VOIMAGEBLOG | benztown.com


Andy’s Fiver Friday #205 – Free Plugins, Free FX from Bryan Apple And Brad Paisley in Berlin!

Benztown Imaging Blog - Fri, 10/11/2019 - 08:29

This week went by super fast, really looking forward to the weekend! It was a really productive week though, let’s bring it home with this week’s findings:  


Trevor Parsons sent me this, simply register at Plugin Alliance for 6 free plugins! Great tip!

Register here!


Let’s get back to more reading guys! Here’s a video on why you should definitely give your books another shot!


Thanks for rocking Berlin, Brad Paisley – great guy! I feel country is really getting a thing. Fun to create the imaging for it!



Great coverage about what’s happening in the US right now – impeachment ahead?


Free podcast production elements from my man Bryan!


Imaging Ireland, green beer and how you get more effective by being a young dad ? Meet Nick Karkazis!

Benztown Imaging Blog - Tue, 10/08/2019 - 07:18

Round 2 with my boy Nick. It has been a while and I am thrilled to reconnect. Nick’s skill set has even evolved since he has been on last time and it is super interesting to see how his approach has changed, what his new role at Spin is and what his son and being a young dad has to do with this. Also learn why leaving at 6pm creates better creative results. Enter Nick!

  1. What are your latest findings and new discoveries in Imaging Life?

The biggest thing I’ve implemented in my imaging life in the past 12 months is what I call, “sectional mastering” (I’m sure there’s a proper name for it and I’m sure this isn’t new to a lot of people). Basically I have a chain of busses that are the final place for each section in my session. So for example, a VO master, an FX master, a music master, etc. Then once I play with these, each of them are sent to an overall finalizer where I mix everything together and then finally to the Master. It sounds complicated and probably over the top but it’s made my work flow so much faster and helped me manage levels within my session better as well as giving me better cut through of everything in my sessions.

  1. How does being a young dad change your work schedule and work life balance ?

Work/life balance is more important for me, now than ever! I want to spend time with my boy each night so it’s important that I make sure I leave work every day at 6pm no matter what. The way I look at it now is, that work will still be there tomorrow and I’ll probably have a clearer head anyway. I was always that guy staying back late to finish whatever I was working on and I often never wanted to disrupt the flow I was in. What I’ve found however, is the distance or break is often good for me for perspective and creativity. I’ve regularly walked out thinking about a piece I was working on and by the time I come back to it in the morning, I have a refined vision and maybe a better creative direction to take it. Most importantly though, knowing that I have to leave every day at 6pm makes me more motivated during my work day to get stuff done. When there’s no pressure to leave, I find I can procrastinate and I end up getting less done.

  1. What has been your latest sources of inspiration?

Soundcloud! Man, I can’t get enough of it! I follow a bunch of imaging pages that repost imaging from around the world. I also follow specific people and companies. I love hearing how other people are tackling the same things I am or what creative angles producers are putting on the same old promos etc. It’s just great to get inspired.

  1. Some new imaging pieces, favourite stuff the last months… Let’s hear it and tell us a bit about it?

We’re running our Beat The Bomb campaign across the station this month and I had to make a package with: Teasers, Pre Promos, Promos, Bombs, etc. I love creating cross station promos as I like finding a theme and creating that recall through out the campaign. My aim with this package was to make it as dramatic/theatrical/movie trailer-esk as possible.

Listen here: 

One of my fave things to do is promos for our breakfast show. I love taking a moment from the show and just bringing it to life through sound design, music and effects. I’m fortunate that our brekky show is two fellas who are just hilarious and know how to have fun OnAir. I try to make that translate into promos each day and across the day to push people to listen.

Taken a listen to some of those promos here:

  1. Your favourite plug ins right now?

I’m a mad man for the Soundtoys bundle. Echoboy is great, I also regularly reach for Pan Man & Tremolator. As well as those, Lo-Fi, Metaflanger & Pitch ‘n’ Time are ones I reach for all the time lately. I also love Vocal Synth 2 for vocal texturing with and without tuning VO’s.

  1. What would your dream studio look like?

My opinion on studios has changed so much in the last few years. I’m also the Assistant Program Director of Spin1038 so my role is quite diverse and I need to be approachable by all staff in the station as well as interact with everyone easily. So I don’t sit in a studio anymore. I sit at a pretty dope set up in the office and work on headphones. I have access to a studio if I want to hear things on speakers for mastering etc. Having said that, there are so many amazing looking studios out there. I’m a gadget guy. So the more bits and pieces the better. And cool lights! Haha! I’ve attached a pic of my set up.


  1. The best advice you ever gotten professionally?

You don’t have to use every trick in the book on everything you produce. Less is more and clarity of message is king! I knew of this early on but would struggle to implement it as I just loved doing as much as I could.


Fiver Friday #204 – Vocal Doubler for Free, Writing HORROR Music and what’s going on with OS CATALINA!

Benztown Imaging Blog - Fri, 10/04/2019 - 08:26

This week went fast, but it is not over yet. Happy to share this weeks findings and inspirations with you! Love you !


iZotope’s Vocal Doubler is free to download right now! Go and get it!


Make sure to read first, before installing. Thanks to David Taylor for posting this on the imaging group.

macOS Catalina will be incompatible with much of your music software; here’s what to know


Still one of my most favorite albums ever!!!!


As Halloween is around the corner….interesting feature on writing music for Horror Movies.


Really loved that piece this week from our boy Ketch!


Imaging Canada, Voicing the world and EAT HEALTHY (so happy after almost 10 years some one said this in this interviews) – Meet Jordana Klein!

Benztown Imaging Blog - Wed, 10/02/2019 - 06:00

I met Jordana on last years iron imager contest. I was so impressed from her writing, production and VO that I had to get in touch and learn more. A few months later we got Jordana on team benz as part of our VO roster and I am thrilled to have her work along the fantastic Ashley Bard as a VO on our CLIQUE library. Recently Jordana and I caught up and she was so nice to get in the nitty griddy with me about her career path, production techniques and she shares fantastic advice and insight on what makes her skills stand out so much! Enter Jordana.

1.) Jordana, can you give me a bit of background on yourself, your career, achievements?

I’m a Toronto-based freelance producer and voice talent with over a decade of experience shaping the sound of some of the biggest radio properties in North America, including a number of years serving as station voice and producing imaging for one of the top CHR stations in Canada, Toronto’s 99.9 Virgin Radio, also providing national voiceovers to the cluster of Virgin Radio stations across the country.

My radio journey began early. I was that kid who would routinely call and bug the announcers at the local radio stations, trying to get on the air to announce a song and trying to learn as much as I could about what they do.

I learned the ropes and ran my own show in high school radio on a CRTC-licensed station with a small wattage and big dreams. Some great teachers and industry professionals helped mould me and give me a template for what to expect in the “real world”, growing my skill-set and teaching me what it’s like to run a professional show, operate the console and receive constructive feedback via regular airchecks. It was fun and it was fuelled by a pure love of the medium and the camaraderie of the student radio community. I landed an internship after university with the first commercially-licensed radio station to serve the LGBTQ2 community, 103.9 PROUD FM, assisting the Commercial and Imaging Producer because there was a need in the department, and discovered my knack for producing radio imaging and later assumed that role, then took on a five-year stint with Canada’s leading CHR station, 99.9 Virgin Radio. I currently freelance from my home studio, and I like to call myself a producer’s best kept secret weapon, as I do a lot of ghost-production projects for other producers. It allows me to take on and cherry-pick projects as I see fit and create the schedule I want while I focus on growing my voice-over brand.

2.) How is it to work for some of the biggest radio brands in the world? How do the tasks differ between stations / brands? What are the stylistic approaches and how difficult is it to change hats? 

