Thu, 14 April 2011
Was thinking about the Host's voice, previously described as being partly modelled on Bob Edwards.
But soft, what voice through yonder mem'ry breaks!
Whatta Voice! Adams, who sounds like he wears tweed jackets with elbow patches to bed, was the co-host of All Things Considered during the 80s, when I often heard him politely dispensing news or politely interviewing newsmakers. My parents were big NPR listeners and, thanks to WGBH picking up English shows like Upstairs Downstairs and I, Claudius (as well as a sketch-comedy show called Monty Python), big PBS fans as well.
Adams was part of a curious mis-fire during the 1980s, a radio variety show called Good Evening that replaced Prarie Home Companion (when the Keil' quit to become a full-time writer). I remember being baffled, hearing Adams interviewing some performer in the midst of this show. His quiet friendly manner, so calm and reasssuring on ATC, was 100% wrong in this new setting...like your grandad trying to "get down" with your high school friends.
Show graphic comes from a classical music blog called The Well-Tempered Ear.
Category:Credits -- posted at: 2:17 PM
Thu, 5 August 2010
The Host (GW)—an aging radio veteran who is happy to be working, and who believes he is thoughtful, clever, and witty. Well-intentioned, but afraid he really is just another pretty voice. Opens every show by saying “Welcome” in a different language—he thinks this makes the show multi-cultural. (voice based on my own, channeling Bob Edwards)
Charles Paintakingsley—an interpid reporter who doesn’t always understand what he’s reporting on, but is very earnest. Son of an English diplomat whose parents ditched him while visiting the Baltimore Zoo, where he now runs a Snowball stand. Would like to get into a real radio job. Also, has never met the Host.
Kent Occluded—the gruff-voiced manager of the cavernous Poison Dart Studios, where InveDel is produced. Down-to-earth. Kent has seem’em come and is looking forward to seeing’em go. He enjoys sailing and cutting coupons. (voice based on a manager I work with)
Shashir Moheet—the systems analyst who co-hosts the Catch Phrase of the Week segment. He is a soft-spoken Sikh from Northern India, and is very smart. Also a devoted father of 18. (named after two guys I work with, Shishir & Mohit, voice inspired by comedian Russell Peters)
Connie—the sound engineer for the podcast. Keeps to herself. Kent knows her last name, but he isn’t telling.
Anthony Lame—sometime commentator who supplies film reviews. From England, we think. Funny voice and haughty, snippy manner. Master of snark. (voice based on Brits who can't pronounce 'r's, like Michael Palin's fantastic Pontius Pilate in the Life of Brian)
Carvington St. Swithins—head of facilities. Carvington hails from May Pen, Jamaica, and is wild about cricket . . . or rather, crickets--he keeps a terrarium full of them to feed to the fringe-toed basilisk that wanders his apartment. Favorite food: akee & saltfish.
Gojeera—irascible citizen of Japan who happens to be a forty-foot reptilian monster. (no relation to any other large dinosaur-type creatures from Japan.) Feels misunderstood.
Jingo Sparks—a 20something writer adrift in New York City, writing occasional pieces for magazines, who secretly longs to inherit the Host's chair at This American Life (I attempt a New England accent)
James Robert Tow—an elderly historian and expert on Civil War Reenactments. (I attempt an elderly Southern accent)
Category:Credits -- posted at: 2:12 PM
Fri, 25 June 2010
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Here's the basic, one-page summation for the Inverse Delirium: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial Page
Category:Credits -- posted at: 2:44 PM
Thu, 17 June 2010
I named my home "Studio" after some of my favorite animals, a group of amphibeans collectively known as "Poison Dart" (or "Poison Arrow") frogs, or Dendrobates. These tiny critters produce toxic secretions from mucous glands in their skin, and their name derives from Amerindians (of Central & South America) who would capture the frogs, distill their poisons, and smear them on arrow tips.
As with coral snakes or lion fish, these vivid, colorful patterns warn predators away from bitter (or potentially deadly) prey. The frogs are active during the day, which is pretty unusual for tiny frogs.
It was a visit to the National Aquarium in Baltimore that introduced them to me. I was already fond of the Red-Eyed Tree frog, which carries its young on its back, and when I saw the startlingly adorable Poison Dart frogs, I decided that tiny frogs would be my totem animal.
Many of them are, unfortunately, endangered. As creatures of the tropics, they suffer along with all fauna affected by deforestation, and they have also taken a hit from whatever has been causing the massive drop in frog populations.
In the Funny Coincidence Dept., I happen to be enjoying a book called The Poisoner's Handbook (by Deborah Blum), a surprisingly engaging story of the birth of forensic science in NYC in the roaring 20's. Highly recommended!
Category:Credits -- posted at: 2:05 PM
Wed, 26 May 2010
I'm a decent mimic. I have a good ear for accents, atho I can only do actual impressions of a few famous people, like David Attenborough. I can also summon an uncanny Scandanavian version of Gordon Lightfoot, which would reduce my sister Jenny to hysterics.
But other impressions are usually second-generation . . . that is, some comedian does the hard work of picking out what's distinctive about a celebrity's voice, and then figures out how to reproduce it, and then I borrow that impression (as near as I can get).
For the characters in the show who aren't based on an actual person, I usually start by choosing an obvious characteristic, like an accent: German for the Professor in the Walrus story, or Indian for Shashir Moheet in the Catch Phrase segments.
Then....I bring in my secret weapon: the Vocal Transformer plug-in within Logic Pro software. It lets me 'filter' the pitch and timbre of that recording.
For instance, Shashir. I record my voice doing the accent, then filter that recording with the Transformer--lower the pitch a bit and added a bit of "warp". (it's not perfect; sometimes you can hear a bit of digital 'noise' in the transformed voice)
Then I take that filtered track and stitch it together with my "unfiltered" Host voice track to make it sound like two people conversing. The final touch is panning the voices slightly (one left, one right).
Category:Credits -- posted at: 4:43 PM
Fri, 14 May 2010
Sound effects for the Inverse Delirium come from a variety of great websites, but my two Go-To sites are: Sounddogs.com, a professional site that sells high quality licensed sound effects, and the Freesound Project, a Creative Commons site (they accept donations) that gathers home-made sound effects contributed by site members.
Other sites I've used include: grsites.com/sounds . . . therecordist.com . . . partnersinrhyme.com . . . acoustica.com and stockmusicsite.com (pay site)
As for music, I do what I can (as in the "country" music commercial, or background music like the classical-sounding intro and the bluesy outro). When I can't do it myself, I hunt in these sound effects libraries for musical instrument samples and certain genres I just can't reproduce--or play!. I couldn't do this without them!
And then it suddenly occurred to me that I had a prime resource for the music breaks I started using....my own albums!
Category:Credits -- posted at: 2:51 AM