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Andy’s Fiver Friday #155 – BYOME, Gary Backstage at the AMA’s and Who Is Michael Ovitz?

Benztown Imaging Blog - Fri, 10/12/2018 - 06:50

Yeah, it’s Fiver Friday! It was a fantastic October week with beautiful weather, great imaging and effective work days. Hope you´ve all had an amazing week as well and are as much excited for the weekend as I am. Now get ready to inject some fresh content into your veins. Let´s jump right into it!

1.Plug-In

Build your own modular effects with Plugin Alliance BYOME. A new plug-in which brings together some of everything Unfiltered Audio have ever done into a modular and patchable environment.

2.Inspiration

There is a new book from the Jedi master of modern Hollywood Micheal Ovitz. As you may know, few people have played a larger role than Michael Ovitz in writing the history of Hollywood. In this memoir you gain great insight on how to build an empire, transform an industry and get to know a side of Hollywood that you might not have seen before. Awesome read!

3.Music

Check out this week’s new single from the incredible talented singer Sia. A great song for calming down your thoughts after a stressful day. This is our new interns Lisa’s pick…:)

4.Web/Social/Whatever

Follow Benztown’s Gary backstage at this year’s AMAs!

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Benztown Backstage at the 2018 AMAs

Gary had an awesome time backstage at the AMAs! #2018AMAs

Posted by Benztown Branding on Thursday, October 11, 2018

  5. Imaging 

Best of the global production group at Capital FM!

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Andy’s Fiver Friday #154 – Route 91, Stone Mountain Sinners And RX7

Benztown Imaging Blog - Fri, 10/05/2018 - 08:32

The weekend is finally here and another productive week is over! This week we’re featuring some great music from our very own Adam Hood. Enter this week’s fiver friday and The Stone Mountain Sinners! 

1.Plugin

iZotope RX7 – Great tool for repairing damaged audio, especially helpful for cleaning vocals and VO. Just had an update and there’s a 3 day trial available, go check it out!

2.Inspiration

Netflix does it again with another great documentary, featuring the amazing Quincy Jones!

3.Music

Some great Music from our very own Adam Hood. They’ve been working very hard for this, go check it out!

4.Web/Social/Whatever

Stone Mountain Sinners! Official Trailer for Tones of Home: 

5.Imaging

Benztown’s Scott Mayton put together this tribute for the Route 91Festival!

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Andy’s Fiver Friday #153 – Simplon, Soul and Susan’s NAB experience

Benztown Imaging Blog - Fri, 09/28/2018 - 06:35
So, finally we wrapped up NAB, so sad I could not be there this time, but the boys and girls had a blast! Check benztown’s NAB pics. 1.Plugin

Another nice simple Filter from our friends from Fabfilter. 

https://www.fabfilter.com/products/simplon-basic-filter-plug-in

2.Inspiration

“Remastered“ is a new Netflix series about the myths, secrets and unknown stories in the world of music. Trailer looks promising!!!

https://hypebeast.com/2018/9/netflix-remastered-docuseries-trailer

3.Music

A fantastic Duet, Love that song! Country meets Soul!!!

4.Web/Social/Whatever

Our new marketing coordinator Susan  got to experience her first ever Radio trade Show and starts with the BIG GAME – NAB Radio in Orlando. Check out Susan’s impressions and photos.

Hi Guys, it’s Susan reporting from the Orlando Airport! I just spent almost a week in Orlando for the Radio Show with Benztown and it was an incredible experience. I got to meet so many of our partners and friends, meet/network with other women in the industry, check out some of the latest technology in radio and also new workflow systems that can be used behind the scenes on the marketing side. Being able to talk to people about Benztown’s Libraries, formats, jingles and all the great things we do was definitely a highlight. It was also awesome to meet university students looking to have careers in radio, it definitely reminded me how excited I was to study broadcast communication in college. Can’t wait for the next conference!

Check out more photos here.

5.Imaging

So long no news from Dan and the crew from KIIS.

 

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Behind the Mic: Tre Mosley

Benztown Voice-Over Blog - Wed, 09/26/2018 - 14:48

As a VO talent Tre Mosley likes to give the client exactly what they want, but with his own style and personality. You can say that he likes to bring personality to the work. He’s easy going, loves what he does, and enjoys having FUN while he does it.  Tre does his best to get the work out to the buyer as fast as he get it in. We’re in the service industry, no matter how you look at it, and it’s his job to serve you with the quality work, every time.

What radio VO work have you done in the past (stations/markets)?

Nothing at the moment…but I’m available.

What are you up to presently (freelance/on-staff at a station)?

I just did some work for WBHJ in Birmingham, Alabama.

What do you love about your job?

Creating, I love the process of voiceover,  the energy of it all…and the final cut is the result of that work. I feel like booking the work is the pay, and the actual pay, well…it provides me a means to support my family.