Being able to support some of the top brands in North America is definitely a career highlight, a culmination of seasoning and a testament of true capability, perseverance and fortitude. It’s an honour and a humbling experience and it’s an incredible responsibility, too. The pressure is definitely there but it’s exciting doing things that are high-level and with a big reach. The budgets for contests is bigger, the promotional opportunities and station concerts and events are bigger and you’ll probably have an easier time getting access to stuff like custom artist liners and the best tools, DAWs and services to innovate. The tasks may differ from station to station depending on the target audience but I try to stand back as far as possible as a producer, to simply make the pieces come together in a way that’s palatable to the audience without being distracting or cluttered, focusing on seamless editing, smooth transitions and clarity of message. In CHR or Rhythmic CHR, stylistically, a producer may have some leeway to edit in a way that’s a bit more “notice me” with quick switch-ups, tight beat edits and stutter edits. I find that I can have some fun with those stylistic choices in moderation and can get away with a more production-obvious and “tweaked” or “mashed up” sound, but, in general, my goal is to stick to brevity, clarity and a more flow-oriented style, and I try to stick to the basics of getting the message across with a less-is-more approach, whether that’s for a CHR, an Alternative Rock or a Hot AC. I don’t know if it’s particularly difficult to change hats when working in different music formats as I personally welcome the opportunity. It’s like a little “palette cleanser” to keep things fresh and interesting. New Rock can sometimes be a bit more personality-focused and edgier and the writing may reflect a more irreverent tone or a theatre-of-the-mind type of production style in certain situations but generally the building blocks and principles for production are the same – the tools are the same and sometimes the production packages and services you’re working with aren’t that distinct from one another, especially from one Hot AC to another CHR. Focus on the message and let the music do the talking. Make the transitions smooth and let the Foo Fighters hooks do the work; let the Ed Sheeran hook sell the concert promo. The mantra I follow is: Don’t clutter it with too much effected noise and let the music do the heavy lifting.

 3.) What do your days look like? Is there a blueprint? A routine?

Sitting in my corporate full-time seat, there was definitely more structure to the schedule and specific tasks to expect on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, like new music adds on a certain day of the week and daily and weekly promos recorded with the announcers, an A-level promotion involving a few produced pieces and maybe a B or C promo to run concurrently, etc. These days, I mainly take on production tasks on a per project basis, working with other producers to assist with their workloads and production services, serving as a sort of contracted middleman, so no two days are necessarily the same, but when I work closely with a producer for a long enough period and contribute a number of projects for their stations or clusters of stations, there can be somewhat of an idea of what will be requested or needed through the week. A producer may ask me, for example, if I’d like to do three promos each for station X and station Y, provide me with a deadline, and I’ll either accept or decline the work. Some producers are looking for a more committed weekly set up. Others come on an as needed or more casual basis. I enjoy the flexibility that ghost-producing provides. I’ll always prioritize whatever is needed the soonest, especially if something is requested ASAP and underlined and bolded and italicized. Otherwise, if I have four promos to work on and two or three days to get it to the producer, I can structure my day or week out however I want so long as I make the deadline.

4.) What is your “baby”? Most fun project?

My favourite projects involve being able to stretch myself vocally and musically to add to the flow and musicality of pieces. (Side note: Thank goodness for AutoTune.) I also love Halloween imaging and when there is some theatre-of-the-mind and some quick skits incorporated into scripts. I enjoy playing those campy and fun witch and demon characters as a voice talent just as much as I enjoy producing those pieces and using some more obvious vocal processing and effects. There’s a time and place to go nuts with the effects and Halloween-themed imaging truly is it.

I really enjoy finding creative ways to incorporate a little whimsy into promos or pieces and the challenge of being limited to only the tools I have to make straight up music or artist focused promos “pop” as a final gatekeeper when or if the writing is kind of bland. I love when a script has some creative writing finesse and approaches from a unique perspective but sometimes, some promos can start to feel a little uninspired and pedestrian if they’re being written and approached from the same template and it’s another “play two song hooks, pepper in a few excited listener drops in between, wrap it up and get out in 35 seconds.” I believe there are times you can use vocal processing and sound effects to play with perspective in promos and take an unexpected angle. For example, when I’ve got a promo to produce to win a trip to see Drake… and all I’ve got are the same artist drops he recorded that one time back in 2009. Instead of approaching it straight up and having him say: “This is Drake. See me live,” ramping into his song hook, I can play around with the audio and change the context through vocal processing and sound effects. I can add some filtering and some airplane sounds and a turbulence-warning “ding!” effect and use that same artist liner but suddenly I’ve added a few small creative details, and I’ve turned Drake into Captain Drake, ostensibly flying the audience to his show. I don’t even need to stop down the promo for very long to find those small moments to add whimsy and creativity. Instead of trying to make everything sound big and effected and delayed and reverbed, it’s kind of nice to do something like this to add something to an otherwise straight-up or quick piece of imaging, and I really enjoy that challenge.

5.) Doing VO and imaging – which do you prefer and why?

I enjoy a healthy combination of voicing and producing radio imaging. It’s fun to stretch creatively and tap into a character or a vibe while voicing in the booth but there’s something uniquely satisfying about hearing everything all start to come together in the studio as a producer and then finally fully wrapped with a bow (and a compressor / limiter) on top. I’ve never gotten “chills” from voicing something in the booth like I have producing and hearing a final piece of imaging come together just right.

6.) What DAW do you use?

I use Reaper by Cockos on a PC. I trained with it initially but had to transition to using ProTools and a MAC exclusively for much of my time in corporate radio. ProTools has a great time-stretch algorithm and all that but I love the ease and flexibility and quicker ways of doing things with fewer clicks I achieved with Reaper. I always loved Reaper and, like a bad boyfriend I couldn’t “quit”, I ended up crawling back to it without hesitation.

7.) What are your favorite plugins?

My platinum Waves bundle and some Reaper stock plugins have been able to get me everywhere I’ve needed to go. I’m not a huge gear-head but I do enjoy the L1 on vocals and the L3 on the master and I also enjoy using SuperTap to create tempo-matched delays. I’ll sometimes add some texture to a vocal by dirtying it up with a GTR Amp or using a pitch-shifter like the UltraPitch. I’ve been having fun messing around with the Morphoder plugin lately and adding that to vocals, creating more musical, sinuous key-matched edits.

8.) What are new learnings? Ideas you work on? Inspirations?

There’s so much accessible content today that there’s no shortage of tools and resources to improve your skills and find inspiration from others’ work. SoundCloud is great to follow and listen to all kinds of radio station imaging in different formats from talented producers and different production services across the globe. There are a number of industry podcasts as well, like Ryan Drean’s The Producers Podcast – a great resource for learning and inspiration that features anyone who’s anyone in the business. Aside from that, in general, I highly recommend reaching out to a station or finding the producer’s contact if there’s something you hear on the radio or online that stood out to you and you have a question about how an effect was achieved, etc. Most producers don’t bite and actually respond favourably to the compliment and may offer up some tips and advice! It never hurts to at least try reaching out.

9.) Any tools you’ve discovered lately?

I really enjoy sung jingles and fusing that into imaging pieces to support brand messaging. I’ve been enjoying playing with AutoTune and vocoder effects on vocals.

This isn’t so much a tool I’ve discovered as a shift in mindset: I’ve been making a conscious effort to try to “unlearn” things and to not get too caught up in the technical tools. It’s not just the tools; it’s how you use them. Don’t let them be a crutch. For the first few years in radio production, I struggled to find my own style and naturally emulated my mentors’ styles and approaches. My work from then sounds really different to me when I listen to it now, like it wasn’t even produced by me. I figured out the things that I like and don’t like and feel I have my own personal rulebook for certain things that I do. What matters most to me is clarity of message and flow with a touch of whimsy. I prefer a more back to basics, less-is-more approach and to resist the temptation to use every kind of vocal processing or effects just because they’re available to me. It’s not that I never do a stutter edit or add a fun effect. It’s that I don’t want all my pieces to be so filled with them that they become a distraction and you completely miss the message. It’s about moderation.

