Since I don’t have promo or imaging clients the ISDN in the home studio gets sporadic use. Those ISDN sessions I do have usually come with a nice stack of US dollars which more than pays for having that tool in the studio. Sometimes much more. So it stays.
But I learned a lesson the hard way a couple of Mondays ago that like any other tool in the shed, you should crank it up once in awhile and drive it around the block to make sure it’s going to run when you need it.
I had an ISDN booking Monday July 6th, one P.M. Central. I went into the studio Sunday afternoon late to make sure everything was working. It wasn’t. The message from the codec was “ISDN Down.” Oh crap. Get on the phone to customer service.
The phone company had a guy out Monday morning at 9:00 with 20 pounds of tools and meters and testing thingys clinging and clanging off his giant leather belt all of which told him nothing we didn’t already know. The ISDN circuit was down. Swell.
The happy news is that I’m in a market with a lot of ISDN studios and I was able to book one for the right time, get myself over there and call the remote studio with the new dial-ups. The session went quickly and the client was happy. Yay.
By the time I got home the phone guy, with help from his fellow telephony wizards, had found a bad network card on my circuit. They replaced it and my ISDN is yapping again.
So now I’m checking the ISDN circuit with greater regularity. I’ve set up a speed dial entry that uses one line to call the other and I can hear myself back on the loop. The codec manufacturer has music loops you can dial up to make sure the long distance service is good.
It’s like starting up that extra vehicle now and then to make sure it still runs. Best to know in advance if there’s going to be a problem.