Behind the Mic: Dave Hoffmann
Dave Hoffmann is a Benztown Brigade voiceover artist that can be heard on national and international airwaves. A veteran of the industry, we’re proud to have Dave on our roster representing the Benztown family!
What are you up to presently (freelance/on-staff at a station)?
I’m excited to share that I booked my very first audition that Benztown sent and I’m now the voice for FM2 in Manilla. I also just started as the new voice for WOTW, 103.1 The Wolf Orlando, and got that one from my demo being on the Benztown site. Personally, there is no greater compliment when a station signs you on and I truly look forward to helping anyone who needs something different. Oh ya, I just moved to Atlanta with my family in July and I can’t wait to see what this new and booming entertainment market will bring next.
What do you love about your job?
This is my dream job and is exactly what I always wanted to do since I was a kid. I absolutely love that this type of work always brings something different each day AND that it allows me to help others with their dreams too.
How did you get started as a VO actor?
I did my first commercial VO at 12 years old and never looked back. Who wants a real job after that, right?
What was your first gig? Any memorable ones since then?
My first commercial recorded was for a Chiropractor where I played a kid with scoliosis. I’d love to find the guy who made it and tell him what I do now.
Who are your VO idols/mentors?
I have huge respect for all the talent I’ve been able to meet through Atlas Talent and Benztown. I’m someone who believes that you can learn from anyone if you just take a moment to listen. My list of favorite voice talent is, well, too long to list. I’m a fan of many.
If you weren’t doing voiceover, what else do you think you’d be doing for a career?
I could always be an audio engineer… but I rather be a race car driver.
What did it feel like the first time you heard your voice on the radio/television?
I thought hearing myself on the local radio station meant that I had “made it”! Boy did I have a lot to learn! But hearing yourself never gets old.
How has new technology changed the way you work?
I started on reel to reel machines … so, digital editing is flippin’ amazing. I still have a tape splice block and razor on my studio desk to remind me how much harder this all could be.
What gear do you use on the road? In your studio?
I use Sennheiser and Neuman mics for my VO and various plug-ins and outboard amps. Since I’m an audio geek and come from an engineering background, I have a much bigger studio setup than most VO talent would ever need. But I love it and I just bought a C24 motorized console for my new studio that’s being built in Atlanta. It’s going to be sweet! On the road, I dig the Yamaha AG06… combined with a nice little hotel room pillow fort. Hello, Room Service … can you send up more pillows?
Which production system do you use and why? Any favorite plugins?
I’m a ProTools guy. I started with ProTools 5, so I know it quite well and speed is a plus in this industry. I also had my 003 sent to Black Lion Audio for an internal upgrade on the mic pres, A/D convertor, etc.
Have you ever had a voice coach? Would you recommend it?
I’ve studiied with numerous coaches along the way and I still study with one today. I honestly think training with a quality VO coach is imperative to succeed. It’s been the best investment I’ve made yet. Learn. Apply. Repeat.
How do you schedule/prioritize your work? How much time do you spend auditioning for new work?
I try do the work as it comes … or whichever script is on fire. I try my best to do all auditions that come in from my agents. You’ve gotta keep planting that seed.
How do you market your services to potential clients?
I fill out blog questionaires from Benztown. 😉 Oh, and I use this thing called the internet. It’s amazing what you can do on there.
When it comes to VO work, studio & gear, what are your most ingenious methods/discoveries for saving time and cash?
Work smarter. Plug-ins like RX from iZotope can help speed up simple tasks.
What is the best voice processing trick or voice-over technique everyone should know?
I could tell you … but then I’d have to.. oh, nevermind.
Do you have a different approach to reading radio imaging copy as opposed to TV/Radio commercial ads?
Radio imaging is surely different than TV and commercial VO work . You have to breathe life into the copy to make it come alive. Yet, it’s still very personal. No other media type allows you play around and have so much fun.
Can you offer 3 helpful tips for newbies trying to make it in the voice-over industry?
1) Study with a good VO coach to learn all you can. 2) Invest in quality gear to help make you sound your best. 3) Like Journey says … “Don’t stop believing …”
If you could go back in time and hang out in any decade which one would you go back to and why?
I think I’d go back to the 90’s and invest in Apple stock … or Google.
Favorite 2 pizza toppings? Pepperonni and Green Peppers
If you could invite one person to dinner, living or dead, who would it be?
My Grandma… I’d love to show her what I’m up to these days and get more advice for the future. Awww, right? ☺