was no time to learn. 

So you'll hear the Zoom 6 being used, badly, on the first podcasts on my Patreon page. Badly means, I didn't know how to access that mono feature, and the XY mic especially is wonderfully directional. With the MS mic you can control the width of the stereo image, which I find amazing. 

It's an incredible piece of gear. It can definitely record bands. You can set it up to have a mix of ambient, direct, lapel, etc mics to get that perfect sound. Once you've scrolled through its menu a few times, you realize that it has very intuitive controls. At least if you've been around musicians all your life, which I have. Did you know? Mum was a concert violinist and Dad was the go to violin player for all the psychedelic  and prog bands of the late sixties and early seventies. Best thing? The solo on "Lark's Tongues in Aspic Part 1" ... no, that's not Cross; that's my dad. He took a fee so as not to spoil the image of the band as the best musicians. 

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