Creating the Sounds of a Wedding Reception

Apr 28, 2014

The multitrack for the intro about being a wedding guest at a reception.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Having Colin McEnroe write the introduction for every day's show is always a surprise. I never know what kind of sound effects I'll need, or who else will be voicing it with me. This introduction was no exception.

Jen Doll approves of this introduction (we hope).
Credit Twitter

This picture shows the audio files for a recent show introduction set at a fictional wedding reception. The show featured a conversation with Jen Doll, who wrote a book about the history of wedding traditions. 

Greg Hill and I pretended to be a couple at the imaginary reception, talking about how awesome the food is, and how diverse the connections are between the guests and the married couple. A sample from our script:

Greg: Tell me again how you know these people?

Chion: Well, my brother taught archery to the younger sister of the bride.

Greg: And you got invited?

Chion: Well, our families got to know each other.

Greg: So, I'm the boyfriend of the sister of the bride's sister's archery coach?

Chion: Yeah! That's right.

Greg: That must make me the guest with the highest degree of separation.

Chion: No, because you see that woman over there, in the low-cut dress? She's the date of Carl, who only just started jogging with the groom on weekday mornings about 3 months ago, and this is only her second date with Carl.

The files are displayed in "multitrack" (I call it my playground), with voices at the top, Vivaldi's "Spring" in the middle, and restaurant ambient sound at the bottom.

The ambient sound had to be loud enough so we can hear it, but not so loud that it's battling for sonic real estate. It helps set a sense of place at the beginning of an introduction -- so you know we're at a place where people are dining.

Here's how the introduction sounded when it all came together: