Bloggin’ in Boise

by | Oct 21, 2010 | Uncategorized

Las Vegas gets 4 inches of rain a year… if we’re lucky.

Wednesday morning broke with thunder and rain, and every molecule of my body wanted to stay in bed.  The storm was a message.  But I didn’t listen.

I was due in my studio for an ISDN session which I had toiled endlessly to make happen.

Four days prior, my agent called with the ISDN gig.  I’ve had AudioTX ISDN for a couple of years, but lately changed some elements of my audio chain, and failed to test it  in a timely fashion weeks ago.  Bad.  Now I was unprepared, and had to scramble.   I had four days to get my ISDN gear up to snuff.  I pulled out all the stops:

Called Dave Immer at DigiFon.
Posted my issues on the VO-BB “gear” section
Picked Bob Souer’s brain (he has AudioTX also)
Made endless test calls to Bob and other unsuspecting VO-BB friends
Called Ednet
Called George Whittam
Wrote AudioTX tech support a flurry of back ‘n’ forth emails
Tweaked, and re-configured, and swore, and tested, and read help files

Does AudioTX Compare?

About this time, I began to think seriously that the $3-5,000 investment in a real ISDN box was starting to sound pretty good.  Although AudioTX only costs about $1300, it’s a software solution to ISDN that needs your computer to do the heavy lifting, instead of the “box” (Telos Zephyr, Musicam, etc) doing all the work.

When AudioTX is working, it’s flawless.  There is absolutely no way anyone could tell you DON’T have a box.  When AudioTX is NOT working, the trouble-shooting is a mutha.  Virtually everything in your computer and your audio chain becomes suspect.

By Wednesday morning I had an AudioTX configuration that worked great under WinXP.  Something in Win7 apparently didn’t agree with AudioTX.

The ISDN Session

The studio calls.  Connection is solid.  The producer says:  “Your sound is bad…what box do you have?”  Me:  “AudioTX” .  Silence.  They tweak on their end.  I tweak on my end.  They hang up and call again.  Producer says:  “It still sounds hollow….what kind of box did you say you have?”  Me:  “AudioTX”.  More silence.  Finally:  “Well, Dave we’re pulling the plug…the sound is unusable….(to his audio guy)…”Get someone else on the line pronto!”  They have a spot to do, and Dave didn’t meet the requirements.

OUCH! I’ve lost a gig.  I’ve embarrassed my agent.  I’ve hurt my pride.  I’ve spent four days for nothing AND I got up on a rainy morning at 7am for nada.  On top of all that, I still have an ISDN system that doesn’t work.

ISDN or Not?

I’m not going to get into the pros and cons of ISDN here.  Ed Victor just “whacked that nest” on his Working Voice Actors group on LinkedIn….and the debate is endless.  I got ISDN ’cause I could afford AudioTX, and my position was:  “If I get ISDN, the ISDN jobs will come.”  The other side of that chicken-or-the-egg story is:  “You only get ISDN when the jobs demand it.”  I think both arguments have merit.

How I Dealt With the Aftermath

I drove.  I immediately packed up my 2004 Chevy SSR Retro Convertible Roadster Pick-up and drove to Boise, Idaho.

This is not escapism.  I had already planned to leave on this day, but now I was two hours late departing because I had a failed ISDN session!

I drove for 12 hours on long, desolate 2-lane Nevada highways.  I drove for uninterrupted stretches at speeds over 100mph.  I didn’t wear my seat belt.  After 200 miles the anger and disappointment began to lift.  After reflection, I realized I’d made progress.  I’d learned a lot.  I found I have friends who will help me, and stand by me, work with me.

Besides all that…I have a nice truck, and Boise is beautiful this time of year.

I worry too much about inconsequential things.  I’m blessed beyond what I deserve.

Anybody got a used ISDN box they wanna sell cheap?




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