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VOIMAGEBLOG

Andy’s Fiver Friday #180 – Easter EDITION !

Benztown Imaging Blog - Fri, 04/19/2019 - 09:00
  Easter weekend!!! Over here, this means two extra days :).. Love it! Get this weeks findings below!!  

1.Plugin

Check out this smooth sounding reverb from Oril River – Free to download here!

2.Inspiration

What do you think?

Boosting your creativity through music!

3.Music

Love that series and the Soundrack is outstanding! Cant wait for the final season! #peakyblinders!

4. Web/Social/Whatever

Thanks for all the love @imaging house – An honor to be interviewed a long side industry icons, such as Dave Foxx and Steve Stone.

Get to know Andreas Sannemann

5. Imaging

BBC’s Matt Fisher leading the charge on this concept. Interesting read and a innovative concept. Let me know what you think?

6 Music pioneers dynamic personalised trails

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Behind the Mic: Jen Sweeney

Benztown Voice-Over Blog - Wed, 04/17/2019 - 15:16

Tap tap tap…is this thing ON?  Hi! I’m Jen Sweeney. Like WEENIE with an S!  I’ve been doing this VO thing for quite some time now and frankly… It found ME! For Real.  I was in a play my Freshman year of college and was literally hired off the stage to become an “ANNOUNCER” (such a naughty word these days) at KEZA in Fayetteville, AR…where…I I made TONS OF MISTAKES!

What radio VO work have you done in the past (stations/markets)?

As far as radio imaging goes, I’ve been on some GREAT stations over the course of my career.  KLLC, San Fran … KFOG, San Fran when Alice let me go because the PD became the voice. That’s for another article.☺ KINK, Portland, KISS-FM, Dallas, KBCO, Denver, WMMR, Philly, WYCD, Detroit, KPEK, Albuquerque, WCLZ Portland Maine, The River, Boston, WWUZ, Fredicksburg, Sunny FM, Ft. Wayne, WRVW, Nashville … Just to name a few.  Most of these stations I’m still voicing!

Check out some of her demos:

http://blog.benztown.com/voiceover/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Jen-Sweeney-CHR-Imaging-Demo-rev.mp3

CHR Imaging Demo

http://blog.benztown.com/voiceover/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Jen-Sweeney-Hot-AC-Imaging-Demo2.mp3

Hot AC Imaging Demo

http://blog.benztown.com/voiceover/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Jen-Sweeney-Country-Imaging-Demo.mp3

Country Radio Imaging Demo

http://blog.benztown.com/voiceover/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Sweeney-AC-Imaging-Demo-3.mp3

AC Imaging Demo

 

What are you up to presently (freelance/on-staff at a station)?

I’ve been at this full time over 20 years. Before that I worked as a DJ in the Chicagoland area, Boston area and Denver. I work or have worked in all aspects of VO including imaging, TV and radio commercials, promo, video games, TV affiliate, IVR, narration, e-learning … all of it!

What do you love about your job?

There are so many things to love about this career … work from home … dress like a hobo … fart and just delete it!  But seriously, I am a mountain of gratitude for being able to make a living this way. I’ve spent so much time standing in front of a mic that it feels like home. The job becomes me and I become it. Pretty sure it’s my dharma. And here … I am. Ha! There’s your Zen with Jen.

What was your first gig? Any memorable ones since then?

My first job was for the EZ listening station I mentioned earlier, KEZA. My very first paid VO gig was for The Great Passion Play in Eureka Springs, AR. They brought in a mobile recording studio from Los Angeles and I was cast as all the DARK bible characters…Salome…Claudia…Leper Woman 1 … voices in Hell!  They paid me $30.00 and hour for 3 weekends of work AND put me up in a hotel! My Dad told me I was the first Sweeney kid to ever send money HOME!

One job I’m very proud of was being cast as a female Orc in World of Warcraft. Blizzard Entertainment was looking for a very specific voice and when they didn’t find it in LA they searched the country and somehow I booked it.  It totally trashed my voice. Especially the fight scenes. LOL … but it was a huge honor.

Who are your VO idols/mentors?

Years ago, a  voice guy I worked with doing Promos in Denver became my good friend.  His name is Bill Hessin. He had his own studio in his basement. I knew I wanted that and actually was one of  the first of a handful of VO women in the country with her own studio. Today I have a coven of VO babes that amaze, inspire and make me spit take on a regular basis. Annie DeWig, Roberta Solomon and Virginia Hamilton. Email water cooler talk with outtakes!

If you weren’t doing voiceover, what else do you think you’d be doing for a career?

I’d be an actor or a sushi chef if I wasn’t doing VO!

What did it feel like the first time you heard your voice on the radio/television?

First time I heard my voice on something? I honestly don’t remember my reaction but I DO recall hearing something on TV once and I was all like WHO IS THAT!  I liked how she sounded and was jealous for a second until I realized it was me. Is that totally conceded? I don’t care if it is. It’s true.

How has new technology changed the way you work?

OMG… keeping up with technological changes is a job in itself!  Things move pretty quickly so ya gotta keep up with it whether you like it or not.  And it’s next to impossible to unplug. I work every time travel. It’s just the way it is now.

What gear do you use on the road? In your studio?

At home I have a Whisper Room with a U87, Grace Pre,  Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, a Mackie board and a Mac. I use 2 Macs in my studio, one for editing and one for Source Connect, ipDTL and Skype.  The technical part of my job is not my forte, my performance is… But I hire people to help me with that techo stuff.

On the road I use the Scarlett, A Sennheiser 416 and a Mac Air.  I also carry an ipad, an Apogee mic and Twisted in my bag. You’d be surprised how often I have to whip that thing out! LOL  On a moving train I think was the funniest and most MOVING time…if you will.

Which production system do you use and why? Any favorite plugins?

