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Programming to Win: 7 Ways Your Station Voice Makes Your Copy Rock

Benztown Voice-Over Blog - Wed, 06/06/2018 - 23:03

By Rich Van Slyke

Every day I receive your copy, along with a set of carefully thought out very detailed instructions about voicing your station imaging. Like this:

“Rich – script attached – do your thing”

And I love it. Because Program Directors and Brand Managers are too busy to give me a lot of instructions, and you depend on me to interpret and deliver your copy the right way. It’s my job to make your copy COME ALIVE!

So here’s how I do it. When I get your copy, I quickly apply 7 ways to make it rock.

1. The Message. The first thing I ask is, “what is the main idea you are trying to deliver?” If you want me to remember one thing, and only one thing, after hearing this promo, what is it? Everything I do as a voice talent, from the type of read, to the ad libs, must communicate the main message. So, as I read through the copy, I’m asking myself – how does this line help to re-enforce the message.

2. Your Branding. Whether it’s a country station targeted to females 18-34, or a sports station targeting Men 18-44, or a classic rock station targeting Adults 25-54, a voice talent must always keep in mind the brand. What does this station stand for? What is the overall image? Why do people listen? And then I must ask, “Is the way I’m delivering the copy appropriate for the brand?” Too hard? Too soft? Too friendly? Too badass? I have to keep in mind that when I voice for you, my personality must be the same as the personality of your radio station. I represent the brand and I must deliver the copy accordingly. Every line must be cohesive with your brand.

3. The Emotion. This is the fun part for me. A very smart creative director once told me, it’s not what you say, it’s how you feel when you say it. When we hear the feeling in your voice, it gives us permission to feel the same feeling. It doesn’t matter which emotion you choose to feel, as long as you choose one! It’s my job to find the emotion in your copy and deliver it in a way that makes you FEEL IT! As I read your copy, I make little notes on the page. This part is exciting, this part is funny, this part is unimportant, this part is urgent. I select a feeling for each one. But I also make sure that those feelings align with the Message and the Branding. Very Important. After recording the first take, I go back and listen to the lines that are marked with emotion. Did I evoke the feeling, or was it just plain old boring announcer, like reading a shopping list? If it don’t hear the emotion, I recut the copy. Sometimes, it’s not obvious which emotion should be used, so my default emotion is always confidence. Why? Because confidence makes station imaging sound good. Not fake, but rock-solid impressive. When your voice guy speaks confidently, the station sounds like a winner. Speaking with confidence can get you higher ratings. It can even get you elected president!

4. The Grammar. Part of my job is to correct bad grammar. And to remember that you are busy as hell and you don’t always have time to check for grammar. So I’ll read it as written, but I’ll also give you another take with correct grammar. And maybe even another take with bad grammar on purpose. Why? Because it evokes more emotion.

5. The Ad Libs. Everybody loves ad libs. Because they make you laugh, or chuckle, or feel surprised, or delighted, or make you nod your head in agreement, all of these are emotional responses. So I try to throw in great ad libs. How? By focusing on the emotion of the copy. If the promo is all about winning a trip to the beach in Mexico, I’ll focus on that emotion. What does it feel like to win a trip to Mexico? It feels like – (ad lib). What does it feel like to sit on the beach in Mexico? It feels like (ad lib). Focus on the feeling and the ad libs will come. If it makes me feel something, you will feel it too.

6. The Recording. As a voice guy, it’s my job to record my voice according [to] the above factors. And the way it’s recorded makes a big difference. Once again, I look to the emotion. IF the copy calls for something soft and intimate, I have to get close to the mic. And if it’s loud, I have to back off. Sometimes I’ll add reverb or a filter.

7. Your Feedback. After careful considering the message, the branding, the emotion, the grammar, the ad-libs, and the recording, I filter everything through feedback I’ve receive from you. If you’ve told me not to voice stuff that sounds to “announcery,” then I will change all of the above slightly to reflect your wishes and voice it more naturally. If the last promo I voiced for you resulted in an email that says, “love the edge,” I’ll remember that too. When you incorporate all of these elements into a read, you get great results. And it rocks!

 

Rich Van Slyke does VO for KUFX San Francisco, WWSK Long Island, KSEG Sacramento, KXTG Portland, KZDC San Antonio, KCFX Kansas City, Production Vault Classic Rock, WONE Akron, WXMX Memphis, WGRD Grand Rapids, KKFM Colorado Springs, WZEW Mobile, WKQZ Saginaw, WKZQ Myrtle Beach, WTMM Albany, KZOZ San Luis Obispo, KOZZ Reno, KTUX Shreveport, WXKE Fort Wayne, WIXO Peoria, WRMR Wilmington, XFM Nairobi, The Minnesota Timberwolves Radio Network, and more.  www.richvanslyke.com  770.962.4788  richvs@bellsouth.net

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Andy’s Fiver Friday #136 Polyverse Music, Lago Di Garda And Imaging Goodness!

