Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Word on the street is that if a job is worth doing it’s best to go straight to A1 VOX.

Word of mouth is a strong tool indeed. In fact we were recently approached by a new company who had been nudged our way by an A1 VOX client. Thank you very much.

In a bid to uphold this recommendation we flung ourselves at their mercy and we're only too happy to listen to their app idea.

Technology changes quicker than Angelina Jolie popping out her next sprog, and us folk at VOX Towers love to keep abreast of current trends by getting involved with projects that are a little bit different from the norm. On hearing said concept we leapt at the chance to get on board, and decided we were the ones to help bring it all to life.

The brief we were given was to supply a female artist that could speak a number of stock phrases, in six different accents. Nothing new there for old hats such as ourselves. The unique part of the gig was that they wanted to video the artists mouth as she was voicing.

They had a specific target market to which this app was aimed - namely your bloke on the street who reads Nuts and Zoo and downs lager as if it is going out of fashion. Wahey!

With this in mind, and the client needing a hot woman, (well who doesn’t),…….it fell to Miss Eleanor Howell to deliver the goods, I mean voice.

The day came before we could say 'Apple Mac' and Studio A quickly transformed from audio hub to temporary film set. There was much angling of lights and clearing of decks to make room for the camera but before long the stage was set.

Chris had a table top mic stand with a directional mic ( a c1000 AKG) angled towards Ellie as close as possible (but just out of camera shot). This ensured that A1 VOX got the best quality recording available, rather than leaving the clients to rely on the internal camera mic, which would have sounded 'roomy' due to it's distance from Ellie.

With quotes such as ‘It’s not Christmas, or your birthday, so don’t even ask’ said in numerous fashions, Ellie brought the house down.

She even applied different colour lipsticks for each region to give the whole shebang an authentic touch. Bravo Miss Howell.

So 'Luscious Lips Ellie' will be gracing smart-phones in the very near future, with the addition of some nicely recorded audio of course - how's about that then!

(As for Ellie’s other half…well he is happy to stick with the real thing giving him grief, even if she isn’t wearing fluro lipstick!).

Excitement reached fever pitch last week as Monty Python’ite extraordinaire Terry Jones came into the studio.

Chris was stoked that he would be working alongside one of his idols and with this in mind we thought a picture of Chris, with Terry, was the order of the day.

To some people he is a god but to coin a Life of Brian phrase…'He’s not the Messiah. He’s a very naughty boy!'

Terry will forever be synonymous with Monty Python but he is also a renowned medieval historian, controversially, a champion of church conservation, (even though Life of Brian is considered blasphemous and three out four movies that he directed were banned in Ireland: The Meaning of Life, Monty Python’s Life of Brian and Personal Services), oh….and at the age of 69 he is father of a two year old. I say!

He has written countless books and last year he directed a short opera that he also wrote a libretto for called The Doctor’s Tale.

We have met some seriously talented artists here at A1 VOX but Terry sure takes some beating!

‘He promised me all the gold I could eat’

It seems that Terry (unlike Brian's mum), got it all, as everything he touches turns to the shiny stuff - Lucky, talented so and so.

Terry was at our studio for a couple of hours as part of a PR agencies media day.

Another A1 VOX specialty is the ability to co-ordinate a schedule of interviews with different radio stations across the country.

Chris was at the helm to make sure that we connected successfully, swapping from one codec to another, and enabling the session to run without error.

As some of the stations were airing the interviews live, and not all were pre records, this was pretty hairy stuff.

Chris, ever the professional, took it all in his stride and put in an A1 performance.

Terry did his part too of course by sitting cheerfully in the booth and delivering each interview as if it were the first of the day.

Afterwards he was more than happy to hang around with a big smile on his face and a word for everyone. Legend!


Many of you who are familiar with A1 VOX will know that one of our resident in house voices has a bit of a strange hobby…no it is not Trevor Nichols playing the lute with his thighs…step forward Lucy Scott.

Lucy likes to swim.. but not lengths of the local, (that would be far too normal). She likes to swim in sub zero waters - the loon!

Last weekend was the 2012 Winter Swimming Championships in Jurmala, Latvia.

The event is held every two years and involves 25metre, 50metre sprints, relay swims and endurance swims in water approximately zero degrees. The air is no better at around minus 20!!!! Makes England seem positively Caribbean.

The meet was set up by the Finnish sixteen years ago and they have been campaigning to turn it into a winter Olympic recognised sport.

Here is Lucy about to swim the 50 metres in a rather fetching glittery red number. You can take the girl off the stage but………..

Lucy was rewarded for freezing off all extremities by getting silver in the 50metres and gold in the 25metres – Well stoke up the fire and call me Wendy!

Well Done Lucy!.

The next event is in 2014, Lapland – the Arctic Circle. So if you fancy a madcap weekend, with people who like to submerge themselves into a vat of ice, (and grin about it afterwards), get in contact with Lucy who will show you that ‘The Only Way is Bloody Cold.’