How did you get started as a VO actor?

Working in customer service and in the Mortgage Industry, always doing impersonations, being silly, plus I was in the choir and drama in school. Natural performer I guess. When they laid us off, I took my severance and started looking more into “narration”. I didn’t know it was called voiceover until I started my research on it.

What was your first gig? Any memorable ones since then?

I read Spanish pretty good, (sometimes) and I read a ‘JUST SAY NO’ PSA campaign. 250.00! BIG TIME, lol. I was chosen to narrate a short piece on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. which had to be approved by the King Family. They said it would have made Dr. King proud.

Who are your VO idols/mentors?

Dave Fennoy, Joe Cipriano, Al Chalk, I could go on and on.

If you weren’t doing voiceover, what else do you think you’d be doing for a career?

My mom taught for 40 years … I think I would be too. That or an attorney or salesman. I can talk anyone out of anything.

What did it feel like the first time you heard your voice on the radio/television?

I literally sat there, and said “that’s…me?” Beaming. The coolest moment was when my mom heard it that I kinda teared up a lil.

How has new technology changed the way you work?

Cuts down a lot of editing time…remote recording is awesome! Source Connect has saved my hide numerous times.

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

In studio: Apollo Twin, My Mac, and my AT 875r shotgun, recommended by George Whittam.  One the road, my Presonus or Scarlett gets the job done, and my Macbook has everything the big boy in my home studio has. If I’m in a hotel it’s pillow fort time or my Porta Booth. If I’m traveling to visit family, they ususally have a quiet room set aside for me.

 

Which production system do you use and why? Any favorite plugins?

I’ve been with Adobe Audition since forever, but Cubase was the first one I learned how to use. They’re 1 and 1 A to me.  Plugins are so….expansive, it’s just so many of them! Maybe something to take out breaths or clicks, and for fun I like using the plugin that makes you sound like you’re on a phone call and prank my friends with messages, calling from unknown numbers. I’m a good friend, just a bad one too!

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

Every major profession has some type of continued training. Sports of course. Lawyers and teachers have to be certified every so many years to keep their job. Why not us?

How do you schedule/prioritize your work? How much time do you spend auditioning for new work?

I take what the day gives me most of the time. If I have a heavy VO workload that day, I try to knock it all out, then audition and market, then relax alone (read: Xbox) or spend time with baby (My wife Danielle), Slow day means more marketing and auditions. Weekends I do PA announcing as well. I know when to turn it all off though.

How do you market your services to potential clients?

Calls, Emails, or I walk up to you and strike a convo while I’m in your establishment, and see where it goes. We exchange cards and then I’ll send out a thank you email a few days later just as a reminder that we talked, along with sample of my work (if I didn’t show them on the phone when we first met) and go from there.

When it comes to VO work, studio & gear, what are your most ingenious methods/discoveries for saving time and cash?

ASK ! That one thing has saved me from a lot of stress and worry. We’re sometimes conditioned to do it all by ourselves. Asking for help is a STRENGTH not a weakness

What is the best voice processing trick or voice-over technique everyone should know?

Less is more….I try not to process at all, let the engineers handle it.  Don’t get me wrong I use it, but not enough to say “Hey try THIS!” I don’t want any mean emails saying “You said to do this and now I sound like a duck!” In the words of the singer Shaggy, “Wasn’t me.”

Do you have a different approach to reading radio imaging copy as opposed to TV/Radio commercial ads?

Oh yeah…more energy in imaging versus Tv and Radio. Well, they each have their own energy, but radio imaging (at least for my market) is very bombastic, you gotta be cool, have energy, swag, and all of that. Rarely for a commercial on TV and Radio do they ask for that.

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

Be nice, even if they say no. ASK, you wont know unless you put it out there. Say thank you, don’t assume and feel entitled. Manners and professionalism are VERY important. I got more but you asked for 3 lol.

If you could go back in time and hang out in any decade which one would you go back to and why? 70’s…things just seemed so much COOLER back then.

Favorite 2 pizza toppings? You assume I eat pizza…I DO ! Bacon, and sausage.

If you could invite one person to dinner, living or dead, who would it be? My grandpa, wait….ugh this is tough! I’m gonna cheat a lil. My grandma because we never met, and my grandpa because I know how proud me of he’d be. Are you trying to make me CRY!?! ☺

Connect with Tre on Social Media

Twitter: @TreMosleyVO IG: tre_mosley_vo FB: Tre Mosley Voice Actor https://soundcloud.com/tremosley
Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Jan on the ROAD – Imaging India, Radio Mirchi and Bollywood Music !

