COVID-19 and The Other Operation

We’ve been keeping in close contact the the MPG (Music Producer’s Guild), who have been liaising with the UK government regarding the status of recording studios and production houses in these difficult times.

In common with other facilities, The Other Operation remains open for business and we’re still accepting new work.  We have a a continually-updated risk assessment in place, staff have been trained in special procedures, we’re registered with NHS Test & Trace and in general doing everything possible to protect ourselves and our clients.

Health and safety is our prime concern.  We continue to monitor the situation on a daily basis.  Stay safe!

Update: see this, from Music Week.

The Other Operation to produce “Walking A Tightrope”

We’re delighted to announce that The Other Operation will be producing the audio version of Olivia Cox-Fill’s extraordinary book “Walking A Tightrope – Memories of Wu Jieping, Personal Physician to China’s Leaders”.

When Dr Wu Jieping was selected by Chinese Premier Zhou En lai as his personal physician, he had little choice in the matter though it transformed his life, not always in a positive way. Olivia Cox-Fill got to know Dr Wu Jieping following the death of Zhou En Lai and while Mao’s wife was still in prison. He had attended several of China’s leaders, including Premier Zhou En Lai, Chairman Mao, Liu Shao Chi and Madame Mao. Over a period of three years, Olivia Cox-Fill interviewed Dr Wu and gathered vivid and unique recollections of his contacts with the Chinese leadership. But Wu specified that none of these memories should be published until after his death, which occurred in 2011, since its frank revelations would lead to state repercussions. The memoir reveals the appalling conditions in China as experienced by one of its most famous doctors, who carried out research into TB and kidney cancer while attending to the health of the country’s leaders. It also shows what it took to survive in Communist China at a time when most leading intellectuals were expelled to the countryside, imprisoned or beaten to death.

The book will be narrated by the author, and we expect to deliver the final masters by the end of December, 2020.

Home booths – The Pendulum Swings Back?

Audiobook publishers have been courting narrators with their own home recording facilities for some time.  The reason is obvious – it’s cheaper.  Even paying the reader a ‘premium’ for using their own booth still saves money compared with hiring a real studio with an engineer/producer at the helm.

Home booth productions can also have tighter deadlines, because narrators will sit up all night in their cupboard under the stairs, attic or converted study to get the work done.

But there are signs that the tide is turning.  Publishers are seeing negative comments being left by reviewers on audible and other sites about background noise, intelligibility and ‘tone’.  Editors are complaining about having to spend more time than they can afford ‘fixing up’ problems with the recording.  And we’re seeing proof-readers actually turning down work from self-read authors.

And we’ve noticed that the big operators we work with are going back to being a lot more picky about audio quality than they’ve been of late.

Of course, not all “home booths” are the same.  Well-known long-standing ‘high end’ professional narrators sometimes install pro-quality facilities at home and benefit from the convenience and extra revenue this gives them.  But these are the exception.

Audiobook production isn’t the same as podcasting, for example, and sticking a USB microphone on the dining table is increasingly being seen as not good enough.  Furthermore, working solo is much harder than it might seem – and being guided by an experienced professional engineer/producer is more than worth the extra production cost.

 

Two More Lisa Kleypas Projects

Starting this week, we’ve got 12 days booked in to record two Lisa Kleypas novels.  As ever, Roz Landor will be doing the narration.  Justin Hill will direct Married By Morning; Neil Rosser of Spools Out will direct Love In The Afternoon.  Both will be edited and mastered by Justin Hill.

These books are the fourth and fifth volumes of New York Times bestselling author Keypas’ popular ‘Hathaways’ series – historical romances centred around the Hathaway family among London’s aristocracy in the 19th century.  We recorded the first three volumes, Mine Till Midnight, Seduce Me At Sunrise and Tempt Me At Twilight at Temple Music earlier this year.

These recordings are for Deyan Audio.

Another little private job…

The Other Operation’s inaugural session took place on 11th and 12th August.  The live room wasn’t finished, the door didn’t shut properly, none of the fabric covers had been fitted, there was building work going on just down the road and the temperature was in the mid 30s – but all went swimmingly well.  Ian Hoare (Lettuceheads) gave a typically smooth performance singing a short piece composed by Pip Burley to lyrics by Bob Justice.  Apart from Ian, everything was virtual (Ivory for the piano, and multiple tracks of East West Hollywood Strings Gold)