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40. Tether Theory   6/13/13 by Dave Immer

Installed, fixed studios with rack-mount gear, ISDN lines and ethernet are the best way to establish reliable remote connections to and between production facilities. But as mobile devices and wireless networks proliferate and become more powerful, our audio creation and delivery options grow.

While range expands, the tether extends, in that talent becomes “available” no matter where they are. The mobility of iPhones and iPads coupled with the Luci Live app and the iAI2 (or Apogee One-iOS) and the appropriate mic means talent can work with producers in an ever expanding variety of settings and time frames. For the producer this is OK, assuming the talent can find a quiet location with a strong signal. Hotel rooms and cars are possibilities.

But for the voice actor, is this desirable? The effect is: if you want to remain competitive when traveling you will need to always have your mic with you. We already are tethered to our ability to continually text, email, tweet, yelp and map our lives. With the addition of this pro audio component, would we be embracing an iLiberator or an iLeash?

For some it will enable a longed-for escape from the four walls of a studio while staying in touch. For others it will engender more of a “wireless confinement,” knowing that at any moment you could be called in to your virtual studio for a session. There’s something to be said for just leaving all your electronics at the studio and clearing your brain with a walk down the road.