Mike On The Mic
This is Mike Muscatello: Production wizard, creative genius, and vocal maestro. But you knew that already…
First, please briefly introduce yourself by answering these 2 questions: What radio VO work have you done in the past (stations/markets)? Current and past…SiriusXM FC 94, KRXQ, WAAF, WKHX, WBBB, WLWI, WXNX, WZNE, KRNA, WKZG, KBGL, WFXO, RTE 2FM, CKKO, CKEA, WBGF, KZPR, KRBL, 947 SA.. To name a few.
What are you up to presently (freelance/on-staff at a station)? I am currently creative services director and on air personality for Entercom Sacramento and I work as a freelance VO and producer “Mikey Muscatello Creative”.
What do you love about working as a freelance VO talent? Everything! It’s something I’ve always dreamed of doing. Working from home and getting to be a part of different radio stations and formats, reading different creative ideas and copy from all over the world is amazing and I am very lucky to be a part of it.
How did you get started as a VO actor? What was your first gig? When first working at KRXQ is when I realized this is what I should be doing. I did a lot of fun character based imaging and different voices and decided that it would be my goal to become a full time voice actor. I’m still working to get there but I’m well on my way!
Have you ever had a voice coach? Would you recommend it? A little but not enough. I am in the process of making that happen as I want to branch out into other fields of VO.. promo, network, narration, video game. Don’t get me wrong I love producing for all my stations but I want VO to be my full time job. Yes I would recommend it.
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/222856363″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
Who are your VO idols/mentors? Who influenced your work as a VO artist? There are quite a few that shaped my radio style. John Frost, Ned Spindle, Chris Corley, Malcolm Ryker, Jeff Berlin, Joe Cipriano. And of course the voice of god himself Don Lafontaine RIP.
What is your dream gig? Working full time from my own studio doing VO for everything!
Can you offer 3 helpful tips for newbies trying to make it in the voice-over industry? Practice. Practice. Practice. Read everything. Practice more. Luckily I’m a producer as well so …Please Warm up. Seriously warm up before you just jump on the mic. Find some warm-up exercises on line they really do make a difference. Don’t drink coffee before reading a script. Don’t over process. Give at least 3 takes with different inflections. That’s more than 3 tips but newbies need to know these things.
How do you schedule/prioritize your work? First come first serve basis unless it’s an emergency. I like to give all clients the same respect.
How much time do you spend auditioning for new work? Not as much as I would like. At some point when I make the leap I’m sure half of my day will be auditioning.
How do you market your services to potential clients? Email, word of mouth, friends, facebook, networking. I’m also very lucky to be signed with CESD and Benztown so that helps.
Which production system do you use and why? I mostly use pro tools because it’s reliable, powerful and fun. Once you get to know the program you begin to see how much easier it can make your job.
What gear do you use (microphone, pre-amp, booth, etc)? I have sennheiser 416, Neumann TLM 103, AKG 414, Symetrix 528e, DBX 376 pre, Mbox and focusrite scarlett 2i2. I work from 2 separate studios (home and station) I’ve turned a closet into a treated vocal both at home.
How has new technology changed the way you work? I love technology and it only makes things better and faster for our field of work. Like all the new mobile rig tech, I can audition or do a quick VO form anywhere using my iPad and apogee MiC. It’s pretty amazing.
When it comes to VO work, studio & gear, what are your most ingenious methods/discoveries for saving time and cash? Amazon and Ebay!. I found that by using amazon/ebay for shopping you can usually get a better deal and get it faster, in most cases. Test what you want at a store and buy it online.