I’ve been enjoying challenging myself to try using the fewest effects and processing necessary to achieve the best result, focusing on creating seamless transitions and overall flow with a natural beginning, middle and conclusion. A lot of the edits I like to make are tiny adjustments for smoothness that would likely be taken for granted or unnoticed by the audience. The goal is for the producer’s “hand” to be minimal and understated and create pieces that feel like they simply gel together naturally.

Sometimes it’s best to step back, reassess and delineate – instead of going in with the approach of “What can I add?” try seeking instead to reduce and simplify. Ask yourself questions like: “Is this effect necessary? Can I shorten this hook? Does this vocal processing help punctuate what I want it to? Is this phrase or part redundant?” and “Does the piece still sound cohesive and make sense if I remove this part?” Resist the urge to keep something in a piece just because you spent time building it out. Sound conversational and keep the piece tight with forward momentum and the result will be more impactful.

Another helpful tip would be to consider producing out of order or backwards in certain situations, like in artist-focused promos. It can help encourage better stylistic choices. Sometimes when you start producing linearly, without really “planning your route”, and just kind of seeing where you end up and hoping to make a hook fit when you cross that bridge, you’ll find it just doesn’t really work, even though the VO stops there or the script requests a hook right there. It’s harder to “undo” or revise that initial work you started to include something else that might work better, such as a different piece of the music that ramps better into the song hook. It might be tempting to force an edit that doesn’t fit by throwing in a loud effect or a cymbal crash on the beat but it might feel disjointed and jarring. If you “plan your route” and lay out the parts in the middle first, sliding the VO just where you want it, perhaps just before the hook lyrics hit, I find it can be easier to then work backwards from the middle. The piece will feel more thoughtfully constructed and smooth and sound less “mashed” together.

10.) Your favorite piece of imaging / production ever?

From another producer? Gosh, I don’t know, I’ve heard a lot of cool stuff through the years. I love John Frost’s weird little skits. There’s a great one I can think of where System of a Down orders takeout at the drive-thru. Eric Chase has made some amazing work and has such a distinctive style.

I can’t say I have one favorite piece ever that I’ve personally created, but the ones that have stood out to me are the artist-focused promos that really capture a feeling or energy by perfectly marrying the music with the core message and branding, using artist drops, playing with song lyrics and rearranging song parts for maximum impact. My favourite pieces to work on in general are the ones that involve my favourite music and artists. I enjoy producing for CHR because I like listening to CHR. I know not everyone loves the music format they produce for and it’s probably beneficial to at least be able to tolerate hearing a lot of the same Ariana Grande, Halsey or Jonas Brothers songs when in CHR, especially if you’re going to be working with and editing the parts to the same songs over and over on a continuous basis. It’s actually thanks to my job that I started becoming exposed to the growing K pop phenomenon in North America, which has since become a full-on love affair for me and has spurred a deeper interest in the Korean / “Hallyu” wave and K culture in general. Who knew producing for radio could lead to such unexpected deeper interests and explorations for me? (Side note to any PDs who may be reading this: If you ever have any extra tickets to throw my way to see BTS, Monsta X, BlackPink or NCT 127 at one of your station festivals, I’ll happily accept… #noshame #doitforthefreebies)

11.) What career advice would you give to your younger self?

1.) Diversify your skill-set and be willing to learn about as much as you can in different areas of the business – you might not ever make yourself completely indispensible to a company but you’ll certainly tick off more boxes to hiring managers, qualify to fill more roles and have more fruitful opportunities down the road.

2.) Get more sleep. Eat healthier. Don’t stress over the small stuff. Break tasks down into manageable bits. Breathe. Have fun and live in the present. Prioritize your health and well-being first.

3.) Everyone may have advice but you don’t have to take everyone’s advice. Be gracious and open and listen to feedback but always trust your gut, believe in yourself and do the best you can do while staying true to yourself.

4.) Don’t spend your paycheque all in one place. Manage your money wisely and always have savings. Nothing is guaranteed and there’s so much flux, so many new personnel, new leaders, new ways of doing things, corporate buyouts, format flips, etc. What you have today you may not have tomorrow. Be grateful for the experience, be gracious and be humble.

5.) Get out of the studio before you’re in there too long. Remember to live life outside those padded walls. If you want to produce for the demo, it helps to relate to the demo. Get outside, go see all the latest movies, go out and socialize with friends, attend concerts, do a little travel. Make more experiences. Then you’ll produce better promos.



Fiver Friday #203 – ShaperBox2, The Irishman And The Best Radio Imaging

Benztown Imaging Blog - Fri, 09/27/2019 - 08:41

BOOM, it’s Friday again! Days are getting colder, work is getting hotter, as Halloween and Christmas are just around the corner. Here are this week’s findings: 


Cableguys have released a new plugin, ShaperBox 2, containing all-new versions of five Cableguys effects:

TimeShaper 2, VolumeShaper 6, FilterShaper Core 2, PanShaper 3 and WidthShaper 2.

The plugin is already in use by David Guetta, AnonXmous (Timbaland, Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj), BT, Deniz Koyu and of course by us! It’s awesome!

Check out the official video here:

For more information check out their online presence!

Hopefully it inspires you as much as us – enjoy!


Mini Documentary on KSHMR, definitely worth a watch!


Modern Sound with that Oldschool Flavour, Dope!


Official Trailer for The Irishman – Scorsese and DeNiro, this will be AWESOME!


Great compilation of the latest in imaging! Check out the Benztown Clique composite


Imaging KROQ, getting mentored by David Jay and why to have Forrest Martin on Speed Dial? Enter Will Morgan!

Benztown Imaging Blog - Thu, 09/26/2019 - 07:06

I got introduced to Will recently by my partner Dave and got really impressed by his career path. Will worked for many of the biggest radio brands in LA, California and the rest of the country. He has a lot of mutual friends, inspirations and mentors, such as the legendary David Jay at KBIG and of course as everyone, who loves gear: Forrest Martin on speed dial :)..Thanks for taking the time Will. Enjoy!

1. Can you give me a bit of background on yourself, your achievements and different roles during your career? 

Started off with being a phone jockey at the age of 18 at WAPE in Jacksonville, got bit by the radio bug. I begged to be put on the air so they gave me a part time slot. I think they just felt sorry for me. Then ended up at crosstown competitor WPLA Planet Radio. Got thrown into the imaging department imaging 5 stations (If we only knew back then). I voiced and produced the alternative station, this was a pivotal time in the Alternative arena, where rock was becoming  more mainstream. I moved to Atlanta in hopes of getting a job. I did get one how however, it was doing radio research..I was dying to get on the air . Never got on the air, came back to Jacksonville at WPLA, then it all “just happened”. I started doing imaging and voicing the station. I had no clue what I was doing, but I learned quickly producing and voicing Planet Radio. Then people started talking about me as the next one to look out for, but being humble, I thought nah, me? Say what? So I started sending my resume and demos out. Then BAM!I was getting calls from Q101 in Chicago, offers in Cincinnati, Houston, etc. Something told me to wait and I’m glad I did. I got a call from Kevin Weatherly at The World Famous KROQ. He said, sit tight kid, we have something for you. I was fa-reaking out. They were acquiring alternative LIVE 105 in San Francisco and wanted me to write, voice and produce the station.  After 3 years there, they promoted me to one of the most coveted positions on the planet. Legendary KROQ. They said, “We want you for the job, your replacing John Frost.” It was crazy and very exciting and sometimes stressful. Eventually I was working alongside other big names (like my radio GOD since I was 17), Steve Kingston who left Z100 to start up WXRK K-ROCK IN NY! And worked with other people whom I had so much respect for as well. Michael Martin, Brian Bridgman, Howard Stern and other great talents like Kevin & Bean, The Woody Show, Adam Corolla, Dr. Drew Pinsky, and other great producers such as Nick Daley and Eric Chase. The list goes on. My role never changed at any of these positions  but working with such talented people helped make me grow not only as a voice over but also as a writer and a producer, and not to mention my mentor when I was young,  David Jay, who I worked with at POWER 95. Now producing against him at that time KBIG now MYFM. 