I currently use Pro Tools.  Way more than I need but I know how to get myself around in it.  All my engineer friends used it so I knew I’d have tech support.

Have you ever had a voice coach? Would you recommend it?

I’ve worked with some AMAZING coaches!  All of them have their own unique approach to doing VO.  Nancy Wolfson, David Lyerly and Marice Tobias. I gravitated toward Marice because she was more like an acting coach when we started working together and that resonated with me.  I still work with her today and when I do…she’s SO intuitive about what she does it’s like getting spiritual CPR for not only the VO biz but also the being HUMAN biz!

How do you schedule/prioritize your work? How much time do you spend auditioning for new work?

I have a dry erase boards and sticky notes in my studio and in my house.  I make notes all the time. I have my phone remind me too! LOL! The more places it’s written down the better!  I totally SUCK at math but somehow I’m really good at time management! Perhaps it’s because I often work in :30 to :60 increments!  ☺

How do you market your services to potential clients?

Most of my work is…wait for it…word of mouth.  I work hard at keeping clients happy and try to make their job easier.  I’m in the service business, after all.

What is the best voice processing trick or voice-over technique everyone should know?

One of the VERY BEST techniques I learned was from a casting director in Chicago when I was pursuing an acting career there.  Judith Jacobs was her name. She had me record myself on the phone…over and over…and listen to my natural way of speaking. THAT was invaluable.  I have an acting background so I think learning the art and craft of acting is also important, at least for me it has been. You can never have enough tools in your bag o’ tricks!

Do you have a different approach to reading radio imaging copy as opposed to TV/Radio commercial ads?

More or less, yes.  Radio imaging is it’s own breed of read…however…I really try to keep it real…even when I’m doing a more heightened or energetic read.  Commercial is often more understated…quieter but it really depends on the type of read the copy calls for.

Can you offer 3 helpful tips for newbies trying to make it in the voice-over industry?

My 3 tips for newbies?  You wanna seriously do VO?  Sell your soul to it. It’s not just talking into a mic and something you can do in your spare time.

Study. Get a coach. Take acting classes. Get some experience behind a mic however you can. Be real and make friends along the way.  Plan for rainy days when you ARE successful and just be nice.  Okay that was more than three. Sorry.

If you could go back in time and hang out in any decade which one would you go back to and why?

Pretty sure I was a Victorian Burlesque performer in a past life.

Favorite 2 pizza toppings?

Pizza makes me fat.

If you could invite one person to dinner, living or dead, who would it be?

Cher!  I’m really a drag queen trapped in a woman’s body… are you detecting a THEME here?

via GIPHY

Grateful for you Benztowners for having me on  your roster with such an amazing group talent.

Connect with Jen

Insta: @motherplum FB:  Jen Sweeney
Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Andy’s Fiver Friday #179 – Schiller, deep work and a true super human and sports legend says good bye!

Benztown Imaging Blog - Fri, 04/12/2019 - 06:48

 

Yeah, thank God it’s Friday and the weekend is here. It was a tough week and I am looking forward to some rest and relaxation on Saturday and Sunday. 

1.Plugin

This week we’re featuring Blue Cat’s FreqAnalyst, a free spectrum analyzer plug-in that lets you monitor the spectral content of your audio signal in real time. If you’re still missing a plugin for monitoring, this should suit you just right!

2.Inspiration

This book is mind blowing, at least for a notorious overwhelmed multi tasker !

3.Music

German DJ Legends & music project Schiller has a brand new album out. Love that track :

4.Web/Social/Whatever

He was one of the greatest in this sport, a legend while still playing, true superstar and awesome humble human being. For a sports fan, this is a must watch

MFFL feiert Dirk Nowitzki

Da bleibt kein Auge trocken! Der letzte Abend von Dirk Nowitzki im American Airlines Center war unvergesslich! #MFFL Fans, Spieler, Coaches und lebende Legenden feierten Dallas #41 bis tief in die Nacht. Macht mit! Schickt uns weiterhin eure persönlichen Botschaften und Erinnerungen an Dirk Nowitzki – mit dem Hashtag #DankeDirk – und lasst uns den

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Imaging ITALIA – Meet Lucio Scarpa from Radio Globo

Benztown Imaging Blog - Thu, 04/11/2019 - 06:49

Lucio and I met on Facebook. He send me some of his stuff and I was blown away. You could tell right away Lucio has tremendous experience and his stuff sounded really hot. We started talking and I felt there is a lot more here to discover and this is what we did. Learn how Lucio does do beatmixing, what plugIns he uses and what was his most fun project ever. 

1. Lucio, can you give me a bit background on yourself, your career, achievements, role at the Radio Gobo. I am sure a lot of the readers will know you or of you, but  it puts a lot of the below in context I assume.

I started my job as assistant engineer in 1989 for a record company called ACV Records at this link you can see most of my works.  In 1995 I started to work for Radio Globo as DJ and Producer, from there a lot stuffs were done.

2. How is it to work in radio in Italy? How Italian imaging differs from the imaging world wide?

Unfortunately here in Italy most of the radio owners doesn’t know about imaging like us. Here at Radio Globo we do a several works with imaging productions. We believe, imaging is the difference between the Radios. From the imaging you can know well what radio is on air.

We are the ones who looks ahead in the future and listen the radio all of over the world to understand were to go and in which way to evolve. Lucky for us, we have an owner Bruno Benvenuti who knows perfectly. We have always done imaging from 1986, from when Cesare Benvenuti e Virginia Dantas (Bruno Benvenuti’s family) started this adventure in italy.

3. How do your days look like? Is there a blueprint? A routine ?

I start to work at 7 am and I spend half an hour on soundcloud to listen my Colleagues from all over the world and their new productions to have some inspirations and to find some more effects and beds to use for me so I’m constantly updated. After that I start to work for ours jingles and promos until 16 pm.

