Had a good conversation with my supervisor today about what direction the project was heading, what the aims were, and what we were trying to show or find out.
I’ve been keen to move away from the “high end equipment v low end equipment” discussion as there isn’t a huge point to it. Instead I’d like to move the focus on to what recording method is a better option for the beginner/aspiring producer.
I mentioned before that, when chatting to Dirk Maggs, he advised that those “with no budget, who want to do audio stuff… create these movies for the mind, using audio. I recommend that they go out on location. Take a portable recorder like an H2 or an H4, or the Edirols, or whatever you can get. Take a portable recorder, and play with it.
Work out how to get the best result, the best balance of voices with background without it being too cattery, or too distant, or too echoey… because, you immediately remove one problem, which is setting your action somewhere atmospheric. You’ve already found that. So as soon as somebody says to me “oh I’d love to do it, but I can’t afford a studio”, I say you don’t need a studio if you have one of these little recorders, and once you’ve got one you can go anywhere, and do pretty much anything.”
On top of that, Fred Greenhalgh often talks of back in his early years, complaining to Roger Gregg about not being able to afford a studio, with Gregg replying that you don’t need a studio, and to “take your recording outside”.
These pieces of advice come from brilliant audio drama producers, but I’d like to investigate more and find out if they are fully justified.
Some questions I can look further into are…
Is it “easier” to work out in the field?
What are the limitations of field recording, versus the limitations of studio recording?
Likewise, what are the benefits of both?
Satellite or remote recording, where you can have a global cast record their lines independently and email them to you, is now hugely popular in the modern audio drama world. Is this in fact an even better option than field recording for getting started?
A huge downside of satellite/remote recording is of course the fact that actors are not performing with/off/against each other. Perhaps this is enough to remove it from the running of being the “best” option?
What are the thoughts of the actors who have experience of both field and studio recording, and also the thoughts of those who record remotely?
What are the thoughts of the listeners? Does the average listener really care how it was recorded, so long as it sounds good?
How can we really compare and judge two pieces of finished audio drama (one field, one studio) in a fair manner? What are we looking for?
A potential dissertation question might then be
What recording method is the most practical and accessible for the aspiring audio drama producer?