Benztown Imaging Blog - Wed, 09/26/2018 - 09:40

If you think India, I assume it is not radio or radio imaging what comes to mind first, but..Radio is an integral part of India’s media mix and the stations reach hundred of millions of people every single day. Radio Mirchi based in new Delhi asked Benztown to do a five day workshop for their Imaging Directors to work on overall Imaging and Station Brand. Radio Mirchi is a huge radio network with over 50 radio stations spread all over India. They mostly play Bollywood and Indian Film Music, mixed with local music from the specific broadcast area. Jan went there to share his knowledge  and work with their highly talented producers. What an experience – Imaging India ! Enter Jan.

While teaching, I learned a lot about the Indian music, as well as the style and sound of Indian Radio. To be honest, it’s totally different than in Europe and the USA. Also there is a huge influence of the Bollywood music in the imaging as they do a lot of harmonious and sung productions. Check out the Radio Mirchi Top 20 to get a feel for that:

Radio Mirchi Top 20!

During the workshop, I taught them some techniques and styles that we’re doing for radio stations in Europe, the US and all over the world,  along with how to integrate those techniques into their own productions and style. The goal was to give them a little bit of edge and “international” sound. It was a pretty productive week with many feedback rounds, discussions about plugIns, techniques, processing, mastering and how to improve the overall sound. They are a great bunch of highly talented people, who play a big variety of instruments or are really talented vocalist and I learned a lot from them about contemporary Indian music. Working with 15 of their lead imaging directors has been a big task for me, too, as the workflows, DAW knowledge, Imaging skills and overall creative was very different amongst them. Their dedication and willingness to learn and improve was really impressive to me and I am sure there will be a lot talented Imaging guys come out of India in the not so far future. I am more than confident Radio Mirchi will implement the stuff we worked on in actual productions and shape its sound. The market is very crowded and competitive and the excellent station branding will be a true advantage for them. So looking forward to listen to the pieces the guys come up with, while you are reading this article.

 

I also had a chance to see a bit of Delhi, where the workshop took place. It was my first time in India and therefore it was totally overwhelming for me. I was stunned by the huge amount of people in the streets and the crazy traffic. Although India is rich in ancient wisdom, culture and spiritual tradition, you see a lot of poverty in the streets. On top of that, I had the chance to try some delicious Indian food and see some incredible buildings and monuments. India and Delhi is worth a visit and I will be back! A huge thanks to Radio Mirchi for setting up a great sightseeing tour for me. Guys, I had an awesome time in India, I highly recommend to check it out. IMAGING INDIA PART 2 – I am ready!

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Andy’s Fiver Friday #152 – Output, Panamericana and who else loves ARCADE?

Benztown Imaging Blog - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 05:02

 

Autumn is coming, the last days were just awesome here and reminded me so much of how I love the sun and the summer!

1.Plugin
Our boys at OUTPUT released that new baby a few weeks ago. ARCADE !

2.Inspiration
My favorite book – ever day read – as it comes in calendar form. (If I could only stick to all the maxims all the time:)
https://www.amazon.de/Daily-Stoic-Meditations-Wisdom-Perseverance/dp/0735211736

3.Music
Highly recommended by the man himself Tim Ferris. Love it for writing, too…

4.Web/Social/Whatever
Dont know if it’s true, but my relatives down there, sent me this..

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Paraguay is the most positive country in the world

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Andy’s Fiver Friday #151 – Traveling to dangerous countries and what do you know about gipsy music?

Benztown Imaging Blog - Fri, 09/14/2018 - 09:00

Weekend is here!!! YEAH!!! What a week. Gipsy music – what a tease!!!!

1.Plugin

Tough one, as I tested some new stuff this week and I keep on loving this bad boy on BASE and VO more and more, even as plugIN. The 1176!

2.Inspiration

Awesome podcast – check it out! History on FIRE! So good!

3.Music

What do you know about Gipsy Music ? I assume as less as I. I had to dig in for a project and loved it!!!

 

4.Web/Social/Whatever

Our friend RDUB, host of SLOW JAms, PD, DJ, TACO INSPECTOR and Travel Wizard on high risk traveling. I enjoy his travel stories and blog posts about it. I assume the No1 frequent traveller in radio (at least to weird destinations:). DUB is the man!

How I Travel to Risky Countries: 9 Must-Dos Before Going In

5.Imaging

The latest from the hot seat here at benztown

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Andy’s Fiver Friday #150 – NIKE’s new commercial, KOMPLETE 12 and TICK TOCK…

Benztown Imaging Blog - Fri, 09/07/2018 - 10:13

 

WOW! I never taught I will get this thing to 150!!! Kinda proud :)…here is my new findings this week! Have a great weekend!

1.Plugin

Native Instruments just introduced their latest KOMPLETE Update, what do you think? INSTANT BUY!!!

2.Inspiration

When I was a kid, he was a hero and his car was the one I wanted. RIP Burt Reynolds!

3.Music

A Hip Hop Classic!!!!!

