Friday, December 2, 2011

Studio West Provides Last-Minute Solutions for WDCW, Philip Rivers & Activate Water

To keep one step ahead of the competition, you need to stay flexible.  When Los Angels-based advertising agency Wong Doody Crandall Wiener contacted us to record voiceover with San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers for Activate Water, naturally we were excited.  The radio spots would run in conjunction with a new photo/billboard campaign Activate is running with NFL quarterbacks Phillip Rivers and Josh Freeman as brand ambassadors.

The plan was to complete the photo shoot earlier in the morning, then have Philip drive to Studio West to do the recording for the radio spots.  As things would turn out, scheduling conflicts arose that didn't allow time for both the photo shoot and the recording session in the same morning.  The agency asked if the recording could be done at the photo studio.  Never a dull moment in the world of high stakes audio for radio!

We arranged with our liaison at WDCW to bring the necessary recording equipment to the photographer's studio in Solana Beach where the shoot was taking place.  With the help of Studio West intern extraordinaire Alfonso Wong, we turned an open-walled upstairs loft office with no AC into a usable booth for recording radio-ready v/o, all while Philip was being photographed downstairs. 
Alfonso testing the gear
Equipment included a MacBook Pro with a new MBox 3 interface as our input to Pro Tools.  On the front end, we used a Focusrite 430 Mic Preamp connected to a Sennheiser 416 shotgun microphone.  The output of the Focusrite was connected to the line input of the Mbox.  A six-channel Rane headphone amp provided audio confidence monitoring for the client, engineer and Philip.  Pro Tools 9 software ran without any hitches.  As it was a remote record and we didn't have a backup recorder running, we stopped record and saved after each set of lines.  The recording took about 30 minutes, and we were able to sneak this picture with Phillip after the session.  Go Chargers! 

L-R: Mark Kirchner, Philip Rivers, Alfonso Wong
So, in the space of about 90 minutes, and with the help of 25 spring clamps holding 10 packing blankets from rafter beams above our loft, we turned an unlikely recording space into a workable v/o booth. The client was happy, Studio West was happy, and Alfonso was happy!

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