Recording My Voice

Yes, I know, everyone is busting barriers by recording their fabulous podcasts or YouTube channels on their smart phones. But when I decided to record a bit of my writing this week, I was compelled to return to my early 21st century roots (well, limb, as in “out on a”).

In the early ’00s, when I fancied myself a video auteur, I was in fact a somewhat lazy one-woman-band. Instead of finding a young voice to read my voiceovers, I got a two-minute lesson from a sound guy on transforming my voice to sound like a teenager. My Lucy. I loved Lucy. She was so wise.

When I finally figured I had to use my own adult voice, I kept fiddling with it. Speeding it up or giving it a little Southern drawl. Everyone hates their own voice and I’ve read there are all kinds of mystical and psychological reasons for that. Crazy.

Then there was that great streak in 2007 when I flipped to radio essays and literally found my voice, churning out short pieces that got scores of replays on an experimental public radio station outside of Chicago. And then it was pretty much over.

But you know me: a would-be artiste, but also a techie. I have to say, that in the Oughts, you could get some technical advice online and tutoring from very generous public radio groups, but I didn’t know an XLR plug from a pre-amp. And yet I totally fell in love with sound design and all its trappings.

But… by then, no one was listening.

Fast forward. YouTube is chock-a-block with videos on sound production and podcasting. How times change. In my next life, I’d love to work one of those giant mixer boards and produce a Sound. Meanwhile, I reconnected my classic sound set-up to do a little reading. And I got totally hung up in post-production and all the sibilance I heard in my voice — or all the sounds I didn’t hear due to my 72-year-old ears and aural processing. Still, I had fun.

I enjoy circling back.

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