Reid Thorpe Files – Update 14 January 2021

This is very much a personal reflection by Elaine on this process.

The road to this podcast has been exhilarating, exasperating, depressing, funny, and disturbing. And exhausting. 

I have re-learned to navigate space in my house – stepping over cable and around the corners of side tables set up as mobile recording surfaces. (NB, friends, I’m not good in small spaces – I bump things. Usually my elbow or my knee, which is not great – but now I could be bumping sound gear, some of which have component parts that are microns thick – and whilst I can record with a bung knee, I can’t record with a bung mic).

I’ve been driven mad by a persistent crackle in the recording – despite checking cable, unkinking and uncoiling, turning off every electrical implement in the house – including the fridge (that was nearly a disaster), asking people downstairs to keep the ceiling fan off as it vibrates up through the floor, in mid-summer, with the air-con off, closing all doors and windows so the sounds of assorted birdlife, train arrivals, heavy truck traffic from the Cross River Rail groundworks, doesn’t impinge on what should be a police interview room in 1944 Brisbane!

And, having swapped out every element in the recording journey of a voice – the mic, the cable, the sound card/interface (including swapping every input channel), the laptop – and ports on the laptop – in every possible configuration, that crackle persisted, to a greater or lesser degree, until last week. 

It was twofold. It was the mic – which was away for repair for nearly 4 weeks – an XLR connection and some grubs that needed tightening (I don’t know what grubs are, but I’m glad they got tightened!)

AND it was the port in my laptop.   I’m left-handed and automatically use the left-hand side ports on the laptop… so they’ve been heavily worked – whereas the right-hand side ports are pristine – as if new… and when I connected the sound interface using them – blissful silence.

I think the universe is taking the piss out of the newbie, actually. 


It forced me to push out beyond what I was comfortable doing.

It meant I had conversations with unexpected people, who turned out to be professionally adept in this and happy to help. 

It made me listen, intently. Yes, there are still issues, but I can hear them now.

It forced me to think about extending my community, and my contacts within that.  I’m quite a reserved person in many respects.  Not shy, exactly, but a happy introvert. And learning the difference between starting a conversation that may benefit both sides – and asking for a favour – that has taken me a very long time.

So, this recording is the beginning of another kind of creative life, I think. There’s still recording and editing to do – but we’re getting there.

Thanks to all my unexpected aiders: Connor Arthur; thanks, Chrissi Theodosiou at SLQ; thanks, Greg, Chris and the DJ Manny staff; thanks, Hanlon Innocent, Liam Head, Josh Bull, Liz Ball and Liam Wallis; thanks, Dr Anastasia Dukova; and thanks, Guy Webster, Shaun Charles, Fin O’Donnell and Nicholas O’Donnell…

The Reid Thorpe Files is supported by the Queensland Government, though Arts Queensland.

Here’s a small video that will give you an idea of the stories the podcast covers…