2. How is it to work for some of the biggest radio brands in the world? How do the tasks differ between the different stations / brands? What is the stylistic approaches and how difficult is it to change hats?

Working for all of these stations and such big names was a little overwhelming at times. The biggest task I had to deal with most was me MYSELF! I would sometimes get into my head and over think things when sometimes the simplest answer is staring at you in the face. YOURSELF. Don’t get me wrong you do have to be able to adapt to different situations and scenarios because each station was a beast. They had different personalities, different vibes in the market. For example I was doing both imaging for KROQ and WXRK. And they both were totally different stations. NY imaging was more attitude than LA. I remember in New York walking from 36th street all the way to 77th on the upper east side by the NY Met listening to K-Rock to get the feel and vibe of New York and the station. I couldn’t walk for days there after but I got it! Same station name but totally different from one another. To this day I still miss saying “WXRK, K-ROCK……NEEEEEWWW YORK“. The way I said New York made it sound so big and in your face, full of attitude!  When I shifted from working from one station to now imaging hundreds of other stations through my old imaging service I did back in the day, it was fun because I was catering to a plethora of stations with all different formats. I gave my clients  the option of telling me what THEY want, from music kick off sweeps to winning sound effects for national contests. For me personally, its being able to adapt to different changes. In this industry it’s important and it’s kind of like being an actor playing different roles.

3. How do your days look like? Is there a blueprint? A routine ?

Each day is completely different than the next, depending on what stations needs are.. I always like to “ease” my way into the work day. Reply to e-mails, voice copy for stations and drink lots of coffee. Some once said to me, “The bankers rule the day and the creative ones rule the night!” That’s totally true to me. Since parting ways with Groove Worx who distributed my services with “Groove-Tools”, I still have a handful of stations I do work for and do some consulting on the side. I never thought I would end up doing work on that side of the spectrum in this industry, but it’s been lots of fun! Having to use your knowledge, experience and ideas to help others is a reward within its self. When I was with “Groove-Tool” , we had subscribers in all formats so I had to be able to give all these different options.

4. What is your baby? Most fun project?

It’s really hard to answer that question, because every single project or job I had, was my baby. With each project comes different strategies, when you open  up a new project in the studio it’s like an artist starting out with an empty canvas, you have a vision in mind and you start painting away. Same goes in the studio. So, having said that, I’m a father to lots of babies! My current baby/project is being worked on now in a private laboratory.

5. What DAW do you guys use?  

I’m a Pro-Tools user/abuser!

6. What are your favorite plugins?

Too many to tell. I started off with the waves Platinum bundle pack and added on from there. My fav plug in? SPEAKERPHONE!! It’s so easy to manipulate. I also like everything by Spectrasonics! I could go on. So many times I get asked, what plug i used. I say I’m using everything waves bundle, with a few extra toys, then they say, NO WAY! It’s amazing what you can produce when layering plug ins.

7. What are new learnings, ideas, you work on inspirations?

We are always learning new things or trying new things! Get on Youtube, Spotify, Rhapsody or any music server and start typing random weird words and start listening to what comes back and you’ll be surprised, you’ll slowly start laughing or being intrigued by what you hear and your brain will get carried away. Ask your fellow producers to send you one of their favorite promos or jingles for inspiration, or listen to imaging demos from voice over artists, then copy their reading and give it your own interpretation. I could go on, you get the idea.

8. Any new tools you discovered lately? 

Deep in the bowels of a tiny laboratory in Will Morgan’s house somewhere in Los Angeles, a strange concoction is brewing, were not sure what it is and neither does Will, but we can tell you, it’s sexy! One of the new tools I’ve discovered lately is my voice, it’s probably dropped an octave lower in the past year and Im having fun doing mokerys of my new voice as if I’m going through puberty.

9. Your favorite piece of imaging / production ever?

The loveline promo I did  for KROQ. During the height of Sex and the City, i had funny outtakes from Drew and Adam and worked the female VO portraying Carrie Bradshaw and hit a home run. Kevin Weatherly actually gave me a smile and a nod. I love every piece of imaging or branding that I’ve done. Working at KROQ taught me that you always have to be on. I am my own worst critic! I love to leave people saying “WOW” when they hear work that I have produced or voiced.

10. What would be your career advice for a youngster your twenty year old self?

Never  stop doing what you love.. follow  your dreams, find a mentor or anyone whom you look up to and listen for advice and most importantly believe in yourself and never give up. One time, an old boss of mine told me this industry wasn’t for me and that I wasn’t cut up enough for it and to find something else. I used all of that negativity I was given as a positive. I wanted too, I had to prove them wrong. I think I did.

11. Who have been mentors of yours and how did they support you?

David Jay, Creative Director at MYFM in Los Angeles, he was my mentor when we worked together at WAPE in Jacksonville. He took me under his wing.  If you told me when I was 18, that I would be working agains in Los Angeles, I would of said, NO WAY!!!!!

12. The best tech purchase under a hundred dollar? 

Nick Daley and Forrest Martin’s phone number.

13. Work environment of your dreams, how would that look like?

Working with a creative group of radio geeks  all encouraging  ideas and inspration, and playing the game “What if we did it the way”. Creative people need hope and inspirations not to mention nurturing.. We creative types are somewhat oddities. When a bird doesn’t have wings he can’t fly. Give the bird wings and watch it SOAR!

14. Radio in 5 years? What will be different …….

Probably what they said 5 years  ago……… ”Radio  will be dead in 5 years”. In a perfect world, there will be more radio content, creating more jobs… never mind.On the subject of what inspires you? My inspiration comes from life and all that encumbers.  Ask this question when you wake up in the morning. What’s something different I can do today you’ll be surprised!

My mantra in my life to this: Anything is possible, as long as you believe.


An excerpt of Will’s work:

Revised Will Morgan Radio Demo



Demo Sirius XM



Will Morgan Imaging



Will Morgan VO Demo Reel






Fiver Friday #202 – A Halloween Preset, Descript changing editing and Monogram on Kickstarter!

Benztown Imaging Blog - Fri, 09/20/2019 - 09:00

That week went by fast with so much imaging going on – I hope you enjoy this week’s findings.


Perfect for Halloween Stuff – Layering Effect Rack:

1. We insert Effect Rack on the 2nd VO track.

2. Choose a suitable preset (“From Deep Space” works great!)

3. Remember to play around with the volume on the 2nd track until you get the wanted result!


Is this the end of our craft? Has anyone tried this out yet?


What a great track! R.I.P Guru!


Great kickstarter project by a cool company, definitely interested how this turns out and worth the support!

Monogram: Modular Creativity Tool


Our boy Dom has done it again! Nice work mate and thanks for sending a message when flying over Stuttgart and NOT stopping by and hanging :)….


Imaging Malaysia and Astro’s female Production Powerhouse – Meet Balqis Puteri, Sameera and the crew!

Benztown Imaging Blog - Thu, 09/19/2019 - 09:00
  I am so thrilled to have Balqis and the team on. We met each other in KL earlier this month and I was stunned having the opportunity interviewing a primarily female team and a female lead producer. I loved spending time with her and learning more about Malay culture, radio and how is imaging does there. Here is some background on Balqis and her team:   I’ve been working in Astro Radio for 7 years now. Started as an intern (late 2011) and came back as a commercial production engineer in July 2012. From there, I moved around to other stations for both Eng and Malay networks and have produced for stations like Mix, Lite (2012-2014), Zayan, Era and Hitz (current).   The production team in Astro Radio consists of 17 production engineers, 14 in Pen Malaysia and 3 in East Malaysia which includes station and commercial production engineers. Out of 17 engineers, 7 of us are girls! There’s Sameera (main engineer for Era and Zayan), Sarah (Hitz junior engineer), Hannah (Mix and Lite), Rachel (Melody), Pui Yin (Go Xuan), Elina (Sarawak office – Hitz, Era and My) and myself (leading the team and juggling between Era and Hitz).   The stations I mainly work on are Era and Hitz. Era is a malay language station and is Malaysia’s number 1 station with a listenership of 6.5 million. Both these stations are current hit radio (CHR) format in their own languages.    Enter Balqis:

  1. What DAW system are you using and why? 

The whole team uses Pro Tools, because there’s so many things you can do with it. We do radio promos, imaging, etc. as well as music recordings and the occasional video post pro. So it’s versatile and most of us find it easy to navigate.

