Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 20

Thread: Recording in March

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    4,751

    Recording in March

    Recordist’s Digest, May 31, 2005

    I believe this week I have had what is now, and probably will remain, the most interesting and unique recording experience of my career.

    This saga begins just over a week ago. Some portion of my business is referral, and this call came from a friend in the retail music business. According to him, the particular gentleman to be recorded approached him in the pro-audio department of his retail store looking for a private recording studio. I guess my friend felt my project studio was private enough and gave out my contact information.

    The initial contact was interesting enough. The gentleman had a rather timid approach to his manner, and the reason why will be evident shortly enough. He began his conversation with some basic questions about the ability to record an overdub over an existing music track, and then asked the most peculiar of questions.

    “Is this a private studio?”

    “Well, in that it exists within my home, not a commercial location, yes. That’s a very curious question, do you mind me asking why this is an important criteria?”

    “Have you ever heard of La Petomane?”

    “La Who?” I ask.

    So, as it turns out this “Artist” is actually the star of a sideman show with the circus. He’s got a few days off – I guess the spring is rather slow in the Circus world, and during his layover is attempting to fill a void in his act, specifically, requests for recordings of his work.

    For those of you unfamiliar with La Petomane, he is a somewhat famous act all his own from the late 1800s. See, Le Petomane had developed the skill of being able to – don’t laugh – fart at will. And, in time, even the ability to play musical phrases. My potential client had taken this to a whole new level and actually had gone so far as to be able to play along in a sort of Karoke fashion with several different pieces of music.

    As unreal as this may seem, there’s actually a trade group for professional flatulators, I discovered, as they are known. You can do a little bit of your own research at http://www.ooze.com/ooze13/petomane.html. And, Comedy Central has had a bit of a hit with http://www.flatulina.com, so there’s even an already established market.

    My first thought, beyond doing everything I could to control myself from busting out laughing, was what kind of music did this guy “sing” along with? Was it contemporary country? Would I face a flatulent remake of Shania’s “Powerful Thing?”

    “Uh, this is very interesting,” I replied.

    “Listen, I know it’s a rather odd request. Lots of guys have turned the work down, so I won’t take offense.”

    Go figure!

    “Why don’t you tell me what kind of music you, uh, sing along to?”

    “My Lawyer actually recommended I stay away from popular tunes, so I focus on well known classics in the public domain. America the Beautiful, Mary Had a Little Lamb, and so on.”

    “You have a lawyer?” I’m thinking to myself. I guess the circus is good wage these days.

    “So this is simply an overdub a mix of you “singing” along with, I assume, a pre-recorded CD?”

    “Yes. So now it’s clear why I needed a more private setting? I’d like to get the best recording possible.”

    Oh boy.

    “Well, I’ll do it, but at full rate and only with certain conditions.”

    The “artist” hastily agreed, “Abolsutely. What are your terms?”

    Time to get creative.

    Since the artist wants the best possible recording, I imagine putting a giant mute, in this case, pants, over the “instrument” will not give the results desired. This creates two new problems. One, there is not a chance I am going to risk my wife coming home while I am positioning a microphone near the rear end of any man, much less a strange one with his pants down. Second, despite assurances from the artist, I’m not particularly interested in experiencing that much flatulence within the containment of my 150 square-feet one-room studio.

    Then there’s the issue of the microphone itself. There is no way I’m putting one of my precious transducers in the firing range of this “instrument”. And, despite the humor of the whole situation, placing a windscreen seems additionally ridiculous. Come to think of it, I don’t want my stand, microphone clip or his end of the microphone cable back again – ever. Since this was an overdub, the artist would also need to have headphones and a TRS extension cable, too.

    So, we agreed the artist would obtain a Shure SM57, specified for it’s broad usability on a large number of instruments and the economy of the microphone itself, a microphone stand with a short boom, pardon the pun, a microphone cable 25 feet in length, and reasonable headphones. As it turns out, the artist was looking to purchase these items for his show anyway, so I helped him out with a shopping list. We also agreed the recording would take place at the artist’s residence, and I would bring my remote rig to do the overdub.

    At the client’s house we elect to record the talent in the bathroom. (Where else?) I was shortly concerned about the less than optimal acoustics, but then decided given the nature of the performance it was indeed the correct location. I gave the artist a quick lesson in microphone technique, suggested microphone positioning, and ran his new microphone and headphone cables into the bathroom. I set up in the living room.

    We begin with “America the Beautiful.” For all the bad renditions of this song I’ve lived through from singing policemen, ball players, B-talent and the like, I figured this wasn’t any worse a patriotic crime than the others. I tell you now, at no point in my life, including childhood, have I felt the urge to bust out in uncontrollable laughter and yet knew doing so was not the proper response. From the downbeat of the first take, the thoughts of having a producer on the session and what he might say kept creeping into my head. “Uh, try making the opening a little more legato and you are going flat on the climax.” Or, perhaps “Uh, Jim, can we auto-tune that note?”

    We finished the first take, my composure barely held together. “Why don’t you take another pass at it?” I suggest, the humor of the whole situation really taking hold.

    I thought the talent should do a couple of takes of each number, and he agreed, so we began take number two. I hear him say stop through the microphone – apparently he need to adjust something, or get a drink of water, or something – and then say “Ok”. The next moments passed quickly, but I shall never forget them.