4. What is your baby? Most fun project? 

The most fun was the Pulcino Pio, do you remember the song for children? Listen here: 

WE MADE THIS!!

But this isn’t imaging is just for fun. My last masterpiece is the recap of the years 2018,  at this link you can see the video and listen to my big 10 minutes mashup.

5. Which DAW do you use?

Pro Tools 12

6. What are your favorite plugins?

I like a lot Waves Tune, Little AlterBoy, Melodyne. I like to use and discover a lot of plugins. I try every day to give always some more.

Melodyne

Little Alter Boy

Waves Tune

7. What are new learnings? Ideas you work on? Inspirations?

I like to listen to colleagues from other radios in the world like: Chris Hartgers from Radio 538, Ashley Bard from Capital Fm, Denzil Lacey from SiriusXM and so on, I have so many friends to take inspiration from and I hope to give some of it too. In these days I’m working on a new quiz that we will launch in a few days

8. Any new tools you discovered lately?

I would like to have a plug in but at the moment it would cost me a little too much, but slowly slowly I will have it, this is Serato Pitch ‘n Time Pro.

9. Your favorite piece of imaging / production ever?

I like everything I do, and I like every new thing more than the last. I love my Beatmix you can listen to someone on my soundcloud page at this link:

10. What would be your career advice for a youngster your twenty year old self?

Seriously engaged, put passion into what you do and above all BELIEVE IT!!

 

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Andy’s Fiver Friday #178 – Back from LA, Berlin Air Lift and Soundtoys Spring Sale!

Benztown Imaging Blog - Fri, 04/05/2019 - 09:15

Wow, what a week. Since Tuesday I am back from LA and back to the grind.  
The WWRS was a blast, we had legendary evenings with our Iron Imager candidates Brendan and Sam at benz house and it was just awesome to see so many industry friends, VO artists and imaging colleagues and of course the benz family! I feel WWRS gets more and more traction along our people ! Yes!

1.Plugin

The guys from Soundtoys have yet another sale, awesome prices for awesome products, definitely some of our favorite plugins! Check it out:

Soundtoys Spring Sale 

2.Inspiration

You gotta love that FB page for Travel Inspiration!

3.Music My good friend Rainer wrote this song for the anniversary of the legendary Air Lift in Berlin  

4.Web/Social/Whatever

Interesting new series on Sound Design by Waves:

5.Imaging

Some new FREEBies from one of the best in the biz..You are a real Rockstar, Bryan!! Was great seeing you in LA bro!

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Behind the Mic: Joe Alan

Benztown Voice-Over Blog - Thu, 04/04/2019 - 11:37

Hi, I’m Joe Alan! Voice guy, imager, exotic dancer. Excited to be part of the Benztown family.

What radio VO work have you done in the past (stations/markets)?

KZII/Lubbock, TX – WTNJ/Beckley, WV – WBRX/Cresson, PA – KSTT/Atascadero, CA –  WBYZ/Baxley, GA CKOS/Fort McMurray, CA WSUX/Seaford, DE The Beat Online KNID/Enid, OK

What are you up to presently (freelance/on-staff at a station)?

I’m a morning co-host at 93-7 WSTW in Wilmington, DE (just south of Philly).  I also handle imaging responsibilities for the station. I’ve been with the company since 2000. When I’m not on the air, I’m in my home studio auditioning for anything and everything.

Take a listen to Joe’s Demo:

http://blog.benztown.com/voiceover/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/2018-JOE-ALAN-DEMO-2018.mp3

 

What do you love about your job?

What’s not to love? I enjoy EVERYTHING about VO and radio! Nothing excites me more than when a station chooses ME to help with their branding. Hearing the finished/produced product on the air is always an event. I’ve been fortunate to work with some pretty amazing imagers/PD’s. I’m thankful for those who make me sound good.

How did you get started as a VO actor?

It sort of happened by accident. I started lending my voice to promos that I was producing for the station. After a few compliments, I put together a demo and started emailing stations my work.  I actually signed a station! And then another….and another.

Who are your VO idols/mentors? 

There are so many people who’ve helped me. I appreciate it when people at the TOP of this business are kind enough to respond to emails or answer phone calls. Chad Erickson is heard literally EVERYWHERE, but always takes the time to help me out. Sean Caldwell helped me setup my processing. I’ve gotten help from Dave Foxx, John Pleisse and too many to name. So many kind people in this industry.

If you weren’t doing voiceover, what else do you think you’d be doing for a career?

Driving a school bus probably. Haha. SOMETHING media or audio related.  I’m an audio nerd to the max. Running live sound would be fun.  If I couldn’t do any of that, I’d work on motorcycles.

How has new technology changed the way you work?

Technology has definitely made things easier and A LOT faster. Being able to receive copy, edit audio and email out a finished product within minutes is amazing.

What gear do you use on the road? In your studio?

I’m sort of a gear nerd. At home I use the sennheiser 416 with a WARM WA12 Tube pre into an Airtools Digital 2x processor.  I had an Avalon 737 for ten minutes, I just can’t seem to fall in love. A really nerdy side note: The first station I ever worked for upgraded their studios and I got to purchase the (Wheatstone Audioarts A50) airboard I used on the air.  I had it completely rebuilt (to new specs) and installed at home. I enjoy the red lights.

On the road I use the Senny 416 or Rode shotgun with a Yamaha MG10xu USB mixer, into my notebook.  It’s always in the trunk of my car.

 

 

 

 

(Click image to englarge)

Which production system do you use and why? Any favorite plugins?

I use an old (1.5) version of Adobe Audition.  It’s totally antiquated but I know it inside and out and I just love it. When producing I’ll use the Waves Diamond Bundle. It can’t be beat!

