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SFX Lady??

February 28, 2011 | 4 Comments

Hello GK,

I listen to your radio show on the weekends and especially love hearing the sound effects guy make all those weird sounds. Have you ever had a Sound Effects Woman? If you ever did, I would like to know more about her.

Thank you very much,

Gene Spratley
Henrico, VA

The women I know have much too much dignity to sit around making popping, squeaking, squishing, squorting, farting, mooing, oinking sounds, Gene, and that's why you don't find them in this particular field. Women have the small motor skills necessary to do clip-clops with coconut shells or footsteps with shoes in a gravel box or other mechanical effects, but in the radio drama business, we require a sound-effects person to do many many vocal effects. You cannot do a believable champagne-cork pop, for example, using props ---- it must be done vocally. Likewise, the mating call of a mature badger ---- you can buy a device that you blow into and make that call, but it lacks emotional resonance: only a vocal effect will do. And the women I know would feel it is beneath them to do a mating badger cry. Of course the women I know tend to be educated, sensitive, literate, well-informed ----- the typical public-radio-listening type ----- and I'm sure there are ill-bred, crude, peasant women out there who can do the job, but would they be willing to relocate to St. Paul, Minnesota, and fly on scheduled airlines to such places as New York, Chicago, and San Diego? I doubt it.

This is a long answer to your question, but make no mistake, Gene: we would love to have a sound-effects woman. Fred and Tom are getting older. Both are great with horns, explosions, firearms, animal cries, appliances, etc., but less great when it comes to more emotional effects, such as crying, sighing, whimpering, shuddering, and righteous indignation. Whenever I write a sketch and I put in "(LONG TREMULOUS SIGH OF FRUSTRATION)" our sfx guys are stymied. The women I've known in my life could do long tremulous sighs without thinking about it.


If what you say about your women associates is true, you've gotten mixed up w/the wrong crowd; )
Anyway, thanks ever so much for the patchwork of old shows on Sat. When I heard, "It's Too Easy To Feel Good", I knew I'd have to play it for my 17 y.o. daughter, who has an eclectic collection of favorites. We just listened to the song together, and had a blast doing it.
It tickles me that my hip-hop lovin' kids enjoy your program so. PHC rox!

As a native female Minnesotan and cradle Lutheran, I believe I was required to memorize and recite 'long tremulous sighs of frustration' along with Luther's Small Catechism and a recipe for a Jello fruit salad before confirmation.

when I read your writing I can almost hear you saying the words. So hilarious! I am in radio now and you are an inspiration to me. STEVIE MACK RADIO has been on the internet for over 400 shows as of this date, but I’ve been really thinking about bringing it to the live masses like you. Thank you for being here and I will continue to follow your excellent example.

Well, it could just be my friends and family that think so, but _I'm_ a woman and I'm not a peasant ('though, because I'm in grad school, it feels that way)--I've made weird noises all my life. 'Course I grew up on a farm and no one cares if you're making odd noises out in the back forty as you're bringing in the cows. It's just when you start in at the dinner table as you're glopping out the jello salad onto your plate that it isn't appreciated as much.

I perfected my loud piercing whistle that gets _everyone's_ attention whilst training sled dogs--it was the only time in my life that I could go around with disgustingly dirty fingers stuck in my mouth and long strands of drool hanging down--the dogs didn't care, I fit right in!

'Love your show!
Anne Newcombe
p.s. I wouldn't even have to relocate! I'm currently in the Twin Cities for grad school (but am from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan). LOL, my cat is glaring at me as I make the deep bass woof that always makes him think we're being invaded by Great Danes. And the high-pitched keening noise (cicadas in summer) sends him into the closet as effectively as bringing out the vacuum....

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