Specialties / Bio
Randy Coppinger believes that microphones are the most magical things in audio production. “When you get the microphone selection and placement right, everything that follows sounds better. Getting it right up front pays huge dividends downstream.”
Randy played with his father’s reel-to-reel tape deck as a child, smuggled a cassette recorder into elementary school to interview classmates and helped direct his college radio station. An internship at a Burbank music and post facility gave Randy the opportunity to learn at the feet of masters: mic selection/placement, recording/mixing techniques, and sound for picture including ADR. “When I started my greatest skill was making a good, strong pot of coffee. After four years I was recording music and working on cartoons.”
For the next 16 years Randy directed the in-house recording studio at Disney Character Voices where he worked with some of the most talented people in entertainment. He hacked a custom asset management system, tailored for videogame production that featured a teleprompter. Some even called him a mouth noise removal ninja.
At Disney Randy developed a specialty for sonic matching. For example, he recorded for the Nightmare Before Christmas version of the Haunted Mansion featuring the Ghost Host, voiced by Corey Burton. Corey likes to note that essential to making it sound convincing was a combination of technologies and techniques to match the original, “Yet keep it contemporary,” as Randy Thornton of Walt Disney Records described it.
If you’ve played a Disney/Pixar videogame you’ve probably heard Randy’s work keeping the sonic integrity of those voices: Kinect Disneyland Adventures, the Pirates of the Caribbean series of games, and Kingdom Hearts, to name a few. And for Randy, sonic integrity is all about microphones. “I’m obsessed with microphones — I collect them, take pictures of them and post to social networks about them. I admit it’s pretty geeky, but an object that captures sound needs to be celebrated.”
Randy was interviewed by Varun Nair of Designing Sound in January of 2014.