How do you schedule/prioritize your work? How much time do you spend auditioning for new work?

I check my email for new copy first and foremost.  I try to cut stuff as it comes in. Once I’ve finished recording copy I’ll start auditioning.  Most of what I do now is auditioning. I’m always trying to land the next gig. Always!

How do you market your services to potential clients?

I’m fortunate to be signed with Benztown.  They’ve been incredible! Cold calls and emails have proven to work well for me.  I reach out to every PD I can! I try not use mass mail marketing sites… I have more luck with a personalized message.

What is the best voice processing trick or voice-over technique everyone should know?

I’m not sure that I have any real “tricks.”  I use a little bit of gate and some compression and bump up the highs a bit (for an airy sound).  I’ve learned that less is more when it comes to processing.

Can you offer 3 helpful tips for newbies trying to make it in the voice-over industry?

I still consider myself a newbie in the business.  BUT I’ve gotten a lot of great advice that I’ve found to be extremely helpful.

  1. Network!  Talk to everyone!  Make connections and friends.  You never know who or what could potentially lead to a gig.
  2. Audition!  I spend a ton of time reading copy for free in hopes that I’ll land the gig.  If nothing else, it’s great practice.
  3. Have fun!  It’s super cliche’ …. but if you don’t absolutely love it, you’re not going to want to put in the time to really make it work.

If you could go back in time and hang out in any decade which one would you go back to and why?

I’d wanna hang out in the early 60’s.  I think drinking scotch and smoking at the office would be cool….or maybe I just watch too much “Mad Men.”

via GIPHY

There are few things you can put on a pizza that I won’t eat… That being said, my go to is ground beef, onions and green peppers.   I wish I could still participate in the Pizza Hut “Book It” program. I’d read a book a day for the personal pans.

If you could invite one person to dinner, living or dead, who would it be?

That guy in the movie “Night of the living Dead” …. the one who says “They’re coming to get you, Barbara.”  He’s cool. We’d go to Outback and have the bloomin’ onion.

Connect with Joe

facebook.com/joseph.molz twitter.com/jointheshow www.joealanvoice.com
Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Imaging Espana and why social networks mean FILTERs OFF for imaging? Enter Mikel Vilchez

Benztown Imaging Blog - Tue, 04/02/2019 - 05:36

I wanted to post this interview for ever. Mikel is one of the best Imagers in the Spanish speaking world. His beatmixing is legendary as well as his power intros. We re-connected when Mikel entered the Iron Imager contest this year and I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to interview him. Enter Mikel !

1. Can you give me a bit background on yourself, your career, achievements, role at the Flaix?

Ever since I can remember the radio and music have always been by my side. As soon as I was old enough to work, I combined my electronic studies with being a music radio speaker and a DJ in the clubs. During that time I met great DJs and music producers who did awaken my interest in music production and audio editing. Thanks to this I have always worked in what I like: Radio stations like Los 40 Principales, Europa Fm, Rac105, Radio Flaixbac, Flaix FM. Record labels like Blanco y Negro Music, Vale Music o Bit Music performing Megamixes, sessions or musical productions. Grup Flaix is a company who runs to two stations: Radio Flaixbac (Chr) and Flaix FM (Dance Music). I’ve been working for them for 15 years and now I’m responsible for Radio Imaging of both.

Discgos

Soundcloud

Instagram

2. How is it to work for some of the biggest radio brands in Spain? What is special about Spanish radio imaging / the scene?

It’s the daily challenge that I love! I always try to find new things to surprise our audience, and now, not only on the radio but also in social networks. Social networks are the meter of your productions, there are no filters, if they like what you do, they say it and if not, they say it too.

3. How do your days look like? Is there a blueprint? A routine ?

I usually arrive at the studio at 9:30, the first thing I do is having a coffee (until 12:00 I’m not a person ) I take a few minutes to look at radio blogs, listening to what other producers are doing (always learning) or discovering new plugins. At 10:00 my workday begins. I have a meeting with the stations’ director every week and after that I have to produce, renew some promos, sweeps, beds or what songs to do powerintros for example. I have a weekly radio calendar and a monthly one with important events (Summer, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, movie premieres, Halloween etc).

4.What´s your baby? The most fun project? 

The project to which I’v had more affection, it’s one I didn’t produce it for the radio.It was commissioned by the Record labels company Blanco y negro music. I created the Megamix of the Bolero Mix dance compilation.

And the production, that I´ve had the most fun with, was when I presented Iron Imager 08. Why ? It was the first time I’ve worked with  English voice and that made me produce the promo in a different way.

5.  If you had to pic 5 Plugins…which ones they would it be?

Melodyne

L2 Ultramaximizer

Valhalla Freq Echo

Filter Gate

Ozone Imager

6. What DAW do you use?

I use different DAW depending on the work that must be done. For all radio imaging, I use ProTools. The quality in the mixing process and the audio processing is spectacular. For music production I use Cubase. The functionality, when I am working with midi, is better. But the final mix of the tracks, I do it in Protools.

7. What are your favorite imaging techniques?

I love integrating the radio logo into the powerintros or beatmixes. Finding the sound that most closely matches the original and mix so that seems to be of the same song.

8. What are the new learnings? Ideas you work on? Inspirations?

I have to admit that I am a freak. I listen lots of radios, especially from outside of Spain. that way I am attentive to everything that other radio imaging producers do. The Radio Imaging is constantly evolving and we must be up to date. I’ve been working on the thematize of the Top of hours for some time. When an expected film is released, I try to integrate the melodies of the film and our logo into the top of hours. It’s fun.

9. Any new tools you discovered lately?

YES!!!! The RX7 from Izotope. AMAZING! I can not live without him anymore. With it, you can extract acapellas, instrumental or bass layers for example.