  1. What are your favorite plugINs?

Balqis: Serato Pitch n Time! Love it, it’s like a best friend. I rely on it a lot to produce my promos and imaging if I want to beat match, find the BPM of a song, play around with the pitch variables to colour my VOs. I use the pitch shift to correct vocals too in song recordings. Another fav is the H-Delay because I feel like it’s the easiest to use, and best for promos/imaging, especially if you want your VOs to match the beat and play around with the note values.

Sameera:I use a lot of Waves Doubler to colour my VO. There are quite a few presets in there that I use often. One being Slap Happy to emphasise certain words or phrases. For music production I love the Waves Super Taps plug-in for delay effects. It’s just really fun to play around with especially for Hip Hop productions. Serrato Pitch and Time Pro 2.0. is also an essential plug in for me. I like playing around with vocal chops and sampling so that really comes in handy.

  1. What is the difference imaging a Malay radio channel vs an international Hit Music Channel?

Balqis: The flow of production and energy level is pretty much the same on Era and Hitz, since they’re both CHR stations. However, for Era, there are times when there are way more ballads to work with in the imaging compared to Hitz, which is always more pop/urban. There seems to be more hip hop playing on Era too lately so I guess we can say that the genre of music differs slightly for both stations.

Sameera: Malay language scripts tend to be quite long because of the structure of the language so we always have to find ways to make it interesting and not sound draggy.

  1. How is it to work for such a big company as ASTRO?

Pressure to perform! We are the leading broadcaster in Malaysia, so that keeps us on our toes at all times – it’s both stressful and exciting at the same time. But because Astro Radio is big, we have so many stations (11 FM stations in total) it gives us room for growth. We shuffle to other stations so it’s a continuous learning process and keeps things interesting. Perks are good too!

  1. What is your advantage being a female in a male dominated job?

Balqis: It really doesn’t feel like it here in Astro Radio because almost half of the team are girls!But I do feel girls are more detailed in production. We don’t overlook the little things and we can still do it at the speed of any guy engineers!

Sameera: The element of surprise. From my experience, I guess people are generally not used to a female engineer. So quite often I am underestimated from time to time. Another advantage would also be people don’t find us that intimidating! Newer artists or vocal talents tend to be more comfortable and seem to trust us and open up more which speeds up the process. But ultimately I believe audio has no gender and it really just depends on the individual.

  1. How does a typical day look ?

We start our day with breakfast production, which includes editing for rewinds and podcast. That usually takes up the whole morning. The afternoons are mostly for content editing (for segments that go on air the next day on breakfast), then there are the station and client promos. After we’re done with all the client or contest promos, we’ll produce station images and power intros if there are any song changes. Chart show editing is done on a weekly basis, usually recorded midweek and produced before the weekend.

  1. What is the best advice you ever gotten?

Balqis: This one stuck on me since the very first few days I started in radio –  “make sure you count your bars correctly”  and “cut the waves clean”.  I kept to that and it’s made all my promos sound tight and flow right. Thank you Mitch and Kev!

Sameera: In the famous words of Kendrick Lamar. Sit down. Be humble. 

My parents always reiterate to never think you are the best at something because in a way it can limit your learning growth. You can always learn from anyone and anywhere and strive to be even better. The learning never stops. Even when new engineers come in, I creep on their work and you can always learn something new. Whether it be audio or even a more efficient way to work.

  1. Who influenced you the most? Have there been any role models?

Balqis: In radio production, it’s definitely my former boss, Kevin Isitor a.k.a. Skeletor. He taught me a lot about radio imaging and his style of production strongly influences mine. He thought me how to use the Serato Pitch n Time and because of that, I know how to beat mix and produce mashups! The other seniors engineers at that time also played an important role. I came into radio not knowing anything about radio production and they gave me a lot of guidance.

Sameera: My environment and the people around me influence me the most. From what to do and even what not to do! Take the best around you and apply it and learn from the bad. I think in radio it’s a good thing to be fluid. In terms of role models, there are many! My elder sister played a huge role in fostering my interest in Audio. She did her post grad at NYU Steinhardt majoring in Music Technology and I just remembered being in awe when she took me for a studio tour. At work, I look up to a lot of the senior engineers that came before me. I came into the company without any formal audio background, I just messed about on any free audio programs I could get my hands on and they were instrumental in showing me the in’s and out’s of radio and production.

  1. From where and  how do you get creative input?

Balqis: Listening to music helps. The arrangement of a song, vocal processing (especially in EDM tracks) and beats really help to give me ideas for imaging. I check out what other imaging producers are doing too on Soundcloud and Youtube if I feel like my work is starting to get too “templated”

Sameera: Listening to music too! At the end of the day, I just pick some random playlist on Spotify and listen carefully to how each song is structured and produced. For technique, I go to Soundcloud. It’s great to listen to production from all over the world and you get to pick up some neat tricks and techniques.

________________________________________________________________________   Find an excerpt of their work here:    DBOYZ Teaser (prod. by Sameera)   http://blog.benztown.com/imaging/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/TEASER-1-ERA-DBOYZ-produced-by-Sameera.mp3


Kickoff JOHARA (prod. by Sameera)   http://blog.benztown.com/imaging/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/KICKOFF-JOHARA-PAGI-ERA-produced-by-Sameera.mp3


JOHARA Image    http://blog.benztown.com/imaging/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/JOHARA-IMAGE-1-AUG-2019_.mp3





Fiver Friday #201 – Temper, The greatest Player of all times and new Jingles for France!

Benztown Imaging Blog - Fri, 09/13/2019 - 09:56

Boom, Friday!!! What a WEEK! The weekend is close and here is my latest  findings. Cheers!


Another free plugin, as you guys love the plugin section


Andy’s Fiver Friday #200 – Happy Birthday Fiver Friday, Producer Talk, Mid 90s And Another Free Plugin

Benztown Imaging Blog - Fri, 09/06/2019 - 08:25

200 ! Wow, I cant believe it. So happy you still like reading this so much. As my goal always is to create better and more suitable content for you, let me know, which category do you actually like the most! Go vote!

Take Our Poll (function(d,c,j){if(!d.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src='http://blog.benztown.com/imaging/wp-content/plugins/polldaddy/js/polldaddy-shortcode.js';s=d.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);} else if(typeof jQuery !=='undefined')jQuery(d.body).trigger('pd-script-load');}(document,'script','pd-polldaddy-loader'));


And now: Let’s get right into this weeks findings!


Audio Damage FuzzPlus3 – Interesting free Distortion Plugin – check out the video below!


The legendary Mike Dean at Pensado’s Place – definitely worth a watch!


Happy Birthday 5er Friday! This is for you!


Fun TB to my youth – check it out on amazon prime!


Great work from Dan!


Andy’s Fiver Friday #199 – Radio Days Asia, End Of Summer Sales And Scott Phillips for Ambush!

Benztown Imaging Blog - Fri, 08/30/2019 - 07:40

What a week. You gotta love KL. First ever Radio Days Asia 2019 was a great success and I really liked the energy and the vibe of the entire convention. It was a blast and fun to see how radio is killing it over here!


Check out XLN Audio’s End Of Summer Sale, lot’s of bang for the buck!

XLN Audio


Awesome channel with lots of tips, tricks and knowledge – high quality content for free!


My favorite 2018 playlist!


Check out Radio Days Asia On Facebook.

Also here are some impressions! Had a great time!



