You know they say, you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone? Like, about men and friends and curly hair? I always wanted rid of my curls, now it's pixy short and I've got afro-envy...I mean it was never an epic 'fro, but with some clever back coming and a few minutes of hairspray I could do a pretty good 80s power ballad diva silhouette of a Saturday evening.
Well, having been a drifter for the past two years I'd been spending the in between times at my parents glorious place in the Northumbrian countryside. It's a B&B, Bush Nook. Come visit. (see Dad, all over this 'networking' malarky....)
Whilst there I needed somewhere to set up my studio. And, after much deliberation it was decided that in the attic under the eaves, off the tiny last resort spare bedroom, there was a storage cupboard currently housing Christmas decorations which would suffice. So up we went, me and the Da. We (he) rehoused the decs and hoovered, we (he) hammered and drilled and laid extension cables and what not until it was sound treated and resembled a kind of studio but for a very small person. So I, with much tutting and puffing, crawled through the hobbit-esque door each day and sat on a cushion or my knees or stood slightly hunkered over, to record all sorts of things for clients. TV commercials, IVR systems, corporate narrations and character pieces for my sketch group Jolly Mixtures.
While I was crawling in and out, choosing the moments wisely between the odd low flying aircraft from our local RAF base and lambing season (#countrylife) I often thought 'bloody heck, this is just NO good. I NEED more room. I CAN NOT WORK LIKE THIS'.
As I sit now, in my studio corner of a triangle shaped bedroom in London, in a basement flat just off busy New Cross road above a train station with a window the size of a Cadbury's chocolate finger... I think, 'you bloody idiot. You had it so good up there, and you didn't even realise. In a space dedicated only to recording. With a lot of silence and privacy. A delightful view. And a man with a drill to help!' (#thanksdad)
Things are set up great now. I'm recording daily with ease, keeping clients happy and learning how to time with the odd rumble of a train. But it took quite a few set up attempts (not much short of 69 I imagine) to get things right. Variations of treating the walls, finding the sweet spot for my mic. I mean at one point I was using a vintage parasol (I kid you not...) to reduce overhead reflections. Not the most practical of solutions but I did get to feel like I was in Downtown Abbey. Which is odd when you're recording an advert for medicine that relieves constipation in children. It's all glamour.
The moral of this tale? The grass is always greener at your parents house. Or something like that.
What's your studio story? Let me know.