10. Your favorite piece of imaging/production ever?

I couldn’t tell you just one, I have several beat mixes or power intros that I love.

Beat Mix

http://blog.benztown.com/imaging/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Mikel-Vilchez-Beatmix.wav

 

Power Intros

http://blog.benztown.com/imaging/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Mikel-VIlchez-powerintros.wav

 

11. What would be your career advice for your twenty-year-old self?

I would say to him that radio imaging can’t be learned in one day. In a society where “I want it now” is becoming a constant,…, I know that everything has a learning process. It´s not possible to go from 0 to 100 in two days.

My advice: “Listen lots of radios, listen to what big producers do.” If you listen carefully every day their productions, you’ll realize that they are like a masterclass. Start with the basics, know how to equalize, compress, pan, create stereo voices, learn to use the grid. Once you learn the main thing and a lot of imagination, the success will come.

_______________________________________________________________________

An excerpt of Mikel’s work: 

TOH Flaixbac Jurassic

http://blog.benztown.com/imaging/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/TOH-FLAIXBAC-JURASSIC-.wav

 

TOH Flaixbac World Cup 2018

http://blog.benztown.com/imaging/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/TOH-WORLD-CUP-2018-FLAIXBAC.wav

 

Flaix FM Downtown

http://blog.benztown.com/imaging/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Flaix-FM-DOWNTOWN-BASIC-110bpm.wav

 

Rampa Mix Speaker

http://blog.benztown.com/imaging/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/RAMPAMIX-SPEAKER-FONTOVA-006.wav

 

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Keepin’ It Fresh 2.0 with Marice Tobias

Benztown Voice-Over Blog - Mon, 04/01/2019 - 11:44

Keepin’ It Fresh 2.0 with Marice Tobias was a hoot! ICYMI, the legendary Marice Tobias came by our Benztown HQ in Glendale to graciously lead a voiceover master class as a kick off to WWRS (World Wide Radio Summit). We had a full house with 15 attendees and another 10 who streamed the class online if they couldn’t sneak out of their caves.

Last year we offered this with Marice during the week of WWRS so we thought it would be great to offer it up again after so many people showed interest in Keepin’ it Fresh! Let’s face it, burn out is a real thing in any industry especially in the voiceover biz and we recognized a need to help keep our extremely talented VO freshest as can be. Plus, there aren’t a lot of opportunities for VO to spend time together.

During the masterclass, the attendee extraordinaires worked on improving their delivery with coaching and feedback from Marice who had them deliver liners in our studio, listen to them and then have them re-record once they’ve received feedback. There is always room for improvement and really just freshin’ things up.

Huge thanks to Marice for hosting the workshop and to everyone who attended. We can’t wait to do it again next year!

 

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Andy’s Fiver Friday #177 – Spitfire LABS, WWRS And Iron Imager

Benztown Imaging Blog - Fri, 03/29/2019 - 11:53

This week’s Fiver Friday live from Los Angeles, California! Congrats to the winner of Iron Imager 8 Branden Tacey, it was a tough and awesome battle! Here are this week’s findings:

1.Plugin

This week we’re featuring Spitfire LABS, a virtual instrument including pianos, pads, choirs, strings and more! Best of it all – it’s free! So go check it out and also check out this neat episode of Composing with Labs to get a quick overview:

2.Inspiration

Honestly the biggest inspiration this week has been contending at WWRS and connecting with all of you. So much talent and wisdom, we had a great time so far and will love to come back!

3.Music

Debut album from Billie Eilish! Interesting new artist, gotta look out for her in the future!

4.Web/Social/Whatever

Kinda old but super interesting! Getting the feeling of big sport events into your living room and the hard and precise work behind it: 

5.Imaging

Congrats to the winner of Iron Imager 8, Brendan Tacey! Awesome competition and awesome pieces, i just LOVE Iron Imager to the fullest! Here’s the winning piece:


Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

IRON IMAGER 8: Readers Vote!

Benztown Imaging Blog - Thu, 03/28/2019 - 13:17

Well, that was an intense round of the Iron Imager challenge between Sam and BT! We were sweating over here at the Castaway watching them cool-ly produce their Country format flyaway promo for the ACM Awards.

Thanks again for being a part of this year’s Iron Imager contest and watching our livestream on Facebook. The winner will be announced tomorrow (3/29) at 10:30am PT following the Iron Imager pow-wow @ the Castaway!

Our judges will be contemplating their pick but we need you to vote for your favorite promo down below so that we can announce the Iron Imager 8 Chaaaaampioooooon!!

Before you vote for your favorite… Did someone say something about a hype video?!

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  • 1
  • 2
vote
Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Behind the Mic: Amanda Madi

Benztown Voice-Over Blog - Mon, 03/25/2019 - 09:03

Hey, I’m Amanda Madi! I’ve been doing voice overs full time for almost 7 years from my home studio in Toronto, Canada. I can be heard on radio stations and commercials worldwide!

What radio VO work have you done in the past (stations/markets)?

Here’s some station I’m rocking now:
WUBL, Atlanta, GA
KREV San Francisco, CA
KIMN, Denver CO
Radio One, Beirut, Lebanon
KFRH, Las Vegas
MIX FM, Nicosia Cyprus

Plus other amazing stations!

What are you up to presently (freelance/on-staff at a station)?

Along with radio imaging, I do a lot of commercial work all over the world! Some cool stuff I do is with record labels to promote their artists on Spotify.

What do you love about your job?

I love that I get to talk for a living, because I loooove talking haha! Being the voice of a radio station is a very important job and I love that I get to do that. I also love the people I get to work with daily- they are crazy creative, the VO’s/ producers I have met and connected with, such incredible talent! And of course the flexibility!!!

How did you get started as a VO actor?

I was a receptionist at Z103.5 in Toronto, the production team and management heard my voice and started me doing VO work.

