Editing Episode 15 - The Reluctant Technologist

Why? What possible reason could I have to go and stand in a field in Wales for two days? It’ll be raining and there’ll be sheep and hippies and people who haven’t bathed, and there’ll also be Action Dan and Science Brian (aka. all of the above). You are kidding, right? There is no way on Earth that I would ever, ever, produce a live podcast at Green Man festival.

Screenshot of AST's page on the Green Man website

The evidence…
(screenshot gratuitously stolen from greenman.net)

Wait – how did I get here? Ergh – get that unwashed science hippy-sheep away from me…

*sigh*

And so, in rapid succession, I found myself in:

  • A very dodgy pub in Abergavenny
  • A slightly less-dodgy B&B above a pub in Abergavenny
  • Two moderately nice cafes
  • A car with a mad, slobbering animal (and his dog)
  • A ruined castle (OK, so this bit was quite cool…)
  • A curry house
  • A field

Having finally resigned myself to the fact that I had signed up to record another live episode of Action Science Theatre, I developed all manner of grandiose plans. We would have one microphone for each cast member. They would speak into the microphones. There would be another microphone pointing at the crowd to pick up the laughter, applause, whooping, cheering and general mayhem. I would record each of these microphones onto separate tracks to give me complete control when it came to the editing.

Note to self: do not have grandiose plans.

We turned up to the venue (OK – a small corner of the field) at the appointed time, and I wandered over to talk to the technical crew. On removing my trusty eight-track from its custom-made case (OK – from the bag I’d stuffed it into, wrapped in a couple of towels), they looked at me, slightly bewildered.

“You want to record it? Oh. Right. I think we can do that.”

We had our contract for the festival amended specifically so that we would be allowed to record the show, so you’d have thought this wouldn’t have come as so much of a surprise.

“You want to record each microphone separately? I don’t think we have enough cable for that.”

I own an entire wardrobe full of cables. I could have brought cables. I didn’t bring cables.

Note to self: always bring absolutely everything, all the time, always.

In the end, what I got was a single track with everything mushed in together. As a result, the possibilities for editing were somewhat limited; what you hear on the final podcast is more or less what really happened in that field. Maybe that’s not a bad thing.

The pub, though. The pub was a bad thing.

Let’s never do this again.

(We may do this again – Action Dan)

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