Recording Animals Welcome

Animals Welcome, audioThis week I recorded Animals Welcome. I loved the studio that Audible hired for me to do this. Bear Creek Studios in Woodinville WA is a huge, gorgeous converted dairy barn with various rooms for recording. Many musical groups record there, so two grand pianos and an antique pump organ are available. The control room was about the size of my living room, full of high-tech equipment.

There were funky old things hanging everywhere. My favorite was a Marine Harmonica that must have been from a store display. It was about three feet long, by 18 inches high by a foot deep. The bathroom that I used was decorated with antique skeleton memorabilia, including a “band” of skeletons about six inches high, all playing instruments. There was even a dog greeter – a 13-year-old Jack Russell terrier named Rosie who was all waggy and happy to welcome me.

I was in a small sound-proof room that was just large enough for a comfy chair, a reading lamp, and two microphones. We had to stop after I’d read only a page and change chairs. They had me in a big leather arm chair and whenever I moved at all, the leather squeaked and the mike picked up the noise. Once everything was right, we just flew along.

I worried that my voice got kind of hoarse but the guys doing the recording insisted it sounded fine. I could pause for a drink or take a break any time I wanted. Several times the tech guy, Jerry, asked me to read a sentence over and a few times I did that without being asked because I had stumbled or slurred or whatever. My only difficulty came in the section about Carl’s death. I started to cry and had to stop for a few minutes and try again. I was able to continue but for several minutes after that my hands shook. I was afraid the book would rattle but apparently it didn’t and on we went. Jerry was great. A cat lover himself, we had much in common.

Bear Creek sends the result to Audible in New York, who will do the editing and produce the CD. I’ll let you know when the audio version is available. Meantime, I have memories of a hard day’s work that was also a grand adventure.