    The first sign I get that something is going dreadfully wrong are this “kerplunk” sound coming out of my monitoring headphones. From the moment I hear the sound I am unable to hear the room any more at all. The next thing I know, I hear, acoustically down the hall.

    “Uh, I think we have a problem.”

    I can only imagine what has happened. I walk down the hall to check it out and also recognize another first experience in recording. Something I’ve never had to ask a talent as I approached the tracking room before.

    “Are you decent? May I come in?”

    “Yea,” as the talent opens the door.

    And, there I stood in the most ghastly amazement. I can only imagine the look on my face as I felt both uncontrollable laughter and sheer horror come over me at the exact same moments.

    Guess what that kerplunk sound was?

    Apparently, in turning around to get a drink of water, the “talent” bumps the boom stand and tips it over, microphone first, right into the open toilet bowl. It’s hard to know just exactly how it happened but it appears as though the microphone stand had hit the edge of the bowl and bounced back, but the resulting jar popped the 57 out of the clip and the whole microphone was now a worthless plunger.

    At this point I had two distinct thoughts. One, thank god phantom power isn’t required for a 57. Two, this recording is cursed, and despite the joy I normally derive from just the simple act of recording regardless of the subject, all I could do here was laugh, and laugh out loud at the whole ridiculousness of the entire situation.

    I didn’t take payment for the session. I gave the client a DVD of his one successful take’s raw tracks a couple of days later and apologized for laughing at his act and underwater microphone. He actually asked me if I’d be willing to finish the job and even offered more money, but I had to refuse.

    There’s only so much this recordist can take.
    Jim Dugger
    Poorhouse Productions

    At 20 bits, you are on the verge of dynamic range covering fly-farts-at-20-feet to untolerable pain. Really, what more could we need?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    168
    So...did he need Auto-tune?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Carmel, NY
    Posts
    306
    Greatest story ever told! Hysterical. I'm still laughing.

    But you didn't mention what preamp you used. This would be a perfect session to be "anal" on and do a shootout with every different preamp you had until you found the perfect color with just the right amount of "air."

    Once the mic fell in the toilet, I would have pulled out a Focusrite "Liquid" Channel to keep the session going, or for a bigger sound, the Great "River" MP2NV, of course. (God forbid if an MP2NV is not mentioned in one of the threads on this website!)

  4. #4
    Haigbabe's Avatar
    Haigbabe is offline 3D VIP 2004, '05, '06, '07, '08, '09, '10, '11, '12
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,714
    Talk about a bum note.

    Hb
    Proud supporter of 3D as a 2012 3D VIP

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Upper Dublin, Pa.
    Posts
    3,872
    posted April 01, 2005 06:58 AM
    Wait uh minuto.
    Jim's message was posted on April Fool's Day.

    Regards,
    Mark
    Mark Kramer
    www.thejazzmall.com


    formula to live by
    _______________________________________
    I am not sure I am really back. It just seems that I've passed through a wormhole.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    1,854
    Wait uh minuto.
    Jim's message was posted on April Fool's Day.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    4,751
    Originally posted by Mark Kramer:
    <STRONG>Wait uh minuto.
    Jim's message was posted on April Fool's Day.</STRONG>
    ... and hopefully you did enjoy the story?
    Jim Dugger
    Poorhouse Productions

    At 20 bits, you are on the verge of dynamic range covering fly-farts-at-20-feet to untolerable pain. Really, what more could we need?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Carmel, NY
    Posts
    306
    Whether or not the story was true, it was really very well written, convincing and extremely humorous. Although I've never had to mic someone's butt, I've had to record and perform with a lot of unusual people with bizarre personalities and I totally related to the awkwardness and ridiculousness of the situation. I especially loved the part about imagining the wife walking in. Wife's have the best reactions!

    This recording forum is not only informative and educational, but entertaining as well. I'm still laughing.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN, USA
    Posts
    27,246
    Very convincingly written. Given some of the things I've been asked to do, I never doubted a word of it.

    Good job, Jim.

    Oh my gosh. I never called you back! It just occurred to me. I was in the studio Friday night 'til after 11 PM and had family in all weekend. Sorry. Call me tonight. I'm mixing all day.
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    4,751
    Don't sweat it. I'm in Vegas at a conference this week, and won't be back until Friday, anyway. If you are free, I'll call you then.

    Maybe I should go check out Todd's place while I'm here?
    Jim Dugger
    Poorhouse Productions

    At 20 bits, you are on the verge of dynamic range covering fly-farts-at-20-feet to untolerable pain. Really, what more could we need?

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Live recording on Friday, seeking advice
    By Steve Rush in forum The Old Yellow Board
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 06-15-2005, 10:34 PM
  2. Nika: Tie together these ideas please!
    By grekim in forum The Old Yellow Board
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: 06-15-2005, 06:29 AM
  3. Quantegy bolts the doors
    By 3daudioinc in forum The Old Yellow Board
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 02-01-2005, 06:54 PM
  4. Recording in November '04
    By Jim Dugger in forum Recorder's Digest
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 01-05-2005, 02:34 PM
  5. Big Studios are Dinosaurs-Discuss!
    By 3daudioinc in forum The Old Yellow Board
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 04-29-2003, 05:35 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •