THE PROBLEM IS MY SOFT VOICE.
I sound like John Boy Walton or Mr. Rogers or Whispering Bill Anderson.
If you’ve never heard of any of those people, it’s probably because of their voice.
When I create Bible-background videos for my YouTube channel, I always seem to get complaints about my voice.
- “Why is he whispering?”
- “What’s up with that voice?”
- “He sounds whining and gay.”
For the record, I save my whining for the Kansas City Chiefs in the fall, KU basketball during March Madness, and self-serving politicians all year long.
As for being gay, I’m happy.
With good reason. I have a sugar-mama wife with a real job, along with wonderful kids, kids-in-law, grandkids, and dogs—five woofers in the extended family of the Stephen M. Miller Clan.
Trying to build a media room for a weak voice
I decided to do something about my voice.
I can’t change it. But I can change the conditions under which it’s recorded, and hopefully make the sound richer. Or just rich. Or maybe somewhere in the same ballpark as rich, if not the parking lot.
I decided to make some acoustic wall panels, to help absorb some of the bad noises, such as echoes off the hard walls.
I also needed to do something about the ceramic tile hallway that leads out of the media room where I record videos.
I decided to build bypass barn doors and hang them on parallel steel rods above the doorway. I wanted acoustic foam and fabric on the media side of the doors, but I couldn’t find any doors like that. So my son and I built them. Then our wives helped us add the foam and fabric to the media-room side of the doors.
After that, I was in trouble.
I knew nothing about how to hang those doors, or what to do about door guides on a ceramic tile floor. The YouTube how-to videos didn’t look encouraging.
What I knew was that I could hang those doors in such a way that the room would feel like one of those crazy rooms at amusement parks. When I walked in there as a kid, everything felt crooked, and the floor looked downhill.
I asked a friend of mine for tips on how to approach the project. I had gone on a mission trip with him and watched him serve as the brains of our team as we built a huge ramp for a lady in a wheelchair. My friend knows his way around a saw, a level, and a hammer.
My friend, Dave, said he recently hung a barn door in his house. He said you have to be really careful to get the rails level.
I knew that I can be really careful getting the rails not level.
My friend offered to help me with more than tips.
He came to my house and spent half the day helping me hang those doors.
Then he came back a few days later to help me straighten those doors. As it turns out, the doors my son and I built were not what you would call square. They weren’t quite rectangles, either. Ever so slightly, they were parallelograms.
We did a little cutting on the doors, and we re-drilled some holes to attach the roller bars to the door.
The barn doors are straight now.
That took another half day.
If you’re reading this on the morning this feature is released, my friend and I are scheduled to be working on this one more time, hoping to finish the project.
We’re building an oak threshold to keep the bottom of the doors from swinging front to back. The doors roll too far to the right and left for simple door guides, which usually work for sliding closet doors. We had to create a custom guide for these custom doors.
Good friends are good to have around
So these days, I’ve been thinking a fair amount about friendship.
It’s good to have friends we can talk with.
But sometimes, we need friends we can work with.
If we have even one friend like that, we should probably consider ourselves pretty lucky.
I know I do. That puts me in good company:
“You are better off to have a friend than to be all alone….If you fall, your friend can help you up. But if you fall without having a friend nearby, you are really in trouble” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 CEV).
Ditto if you dare to hang barn doors by yourself.
But you could do worse. You could try hanging them with your spouse.
Something just now occurred to me: If I recorded my videos with the voice I would use while hanging barn doors with my wife, I wouldn’t need any acoustic panels.
Doggone. Why didn’t I think of that several hundred dollars ago?