What was your first gig? Any memorable ones since then?

My first imaging gig was an active rock station- Live 105 in Halifax Canada.

Who are your VO idols/mentors?

K3, Chad Erickson, Heather Walters, Taylor Kaye, Gary McClenaghan, Dave Foxx, Steve Taylor and the list goes on and on… There are so many amazing people in this business!

If you weren’t doing voiceover, what else do you think you’d be doing for a career?

Entertainment reporter or a fashion stylist

What did it feel like the first time you heard your voice on the radio/television?

Like a giddy middleschool girl whose crush just talked to her- It felt great!

How has new technology changed the way you work?

I can work from anywhere I travel to. I have actually cut stuff from my car while stuck in traffic.

What gear do you use on the road? In your studio?

I use the same gear on the road as I do in my home studio: MacBook Pro, Sennheiser 416 Shotgun mic and Steinburg UR22 MKII interface.

Which production system do you use and why? Any favorite plugins?

I use Adobe Audition, that’s what I learned on in college and I don’t use any plugins.

Have you ever had a voice coach? Would you recommend it?

No, I have not but it’s something I want to do. I’m hoping to do that in the next few months.

How do you schedule/prioritize your work? How much time do you spend auditioning for new work?

When something comes in as RUSH that gets done first but mostly first come first serve. Every day I take time to audition for new work.

How do you market your services to potential clients?

Along with my agent Nate Zeitz at CESD Talent, I network on social media and I’m constantly hustling … Sending my demo out daily to stations all over the world.

Can you offer 3 helpful tips for newbies trying to make it in the voice-over industry?

  • Don’t try to sound like someone else, just be you!
  • Hustle
  • Listen to the constructive criticism

If you could go back in time and hang out in any decade which one would you go back to and why?

I’d like to be an adult in the 1980’s- For the fashion and music

Favorite 2 pizza toppings?

Green Olives and Red peppers

If you could invite one person to dinner, living or dead, who would it be?

Marilyn Monroe

 

Connect with Amanda!

Website: amandamadi.com
Facebook: FB.com/AmandaMadi1
Instagram: @amanda.madi

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

The 2018 Benztown 50 – Radio’s Biggest Imaging Voices Announced!

Benztown Voice-Over Blog - Fri, 03/22/2019 - 16:39

It is officially out … the 2018 Benztown 50 list of the 50 most heard voices in radio! The Benztown 50 is a compilation of Radio’s Biggest Imaging Voices and it wouldn’t have been possible without enlisting P1 Media Group who compiled and analyzed the hundreds of submissions we received in December (Thanks P1!)

This year we also had a new category, the Iconic Voice Award, which was honored to the prolific voiceover talent, Chris Corley. We are saddened to say that Chris passed away on the day that the Benztown 50 list was announced. He inspired voiceover talents in the radio biz and was loved by many especially by those on the Benztown 50 list.

The Benztown 50 is an opportunity to highlight the voices behind the mic that help create experiences between the listener and radio programming. Congratulations to everyone who made it on the list this year!

2018 Benztown 50 (in alphabetical order):

  • Ann DeWig
  • Austin Keyes
  • Beth Cameron
  • Blaze Berdahl
  • Brian Christopher
  • Brian Lee
  • Chad Erickson
  • Cousin Deke
  • Damon Oaks
  • Dave Foxx
  • Dave Kampel
  • David Kaye
  • Donna Frank
  • Dr. Dave Ferguson
  • George W. Robinson
  • Harry Legg
  • Heather Walters
  • Jake Kaplan
  • Jeff Berlin
  • Jeff Laurence
  • Jen Sweeney
  • Jim Cutler
  • Jim Merkel
  • Joanna Stadwiser
  • Joe Cipriano
  • John Pleisse
  • John Reilly
  • John Willyard
  • Josh Goodman
  • Jude Corbett
  • Jules Riley
  • Kelly Doherty
  • Lisa Keys
  • Lynn Hoffman
  • Malcolm Ryker
  • Melody Sharp
  • Neil Wilson
  • Pat Garrett
  • Pete Gustin
  • Rachel McGrath
  • Rena-Marie Villano
  • Rich Van Slyke
  • Roberta Solomon
  • Scott Fisher
  • Scott Matthews
  • Sean Caldwell
  • Steve Kamer
  • Steve Stone
  • Steve Taylor
  • Wendy K Gray
Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Andy’s Fiver Friday #176 – Above the clouds, Nike meets Maschine and WWRS / Iron Imager

Benztown Imaging Blog - Fri, 03/22/2019 - 08:47
  This weeks Fiver Friday from above the clouds, heading to my second home – SoCal. I am so thrilled to see you all in a few days at WWRS and see history in the making at this years Iron Imager. Sam vs BT Here are last weeks findings. Let’s do it! 1.Plugin

Great opportunity to win my favorite shoes and a MASCHINE Mikro on top! Check this out!

WIN: Nike Air Max 180 & customized MASCHINE MIKRO

2.Inspiration

Something to think about – great content from infamous “In A Nutshell”

3.Music

Our awesome trainee Phillipp and his band have their new record out!

4.Web/Social/Whatever

Trailer for the latest season of Stranger Things just dropped – looks amazing!

5.Imaging

In preparation of Iron Imager, once again check out Sam’s latest work and also Brendan Tacey’s piece that got him into the IRON IMAGER contest:

___________________________________________________________________________________

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

IRON IMAGER 8 – The CONTENDER – Q & A with BT!

Benztown Imaging Blog - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 10:12

So, Ladies and Gents, here he is: The Contender from Australia … Triple M! I mean you guys know all him as BT or Brendan Tacey … a legend in the Imaging space. Starting out, he was one of my influences and his legendary YouTube videos were the first touching points we ever had. I am thrilled to hang with him soon in LA and chat Imaging in person. For now, let’s find out how he prepares, feels and trains to become the new Iron Imager. I am sure Sam will do his best to prevent that. ENTER BT!