Awesome new stuff from Scott Phillips for Ambush


Andy’s Fiver Friday #198 – RDA and Hello from KL!

Benztown Imaging Blog - Fri, 08/23/2019 - 05:36

First of all, thanks to Matt, Kev and BT, who where an awesome “Team Takeover”. I am back and on the road again. Hello from KL and Radio Days Asia. I am thrilled to be here and already love the city, the energy. If you are here, too, I would be so happy to touch base at the convention next week.

1. Plugin

The Sonsig Rev-A reverb by Relab honestly looks and sounds awesome! You can get your free trial by simply entering this code into your iLok Account: 9162-6163-5011-3601-6813-6970-5732-75

Also check out this quick review:


Awesome podcast by Matt D’Avella on Health, Business and Lifestyle! Also available on Spotify and Apple Music


Andy’s Fiver Friday #197 – Brendan Tacey TAKEOVER: C3PO Hack, Grabs, Mentors And The Unknown Aussies!

Benztown Imaging Blog - Fri, 08/16/2019 - 07:24

We’ve got another TAKEOVER! This time from no other but reigning Iron Imager Champion Brendan Tacey! Check out his findings for the week


Behind the Mic: Saint John

Benztown Voice-Over Blog - Wed, 08/14/2019 - 13:45

St. John has been the voice of the San Francisco Bay Area (and beyond) for the last 2 decades.

“I got into radio because I love music and I love the art of communication. Early in life I had the good fortune to be able to listen to some of the best in the business… some of the greatest radio stations and biggest personalities of all time. And of course , I fell in love with the theatre of the mind … not just of the on air talent but of the ever present “phantom personality” … the imaging announcer. The voiceover artist conveys more about your station in 3 seconds than many personalities do in an hour. As a station voice, I love working with program directors in helping to create something unique … something that no one else can duplicate. My style can be over the top … it can be intimate … and it is always engaging. And with station imaging that’s the whole point.”

How did you get started as a VO actor?

I began in radio as weekend on air talent and at WZOU/Boston (now WJMN) I was also assigned the task of dubbing music and spots … and then voicing the occasional 60 second commercial. My first station. Imaging voice experience was at Boston’s KISS108 … I was asked to fill in for the station’s creative director for a few weeks and fell in love with both the creative process and hearing my work on the air defining the station. Haven’t looked back since!

What radio VO work have you done in the past?

I’ve been the voice of some pretty exciting stations over the past 2 decades including

  • WXRK New York
  • KBIG Los Angeles
  • KYLD San Francisco
  • CKBE Montreal
  • HOT957 Houston
  • WPOW Miami
  • Z90 San Diego
  • KXJM Portland
  • KIKI Honolulu
  • B97 New Orleans
  • WLOL Minneapolis
  • B95 Fresno
What are you up to presently? I am currently hosting Afternoon Drive and am the station imaging voice for KMVQ FM (997NOW) San Francisco. My voiceover roster also includes:
  • iHeart Radio DANCE NATION 90s
  • KDON Salinas Santa Cruz Monterey
  • DaJam983 Maui
  • 91.4 Studio1FM Dhahran Saudi Arabia
  • 105.7NOWfm Spokane
  • Q97 Fresno
 Additionally, I do weekend fill in on Philadelphia’s TALKRADIO 1210 WPHT and am currently working on creating YouTube channels to compliment my San Francisco and Philadelphia radio shows.


Check out Saint’s demo:



What do you love about your job?

I love entertaining and making real connections with people through radio. With 997NOW, having a 2 decade relationship with people in San Francisco is incredibly rare and allows me to have a real place in people’s daily lives. Bonneville encourages our personalities to make a difference in our communities which is incredibly rewarding. On my shows on WPHT I love giving a different perspective and challenging our listeners. Engagement is really what gets me excited. And that’s what I also go for in the voiceover booth. It drives everything I do.

St. John has been on-air at 997Now for twenty years!

What was your on-air first gig?
First radio experience was during high school. I had a free period … and had access to the radio station at the college next door (Virginia Wesleyan College). From there its was Z104/Norfolk … WHTT … WZOU … then KISS108 Boston

What was your first voiceover gig?

First official station voice gig was B97 New Orleans.
First client station B95 Fresno.

Any memorable ones since then?

All (ok MOST) clients are memorable in that their individual situations are unique. That said … any time I have non English language vo … it’s challenging and fun (especially since I’m not fluent in Mandarin Portuguese or Spanish).

Who are your VO idols/mentors?

IDOL … Hands down it has to be the late Chuck Riley. First worked with his VO at X100/San Francisco and was blown away.

MENTORS … Almost everyone else doing voiceover. I’ve learned so much (stolen so many ideas…lol) from so many other incredibly talented vo people. I can’t name a single voice artist that hasn’t made me hear things in a different way than I normally would.

If you weren’t doing voiceover, what else do you think you’d be doing for a career?
If I weren’t in radio or voiceover, I’d be producing electronic dance music full time (which I do in my spare time) and performing at festivals and clubs. And if not in music or entertainment, I’ve always had a fascination with flying.

How do you continue to stay motivated throughout your long career?

I am blessed and grateful to have relationships with people who challenge, motivate and encourage me daily. From my radio fam from 997NOW (Michael Martin and Jazzy Jim) and Greg Lawley at Lawman Promotions to people like Chachi and the Benztown crew, I get perspective and opportunity to brainstorm with some of the absolute best in the business. Working around fresh talent is a also a huuuuuuge benefit and keeps me from getting myopic. And while I don’t really actively think about how to stay motivated, my friend and mentor (Michael Martin) believes that a key for creatives is having other creative outlets … so it IS that music production and doing talk radio that is a pressure valve. Also taking vacations and enjoying the food, fashion, music and theatre scene in San Francisco is energizing.

Building great relationships is key in the radio biz!

How has new technology changed the way you work?

As a voiceover talent, digital technology has been a game changer. Editing is so simple and cleaning up tracks couldn’t be easier. Uploading and emailing has made turnaround time almost instantaneous. And going on vacation is infinitely easier. I used to travel with a full rack kit and now the Neve gear comes with me on a laptop in plug in form.

What gear do you use In your studio? On the road?

The mic for most of my clients voiceover is a Sennheiser 8060 (a little more present for me than a 416 and its smaller so it travels better). Processing in the booth at home is Neve 1073spx pre/eq and Neve 2254R compressor into Sound Devices USBPre2 interface and of course Wheatstone Voxpro. On the road its the Sennheiser into a UAD Arrow (Neve 1073 and 33609 plugins) into Ableton live 10 to record and Wheatstone Voxpro to edit and clean up.

Which production system do you use and why?

For voiceover it’s Wheatstone Voxpro. It’s idiot proof (lol) and since I use it on air every single day I’m lightning fast and it’s second nature. For the very infrequent full promo that I might produce Ableton Live 10 is fantastic … easy … and is incredibly stable. I use it with Waves and UAD plugins (although the stock plug ins it comes with are decent). Of course I can rock with ProTools (started on a system from Pacific Recorders called ADX then on to ProTools) but for me Ableton has made it obsolete.

Have you ever had a voice coach? Would you recommend it?

I’ve just started to work with Marice Tobias and find it valuable. Working with a coach is probably not for everyone but I personally believe that being challenged and encouraged to see things from a different perspective can give you a different edge and a serious advantage.

What is the best voice processing trick everyone should know?

Actually not really a trick but audition EVERY MIC until you find the one (or ones) that works for YOU. Don’t just look at what everybody else uses and assume it’s best for you. Some people sound better on a $100 handheld Shure mic than on a $3500 Neumann U87. DON’T BE AFRAID TO EXPERIMENT.

As for processing … EQ sparingly to sound natural to slightly bright … compress with slow attack time and relatively quick release … then a bit of peak limiting

Can you offer 3 helpful tips for newbies trying to make it in the voice-over industry?

