My VO Chains are pretty basic. I use the L1 Limiter to master, balance my main VO and then manually duplicate the track and apply EQ 3 1-Band (High Pass) to sharpen the VO. I change my VO template from time to time, so I don’t have a specific VO Chain. But the one VO Plugin which I love the most is the PS22 XSplit, it has a beautiful stereo widening effect and sounds really full. I don’t use them much on my radio productions, because panning is always a debate, depending on our car built in speakers. I use this effect in my music production, especially on the Chorus (Hooks) to highlight the part!
3. How do you schedule your work? How do you balance your music vs. Imaging timewise?
I’m an old school person lol, I write things down rather than relying on gadgets! So I’ll always write my daily to do list on a notebook, then I’ll prioritize depending on the urgency (deadlines). It really helps, especially when it comes to speed and time management. I don’t do music frequently, as much as I do Imaging. Music productions happen like maybe 3 or 4 times per year (Parodies, Singles, Year End Rap Up, etc…). So when the project kicks in, I’ll just fully focus on that and work on it. As for radio productions, I have a self-made timetable which I’ve been following for the past 2 years. I always do my Imagings and Power Intros on Monday & Tuesday, because the first 2 days of the week are always chilled and I can spend more time on creative executions. Then the remaining days I work on the other productions which don’t take much of my time. That’s how I balance and prioritize my work.
4. What do you love about working for Hitz FM?
Hitz FM is and always will be my baby station. I have a long history with the station, I started off as an intern, learning radio with Hitz and now I’m the senior audio production engineer for Hitz (4 years and counting). What I love about working with this station is the quality maintenance and given freedom to explore creativity. Hitz FM is Malaysia’s Number 1 English Station, so that explains why the quality level of the station sound is very important. I keep reminding myself that everything has to be awesome with Hitz, even if it’s a 5 second Promo. And I love working with my content team from the day I joined, they trust my work and gave me the full freedom to do anything I want with my own sounds for any production. That’s how I grew, teamwork is very important in this industry!
5. What is the best Pro Tools or production trick anybody should know?
Every Imaging Producer has their own signature move/production trick. Mine is mostly Musical, yes. I like chopping and sampling. I will always start with a basic beatmix, then end up splicing words from the particular song and adding it onto the beat I’ve chosen. That’s my style of working. I love to apply my musical skills into my radio imaging productions. You can head nod to Hip Hop Music and you can head nod to my Imagings, I can promise you that! So find your groove, be proud of it and own it! You have to love your own work and make sure it’s catchy or creative.
6. How do you get inspired and what do you use as source of creativity?
Soundcloud! I have the App on my phone and I’ll go through the playlists every time before I go to bed. I’ll just listen to all the Imagings from around the world no matter what format or genre, and ideas will just flow. This Benztown Blog is also very important to me, so much useful information and awesome tricks! Most importantly, keep sharing your work and getting feedback from other producers too. Always be humble and keep learning, nobody is perfect.