ISDN’s Evolution And The Genesis Of Using It Creatively.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

- Charles Darwin.

Darwin7Well, he may not have been the most amusing character at a cocktail party, but Dr. D understood a thing or two about adapting quickly to unfamiliar circumstances; like new technology.

In the early nineties recording studios began recording voice talent and musicians from around the world via ISDN. At that time, the great promise of this new technology was that it would evolve in such a way that talent could live and work anywhere in the world and be quickly and easily connected to anyone, anywhere, worldwide; no more grainy phone patches with ear-splitting feedback, or studios having to wait for the chatty FedEx guy to arrive with a DAT master in the morning.

The specific hope of this “great promise” was that actors living outside of New York, L.A. or Chicago could now easily work in those hyper-media markets – that the playing field would even out. But, as with so many evolving technologies, things didn’t go as planned. (One is reminded of Alfred Nobel, Mr. Peace Prize himself, a pacifist, who spent much of his life trying to disassociate himself from his particularly unmatched and bloody gifttomankind.Ouch.)

The reality of ISDN has been that, by an increasing margin, the voice talent pool, instead of expanding, has been narrowing to a formidable base of talented actors primarily working in L.A. and New York.

However, (if you’ll pardon a really cheap pop culture rip-off) there is good news: there are a handful of very savvy advertising agencies that do tap into the strong Minneapolis voice-over talent pool for their radio and television spots. One, is Barkley Evergreen & Partners, Inc. of Kansas City, Missouri – an agency with strong creative that works with talent from many markets to create award winning work.

Gary Groomes BW at Babble-OnOne of BE&P’s clients is Cellular One from Dobson Cellular Systems and they use Twin Cities actor Gary Groomes (photo at left) as the voice of their brand. He’s a signature example of the quality and versatility we have in town and its nice to see him and others get some broader exposure in other markets.

For this particular spot, called “Special Day”, Babble-On’s John Lukas was the engineer on this end of the box, while our buddy John Blank, owner/operator of Evolution Audio in Kansas City was the engineer/editor/sound designer on the other end.

Other talent involved in the production were Dan Armstrong of Wehmann Models and Talent, and Katie McEwen of Moore Creative Talent, inc. Gary, too, is represented locally by Moore.

So, while for some, using talent from markets other than L.A. and New York might not always seem like the wisest decision, I’m reminded of another great quote from Darwin -

“I love fools experiments. I am always making them”

Here’s Evolution Audio’s mix of “Special Day”


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