Paul Armbruster – Master of the Mic
We had spent hundreds of hours recording via our ISDN connection, prior to ever having our first face-to-face encounter. I was usually remotely dialing his home studio in Atlanta from Studio A at GM Voices in Alpharetta. We spent hundreds of hours dialing in the compression, pulling match files and sending last minute scripting changes before we ever occupied the same control room or isolation booth. So when the alarm on my session calendar chimed and I received a call that Mr. Paul Armbruster was here for his 1PM in house session, I shuffled towards the waiting room at the front of the building.
Well, there were only 2 people in the waiting area, the female talent for an upcoming Mandarin audition and this other gentleman who most certainly couldn’t have been Paul Armbruster. This gentleman must have been 5’6” and weighed a meager buck oh five. Surely this wasn’t Paul. Anyone who had spent hundreds of hours capturing Mr. Armbruster’s vocal punch would testify that the timbre of his voice coupled with the authoritative boom resonating across the diaphragm of his Neumann U87 meant that his vocal signature surely wasn’t produced by a small-framed-man. Could it?
And then he boomed, “Jason?” And in disbelief I responded, “ Uh, Paul?”
Way down the timeline from that first meeting and now thousands of session hours later, I’m thinking about all the clients whose branding was successfully given life through Paul’s amazing gift. When Paul wasn’t pleasing his corporate, radio imaging, commercial and telephony clients, he was leading Voice Over workshops and passing along tips and tricks only learned from a lifetime of working the microphone.
When I think of Paul, a number of things come to mind.
That amazing out-loud laugh that could go from mischievous to down right evil in no time.
His attraction to the female cigarette-smoking actresses of the 1950’s. Don’t ask.
His ability to completely destroy Alison and me throughout 10 frames of bowling…..and to not feel bad about it in the least.
And most importantly, how he became the narrator to so many moments in the lives of my family and friends…..and how much he enjoyed doing it. There were quite a few sessions in which Paul would be booked for an hour, but only have 15 minutes of scripts to record. Often we’d spend those remaining minutes finding out the latest in one another’s lives. And then there were many occasions where we would work on ridiculous personal projects together. Laughing and riffing on renditions of popular love songs in the spoken word format, narrating my best friends “E True Hollywood Story” wedding rehearsal dinner video and a myriad of invitations to parties and strange get-togethers. I mean, there’s no doubt in my mind, that Paul Armbruster was meant to deliver a spoken word performance of Def Leppard’s, “Armageddon It.”
And boy did he ever. He delivered it without any plosives, without any complaining about the font size on the script and without challenging my direction when dissecting history’s most important call and response Q&A…
“Yeah, but are you gettin’ it? – Armageddon it!
Ooh, really gettin’ it? – Yes, Armaggedon it!”
So Paul, hopefully I won’t retain how many times we recorded scripts containing every concatenated alpha-numeric combination known to man, but I’ll never forget how you’ve helped me to remember not to take myself too seriously, to always find the humor, even in the mundane situations and most importantly, that my bowling game needs some serious attention.
Have a safe journey, my friend. Thank you for all the belly laughs.
Goofing off with Paul…..
Other client samples from Paul…