Join us next week when Julian Barratt of Mighty Boosh fame makes an appearance, and we find out what makes this funny man incandescent with rage!

Friday, 20 January 2012

Grab hold of your mics and nail down your headphones……WE ARE BACK!

So I went off to become a Mrs (please see the couple of photos below as evidence of this) , and took the trip of a lifetime around Asia.

Sarah and Dom outside Leez Priory right after 'I Do'.

Sarah ecstatic that the big day has finally arrived and she can down champagne with much abandon!

All this was happening whilst you lot were at home cautiously twiddling your thumbs and chewing fingernails, awaiting news of the latest A1 VOX happenings.

Well wait no more fine followers!

You will be glad to hear that whilst I was away the A1 VOX ship was calmly sailed by Mr Tom Heath.

Under the watchful eye of Captain Nove, and First Mate Chris O’Conner, Tom steered us nicely into November and December – (Captain Francesco Schettino please take note of how it’s done!).

So we are still technically sound and very much afloat.

Well Done Tom and a big thank you from all at A1 for your hard graft and periless voyages into the depths of the vocal sea.

Here at A1 we aren’t just your run of the mill studio. In point of fact we pretty much turn our hand to anything with much gusto.

It was due to this A1 VOX joie de vivre that we were able to throw a lifeline to one of our Danish clients.

They had been recording Denmark’s Next Top Model (a spin off from the Tyra Banks’ franchise in good ole U S of A), and needed to get some recordings taken as a matter of fashionista urgency from their Danish presenter, Caroline Fleming.

There were however a few hurdles to cross in order to gain said revered lines - the biggest being Caroline’s schedule.

She was due to fly out on holiday the day of the recording, which meant that she was frantically finalising packing and unable to make it into the studio. This left her Danish Top Model counterparts pulling at their hair and making all sorts of guttural noises.

There was only one thing for it…If Muhammad can’t come to the mountain, …….then A1 VOX shall go instead!

So we sent our top man in the field Mr Chris O’Conner off to record Baroness Caroline Fleming in her very own home.

This was not going to be a mean feat as Caroline is a bit of a big deal and we had no idea what to expect.

Caroline pocketed a cool £400 million after splitting from multi-millionaire banker husband Rory Fleming – cousin to none other than James Bond creator Ian!

Seriously well connected people that aren’t short of a bob or two.

In fact Caroline is ‘so money’ that she became known as a reality star in her homeland when she filmed the rennovations to her family pile – Valdemars Castle.

You heard right people…..she owns her own castle. Stone the crows!

Since her divorce she has found happiness with Fellow Dane and Arsenal premier league ace, Nicklas Bendtner. So it is a case of Arsenal 1 Palace 1 for the gorgeous, stinking rich pair.

So Chris made his way to an undisclosed, extremely exclusive, neighbourhood.

It seems that this area is so ‘well to do’ that the mere presence of an unknown face causes the police to question anyone who doesn’t walk around with a chihuahua in their handbag and go by the first name of Darrrrrling.

Chris made it to Caroline’s modest abode where he had to wait in the hallway with the conceierge until she was ready to receive him.

Once in, the recording took a total of 5 minutes to complete. Chris said that Caroline was very professional, giving him two reads of the script before sending him out with a signed picture of herself.

Job Done!

Our Danish clients were delighted and said that Caroline must have been impressed with Chris and his lack of intrusion to her day, and her home, as she was very amenable towards him and told the client that all had gone very well….apparantly not everyone rings in such high praise.

So if you have a job….. and no one else can help…..maybe you should hire…The A1 Vox Team!!!!!!!!!

Back at A1 VOX Central this rugged Northern type by the name Ralph Ineson came in to offer up his rich Yorkshire accent.

Ralph is best known for playing the character of Chris Finch (aka Finchy) in The Office.

‘What’s the difference between a fox and a dog?.......About 8 pints of lager!!!!!!!!!!!!’

Classic Finch.

The travelling Sales Rep and David (Ricky Gervais’ character) were debauched partners in crime. His appearances in the office consisted of unprintable language and innuendo. He was, however, unfathomably successful with women.

‘So I get there, she’s aged 19, Ferrari chassis, fantastic set of shelves and legs up to her arse. Muchos tequilas later I’m in a cab with her’.

Ralph took a turn in Hollywood blockbusters First Knight and Jonny Depp’s From Hell. Most recently you may have seen him in Spooks and playing Amycus Carrow in the Harry Potter films.

'Eh By Gum' he were a lovely lad and a pleasure to have at the Towers.

Well that is all for this week folks.

It is an absolute pleasure to be back in the breach. I for one am looking forward to sharing 2012 behind the mic of Soho’s friendliest studio with everyone out there in the vocal stratosphere.

Till next time when Chris meets one of his all time idols and Ellie Howell features in our next ‘A1 VOX can do Anything – and More!’ special session report.