Recently, my husband, Troy, and I went on a cruise to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. We had a blast, and I was still able to take care of my clients while traveling. Believe me, we had all kinds of time to eat and play and get our vacation vibes on, but taking an hour out of our day to make sure all of my regular clients had everything they needed has led to long-lasting, wonderful business relationships. My clients trust me. They know I care. They know they are a priority to me. This has served my career well over nearly twenty years. At the end of the day, in addition to the super fun creative work we get to do. it’s all about serving our clients’ needs.
Each day we were away, I recorded a handful of commercials for my regular, weekly clients. Some knew I was on the road (or at sea, in this case), while others didn’t. One of the days on board, I recorded 16 commercials! I couldn’t believe how awesome the audio quality was from my mobile recording studio.
Here’s how I built my cruise ship recording booth:
First, I placed a blanket over the desk in our room. Hard surfaces are reflective, so you don’t want to record close to walls, doors, desks, tables, etc. if they aren’t covered with a blanket or something similar. Otherwise, you’ll sound noticeably echo-y.
(The room I was in was surprisingly pretty quiet, but still had all sorts of ‘noise’ challenges. The AC kept kicking on, the sounds of being aboard a ship, people walking down the hallway talking, etc.)
Next, I tore the sofa apart and built an audio “fort.” This helped me create a quiet, somewhat deadened space. It was a great buffer to keep unwanted noise out. You always want to consider that wide open space behind you too– I had Troy throw a comforter over my head so all that open space behind me didn’t produce an echo. Because I sat in a chair working in between those white cushions, the comforter draped over the top. It definitely got a little toasty in there, but hey. I was working in my swimsuit, so no complaints there!
What recording gear did I bring?
I didn’t want to bring a ton of travel gear with me; I wanted to keep it simple. So I brought my iPad, my Apogee mic, my Shure MV88 mic as a backup, and some earbuds. (Oh, and my adorable, tiny pink pop filter! It’s so cute!)
I used TwistedWave as my recording software of choice (it’s only $10 in the App store) and after tapping into the ship’s Wi-fi, I was in business! Because we were, you know, in the middle of the ocean, the upload speeds were slooowwww, but I was still able to deliver the MP3 and WAV files my clients needed.
The craziest part? Jobs I recorded from this setup are now airing on radio and television! Yeah, recorded in my pillow fort… on a cruise ship! How cool is that?!
The point is, you can record on the go and get great sound quality–and you don’t need to overthink it! Who cares if you’re in a cruise ship pillow fort? As TVAS coach and Rockstar audio producer John McClain always says, “If it sounds good, it is good!”
Here’s to smooth sailin’ in your mobile recording booth! Ba dum BUM!