Benztown Imaging Blog - Fri, 06/01/2018 - 05:19

Another awesome week finished. Some Imaging goodness on Monday and a few great days at lago di garda. Italian radio – wow, what a pace in talk;)..

1. PlugIn

Polyverse Music came up with a plugin that creates the illusion of an expanded stereo image for huge amounts of width. The best part? It’s free!! – Go check it out!

Wider

2. Inspiration

Beautiful countryside at lago di garda – these awesome Palazzos right at the sea: STUNNING!

3. Music

Some good vibes!

4. Web/Social/Whatever

NBA Finals are ON! Warriors take game one even though LeBron goes for 51 points straight. – Here’s a recap for those who missed it: NBA Finals Game 1

5. Imaging

Almost one month has passed since the iron imager took place in LA, California – therefore let’s shed the light on this years winner one more time: Sam Wickens!

Becoming the Iron Imager, bringing the belt back home to London and the LA experience!

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Andy’s Fiver Friday #135 – UPDATE of my favorite PlugIN, the best 5 Sound Design Youtube Channels and Ziggy Marley

Benztown Imaging Blog - Fri, 05/25/2018 - 07:46

Boom, another week is gone and with a bang. Since yesterday Izotope released the new version of Vocal Synth and from glancing at it briefly, it is a fantastic upgrade worth buying. So many new cool feature and I also think they improved the code behind the sound, so much clearer and precise now. More awesome stuff….ENTER!

 

1. PlugIn

iZotope delivers once again with an outstanding update to one of our favorite vocal plugins – go check it out! TRY MIDI mode!!!!

Vocalsynth 2

2. Inspiration

A great compendium of quality sound design, tutorials included!

5 sound design-focused YouTube channels worth following

3. Music

Some Summer Feeling with Ziggy!

4. Web/Social/Whatever

What do you think?

Jacobs Media Techsurvey 2018: Radio still strong, podcasts and smart speakers grow

5. Imaging

Our boy Dom Evans created second version of his promo without VO, so you guys can check out what he is doing music and fx wise! Nice work!

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Andy’s Fiver Friday #134 – The Royal Wedding, Header Challenge and GOOGLE Assitant

Benztown Imaging Blog - Fri, 05/18/2018 - 02:07

nboilSo, we are back on track. Here is your weekly dose of FIVER.  Check the benz Royal Wedding Composite, whats going in the world of Text to Speech next level  and of course did I mention the Royal Wedding…

 

1. PlugIn

The godfather of Synths will be back as a plugIN. The legendary 808 – by Roland. 

Roland announces the first-ever official software TR-808

 

2. Inspiration

I cant Tell how amazed I am by this new technology lately introduced by Google.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = 'https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v3.0'; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

Google Assistant makes calls

Google Assistant will be able to make actual phone calls for you.

Posted by Circuit Breaker on Tuesday, May 8, 2018

3. Music
A bit Rock for this week – Still an awesome track:

4. Web/Social/Whatever
As a soccer fan this was the best video in the last week.
Check out the HEADER Challenge

5. Imaging
Nothing sweeter than finding the right Hashtag for the royal wedding. A small compilation from yours truly – the benz imaging team!

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Andy’s Fiver Friday #133 – Izotope deals,Iron Imager recap and True Stories

Benztown Imaging Blog - Mon, 05/14/2018 - 07:58

Sorry, sorry, sorry – due to the Iron Imager Insanity last week I skipped one edition of your beloved Fiver Friday :)..Why? I feel Sam, our new Iron Imager deserved all the attention in the world as well as Brad. Both guys pulled a fantastic promo in one hour and I am incredibly proud of them. So, this week I am digging into some nice new stuff for you this Monday and back to normal on Friday

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Becoming the Iron Imager, bringing the belt back home to London and the LA experience!

Benztown Imaging Blog - Tue, 05/08/2018 - 03:09

Guys, this was a death match :)…I never felt the decision has been so close. Brad and Sam created an Imaging firework within an hour with predefined elements they did not know – right that is the concept of Iron Imager, but it is incredibly complicated. After Sam got back to London in one piece after celebrating his title with Brad and the benz crew I took the chance to pick his brain about learnings, the LA experience and what might already have changed for him.

