“Why me” the low baritone voice asked.
“If I knew the answer, I wouldnt be in this much... pain,” a trembling voice replied. Then, with a finger on the trigger...
And the final act in the script of the first episode drew to a close.
After reading the last line, everyones indicator light remained dimmed for a full five seconds. Then, the director finally released the breath she had been holding her breath the entire time. The other two girls also turned their mics back on, and before saying anything, they gave the two CVs a warm round of applause.
“So good! It was so good!”
“So damn intense! It made me feel so heated! And that level of angst!” when Rouge Flower got to the word, “angst”, she even whimpered softly like a small animal.
“Thank you,” Qi Jing said, returning their compliments with a faint smile. During the entire process, they would often pause to discuss the voice acting for various scenes with Knives cutting in from four corners as they went through the lines. They would stop to listen to the director when certain parts sounded a little off. Sometimes, they would go through the lines for those parts once more or at most two to three times. And in the end, they actually finished going through all the scenes.
Based on his experience, the amount of lines for the first episode couldnt be considered as a lot, but there really was a difference in the vibe when theres someone to play against. Especially for scenes where the tension was particularly intense, Qi Jing could actually feel beads of cold sweat forming on his back while they were recording.
Since Qi Jings performance was the key thing here, most of the directors comments with regards to the voice acting were directed at him. Geese Fly North would wait quietly, without uttering a single word, during Qi Jings discussion with the director.
“Then, what do you think, Your Grace, Geese Fly North”
Qi Jing would ask for his suggestions from time to time, the reason being that how the CV felt playing against him was also an important point for reference. During this time, Geese Fly North would give brief reply of one to two sentences. Although he doesnt say much, his responses were all very concise and useful.
The first to notice that it had gotten pretty late was the script-writer, Puppet Show, as she exclaimed, “Aiya! I was too engrossed in listening to the two of you, I didnt even realise that its already midnight! You guys should be taking a rest soon, shouldnt you”
Qi Jing was about to answer her when the directors wails suddenly came from his headphone.
“Crap, crap, crap! I forgot to record it! Did anyone of you record it!”
“Crap, I didnt either...”
“Oh no, me too...”
The three girls wanted to kick themselves for this mistake, and couldnt help but wish that they could hop onto a time machine and travel back to two hours ago to click on the “Record” button. What happened tonight was not part of any of their expectations resulting in this oversight in the rush of the moment.
Qi Jing opened his mouth slightly, but didnt say anything at first. Only after he made sure that the indicator light beside the “Recording” was still on, did he chime in, “Neither did I.”
On behalf of the STAFF, Rouge Flower sent a textbook example of a thick noodle tears emoticon in the group chat: What a pity ┭┮﹏┭┮
Seeing that it was already past midnight, not only was it about time for the two CVs to rest, it was also time for the three girls to go to sleep. Hence, with the PIA done, the few of them said their goodbyes after casually chatting for a bit.
Before exiting the YY room, the producer, Rouge Flower, sincerely thanked Geese Fly North, who was pulled in at the last minute to fill in for Bronze Sparrow Terrace, “Really thank you so much, Geese Fly North-sama! If it werent for you, we wouldnt have been able to successfully finish PIA-ing for the first episode! Truly, thank you very much!”
After that, that lass also sent ten bright red flowers in the group chat.
“Thank you, Uncle Yan!” Puppet show said and also sent ten big red flowers to the chat.
“Thank you, Grandpa!” It was only after the words left her lips did she realise it sounded a little weird. And of course, she too sent the red flowers to the chat.
Everyone was about to leave but Qi Jing still hadnt click on the button to stop recording. He couldnt help but feel that there should be a better way to end off this recording.
“Thank you,” he said as he watched the light beside his ID blink on and off. However, the other partys indicator light had been out for a long time.
Then, a line of words appeared in the chat—
Geese Fly North: Youre welcome, good night.
Qi Jing was stunned momentarily. When he got out of his daze, that person had already left the YY channel. In the end, the closing he had pictured only existed in the form of a text. There was no audio, so naturally there was no need for him to continue recording. Despite knowing that the other party wouldnt be able to hear him, he still gave a short reply, “Good night,” before pressing the stop button.
On YY, a prompt would appear to inform the user that the recording had been saved automatically. The file would be saved under a file name which was a string of numbers. People would usually change the name to something else to make it easier for them to find it at a later date.