1. FIRST and FOREMOST … MAKE SURE THAT YOU’RE IN LOVE WITH THE PROCESS. Don’t be in love with the idea of being a voiceover artist… love the work. If the satisfaction solely comes from getting the gig and the check … you’ll be disappointed far more than delighted. If the work itself isn’t the turn on you’re doing the wrong thing.
2. Like everything in life … don’t overthink it. Especially in a creative field DO NOT SECOND GUESS. When you’re first starting out, don’t be afraid if you’re not perfect. YOU HAVE TO SHIP! It’s easy to get paralyzed because your early work isn’t all the way there. Do your best … ship your best … and always work toward perfection (if there is such a thing).
3. LISTEN TO EVERYONE ELSE’S WORK and get a feel for why you think it works. Incorporate that essence of what makes their work resonate where it makes sense but DO NOT IMITATE. Make friends … network … and talk to other voiceover artists about THEIR points of view and possibly think about voice work from a different perspective than when you began.

If you could go back in time and hang out in any decade which one would you go back to and why?

I think the 70s were incredible … media and music were exciting and vital. Between Top 40 and rock radio were so dominant. And some of the best (and IMHO most important) albums of all time were recorded in the 70s.

If you could invite one person to dinner, living or dead, who would it be?

I could easily give you a hundred … historic, political, spiritual, music or media people … hard to narrow down to just one…but at this moment I’d love to sit down with Gary Vee. He’s always thought provoking, inspirational and challenging…and cuts through all the BS.

Favorite 2 pizza toppings?

Pepperoni and Jalapeños … I’m pretty basic… lol.



Andy’s Fiver Friday #196 – Kevin Horton TAKEOVER: Endless Scrolling, Studio Tutorials And Bob Schmidt!

Benztown Imaging Blog - Fri, 08/09/2019 - 06:58

As Andy is still on vacation, we got another Fiver Friday takeover for you guys! Today we’re featuring our very own Kevin Horton, giving you his findings for the week – Enjoy!


One of the OG’s H3000 Ultra-Harmonizer. I remember endlessly scrolling the wheel on this piece of outboard gear in the Star 98.7 production studio. The plug-in version is a great re-creation!


Stumbled onto this breakdown of the recording and mixing of the DFA 1979 song “Nomad”. This song is so gritty and heavy, great tips and Eric Valentine has a series of studio tutorials, but they are looooong.


Tarantino always has great music in his films… and now they are all in one place!


The Autumn Wind is a Raider… Hard Knocks returned this week to get the anticipation for football season into full swing.


Bob Schmidt does an amazing job with the Fox Sports brand. Super Creative stuff.


Behind the Mic: Alyson Steel

Benztown Voice-Over Blog - Wed, 08/07/2019 - 15:25

Alyson Steel is a voice you’ve heard not only the radio waves, but on some of your favorites commericals. She began her career in front of the camera and eventually found her passion behind the mic. 

What radio VO work have you done in the past either in stations or markets?

Tons of Commercials – too numerous to count over the last 20 something years. Including National, Regional and local markets. (and international as well!) Also Imaging around the country in small and mid sized markets as well as Los Angeles.

What are you up to presently?

Tons of TV/Radio Commercials, Infomercials (But wait- there’s more!), Imaging, Promos, telephony, TTS and narrations also keep me busy.

Check out Alyson’s Demos:

http://blog.benztown.com/voiceover/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Alyson-Steel-Imaging-VO-1.mp3 http://blog.benztown.com/voiceover/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Alyson-Steel-Commercial.mp3 http://blog.benztown.com/voiceover/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Alyson-Steel-Promo-Raw.mp3 http://blog.benztown.com/voiceover/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Alyson-Steel-Trailers-.mp3


What do you love about your job?

My clients are very cool. People in this industry understand things like – “I need to go to yoga early in the morning to warm up my voice and that also helps me be a happy VO artist and not a grumpy person if I don’t get to do my practice. As well as understanding things like “Mercury is in retrograde which is why things can get a bit wonky. Clients in VO get those psychological things.


Andy’s Fiver Friday #195 – Matt Anderson TAKEOVER: Micro Shift, KRK Audio Tools and The Irishman

Benztown Imaging Blog - Fri, 08/02/2019 - 07:10

Hey guys! As Andy is on holiday right now, the Fiver Friday has been taken over! We’re starting off by sharing our very own Matt Anderson’s findings for this week! Enjoy…. 


Soundtoys MicroShift: MY FAVORITE PLUGIN!! 

I put it on a vocal track and BOOM! Super wide VO makes for a really cool sound! 


Totally unrelated, but…I’m REALLY excited. Looks like Goodfellas 2! 


Heard this song on my drive in this morning! I like…like a lot….


I love my KRK’s…No matter what Andy says….. 


WARNING: Shameless plug…check me out on Soundcloud! 


From Community Radio to Head of Production at Fox FM Melbourne – Enter Dom Evans

Benztown Imaging Blog - Wed, 07/31/2019 - 14:15

Feels so good to reconnect with Dom, we had such a great time in LA this fall. He was out with our ruling iron Imager champ BT  and we had a blast. Dom is one of the most lovely and talented people in our business I ever met and when he sent me some audio last week I thought, man I REALLY REALLY have to share this. Check out his latest larger than life secret sound production, learn about his mentors and and and…Enter Dom!

1. Can you give me a bit background on yourself, your career, achievements, role at the FOX. I am sure a lot of the readers will know you or of you, but  it puts a lot of the below in context I assume.

I started in community radio at age 13. A fantastic student radio station called SYN did a presentation at my school. I fell in love with it immediately and from there on in, it became all about learning the craft of making great radio! I was very fortunate to get a foot in the door here at The Fox at 18 as a Panel Operator. From there, off to Hot 100 in Darwin (the very top of outback Australia), then to hit929 in Perth where I looked after the imaging and production for the breakfast show. After Perth, back to Melbourne, looking after our Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth stations alongside the legendary Konsky and Blacko, before stepping into The Fox role in 2016. I’m part of an incredible team here at The Fox. We have Konsky overseeing the entire network. Mike Santos looks after our breakfast show, Fifi Fev & Byron. Tim Hammond and Chris Marsh look after our two drive shows, Hughesy & Kate and Carrie & Tommy respectively. I produce major station packaging, promotions, song intros etc. We also have Jez based in Brisbane, who primarily looks after hit105, hit107 and hit929, but you’ll hear his work on The Fox too. We’re a very collaborative team.

Cash Promo



Shows Promo




2. How is it to work for some of the biggest radio brands in Australia? How has your role evolved in the last couple years?

Working at The Fox was always the dream, I grew up listening to The Fox and the insane work of Matt Nikolic (Blacko), and so it’s a real privilege to work on this brand. It’s my fourth year as Head of Production here at The Fox, I feel like it’s a constantly moving and evolving beast. I’ve started becoming more involved in script writing which I’ve really enjoyed. I think as producers, we can hear a vision and a sound in our heads, it’s awesome to be able to set the foundations with a killer script concept.

3.How are your days look like? Is there a blueprint? A routine ?

If you told me you did this routine a year ago, I’d think you were crazy. So I get up at 5am, my girlfriend and I go to the gym first thing. Back home around 6:30, quick breakfast and on the road by 7am (first stop coffee). I’m here in South Melbourne just after 8, first thing I’ll do is check e-mail and say good morning to Santos in the studio. We have a daily meeting at 8:30 with the jocks and key content staff to set up the day. From there, it changes depending on what’s happening. There are meetings and calls, but I still spend most of my day in the studio producing. I work very closely with our Assistant Content Director, we’d probably talk on the phone 20 times a day discussing what’s required, how it should sound, what it should say etc.

4.What is your baby? Most fun project? I assume the podcast….:)

The podcast has been an awesome experience! I would say my favourite projects are promotions (we call them tactics). I love coming up with ‘a sound’ for something to bring it to life. With The Secret Sound for example, I’ve got an Ariana Grande acapella with a few catchy EDM songs, and some cinematic drums and air horns all in the same key. I’m really happy with how it’s all come together, projects like that, I’m really in my element.

