In the Zone

It’s amazing what you can find when you aren’t looking.

The other day, I dropped in at the local music store. When I think “music store,” I mostly think of a place that sells musical instruments and related paraphernalia. And indeed, the last time I was in this particular establishment, I was renting a clarinet for my then-middle-school-age daughter to play in band class. (Given that the same daughter is now a sophomore in college, you can tell that it’s been a while.)

I had a rather vague idea that this particular music store also had a recording studio onsite, but hadn’t thought much about it. Imagine, then, my utter surprise to see a sign near the back door that read, “Free Studio Tour.” I didn’t need more invitation than that — The Mic Guy’s first rule being, “If it’s free, it’s for me.”

Blair, the owner of Zone Music and Recording, welcomed me in. As it turned out, not only does he have a mighty sweet studio set-up squirreled away in the vast warren of his store, but he’s also a working voiceover pro who’s recorded narrations for Food Network and produced Dr. Phil’s latest audiobook. An entire wall of his studio is covered with awards he’s won. I considered genuflecting, but Blair seemed like a pretty humble guy. He’d have probably been embarrassed.

Standing in Blair’s booth, I found myself itching to grab some copy and perform. But I refrained. After all, I just met the man, and didn’t want to impose.

Instead, I wandered over to Zone’s Pro Audio department, and salivated over microphones there. They were in a glass cabinet, so I didn’t actually get any drool or fingerprints on them. A couple of them did speak to me, and ask me to call them “Precious.” A helpful tech guy chatted with me about my home studio setup, and offered some valuable suggestions.

Considering that I just wandered in because I stumbled upon a sale ad, my trip to Zone was a revelation. I’ll have to go hang out there again on a day when they’re a little less busy. Perhaps they’ll let me fondle a Neumann U87 or something.

Or perhaps not.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Audio technology, Audiobooks, Narration, Voice acting, Voiceover

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