Have you been to LA / California / the US before? Are you excited to visit?

Spent a month in the states in Oct’17, covering Florida back to CA, including driving from San Fran to LA with my wife and daughters. Then spent an amazing week in LA. Was such a great vibe and I can’t wait to get back and have an awesome week with some even more awesome people.

Of course you know Sam Wickens – what’s your strategy against one of the best Imagers out there? How do you want to win this battle?

Well … I have everything crossed in the fact that Sam will fit the Pommy Cliché of Loving a Pint and late night dodgy curry … Both of which I will work very hard on loading him up on the night before … In the hope he wont be able to sit at the desk for more than 3 minutes at a time during the contest … If you get my drift.

If any, what will be your key advantages?

Without knowing how Sam operates and goes about his work each day… Maybe having to produce multiple intricate pieces on a daily basis in a very short timeframe will go some way to having an edge on the day. Other than that.. I’mm a deer in the headlights trying to work out what key advantage I might have … um … maybe my lucky Jocks/undies/briefs ?

Any idea of how the training regiment will look?

To be honest from hearing past stories of the week in LA around Iron Imager…I think I might need to do more training on getting my liver in shape for the week. I’m actually more concerned about that than the competition itself!

How difficult will it be to work off a portable workstation vs. your fully equipped studio? What’s your setup?

What’s a workstation?

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Andy’s Fiver Friday #175 – True Iron, True Chill and a True Legend from OZ!

Benztown Imaging Blog - Fri, 03/15/2019 - 09:24

Only 2 weeks left till Iron Imager 8! Getting more and more hyped about it! For now, here are this week’s findings: 

1.Plugin

Stumbled upon this little gem, which looks very promising! Kazrog – True Iron – You can download the demo for free! Also check out this review to preview what you’re getting: 

2.Inspiration

I highly recommend this just for the sake of beauty and getting inspired in a different way. I always loved the awesome combo of big pictures and sound! Here is the master!

Salomon Ligthelm

3.Music

True Chill..it cant get more laid back than this guy

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

IRON IMAGER 8 – the Champ is back in town and how did life change after winning the BELT?

Benztown Imaging Blog - Wed, 03/13/2019 - 13:21

IRON IMAGER, my baby is on – soon! I AM EXCITED AS HELL!

Sam Wickens will be back to face this years contender: Brendan Tacey from Australia (more about Brendan in the next days).
I had time to reconnect with Sam a few weeks ago in London and chat about whats changed since he became the champ, how his skills have evolved in the last year, what new things he’s learned and and and…ENTER SAM!

Sam, are you excited to get back to LA?

I can’t wait. I feel like last time I only got a taste of what Los Angeles is all about – I’m lucky I get to come back and do it all over again.

What are you looking forward to the most?

Enjoying some LA sunshine, seeing everyone at Benztown and WWRS and of course, taking on the competition. I can’t wait to see what format/script/work parts we’re given and see who I’m facing.

What have been the biggest changes after winning the belt? How did your year go?

It’s been an amazing year – I’m trying to improve my imaging every day just as I was before winning the belt. I suppose winning last year has driven me to learn new skills and demand more from myself. I’ve continued to learn a lot from other producers and doing a lot of audiovisual work has taught me new skills as well. Every project I am given now is an opportunity to try something new, test my speed, creativity and overall ability. I suppose I do always have Iron Imager in the back of my mind as no matter how small or big a project is, I see it as an opportunity to throw my all into it and see what I can get back.

What has been the biggest take away from the overall Iron Imager Experience?

It’s given me great experience and confidence to take on any project given to me, even if I have no idea how I’m going to make it work or put it together. I’ve started to see how I can use the skills I’ve been taught over the last few years into other scenarios and what I can do under pressure.

How has your skill set evolved in the last year?

I’ve been doing some work for Radio X the last six months or so. This has enabled me to dabble in a genre of radio I’ve never tried before. It’s been a learning curve and I think it’s made me a smarter producer. I’ve also continued to learn so much from the team at Capital. I’m lucky to be part of a team that is competitive and constantly drives one another to be more creative and push boundaries.

             

Any new findings, tricks, plugIns?

I do have some new tricks and techniques I’ve learned – but I’m not giving them away… I want to keep the belt! Most of the plugins I use are waves or Soundtoys and I’ve learnt how to use those plugins better and in different ways rather than invest in new ones over the last year.

What does the training routine look like?

Last year I worked on timing the most… fearing that I’d run out of it. I’m hopeful that won’t be an issue this year. I’m working more on coming up with creative ideas quicker and being more decisive and efficient in implementing those ideas so I have a clear vision from the off.

Who would you like to have as an opponent?

I’m sure whoever I face will be a talented person who deserves to be there. Hopefully, it’s someone who wouldn’t mind going for a beer after one of the most stressful hours of our lives.

What would you tell anyone not sure about entering and throwing their hat into the ring?

I only entered two days before the deadline last year. I hesitated and wasn’t sure if I had what it took to put something together, but I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. I would say just go for it because you’ll never know what could happen.

________________________________________________________

Check out Sam’s soundcloud for his latest tracks!

 

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Behind the Mic: Kelly Kelly Kelly

Benztown Voice-Over Blog - Mon, 03/11/2019 - 13:57

Kelly Kelly Kelly aka Kelly Doherty is not your average VO talent. You’ll hear her voice on the airwaves, catch her producing radio imaging, see her running the ultimate  resource called “The Imaging House” and you’ll probably be at her radio imaging and voiceover conference next year.

What radio VO work have you done in the past (stations/markets)?

