Today was surprisingly productive after, it must be said, a fairly uninspiring start. I re-arranged bits and bobs around my working environment to see if I could make things a little more streamlined. I think it’ll be another fortnight or so before I find out if it’s worked or not.
The weekend was unexpectedly good; rediscovering the virtual joys of two-played Halo 2, and the very real and muddy joys of walking around the forest a little up the road from the house. Having David around over the weekend was good. We even managed to get through Easter Sunday without eating chocolate, although there was a hot chocolate drink in the evening (I'm pretty sure none solids don't count).
The 2nd approval copy of the Dream On cast CD is doing the rounds just now waiting for further changes or permission to move on to copying. That'll also mean I have to finish off the inside CD cover and the back inlay. I'm feeling pretty up about how that turned out generally.
In terms of mood I swung completely the other way soon after, and the problem of a band that are acoustically too loud for a particular venue. In a large scale musical (where the instruments aren’t the main feature and singers have to be heard over the orchestra or band) the musicians are recessed from the audience so little direct sound can be heard, and this keeps the sound levels low enough for a soloist to be heard over several musicians with loud instruments. One way around it might be to try to get the band to play quieter but that is acoustically impossible with brass and darned unlikely with a drummer. So make the singers louder? That would means using microphones, which is a whole other problem of either trailing cables or radio frequencies which may or may not interfere with each other. Shamefully, my first impulse was to just put sound effects on a CD and/or minidisk and let some other poor so and so deal with the band… but given that there isn’t a whole lot anyone can do beyond asking the singers to be louder (please) and maybe try to get the band to introduce some elements of light and shade to their dynamics.
At least the pieces where there are lots of people singing should sound passable in terms of balance (and that’s a good thing because rehearsal vocals have been sounding really good). It can be quite frustrating being a perfectionist about music and sound at times, especially when you have to deal with musicians. I just hope no one feels the need to check my tongue or lips for tooth-marks.
Meanwhile, I have Sweet Charity sound effects to sort out. Parts of the show are set in Central Park, New York, and I’d found several recordings made in that very green-space. However as background ambience it didn’t work too well (either the traffic was too pronounced or there were pigeons) so after brief consultation with the director on the matter we are going to simply have bird song maybe a little traffic noise. The only other sounds that are bothering me are that made by an elevator, and it looks like the best way forward on this might be to have lots of pieces of recordings - doors closing, motors starting, a nasty clunk, etc – available to be triggered independently or the actors would end up having to count in their heads to match the timings.
And that pile of folders, magazines and miscellenous papers needs to find a permanent home... nothing busier than the quieter times.