Qi Jings fingers stayed on his keyboard for a long time. He didnt manage to come up with a name for the file even after the three girls had left.
At first, he keyed in “Rehearsal”. But then, he felt that it was too general and changed it to “《Trap》Ep1 run-through – Geese Fly North”.
The cursor behind the three words, Geese Fly North, kept blinking, causing him to feel a slight sting in his eyes. He silently shook his head before deleting those three words, leaving the name as something more neutral like, “《Trap》Ep1 run-through”.
Confirmed and saved.
The time at the bottom of his screen showed that it was passed 12:30 AM, but he didnt feel sleepy at all. Since the Word doc of the script was still opened, he decided to open the recording software as well.
He adjusted his mic, created a new audio file called, “《Trap》Ep1- CV Dont ask for my return date” and went back to the page with the first scene, the one that takes place in a private room. After that, he opened the recording he had just saved.
Listening to that mans deep voice in his headphones say, “I knew from the very beginning that everything you did was a scheme against mek2014;”
Qi Jing took a deep breath and clicked to start recording the dry recording for the first episode proper.
He had been recording for over two hours.
It was almost 3 AM in the morning now. Qi Jing made a backup of his dry recordings in a cloud drive and also saved a copy in a USB drive. Finally, he emailed all his files to Rouge Flower.
Voice recording was something that really depended on a persons condition at that point in time. Whenever hes in tip-top condition, no matter how late or how large the amount of lines was, he will strive to finish the recording.
While the emotions were still fresh in his mind, he quickly recorded and submitted the dry recordings for the first episode. Though of course, the price of this decision was that he had to rely on coffee to keep himself awake when he went to work in the morning.
Knowing that he had just returned from reporting on a disaster area, Qi Jings superior didnt give him anything too intense to work on. He was only assigned to follow a film crew to gather some materials from another location the day after tomorrow. The place wasnt too far away so it was relatively easy for him and needless to say, Qi Jing agreed to do it.
He was busy but not to the point of being overworked.
Thus, Qi Jing felt it was worth it even though he stayed up late recording.
However, when he arrived back home at night, after dinner, and opened his QQ, he was greeted with dozens of new messages from the《Trap》group chat. The main point was that it didnt seem to be any good news, although it started off pretty peacefully at first—
Sound designer – A lifetimes lock: How did the PIA go last night
Producer – Rouge Flower: Oh, we successfully completed the PIA for the main leads lines for episode 1! O(∩_∩)O
Sound designer – A lifetimes lock: Heck! So yall did PIA in the end I wouldve stayed and waited if I knew! Tell me how it went! Send the recording! (Star eyes)
Producer – Rouge Flower: QAQ S-Sorry, Locky, we forgot to record...
Sound designer – A lifetimes lock: Ah Forgot = =
Producer – Rouge Flower: (Nervous finger twiddling) Yeah, all three of us, Puppet, Knives cutting and myself, we all forgot to record. It only hit us when we were done PIA-ing...
Sound designer – A lifetimes lock: ...
Producer – Rouge Flower: QAQ Im so sorry!!
Sound designer – A lifetimes lock: ...
Sound designer – A lifetimes lock: We finally have the opportunity to listen to Bronze Sparrow-samas PIA process but you guys ended up forgetting to record. I really dont want to comment any further.
Producer – Rouge Flower: (Nervous finger twiddling) Uh, the thing is, Bronze Sparrow Terrace-sama didnt come last night as he had other appointments. We found another CV at the last minute to stand-in for him to play against Return date-sama.
Sound designer – A lifetimes lock: Ah A stand-in = =
The source of this content is nov/el/b/in[./]net'
Producer – Rouge Flower: Yes...
Then, the conversation ended momentarily here. According to the message time stamps, it stopped for five whole minutes before a new message appeared. One could imagine just how awkward the atmosphere in the group chat was at that point in time.
In this circle, sound designers were the most highly sought after STAFF, even more so were big-named sound designers. If a drama wanted to be released successfully with guaranteed quality, theyd need the support of a good sound designer. Otherwise, its all just castles in the air.
As a producer, Rouge Flower needed to keep these unspoken rules close to her heart.
