AMPed up with Jake Kaplan

Jake Kaplan with Masa Patterson of Benztown (L), Howard Cogan of Jack-FM (M) and Chachi Denes and Chris Johansing of Benztown (R) at the Indianapolis Speedway Museum

What radio VO work have you done in the past? AMP Radio in LA, AMP Radio in Detroit, WAPE Jacksonville, AMP Radio in Calgary past Virgin Radio Toronto, The Bull in Houston, Live 105 in SF

What are you up to presently? I’m the Imaging Director of AMP Radio in LA and I do various projects for CBS Radio, plus television VO…I also do promos for FX, Spike, Travel Channel and Fox Sports 1.

What do you love about working as a freelance VO talent? I love working with different people in different parts of the world and hearing what they do with my VO. I Get a lot of great ideas for AMP.

How did you get started as a VO actor? What was your first gig? I’m first an imaging director, started doing VO by covering for vacationing VO talent. My first radio VO gig was secondary voice for LIVE 105 in SF. My first full imaging voice was for the great WABB in Mobile Alabama.

Have you ever had a voice coach? Would you recommend it?  Yes several times. I definitely recommend getting a voice coach. First it actually helped me coach other VO talent and then it later helped me with booking television gigs.

Who are your VO idols/mentors? Who influenced your work as a VO artist? I have my dream gig! Being the Imaging Director for a station I was a part of creating in LA, I never imagined a gig like this when I was starting in radio.


Can you offer 3 helpful tips for newbies trying to make it in the voice-over industry? Be yourself, no reason to emulate someone else.

How do you schedule/prioritize your work? Well I get into AMP at around 10am every day. I cover my east coast clients, then at the end of the day get the rest of my VO clients covered. I try to cover anyone when I can during the day if it’s an emergency. It works out pretty well.

How much time do you spend auditioning for new work? Probably a few hours each week.

How do you market your services to potential clients? Just networking with other radio folks at this point.

Which production system do you use and why? Pro tools, it’s the editor I learned on. I’ve had trouble finding the time to play with other editors.

What are your favorite plugins? Don’t laugh but I love t-racks! Great for imaging.


What gear do you use (microphone, pre-amp, booth, etc)? Sennheiser 416

How has new technology changed the way you work? I’d definitely say in the last few years, all these new processors have really changed the way I work. The speed of my computer is lightening faster than when I started in production. Also the ability to quickly connect from studio to studio. For example, connecting to our sister station in NY is nearly instantaneous. When we were signing on the station a few months ago, I could produce something in LA and have it playing in New York City in seconds. Incredible.

What is the best voice processing trick or voice-over technique everyone should know? I’d say not over processing it. It’s best to give the producer a lot of room to play around with your VO.

When it comes to VO work, studio & gear, what are your most ingenious methods/discoveries for saving time and cash? Best advice I can give is to not over think it. VO can be done in a non-studio environment, as long as you have a great mic and a quiet room. I learned the hard way!

Do you have a different approach to reading radio imaging copy as opposed to TV/Radio commercial ads? The only radio I do is imaging, but my TV read is very different than most radio stations I read for.


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