Sam, Congrats!!! Mate, I cant be happier as your story is kind of a modern fary tail.
Why, I just insert the FB post from Ash, so everyone understands Sam’s story a bit better.

After proving himself worthy of a fulltime job – today, he’s the winner of the Benztown Branding Iron Imager.

Enter Sam

1. How do you feel winning the title iron Imager and bringing the belt back to the UK?

It’s something that is still sinking in – I still can’t believe I made the shortlist let alone the final. It’s incredible to get recognition from my peers in the industry who I have so much respect for, people who have been doing this for a very long time and are incredibly talented. Brad is one of those guys who I look up to and it’s great to compete against someone with so much talent – it pushed me that bit further.

2. How did the actual contest feel? How was it?

My heart was racing and I was very nervous. For the first few minutes, it didn’t feel real – I almost forgot how to use ProTools with all the nerves! As time went by, the creative ideas started to kick in and everything started to flow. As Ashey Bard said to me: “You make promos every single day, so go make another one.” That was good advice – I treated it like any promo I would make at work, gave it my all and tried to be as creative as possible in sixty minutes whilst paying attention to all the little details.

3. What has been the biggest challenge during the competition?

The biggest challenge by far was having the composure to keep going when I felt like things weren’t working. There were so many directions I could have taken the promo – with a huge amount of options given to me in the work parts. At one point I looked over to Brad who was moving so fast and I thought ‘Man, I’ve got no chance’ but I just kept going and tried to just pretend I was back at work making another promo like I do every day. Using a smaller screen was also a challenge, as I’m used to working on a iMac.

4. LA? WWRS ? BENZ crew? Could you describe your experience altogether?

LA is a great place – I loved every minute of it from Hollywood to Venice Beach. I barely scratched the surface as it’s such a huge city, I’m excited to go back next year and see more. WWRS was a great networking opportunity for me, I met some great people from the industry and learned a lot from areas of the business that I usually wouldn’t have as much involvement in at work. The Benztown crew are a great bunch of guys and gals, I loved spending time with them and I’m so thankful for their hospitality and showing me a great time. I can’t wait to do it all again next year with the brigade.

5. What did you learn and what areas you need to focus improving defending the title next year?

I’ve learned that sixty minutes isn’t a lot of time! I know now what sort of tools Benztown can provide me with and what to expect next year in terms of content. I’m hoping that if I continue developing as I am then I’ll be someone hard to beat next year, plus I plan on using a newer laptop – so that will help.

6. Anything you want to tell Brad ?

Brad and I spent a lot of time together whilst in LA. Probably an abnormal amount of time considering we were competing against each other! He’s a good lad and we had a lot of laughs and good times together in the week we were there. See you in oz this summer mate!

7. Who would be a great contender next year?

Anyone! If you’re passionate and love imaging then enter! I never thought in my wildest dreams that I’d come this far in this competition and if you believe you’re good enough then that’s already half the battle over with. Me getting this far really is a testament to Capital and the team that taught me everything I know. If one of the boys from the team ending up being in the final, that would be incredible.

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

And The Winner Is…

Benztown Imaging Blog - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 16:24

Capital FM London’s Sam Wickens!!!!!

You come at the King… you best not miss…  

For the third straight year; the challenger has not missed. 

In what can only be described as “Sweet Revenge” (our words not his) for the most recent Ashes, London’s Sam Wickens is taking home the coveted Benztown Iron Imager belt by defeating last year’s winner, Melbourne Australia’s Brad Leask.

Click HERE to check out our Facebook page and watch videos of the winner’s announcement, videos of the two Imaging Idols going head to head, and also our camera crew’s defiant use of vertical video.

Take a listen to Sam’s winning entry:

We want to thank everyone for voting and being a part of the greatest event in Radio Imaging.  We hope you all enter next year, but judging from the below picture of the champ and his belt, you’re going to have to take it… from the King.

 

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

IRON IMAGER VII: Readers Vote!

Benztown Imaging Blog - Thu, 05/03/2018 - 10:48

Benztown fans… We hope you enjoyed today’s live stream from WWRS hosted by R.Dub. Check out Benztown on Facebook if you missed it. Thanks again for being a part of this year’s Iron Imager contest. The winner will be announced tomorrow (5/4) at 10:30am PT following the Iron Imager pow-wow at the top of the spiral staircase @ the W Hollywood.

Before you vote for your favorite… Did someone say something about a hype video?!

 

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Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

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