mad in pursuit journal

DISPATCHED FROM THE CROSSROADS, AT THE intersection OF anxiety & anticipation

Audio Anxiety

I'm not just changing gears. I'm hopping out of my Craft-Mobile and taking my rusty AudioTech-Mobile out of the garage for a spin around the Indy Speedway. How's that for a morning metaphor?

But it's true. This afternoon I have a job as a recordist for a radio producer in New Mexico. It's a paying job and I have to be a professional and produce a professional product: a digital recording of this end of a telephone interview. The person on my end is Gandhi's grandson (yes, that Gandhi).

I can't breathe.

Yes, I can. Snap out of it. Better go to yoga class this morning to practice my breathing.

The problem is that I haven't used my equipment in so long. It feels like there are a million pieces, a million switches, a million things that could go wrong.

It is a performance piece -- going to someone else's house, identifying the perfect buzz-free place to record, setting up equipment, connecting cables, flipping switches, testing 1-2-3.

I sat in my bedroom yesterday, practicing how to using my Marantz mini-disc recorder. Reminding myself about all the connections and controls. The microphone setup is important in order to get just the right sound quality. My producer recommended that I not try to hold the microphone in the correct place for an hour's interview, so I figured out how to attach the shotgun mic to my camera tripod. Everything seems to be in good working order.

After I packed up all the equipment just so, I had another panic attack last night. I can't just send the producer the mini-disc, for fear it could get lost or damaged in the mail. So I have to connect the recorder to my computer and make a digital copy of the interview. I realized that I hadn't done this since way before my computer had to be rebuilt last fall. Again, there are a million little settings of software and hardware to ponder and tweak.

Long story short, all the rusty components of my AudioTech-Mobile are at least oiled up and operable. I don't have to win any races, just make it successfully around the track. Breathe. Focus. Go...





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