Thursday, 21 February 2013

February 2013

Hello, didn’t February come round fast?

It’s been an action packed fortnight at A1 VOX, Chris has had a successful operation on his dodgy knee and Jamie wore the studio manager hat while he was recovering. I don’t mean that literally, there isn’t an actual studio manager hat, but there really should be. We’ve been recording ‘on hold’ messages for clients like mad this week, I’m a big fan of a good hold message because although we’d all love our phone call to be answered within 3 rings (like we do at A1 VOX!), it’s just not always possible, so I do like to be told what number in the queue I am, or how desperately someone is rushing to answer my call.

Last week, for the 3rd time in 2 months, Charles took the big silver suitcase that resides in our office and disappeared for a few hours. I’ll admit that the first time this happened I thought he was a spy, but I’ve since learned that he was doing an outside broadcast for one of our clients…… The mysteries of the silver case have now been revealed to me, as a collection of cables, microphones, stands and recording devices. Every crucial component is duplicated, as failure is not an option when we’re recording Very Important People saying Important Things. Although the majority of our work is studio based, we’re always ready to go out when that’s what’s called for. For a busy CEO and his/her Corporate Communications Team, that can make the difference between needing to allocate a 15 minute window and setting aside a whole hour or two in a packed diary. All part of the service here at A1 VOX!

Recently one of our clients paid us a surprise visit and called me to get directions. I realised I was no help after I told him we were ‘a door next to the Italian restaurant’; there must be 5 Italian restaurants in Old Compton Street (I know this because I’ve stopped and salivated over all of their menus). So, I took this photo to show where we are, we’re the blue door sandwiched snugly between ‘La Porchetta’ and ‘Maison Touareg’. Notice how the sun is shining on our windows!

Incidentally, if you go to see the comedy film “I Give It A Year”, you may just catch a very similar view to the one above in one of the movie’s later scenes, as some sequences were shot just across the road from us.

I’ve been Celeb Spotting during my lunch breaks in Soho and so far I’m very excited to report who I’ve seen –

  1. Barry from Eastenders aka Sean Williamson was in Pret eating a toastie.
  2. DJ Neil Fox (aka Dr Fox, Foxy etc) walking along Old Compton Street with his kids.
I suspect that there are heaps of celebs sauntering cleverly past me every day practically begging to be spotted, so I’ll make sure I keep my eyes peeled on my sandwich runs in the future.

Our Critch starred in the last episode of series 3 of Miranda. You may have seen him as the chuckling airport security man – he was fabulous of course!

Lastly, we were very sad to hear of the death of Richard Briers, he had been to A1 VOX many times – taking advantage of our handy location here in theatreland - and we all thought him a true gent. Charles has some very fond and funny memories of him which he’s been sharing with Tom and me this morning. He was always good-humoured, courteous and a thorough professional.

Well, the sun is coming out in Soho and all looks beautiful, we hope it’s shining on you too!

Friday, 1 February 2013

New Girl

Hello, and welcome to the first 2013 A1 VOX blog. If you’ve been keeping up with the blog (and why wouldn’t you have been?) then you’ll know that Sarah left in December with such a lovely final blog post which made it very hard for me to follow!

So, hello! I’m Cass, and I’m the new Operations Manager at A1 VOX. I’m the one who’ll be answering your calls, making your bookings, replying to emails, checking availability, updating the website, answering your questions, making your complications less complicated, printing out scripts and talking about the weather. I’ll also be making sure that we don’t run out of milk so that we can make you copious cups of tea when you come and see us.

Before writing this post, I did some research on writing blogs – most of the advice was to write about what you know, which is tricky as I’m quite new to the voice over / sound recording business but I can write about what I learn and I will try to do so in future blogs. However what I do know is good customer service and everyone here at A1 VOX has tripped over themselves to be helpful, lovely and kind to me in my first month – and they don’t even seem to try hard, they’re just naturally like that! It’s fab!

So what does A1 VOX do? Well, in a nutshell it’s a sound studio. We can link via ISDN or Source-Connect all over the world so that people can get together remotely and record in digital quality. Or we can record and edit for you and send you the files. It all sounds so simple and Chris makes it look so graceful, but that’s why he’s doing it and I’m not; Because I’m sure if I did it, I’d hit the button that was a well disguised ejector seat. With Chris at the helm, the voice artist can sit back and just concentrate on their script, safe in the knowledge that we’re looking after them and that no-one will ever eject them through the roof.

It’s been fascinating to listen to adverts being made, somehow getting my head around the fact that the recording and directing was being done in Scotland while the voice was sitting in our studio in London – and it all sounded crisp and clear. So clever!

One of the (many) lovely things about A1 VOX is the location; we’re set in fragrant, vibrant Soho, in the middle of theatreland, and there is always so much to see and do! It’s so nice to go for a quick wander at lunchtime and find or see something new; there are always people to watch and windows to shop in. It’s been a long time since I worked in Central London so I’ve been taking time to reacquaint myself with Soho and Covent Garden which is hardly a chore. Much has changed, but so much has remained beautiful and it’s quite exhilarating to be back here.

If you do happen to need a friendly and flexible sound studio in central London then do please give me a call, although maybe not right this minute as Chris is editing something that sounds eerily like a Dalek and we don’t want to scare you off.

Have a joyous weekend and I shall write more next week about life at A1 VOX.