Matty’s First Crack…VOX 101 Part II

That’s right, we’ve got the original MattyFM demo reels – and without giving too much away, we think they’re pretty solid for a first effort! Matty has bravely provided us (and our professional critics) with two demos, produced using Benztown’s very own Country and Hot AC imaging libraries. Week by week they will be broken down and analyzed by our three professionals who will gnaw away at  it, forcing Matty to improve upon his previous attempts in preparation for his next demonstration!

And of course, we get to watch the delightfully brutal process every step of the way! Over the course of the next few weeks Matty (and if you pay attention, maybe you too!) will undergo serious coaching in his vocal style, imaging production techniques, demo structure, and more. We won’t be revealing who our judges are just yet – that’s all part of the fun. What we will reveal however is that Mystery Judge #1 is an influential Program Director on the west coast who knows a thing or two about imaging voices for radio 😉

At the end of the first demo break down we will be posting our first critic’s opinions, but for now here is a sneak preview of Matty’s original uncritiqued demos! Have a listen and let us (and him) know what you think! But be nice – remember, it’s his first attempt. And while you’re at it, check out Matty’s diary entry on his process of making these demos – see below. He’s even taken it one step further and kindly shared with us screenshots and a video of his Pro Tools session! What a champion. We don’t know how Matty and his demos will evolve, but we do know how you can find out – keep your eyes peeled for the next  episode of Benztown’s VOX 101.

 Good luck Matty!
-The Matty Files-
It was a bit overwhelming to think about doing two demos at once — one Hot AC and one country. I decided to take some of the pressure off myself by just playing around in the Benztown format libraries. I’m a Hot AC listener, so I decided to start there and just see what kind of artist drops, movie clips, soundbites, and sound effects they have. And I came across two pieces of sound that ended-up giving me the creative jolt I needed to come up with a kind of narrative for the whole piece. The first was SFX of meat sizzling on the grill for holidays like Labor Day.  It’s Hollywood foley quality – so I’m thinking, I can do something with this! And for some reason, I also started listening to all of the Olympics elements that are in the library. It was more out of curiosity than actually thinking I was going to use any of it. But I came across a soundbite of two NBC anchors talking about a marriage proposal at the Olympics. And I think it’s Meredith Vieira who says at one point, “Yes! Yes! Yes!” And I’m like, hmmmm, I know what to do with this.
Then I went through and found the songs that I wanted to use. Luckily, every one of them comes with the artist saying several different things. So that made it easy to find one that fit well.
I sat down and started writing a script for the Hot AC demo so I could give myself a roadmap. In fact, I started producing the demo by following the script almost exactly. After a couple of hours, I had somebody listen to what I’d recorded so far — somebody who’s not in radio or the media at all. And they thought it was cool. But something they said about the demo just gnawed at me. They meant it as a compliment but I realized I was headed in a very bad direction. Basically, it was too safe. At that point, I took out all of my VO tracks. Deleted them. Then I again listened to the elements I’d downloaded from Benztown. At that point, I would decide to lay down an element in Pro Tools and then go to my vocal booth and react to it. That’s how lines like “Could I have some music with my commercials please?!?” developed. Almost like it’s off-the-cuff.
For the country demo, I had to go to Billboard’s website to see what’s hot in country music right now because I haven’t been exposed to it in a while. But I have worked for country stations in the past so I know their listeners and their listeners’ sense of humor pretty well. I came across a soundbite in the Benztown library where Will Ferrell’s character in the new movie “The Campaign” is talking about his hair. And I thought, this would play great with a country audience. But with any demographic you have to be careful that they don’t think you’re making fun of them. So I wrote my VO reaction in such a way that I’m “winking” at the stereotype (“And thank God for it!”) But I also let them know that this station is NEW country and they don’t have to fit that old stereotype to listen to us. (“Helmet hair NOT required.”)
Hopefully, in this first draft of my imaging demos, I’ve shown a variety of vocal styles. I’d like to think the comedic part of my personality comes through along with the quality of my writing/ad-libbing. And I didn’t just let myself use all of the pre-edited music clips from Benztown. I mixed it up some and added my own edits so that folks could see that I have a few production skills.
Also, I want to thank Ruth Guice, whose own demos are at, for doing an amazing job with the slates. And thank you to New Country Z100’s Shawna Matthews, who can be contacted through, for voicing the line “Too soon baby!” for the country demo. Both ladies are incredible voice talents and I’m thrilled they agreed to work with me.
I can’t wait to hear what you guys think about what I’ve put together so far. Thanks for any feedback, tips, and critiques you can give me.
Country Demo
Hot AC Demo
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