Activity 2 | Home Studio
For this activity we’re going to make a home recording studio for us to record our scripts.
Sounds are messy things, they get everywhere. One of the things we can do to help keep sounds we don’t want out of a recording, to make sure that we get more of the sounds we do want is to create a little recording booth. Thick warm things, like duvet covers or curtains are good at keeping out unwanted high-pitched sounds, so we’re going to use them to create a little home studio for recording our scripted lines.
Activity time; 30-45 minutes.
For this activity you’ll need…
- A duvet or two.
- Some chairs or a clothes horse.
- A lamp.
- Your field recording kit.
- A copy of your script.
You’re going to need to work in either pairs, or as a three.
Make a duvet/pillow fort in a quiet corner of your house using either a clothes horse or chairs to hold it up, and a duvet cover or two. Try to be far away from unwanted sounds, like roads or excited dogs (but it’s totally OK if some of those sounds sneak into your recording!).
In the picture below, I’ve made one from chairs, a clothes horse and a double duvet. I’ve also put a wee lamp inside to help me read the script.
Make sure it has room for two people to sit comfortably, if not three.
Head inside with your field recorder and a copy of your lines, either written out in your notebook or printed off/read from a tablet.
One person will be the sound engineer, and the other will be the actor.
The sound engineer will test the recording levels. To do this, the actor will just start talking at their normal speaking volume – maybe they’ll tell the sound engineer what their ideal breakfast would be.
Whilst the actor is talking about their dream breakfast, the sound engineer will make sure the fluffy wind shield is covering the microphones on their field recorder and hit ‘record arm’ to check their recording levels. Turn the recording level up or down so that the peak level is somewhere in between -12dB and -6dB.
Then we are ready to go!
Don’t worry about pressing stop and record in between each take, as there will be loads of takes and you might accidentally forget to record one.
Instead – hit record and make sure that it’s rolling (that the timer is counting up) and then play the following game…
Call and Response
The sound engineer, or the directors (who will probably be Moira and Khadea) will read out the line, then the actor will pause for a “beat” (which is acting talk for a little moment) and repeat the line back – speaking towards the microphone.
It really doesn’t matter if you don’t repeat the line exactly, you can change the words if you want to – just so long as you say roughly the same thing. For example…
Pheen first arrives in the place
with no sound and says…
“Hello? Is anyone there?”
Try saying the lines three times in slightly different ways to make sure you’ve got a good recording of each one.
Richy will send on each character’s lines in a separate document so that you can try and get them all done in one go.
When you’ve finished your recording session, have a listen back to it to make sure you’re happy that you’ve recorded all the lines well. If there’s any that don’t sound so good, or one’s you’re not happy with try them again.
Once you’re happy you’ve got everything you need, transfer your files to your computer then upload them to the padlet by going to www.wildtracks.studio > Episode 1 > Files.