Secret Sound Promo 



Secret Sound Opener



Secret Sound Sweeper



5. What DAW do you use and why?

Pro Tools. It’s the industry standard here in Australia, I couldn’t imagine using anything else.

6. What are your favorite plugins?

Pitch N Time Pro, H Delay, Sans Amp, WavesTune, Morphoder, Izotope Nectar.

7. What are new learnings? Ideas you work on? Inspirations?

I love a clean sound. I think over time I’ve learnt that less is more. A few key elements working together is all you really need to make something pop out of the speakers. It’s very easy to overcook it, and it becomes too much. I’m also a big believer that you never ever stop learning, so I’m quite often picking up the phone to Jez and Konsky and asking “how did you do that!?”.

8. Any new tools you discovered lately?

 I’ve known about this for a long time, but I’ve started recently grouping regions together for tags on promos, really nice and easy to move around on the grid.

9. Your favorite piece of imaging / production ever?

 This is such a tough question. I have heard some incredible production! The first one that comes to mind is a stellar promo from Blacko back in around 2007, it was a huge epic beatmixed concert promo, it has stuck in my head ever since.

10. Radio in 5 years? What will be different, new, more of, less?

There is a lot of talk about what radio will look like in 5 years. My view is that people will always need to be entertained. Audio on demand is without doubt a growth market, but I think linear radio has an opportunity to rise to the challenge and keep itself in the game. Certainly in Australia, radio is alive and kicking, the companies that operate here invest significantly. As for us radio people, it might be clever to reframe that to content people. Content isn’t going anywhere, storytelling isn’t going anywhere, entertainment isn’t going anywhere, audio isn’t going anywhere.


More of Dom’s work:




Andy’s Fiver Friday #194 – Work OFF, Vacay ON, 5er Friday Take Overs and California here I come

Benztown Imaging Blog - Fri, 07/26/2019 - 05:16

So, last 5er Friday for me, at least for a few weeks. I will be OFF a few days and this means you will get some nice Andy’s Fiver Friday’s take overs by Matt, Kev and a special guest. Enjoy this weeks findings and HELLO CALIFORNIA, HELLO LA!


Vengeance Sound celebrates their 10th anniversary with a 50% discount! Just enter ANNI10 on checkout. This also includes the infamous VPS Avenger Synth!


Kinda old, but still really cool to get an insight on Hip Hop Production – Free Waves Masterclass with Focus!


Incredible Cinematography and banging track!


Loving the VOX Earworm series, always well deducted and visualised. 


Some nice new stuff from STAXX


From Imaging the biggest Drive Time Show in Oz to creating his own podcast company – Enter Darcy Milne

Benztown Imaging Blog - Wed, 07/24/2019 - 01:29

I am thrilled to have Darcy from Nova in Australia on today and I can tell you: His story is mind blowing. Darcy is a really impressive young man, who creates awesome work hitting the airwaves daily in Australia and is one of the most talented imaging producers I know, while in the same time he was able to create an individual side business where he creates audio design for some of the biggest companies in the world, which are starting in the world of podcasting.

It is really impressive. Learn more about Darcy, how he schedules his massive amount of work and how he enjoys breaking rules and expanding audio frontiers for his clients. Thanks mate for this lovely guest post! Cheers !!!!

Every day I get to shape the sound of the #1 drive show in Australia, Nova’s Kate, Tim and Marty.

It’s a fast-paced, high-pressure environment that requires absolute attention to detail, focus and passion for creating production that ensures our audience is both entertained and excited by the production they hear. This love of creating production started early for me. At 14 years old, I convinced my school to let me go into my local radio station once a week so I could learn the craft. At 17 David Konsky gave me the call up for my first full-time gig and I went from looking up to my heroes which included Konsky, Brendan Tacey and Sidey to working with them and winning awards for it!








After crafting Breakfast radio shows around the country I then got the call up from the legendary Matt Dower to become Nova’s National Drive Producer to ensure the success of Kate, Tim and Marty and it’s here that, at the same time, I took on a whole new challenge – The world of podcasting.

With the vision to bring the same high standard, creative level of production to the podcast space I took a chance and started my own business on the side — Pro Podcast Production which is a complete production solution for brands and individuals looking to make a professional podcast. I quickly learned about the incredible opportunity that awaits all of us in the podcast space and the differences and similarities between creating radio imaging vs crafting podcast production. Radio is this wonderfully fast-paced environment which has a very structured approach to creating content, which is important when multiple teams and people are involved in the process. Technology has also changed how we make radio reaching our audiences in new ways by streaming live segments, delivering content directly to their phones and never before have we been able to so easily capture and craft incredible audio in the way we do today.

The exciting opportunity for podcasting is that the ability to capture and present audio to an audience is no longer reserved for radio stations and now anyone can utilise the same hardware and software used by stations to share stories and ideas with people all over the world, in a completely unrestricted medium. It’s a blank canvas to create and now there are over 750,000 podcasts! This also means it’s an open invite for all of us to utilise the skills radio provides and apply this to a whole new medium. I’ve learned first hand how this can give you new skills and the chance to challenge your production style. There’s still that same sense of pressure and hard work that radio requires each day, but what I love about creating podcast production is each project is different. Some projects require production that is fun or silly, others have a more corporate tone and feel. There’s still the same technical knowledge required, I’m using Pro Tools for both my radio and podcast production, but the difference in style each project requires creates a wonderful creative challenge. I saw this when I worked with IKEA to create their first-ever podcast. They wanted a quirky, relaxing podcast that helps people get to sleep which is the complete opposite of CHR Imaging. The result though resonated with people and it was a wonderful experience to not only see it talked about on TV and across all forms of media but to see the podcast I made from my little studio in Sydney, Australia reach people all over the world including wonderful places like Brazil, India, Mexico, and Japan!

Being part of a different medium also allows you to build your skillset beyond learning new production styles. I also had to learn how to promote myself and what I have to offer. Squarespace is a great way to do this, so I built a simple site followed by a post of Facebook letting people know that I was open for business. I then learned how to better network utilising tools like LinkedIn but also sending emails to people I looked up to within the industry. This approach worked and I was able to then welcome a talented executive producer and a graphic designer to the team and saw how others were able to also easily apply their radio skills to podcasts. My typical day also changed. I look after all of the production needs for my clients which includes recording, sound design, editing and creative consulting so my day starts at 7.30am so I can touch base with my clients in America. Then, if I’m not recording a podcast I get straight into editing which takes me up to 9.30 am. This is followed by any sound design projects all the while I’m keeping up with the emails from clients where I’m giving advice, updates or booking in meetings. I jump in the car at 11.30am to arrive at Nova at 12.30am which is where I switch into radio mode creating all the production required for Kate, Tim and Marty which includes writing and making intros, montages, promos as well as editing and developing the strategy to ensure, as a show, we sound the best we possibly can. I finish at 8 pm and then I’m usually home by 9.

The biggest thing I’m learning is that organising your time so you can focus on one thing at a time is key. I like to think of how we feel inside being represented by a bucket. If we don’t take the time to ‘feel our bucket’ with the things that bring joy, fun, or fulfilment, the bucket runs out and our creative self runs on empty. So I use iCal to block out time for family, friends, and downtime and I use Wunderlist (a free, incredible task organiser) to ensure I know what I have to focus on and I don’t start the day feeling overwhelmed. Helping people build new podcasts each week has served as a wonderful reminder that the production we build each day actually reaches real people regardless of the platform. It has the power to evoke emotion or tell a story, be it in a 30-second promo or a 60-minute podcast and ultimately that production is an incredible skill that’s learned by few but experienced by many. Here are some of my favourite pieces that I’ve made recently.

I’m passionate about seeing others build their skills and create magic, so if you need any advice on navigating the wonderful world of radio or podcast production say hi via email – darcy@propodcastproduction.com



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