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Blog: Radio Days

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On Tuesday night I found myself once more in Tottenham Hale, in the hallowed halls of Bally Studios, where Mr S Hewitt and I had spent so many hours rehearsing Total Hero Team. We weren't there to rehearse this time though, we were there to RECORD!

Now that the show is coming to an end (final tour details HERE!) I want to make sure we have a permanent RECORD of it. I'm not ready to spend 3 years recording ANOTHER Massive Science Fiction Concept Album (i probably never will be!) but I wanted to do something a bit more than the live version we did for Moon Horse. Do not misunderstand me - i LOVE that recording, but several people have said that if you never SAW the show you can't always understand what is going on. This CAN'T be because of the ACTING, what is always distinctively voiced for each character (hem hem), so is probably due to the fact that a LIVE show has different NEEDS to an AUDIO-ONLY production.

THUS I decide to sit down and do an Audio-Only RE-WRITE i.e. a RADIO SCRIPT version. Mostly this involved saying characters names a little bit more often, and re-arranging some of the lines so everybody got to say something more often (apparently if someone doesn't SPEAK for a couple of minutes in a radio play listeners forget they're there: i read an article about it!). I didn't want to do a BIG re-write as a) I like it as it is and b) we've still got to do the show a few more times, so it'd just confuse us, but I did YIELD to the temptation to change ONE bit. If you've seen the show, it's the flashback to Chester Champion in New York City - I realised that this could be the SECRET ORIGIN of Total Hero Team itself and, once I'd written it, i CURSED myself for not thinking of it before!

Anyway, that's what we were there to do, so we sat down with my little four track gently moving it back and forth across a folding chair to get it in the Optimum Recording Position i.e. a lot closer to Steve than me, as I tend to PROJECT ("SHOUT") more than him! I'd done the new script in Proper Radio Format, with SCENES and everything, which turned out to be extremely handy as it meant we could just record one chunk at a time, rather than doing it all in one go. This really WORKED, as it meant we could focus on each bit one at a time, easily do re-takes, and take wee-breaks when needed. It's such a good idea, I'm sure it will CATCH ON!

It took us about 90 minutes to do the whole thing, which was pretty good going, and a quick listen later on informs me that it actually sounds pretty good. The plan is to put it out as six episodes, spanning the TOUR DATES, so in theory people will FLOCK to the live show to find out how it all ends! I'm going to stick it all together and then add a few EFFECTS and SOUND EFFECTS here and there, and we're hoping to do a YOUTUBE VERSION with Fumetti style photograph illustrations. First one should be online in a couple of weeks, so there's a lot of EDITING to do for me over the next fortnight - wish me luck!

posted 9/1/2014 by MJ Hibbett

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