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The Influencers

Collaboration and Covid – How Lockdown Allowed Us to Innovate

INFLUENCER: Grand Central Recording Studios' Molly Butcher on how innovation has taken a leap in audio post production

Collaboration and Covid – How Lockdown Allowed Us to Innovate

We have just delivered a radio commercial in 13 hours.

If you’re familiar with the nuts and bolts of our world you may be thinking ‘so what?’. But, things are different now - this was a post-lockdown session relying on a multi-faceted approach with various locations and safety protocols. 

Deadlines haven’t changed in the new world, but the corners we have to manoeuvre around have. Just like BC times (Before Covid), we were given this script at 9am with the drop-dead delivery time of 10am the next morning.

In the ‘old’ world a mere seven months ago, if we’d been faced with 10 voiceovers in one day, it would have been busy, but a breeze. We would have lined everyone up in our reception area. This time, out of those 10 voiceovers, seven of them were all in different locations. Four of them were children, also in different locations. These multiple voiceovers also needed to read in harmony. And, they were using a mix of Source Connect, Source Connect Now and Zoom.

Voiceovers visiting the building had staggered arrivals with a non-contact route through the studio and full sanitising protocol in between each recording. 

We possibly broke the record for our longest Zoom call. We kept the line open for nine hours so that different agency partners and clients could pop in throughout the day for approvals. 

All of this may have seemed impossible (and a bit ridiculous) before the world changed and we were forced to adapt at lightning speed to hybrid sessions. 

We are now providing even better sessions and are learning about how to work more efficiently as a team every day. It relies on everyone to work seamlessly; if the sanitising fails for example, the plan crumbles. This is as important as the sound designer and the transfer team. Collaboration has never been better with our agency partners and voiceovers, the former being flexible to jump on Zoom at short notice and the latter being all set up to record with ease.

Each day we often have a brand new mountain to climb and this makes us feel even more victorious when we achieve it. You may have taken our freedom Covid, but humanity, creativity and technology finds a way. 



Molly Butcher is head of scheduling and production at Grand Central Recording Studios

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