Sound designer – A lifetimes lock: If Bronze Sparrow-sama couldnt make it, cant you guys just arrange to meet another time How could you just pull in some random CV to run-through the lines What if the results arent good
Producer – Rouge Flower: QAQ Sorry, but we really made Return date-sama wait too long and I dont want to waste his time like that.
Sound designer – A lifetimes lock: Ha ha.
Sound designer – A lifetimes lock: Its not like Ive never heard of Dont ask me for my return date. Isnt he that famousGod of playing dead Hes probably made others wait for him many a time, hasnt he
Sound designer – A lifetimes lock: Now that its his turn to wait for others its called a waste of time Can you be any more double standard
Producer – Rouge Flower: Calm down, Locky, dont get so agitated... its not his fault, were the ones who made the call TAT
Sound designer – A lifetimes lock: Either way, Producer-sama, I only agreed to join as a sound designer because you promised me high-quality dry recordings. Ive worked with Bronze Sparrow-sama manys times so Im never worried about the standard of his dry recordings, but Im not so sure about your production crew.
Producer – Rouge Flower: The thing is, Locky, after listening to the run-through last night, our director feels that Return date-samas voice acting was really good, whether its his voice or how well he got into character, so please be assured of the quality.
Sound designer – A lifetimes lock: = = After saying so much, you still dont get my point. Im saying you cant make a sound judgment just by listening to one persons acting.
Producer – Rouge Flower: QAQ We didnt just listen to one person. That was the directors conclusion after listening to two people act against each other.
Sound designer – A lifetimes lock: Whos the other person
Producer – Rouge Flower: A newcomer, but his voice acting was really good.
Sound designer – A lifetimes lock: ...
Sound designer – A lifetimes lock: ...
Sound designer – A lifetimes lock: ...A newcomer... Of course he sounds good when you compare him with a newcomer, but its likely that itll sound awkward when its put with Bronze Sparrow-sama. Do you understand what Im trying to say When I align their audio files in post-production, it will result in an effect that makes it hard for the audience to get into the show.
Rouge Flower probably noticed that they were chatting in the group chat, everyone could see the contents of their conversation, and she was afraid it would make Qi Jing feel uncomfortable. Thus, she implored the sound designer to chat with her privately but was flatly refused.
The sound designer insisted that Qi Jing had to do a proper run-through with Bronze Sparrow Terrace. Only when Qi Jings voice and acting could match up with that of Bronze Sparrow Terrace would she accept the dry recordings and start working on the sound design.
And the conversation ended one-sidedly on unhappy terms.
This chat clearly took place before Rouge Flower saw his email because she freaked out and privately sent him five or six messages, expressing her apologies.
Rouge Flower: !! Return date-sama, youve actually sent in your recordings I didnt see that wrongly, did I
Rouge Flower: ...I just downloaded the audio file. Seeing that the file size is almost 40M, youve already finished recording for the first episode QAQ
Rouge Flower: I dont know if youve seen the messages in the group. Well, you probably havent... TAT Im sorry, it was an oversight on our part right from the very beginning. I didnt do my duty as the producer to properly inform the CV which resulted in this mess. I will kowtow a hundred times to express my apologies!! Honestly, the run-through between you and Uncle Yan last night was really remarkable, we were all relishing in it. It was very entertaining and really made us boil over in excitement. I think the dry recordings you sent based on how we PIA-ed last night is very ok but Ms sound designer has her points as well...
Rouge Flower: QAQ Return date-sama, I know youre extremely busy in the 3D world but Im afraid we wont be able to use these dry recordings. And well also need to set up another meeting with Bronze Sparrow Terrace-sama, so that the two of you can rehearse through the lines together. Im really sorry!! But for the end product of this audio drama, please forgive me for making this decision!!
Rouge Flower: Im sorry, Im truly very sorry, I didnt expect you to record so quickly... I thought you would take at least another one or two days before you recorded. In that case, your 40M worth of audio files wouldnt go to waste... TAT
Rouge Flower: Return date-sama, if youre online, please reply!! I beg of you!!
Qi Jing sighed softly after reading through all the messages.
Actually, he had already anticipated that something like that would happen during last nights rehearsal.
Initially, he did plan on arranging to meet Bronze Sparrow Terrace, the man himself, at another time.
Geese Fly Norths appearance was a total accident, but it was an accident that brought him surprises. He wasnt one that was too harped up on voices but he was very interested in performances that could get him into character almost instantly. When the first words left Geese Fly Norths lips, the thing that shocked Qi Jing the most was not that mans youthful voice, but how well he managed to portray the character from the original work.
