7?s with Steve Taylor
Steve Taylor has been involved in doing voices for commercials since his teens when he first got into radio at the age of 15. Since then, Steve’s jobs in radio have run the gambit from overnights to mornings and from programming to production. Steve’s working hard to use his unique voice to brand great radio stations around the world (including KIIS-FM in Sydney and KIIS-FM in Los Angeles).
1) How did you get your start in radio? During the summer of 1987, I managed to get a weekend position at one of my hometown’s stations (Magnolia, AR – KMSL). While I was only doing a three-hour board shift, I’d spend hours in the building listening to music, commercials, and advice from those that worked there. I especially loved the voice on our Identifiers and decided then, at the age of 16, that I wanted to be THAT guy. It took a lot of time and lot of work, but I finally found footing in outside voiceovers doing various commercials for other markets. That turned into a list of clients from car dealers to monster truck shows. Now, I’m busy with the same and the world of imaging voiceovers is taking over my head!
2) What’s your favorite thing about working in the industry? These days, I enjoy hearing original sounds and production techniques that are miles beyond anything I was able to conjure up when I was doing imaging production. There are some AMAZING people that I’ve been able to work with that create audio that is completely original … that’s pleasing to my ears!
3) What equipment are you using in the studio? I’ve got the Sennheiser MKH-416, which is my main mic, running into an ART Voice Channel. Great little tube pre with very flexible tone and dynamics shaping. And that 416 works well with my voice at close range. My other mic is a Telefunken CU-29 into another ART Voice Channel.
Out of the preamps, I go into the USB 3.0 buss on a custom video production PC that has 16 cores, 64 gigs of RAM, 2 TB RAID, and other nice bells and whistles.
For capture and editing, I’m using Adobe Audition CC and have the Waves Mercury Bundle for various processing and measurement requirements.
4) As a meteorologist for WXXV-TV, what’s the biggest storm you’ve ever covered? Nothing big lately here (on the Mississippi Gulf Coast) except for a few tornadoes around … it IS Spring, after all. Prior to working there, I was at a station north of the Coast that was the last remaining television station on the air in south Mississippi when Katrina hit. I was Chief Meteorologist then. We covered the storm from the day previous and I think I took my first complete day off some three weeks after the storm hit. It proved to me the power of media. We got it DONE in the midst off all of us losing everything.
5) On a scale from 1 to 10, how accurate was the movie “Twister”? Maybe … a 5. They got it right that there are many teams of chasers around a ‘chaseable’ storm and they interact, but they missed it when it comes to the conflict … there’s rarely any. And, they were right about many of the scientific aspects they brought forth. But I can’t recall ANY chaser attempting to drive into a tornado. BAD IDEA! Great effects, though, and a great soundtrack!
6) Know any good “Chilling Tales”? You’ve caught me out, LOL! That’s a reference to Chilling Tales for Dark Nights (https://www.youtube.com/user/chillingtaleswi) and Chilling Tales: The Podcast (http://chillingtalespodcast.com/), which I’ve been a part of for a while. The podcast is available via PodCast One and I’m happy to be the host of the show, in character, of course! I also do other narrations and character acting for Chilling Tales for Dark Nights. Excellent group of amazing talent!
7) As a radio vet of 30 years, what changes have you seen in the industry? You know – it’s interesting, having been on that ride. I started out at a small, locally-owned radio station. I went on to another small, locally-owned radio station. And again, and again, and so on. I didn’t work for a group of stations that was owned by a corporate entity until I had been in the biz for several years and it was a great experience with excellent people. I still know three independent and very successful station owners. They do it because they love it and because they’ve maintained profitability in the face of sometimes strong corporate competition. I find them to be inspiring. They still do radio for the sake of the medium and they do it quite well.
The one thing, though, that I have a solid opinion about, is about getting INTO this business. I’ve made it a priority to attempt to impart knowledge to the people that I come into contact with that are new to the business. I believe it’s still important to let people know some of the history and the ‘whys’ of how radio go to it’s current state, however one may describe it.
Finally, I still love what I do … so MUCH. I never would have envisioned that I’d be an imaging voice on KIIS-FM in Los Angeles or KISS-FM in Sydney; never would have envisioned I’d be represented by a firm (Atlas Talent) that I procured so many great voices from over the years. It’s difficult to NOT be excited about what I do!
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