AUDIO: We Review The City’s Test “Burien Alert” Phone Call. Heard It Yet?
On Wednesday, Oct. 6th, the city tested its new “Burien Alert” system by sending out automated, recorded messages to resident homes and cell phones, and yes, they even sent out emails as well.
We got calls on both our cell and home number, and luckily, we were able to record it. Of course, now that we have a recording of this test call, we can’t just sit back.
Nope, we’ve got to review it. Play with it. Have fun. “Cuz that’s how we roll.
First, here’s a recording of the call in its raw form – this is how it sounded when you picked up the phone:
Being that we’ve done our fair share of audio production work in both Seattle and Hollywood, we felt that this effort fell um, a little flat; here are our notes:
- First off, our rule is to always start with a positive note: Hey, good idea cityfolk – this is definitely a worthy investment of money. Unless of course the phone lines all go down, cell towers fail and we’re all without any power. Then, um…oops…
- With that said, we’d like to point out that the audio recording was weak. No authority, and yes, the version they’re using actually includes a mistake – listen to the Announcer stumble on the word “information”:
- Quite frankly, we think the voice talent should be replaced. There are a plethora of local voice actors that would be happy to work on this project, including Burien’s own Henry Dardenne, the snarky voice of those wacky Pemco Insurance ads.
- Also, the production quality sounds like it was recorded on a Windows 95 machine in a city-owned building on SW 152nd. C’mon, we can do better than that B-Town! Here’s a sample remix version that we think would get people’s attention right away in any emergency:
Now, did you notice the scream we used at the start of that? Yes, that’s the infamous Wilhelm Scream,” a stock sound effect first used in 1951 for the film “Distant Drums.” According to Wikipedia, actor-singer Sheb Wooley is considered to be the most likely voice actor for the scream, having appeared on a memo as a voice extra for the film. In “The Charge at Feather River” (1953), the scream is heard when a soldier named Pvt. Wilhelm (played by Ralph Brooke) gets shot in the leg by an arrow. And now, the City of Burien could use it, since it’s considered public domain!
That’s okay cityfolk – you can download this MP3 for free and use it. No charge!
We can’t wait ’til this gets used after a real disaster…