 Oh gosh. I’ve been so fortunate to voice many legendary stations. KIIS/Los Angeles, KROQ/Los Angeles, WHTZ/New York, Capital/London, Virgin/Dubai, KSCS/Dallas, WKSC/Chicago, WBBM/ Chicago, WIOQ/Philly, WTDY/Philly, OnAir w/Ryan Seacrest, x929/Calgary, 5FM/South Africa, etc. Many of those for 10+ years.

What are you up to presently (freelance/on-staff at a station)?

I’m still voicing many of those stations and lots of others while looking for my next big gig! And I started TheImagingHouse.com which is like Facebook for VO/Imaging Talents and a one-stop-shop for programmers looking for imaging resources. We just launched “Imaging House Radio” which features all things imaging 24/7. It’s really cool! Station launches, jingle packages, promos, sweeps, outtakes, demos from legendary stations, the famous ‘Nine’ tape, the best of Eric Chase, John Frost and other genius producers in our industry. It’s great having it on in the background! Very inspiring! And funny!

What do you love about your job?

It’s an honor having a programmer and producer entrust you with their radio station. I mean- the VO is on 24 hours a day- more than any jock. So, to be THAT person chosen to bring their imaging to life is quite a compliment.

Also- The VO and producer community is so much fun and very supportive. I’ve planned mixers and networking events so everyone has a chance to meet each other face to face. The adrenaline is intense! I’m planning an Imaging conference for 2020 unlike anything out there. Produced by VO/Imaging talent with legendary talent, a one-of-a-kind agenda and lots of inspiration. The goal is for attendees to leave feeling like they can conquer the world!

Check out Kelly’s demos:

http://blog.benztown.com/voiceover/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/K3-All-formats-1.mp3

 

http://blog.benztown.com/voiceover/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/K3-Alt-demo-1.mp3

How did you get started as a VO actor?

I voiced a Thanksgiving commercial for Safeway. LOL! That was my first spot. Then I tried the Imaging side of things and went crazy as a producer. Shortly after I arrived at KDWB, I was told my voice would never ‘print’ on the air and I’d never be a voice talent. THAT gave me the adrenaline to explore VO work even more. When I sent my demo to Miami- I replaced the station VO with my own and finally landed my first official VO gig at Y100/Miami while imaging their six-station cluster.

What was your first gig? Any memorable ones since then?

LOTS! LOL My first radio gig was KRQQ/Tucson. I grew up in Los Angeles and left the day after graduation as my father worked for General Dynamics which has transferred to Tucson as Raytheon. So I followed. First day there I noticed ‘KRQ’ on the side of a building and thought- ‘Awesome! They have a KROQ here!’ which wasn’t the case at all- but close! LOL I worked for the city newspaper as a reporter/photographer while I was in high school- so I showed up at KRQ telling them they needed me to photograph remotes and sales presentations. I was hired as an intern and then the PD, Mark Todd, went on vacation so I started helping the programming department which lead to production on a 4track. Then the Roland arrived and I remember spending 12 hours producing one promo. I wanted to know that thing inside and out. Totally worth it.

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Andy’s Fiver Friday #174 – Rock The BELLS, Snoop and how to respond to a Hollywood Legend!

Benztown Imaging Blog - Fri, 03/08/2019 - 09:13

FRIDAY, finally! I was so looking forward to this one. So much stuff to produce, do, learn, read, watch :).. Just A quick FYI:

More Iron Imager coming next week, interviews, audio, all the PRE-Contest talk and of course you better get ready to be in LA at WWRS to see it live! 

 

1.Plugin

This week we’re featuring Decimort 2 by D16 Group, a high quality bit crusher with loads of functions and great presets. You can check out the demo on their website!

2.Inspiration

Fantastic lesson on how to respond to criticism! Must READ!

Netflix’s response to Oscar criticism.

3.Music

Can’t beat the good vibes from Snoop Dogg ! NEW BANGER BABY!

4.Web/Social/Whatever

Was a long week with a lot of web highlights, for me THE Iron Imager contender post stood out! So much great imaging here. Thanks again at all the super talented producer participating!

5.Imaging

My man Bryan is killing it again. This is why this guy is one of the best out there!!

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Iron Imager 8 – Here is the Contender BT and Honorable Mentions!

Benztown Imaging Blog - Tue, 03/05/2019 - 11:31

We REALLY REALLY REALLY mean it when we say this contest gets better every year. With high-caliber entrants from around the globe, who produce for AMAZING radio stations, the decision gets tougher each year. 

First, I want to thank all entrants who took the time to write scripts, get voiceover, produce and upload their entries. Most of them come in over the weekends, which tells us it’s something you’re truly passionate about. It’s also radio, so I guess we all work on the weekends

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Andy’s Fiver Friday #173 – True Iron, Biebs BDAY and Banana Pancakes

Benztown Imaging Blog - Fri, 03/01/2019 - 07:48

So this week went quick, a lot of imaging, debating, voting on all the awesome Iron imager submissions, new findings and everything else – enter Andy’s Fiver FRIDAY!

1.Plugin

Kazrog – True Iron – a new saturation plugin created by Kazrog and Powers Music – looks pretty slick and definitely worth a try, go download the demo for free!

2.Inspiration

Great article Chachi sent to me yesterday!

https://www.businessinsider.com/epic-marketing-wars-2011-6

3.Music

My favorite Song this week. Who does not love Jack Johnson!

4.Web/Social/Whatever

Iron Imager is coming and we will present the contender!!! NEXT WEEK! Stay tuned!!!!

5.Imaging

Konrad created an awesome Justin Bieber Birthday MASHUP! KONRAD, way to go!

https://www.you-fm.de/music/das-justin-bieber-mashup-von-you-fm,audio-justin-bieber-mashup100~_story-justin-bieber-fuenfundzwanzig-tops-und-flops-100.html

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

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