Not to knock A Prairie Home Companion (which I love), but their sound
effects are more of a parody of classic era radio sound effects rather than
a true representation. Generally I find the only effects which sound
realistic are the footsteps. Everything else is made by either Tom Keith's
or Fred Newman's voices. It's funny, but hardly realistic or representative
of the best that OTR had to offer. I often wish they would use real sound
effects (even recorded!); OTR comedy and variety shows (think Jack Benny)
always used real telephone rings and automobile sounds unless there was a
particular comic reason to do them unrealistically.
A Prairie Home Companion's soundscapes can't hold a candle to modern BBC
Radio drama productions or the best of OTR.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Lou Judson [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Wednesday, June 24, 2009 9:00 PM
> Subject: Re: Recording Innovations
> Prairie Home Companion is keeping this tradition alive - I got to sit
> onstage for one of their programs last year and their SFX guys are
> amazing - all live! They make phone calls sounds by talking into a
> paper cup...
> Other companies do it in various locations, too.
> Lou Judson . Intuitive Audio
> On Jun 24, 2009, at 5:14 PM, Tom Fine wrote:
> > The same can be said for the radio-drama sound guys of that era.
> > Material like the Lux Radio Theatre and the Mercury Theatre on the
> > Air/Campbell Playhouse often had complex SFX sequences and music as
> > well as multi-voiced dialog. Sterling's The Radio Manual lays out
> > CBS's custom mixing board for one of their large radio studios,
> > circa early 1940's. It was quite impressive. The amazing thing
> > about the radio guys is that this happened live over the air in
> > many cases, so not only did the sound elements need to go off at
> > the right time and flawlessly, the mix needed to be spot-on as well.
> > -- Tom Fine