Yesterday I had the opportunity to take a tour of Playback Recording Studio in Santa Barbara, California.
At the front door I was promptly met by Playback audio technician Daniel. From the moment I walked in I was stunned. The arrangement of decor, the low, warm lighting, and architecture of the facility itself lent credit to the creative minds of the people that designed and work in the recording studio. The mirrored echo chamber was a beautiful sight to behold and gave the appearance of a portal that leads and compels you to find out whats at the other end. Stepping through the other end of the chamber accessed the live room, which was a tremendous room begging to be filled with the sound of music. The isolation booth, which is where part of the magic happens for voice over, was located at the far end of the live room, and was an impressive space.
The iso booth was comfortable, which offered more than enough range of motion for the voice talent to interact with their script and stay on mic. No awkward restraints from equipment or walls. From the iso booth was a window which gave a glimpse into the control board from which the sound engineer operates.
The control board looked like it came out of a science fiction novel (in a good way). The immensity was almost a bit overwhelming, with different systems modulating different aspects of sound. I felt if my tour guide sat down and manipulated the console we would drift off into warp at any given moment, and see star lanes zip by on the big screen stationed in front of the console. I felt grounded to reality when I noticed cartoon memorabilia decorating the room, and another technician taking care of the area with a handled broom, picking up debris meticulously off the floor.
With such an impressive studio, its no wonder they have such a prestigious clientele; Katy Perry, The Mad Caddies, voice over talent for EA Sports, Walgreens, and GEICO, and many more!
As impressive as the studio was, nothing compares to the professionalism of the staff I met. A big thank you to Daniel, who took the time out of his day to give me the tour, explain the rooms and equipment, and answer my questions. Also, thank you to Lisa and Cameron, both who were a pleasure to meet. I look forward to working in the future with this group of professionals.