Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sound Effects and Valentines

Our Drama Club - The CountryPlace Players - is in rehearsals for the spring play, an original production entitled Black & White TV.  Imagine all of our favorite sitcoms from the 50's and 60's:  I Love Lucy, The Honeymooners, The Lone Ranger... 

Imagine all of those memorable TV commercials from that era:  Bob Hope promoting Texaco, Speedy promoting Alka Seltzer, Dinah Shore promoting Chevrolet... 

Now imagine all of the sound effects and the theme music that go along with all of this. 

I was asked if I would take charge of Sound Effects, given my computer expertise and my experience doing this for other productions, although the amount of sound effects required for these prior productions was much smaller than for this current production.  This new project involved researching and sourcing legally downloadable theme music for more than a dozen shows and commercials.  It also involved searching for and downloading a number of sound effects and pieces of music, including such bits as stripper music, organ music, and sound effects such as a toilet flush, a rocket missile, a shotgun blast and many more.   More than 40 separate sound effects in all.  It was a fun and interesting challenge! 

I converted the mostly MP3 files to WMA files and edited many of them for length, volume consistency, to insert fades where appropriate, and to splice a few of them together for better control and effect.

The play is now in its second week of rehearsals, all sound effects have been loaded onto the club's laptop computer that connects to the master soundboard, all minor changes and adjustments to these sound effects have now been made, and my job is now done.

An interesting and fun project for sure!!

So where does Valentine's come in?  Earlier this evening I put on my running shoes and jogged the 1/2 mile to the Carriage House where rehearsals are underway.  One of the sound booth crew had a small heart-shaped box of delectable Lindt Truffles for me - his way of saying thanks for all of the work I put into getting the sound effects set up.  Then, when I ran home, I stopped at my mailbox and found an envelope filled with two home-made valentines for me, one from my granddaughter Mimi, the other from grandson Trevor.  Refrigerator art!!  Nice end to the day!

Hope your Valentine's Day was everything you wanted it to be.

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