Beatboxer Tom Thum’s incredible voice

Beatboxer Tom Thum’s incredible voice

Like many others, I first encountered Tom Thum when I saw his incredibly popular TEDx talk on YouTube (+66m views).

I was in talks with YouTube about creators to interview for a video I was working on when Tom’s name came up.

It wasn’t really what I was looking for in this particular project, but of course I jumped at the chance. Tom Thum, what are you kidding?!

As luck would have it he’d just finished building his purpose-built studio and so that formed part of the narrative.

I was one of the first outsiders to step into his new “shed” built at the back of his acreage (or thereabouts).

Tom was really good to work with – he knew what I needed and was very happy to oblige – and he even used his own gear to get me a clean feed of the day’s creations that I was able to drop onto my timeline.

I was shooting with ABC gear that I was not entirely familiar with (Canon 6D and recording audio separately on a Zoom H6) and Tom showed me a couple of functions that the Zoom – which he also uses as a mixer – was capable of performing.

One of my regrets is not having the foresight to have earlier asked him to prepare for recreating the classic ABC News tune. I asked him on the day but, understandably, he said he’d rather do it properly than half-arsed.

I shot this in about three hours at Tom’s house near Ipswich, Queensland, as part of the Short Docs series of YouTube videos I’m working on with my colleague Marcus Thompson for ABC News.

I also shot another video with composer/conductor Gordon Hamilton who created some music with Tom.