Behind the Mic: Matt Rawlings
Taylor Swift to Dave Matthews, Black Sabbath to Madonna, Brad Paisley to Kidz Bop! With a voice that is dynamic, young, and edgy, the biggest concert tours in the world hire Matt to promote their shows.
What radio VO work have you done in the past (stations/markets)?
CHUM FM (TORONTO), WZPL (INDIANAPOLIS), THE BUZZ (RALEIGH), 1540 THE TICKET (LA), B94 (PITTSBURGH), and 106.9 THE WOLF (NANAIMO).
What are you up to presently (freelance/on-staff at a station)?
National Concert Tour Commercial Voice / Station voice for several Canada radio stations.
Check out Matt’s Demo:
What do you love about your job?
Being a part of so many stations and projects all over the world. Feeling a sense of teamwork.
How did you get started as a VO actor?
I came from Radio (DJ/Production Director/Imaging Director).
What was your first gig? Any memorable ones since then?
Promotional Voice for local TV affiliate’s kids cartoons in the afternoon. Promo voice for ABC’s “The View.”
Who are your VO idols/mentors?
Keith Ubanks and Brian James. RIP
If you weren’t doing voiceover, what else do you think you’d be doing for a career?
I would be a farmer or drive a Coca Cola delivery truck.
What did it feel like the first time you heard your voice on the radio/television?
Total excitement! An addictive high.
How has new technology changed the way you work?
Easy to work anywhere. But now I’m available all the time.
What gear do you use on the road? In your studio?
On the road I used twistedwave with my 414 mic and a mic port pro. In the studio I used Pro Tools with my 414 and a Manley VoxBox.
Which production system do you use and why? Any favorite plugins?
I’ve been a Pro Tools editor since 1998.
Have you ever had a voice coach? Would you recommend it?
I’ve worked with several, but spent a couple years with David Lyerly. Coaches are very helpful to get you out of your own way and help you stay focused on the copy in front of you, NOT how you sound.
How do you schedule/prioritize your work? How much time do you spend auditioning for new work?
At this point I spend more time working than auditioning. I try to turn everything around in the same day. I average about 3-5 auditions a day.
How do you market your services to potential clients?
Word of mouth and repeat clients have been the key for me. I do some email marketing and I’m learning to be more active on social media.
When it comes to VO work, studio & gear, what are your most ingenious methods/discoveries for saving time and cash?
The micport pro has been a great investment for my road gear setup. I think the 416 mic really helped dial in my sound over 20 years ago, and I’ve never changed.
What is the best voice processing trick or voice-over technique everyone should know?
For Pro Tools it’s the internal ducking of the music/sfx track being triggered by your VO track. That really helped speed up time when producing lots of concert spots. The Disstressor Compressor has been a big part of my sound.
Do you have a different approach to reading radio imaging copy as opposed to TV/Radio commercial ads?
It depends on the station, but most of my radio stations are still pretty upbeat and over the top. Commercial copy continues to be more laid back and natural.
Can you offer 3 helpful tips for newbies trying to make it in the voice-over industry?
Slow and steady wins the race. Get comfortable with your real voice and learn how to use it. Work with a coach. You will never be able to judge your own sound.
If you could go back in time and hang out in any decade which one would you go back to and why?
The 50’s. Everything was fun and basic.
Favorite 2 pizza toppings?
Pepperoni and black olive.
If you could invite one person to dinner, living or dead, who would it be?
My wife! We don’t get out very often. LOL