Last month we talked about the upcoming Treasure Island release. We just recorded the credits and all that’s left is one last quality review and this will be ready for your eager ears!
We’re also pleased to let everyone know that our next podcast serial after the conclusion of Dash Cardigan will be Thomas E. Fuller’s Nairobi Jack Rackham and the Lost Gold of the Atlantimengani! These voice tracks are in the can and editing will be starting very soon.
But perhaps most exciting is the next thing we’re in pre-production on – the entire series of Rory Rammer, Space Marshal! That’s right – every episode of this fan-favorite is going into the booth. Rory, Skip, Rex Gorbechev, DARIL T-8, Kryssa Feynman, Professor Irwin Feynman, and a whole gaggle of supporting characters will be taking you from the skies of Earth to the orbit of the moon very soon!
A few extra notes for this episode. We have big changes in store for this podcast. First, we have increased the sampling rate for this episode and for all future episodes.
When we started this podcast 10 years ago we purposely made the decision to encode each episode a lot lower than we needed to because the ultimate goal was to help people understand what audio drama was. We weren’t exactly the only game in town, but we were one of only a few audio drama companies that we knew about and what we wanted to do was draw attention to the art form and also let people know about our titles for sale. What better way than to have free samples? We also had years of live performances sitting around that didn’t meet our standards for sale, but were still something we were extremely proud of and didn’t want to keep to ourselves.
So, with all of that said, this episode, number 167 will be the last installment of what we have been so creatively calling “ARTC’s Podcast”. Next month we’re relaunching as the Centauri Express.
What’s going to be different? Lots. For one thing, we’re joining the club and will begin airing studio-produced episodes of some of the various serials we’ve written over the years, starting with our 13-part expanded story of Dash Cardigan. We’re also working on a new show intro and will be including additional segments from time to time that will feature panel discussions, interviews, and really whatever else you’d like to hear, so be sure to let us know at email@example.com. Plus there’s that improved audio quality we were just discussing.
What’s going to be the same? How you get us. We’re sticking with the same publication platform and RSS feed, so you shouldn’t notice much difference except in the format of the content. Also the same, unfortunately, will be the publication schedule. I had hoped to be able to bring this to you every two weeks, but we’re still getting our studio legs under us, as it were. We’ve been performing live for so long that we’ve gotten pretty good at it, if we do say so ourselves, but adding studio work in there to go with those live shows is a bit of a learning curve. Plus, we want to be able to have a consistent schedule without any gaps in publication. We’re still shooting for that every two week mark, but we want to get there in a way that is sustainable.
For those of you who were enjoying the live performances, fear not. We’ll still be bringing those to you by way of Patreon, which you’ve heard me talk about for the last few episodes. All patrons at any level will be able to hear these updates, which will become free bonus content for those folks like Caran, Matthew, Kerry, Christa, John, Donald, Jason, Chelsea, Brad, Sterling, Ben, Richard, Shael, Juliana, and Sketch. The regular episodes of the Centauri Express will continue to be free, but we’d truly appreciate your support.
And the last thing I’d like to ask of you before we get into this month’s episode is for you to let us know what you’ve been doing while listening to ARTC’s Podcast. Do you listen while you drive? Just sit quietly? Catch Pokemon? Do you listen by yourself or make it a group activity? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org or head over to the main website at artc.org and use the Speak Pipe to leave us a voicemail that we can feature in later shows.
And now for this month’s episode, which is kind of a transition episode, as this piece was produced here at ARTC Studio and is the first in a new imprint for us. Our other imprints include things like Science Fiction by Gaslight, which features adaptations of classic horror and science fiction, Into the Labyrinth, featuring original dark fantasy, and Adventures in Sound, which features original work that doesn’t really fit into any specific category. And to that lineup we are adding The Sound of Liberty, a collection of classic science fiction adaptations and some original work that highlights the principles in the American Bill of Rights.
The first installment in The Sound of Liberty is this month’s audio drama offering, The Proper Thing to Do by William Alan Ritch and Brad Linaweaver, adapted for audio and directed by William Alan Ritch, produced by David Benedict.
We’re back with another podcast, and this time we’re coming back to the studio production of The Passion of Frankenstein. Remember, you can get this production in all its glory, with CD quality sound instead of the heavy compression we put on the podcast tracks, right here!
Also, just like the last time we used the studio production, we have no photos from that show, so we’re bringing you more from the LibertyCon show.
The LibertyCon cast for Frankenstein!
Matt Goodson as Dr. Victor Frankenstein. Where did he get his PhD, anyway?
The best Foley team in all of existence. In this case it’s real FrankenFoley!
As we mentioned last month, we’re bringing you The Passion of Frankensteinin five parts and will be showcasing a different performance for at least the first four. We hope. We haven’t performed two of these yet and if the recording devices fail (it’s happened) then we might have to improvise. Part five will probably include the best performance of those scenes, but who knows? We might surprise ourselves.
This month we’re bringing you a section of the studio recording that we did at Audio Craft Studio back in 2002. This is what we refer to as the “original cast”. The pictures in this entry are still from World Horror Convention 2015, though, because we don’t have any pictures from any of the other performances yet. Talk to us after LibertyCon and Dragon Con. So the picture below of Thomas E. Fuller and Henry Howard at Audio Craft will have to do.
Thomas Fuller and Henry Howard admire an issue of the Centauri Express audio magazine at Audio Craft Studio
The studio recording was, literally, a monster to produce. The rich soundscape we talked about in last month’s entry is difficult to produce live, but surely in the studio it’s easier, right? Wrong.
What do you mean it’s not easier??
First, in the studio the standards are higher. Live audiences are very forgiving (thank goodness!), but once it’s on a recording all the little flaws stick out, so there’s a lot of precision work that has to get done. And the music, which in a live performance has a little bit of ebb and flow and adjustment to it, had to get timed out to the second to make the scenes work the way they were supposed to.
And then there was the review process.
“Our opinion of that draft of the recording might be at the bottom of this bucket. Or maybe it’s under it.”
See, this was back in the early 2000s when the Internet was only barely a thing for the general public. Cloud storage didn’t exist. Websites were hosted on Angelfire and Geocities. And CD-R technology wasn’t even remotely as reliable as it is now. We couldn’t just create an mp3, put it on a server somewhere, and have beta listeners download it and give feedback. We had to try to gather everyone together at the same time and have a listening party. On one memorable occasion we had all the relevant parties in the room…and the CD wouldn’t play. And burning another one would have involved an hour of driving and probably 30 minutes to actually burn the disk. So we all went home.