If it werent for that, he wouldnt have secretly recorded the entire process.
Much less, listen to that recording while starting to record for the first episode proper.
Unfortunately, as CV thats part of the production crew, the right to make the decisions did not lie in his hands. The final say on how to record lies in the producers opinions, plus, the result that everyone envisioned was different.
After some thought, he calmly opened the folder called, “《Trap》Production Crew”, created another subfolder and named it, “Reference recordings”. He then moved the recording of last nights run-through along with the first version of his dry recordings inside.
—He was rather reluctant to simply delete it so that was what he settled with.
After he was done with that, Qi Jing replied to Rouge Flowers QQ messages, hopefully she wasnt too stressed.
Dont ask for my return date: ^_^ I saw it. Its alright, I just take the dry recordings Ive done as a test-run. Ill be working out of town soon, you just try contacting the Great God for the time being. Its quite hard to coordinate with my schedule, so itll be better for me to coordinate with his.
Rouge Flower: QAQ AaaAh!! Return date-sama! Youre online!!
Rouge Flower: ...I dont even know what to say now seeing your reply. I feel like crying... Im sorry... TAT
Dont ask for my return date: Pats head. Hey hey, its alright, as I had expected, Im being punished by the heavens for S.M-ing a heavenly immortal Grandpa ╮(╯▽╰)╭
Rouge Flower: Pfft!
Rouge Flower: Sighs, speaking of Grandpa, I feel so sorry towards Uncle Yan TAT
Rouge Flower: His acting was really good and his youthful voice was astounding... If I have a suitable character in the future, Ill definitely ask him to voice as the main lead!
Dont ask for my return date: Un, I know.
“Of course I know,” Qi Jing murmured to the screen while twiddling his thumbs.
He concluded the chat with Rouge Flower and exited from QQ, not because he was eager to rest, but more so because he couldnt find the energy in him to scroll through the chat records as he normally does. There were endless streams of gossips on the forums but he didnt have the desire to open it.
He would be running around out of town starting the day after tomorrow and hed probably be out of contact for another eight to ten days.
Which was fine with him, at least he could set these 2D matters aside temporarily.
Qi Jing closed his eyes and rested them for a bit before getting up to make himself a cup of coffee. He had to do up an outline that the Director from the Science & Education Channel asked for of him. If all goes well, he should be done by tomorrow night, achieving six hours of sleep for himself and he could continue his sleep in the car the day after tomorrow.
The job scope of one working at a provincial TV station was not particularly uniform and the boundaries werent clear. In the words of their superior, “Those who are apt for the job will do it.” Thus, more often than not, the staff would simply be picked from any department.
Qi Jings main job was that of a reporter. He would spend most of his time with the Interview Group in the News Channel, but he would be sent to help out at other channels from time to time. Due to his strong ability in organising materials, the Science & Education Channel would often come to drag him away, asking him to do up drafts and outlines, etc. And when the program airs, he would just be credited as an assistant editor and that was it.
Since it was summer vacation in July where the students began to form an active body of the audience. The Science & Education Channel was actively looking to launch some interesting programs to increase their ratings.
One of the special programs was a history program introducing the relationship between ancient Chinese animal totems and social customs.
The theme for next week was “Birds”.
Qi Jing scanned through the names of the birds that he needed to prepare for. When he encountered the word “sparrow”, he paused for a bit, but continued drinking his coffee. When he encountered the word “geese”, his lips were still on the cup but he didnt take a single sip and set his cup down.
The reason being that if he hadnt put his cup back down in time, he might have spat it all over his screen—
Qi Jing suddenly burst out laughing at his desk.
The sudden urge to call the Director of the channel sprouted in his mind, He wanted to ask if the Director was part of the online voice acting community and whether he had seen the happenings in the《Trap》production crew.
“Calm down, Qi Jing. Calm down,” he muttered, trying his best to contain his laughter while tapping on his coffee cup.
He had a membership card to the provincial library. If he didnt have anything urgent going on in the office, he could head there to check for some relevant materials. He could also use that window to see if there were any books he could borrow to pass time for when hes on a business trip.
Lilies: Idk why I keep mistyping Geese Fly North as Geese Can Fly lollol