4.Web/Social/Whatever

Nike taking a stand! One of the most powerful commercials this year!!! Love it!

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Colin Kaepernick's Nike Ad

Colin Kaepernick voices this new Nike 'Just Do It' ad set to air during the Falcons-Eagles season opener on Thursday.

Posted by Sports Illustrated on Wednesday, September 5, 2018

  5.Imaging

My good friend Bryan putting out some nice free FX – Was great seeing you in NYC in July!!!

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Behind the Mic: Adam Kecskemeti

Benztown Voice-Over Blog - Wed, 09/05/2018 - 13:50

Adam Kecskemeti (Ketch) is a baby-faced imaging producer with over a decade of production, writing and voicing experience. Having worked on various formats and rebrands including CHR, Hot AC, Rock (Alt and Classic), Talk, Sports and Classic Hits, Adam finds a way to inject each with its own style of personality. Learning from some of the best VO talents in the biz, he has created his own unique sound and style that brings humor and excitement to even the most basic scripts. With a wide array of characters, accents, and range, Adam can sing, shout or be subtle in his delivery. Adam is currently Senior Imaging Director for Virgin Radio Toronto as well as a commercial and animation voice actor.

What do you love about your job?

That feeling of walking in and delivering. Being a key part of making a project work. The collaboration with the director and addressing character development is a blast. Of course, walking out I always think “I’m getting paid for this?”

How did you get started as a VO actor?

When I first started as a producer, my voice talent was in-house, so we riffed ideas, pitches and characters. Eventually, he said we should cut a demo and send to his agent. Which we did and she agreed to rep me.

What was your first gig? Any memorable ones since then?   

My first voice gig was a National Radio Ad for Hyundai. I have been bumping around at auditions getting a good response, but no gigs. Finally landed what I assume was a called in favor (My Agent was a big hitter). My line was a joke about washing the car so much my hands were like giant raisins. Listening back I don’t love it…but the client loved it. So I was thinking “Ok…I can actually do this.”

Memorable ones since then would include working with RedBull. The unique challenge of not just lip syncing, but matching to an animation written to the German language. A bit tasking, but the RedBull guys are incredibly helpful and collaborative, so it was a great experience in dubbing.

Who are your VO idols/mentors?

Jamie Watson is one of the unknown greats. His ability to improv, riff and deliver is unparalleled. Watching him taught me that the VO artists is a writer too.

Which production system do you use and why? Any favorite plugins?

This is always a hot-button issue! I love pro tools. BUT I do appreciate that AA has some things going for it that the guys at Avid haven’t incorporated yet. I was an early adopter of Izotope Plugins. I really love Ozone 5. YES, 5! It has incredible master presets that V6 or 7 have lost. Nectar has some really good and funky settings that can take ALT reads and production to a strange and interesting place.

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

I haven’t yet. I may down the road. I’ve heard some really positive results from friends who have used coaches.

How do you schedule/prioritize your work? How much time do you spend auditioning for new work?

What I am getting paid for already gets done first. Any auditioning comes after that. I try to audition for as much as I can. But if I see a script or product I don’t endorse or love, I walk away.

Follow Adam on Social Media Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ketchreads/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/adamketch LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kecskemeti/

 

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Andy’s Fiver Friday #149 An update for Omnisphere, Eminem is back and why discipline equals freedom?

Benztown Imaging Blog - Fri, 08/31/2018 - 04:25

Hey guys, hope you have a fantastic labor day weekend!!!! Here is this weeks goodies!!!

1.Plugin

Spectrasonics just unleashed an update to their flagship synthesizer Omnisphere, including a brand new library featuring samples of all the iconic hardware models! New features and over 1000 new sounds, all free!

2.Inspiration

A book I am reading right now…Brilliant Life Story as well! Great art work!

                       

 

3.Music

He guys, one of the great guys is back – EMINEM – will never forget the moment when I heard his first track back in the days!

4.Web/Social/Whatever

A new series on amazon prime – killer, if you are a soccer fan. 

5. Imaging

This year’s Back to School Composite – Check it out!

 

 

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Imaging KiSS 92.5 and why Research is Key – Meet Beatmixing Wizard Albert To

Benztown Imaging Blog - Wed, 08/29/2018 - 08:52
I got introduced to Albert by Scott, but was following him on soundcloud for a while before, especially impressed by the beatmixes he was doing. Of course I picked the chance to shoot Albert my rapid fire questions. Learn why research is so important (SIDE NOTE ANDY: Totally agree, prep is everything) and what PlugIN you have to learn, if you want to do tune and pitch corrections / manipulations.   Enter Albert. 

(For more background information on Albert click here!)

1. Which production system do you use and why?

In school I used Audition, but I picked up how to use Pro Tools when I started interning and have stuck with it…mainly because I like it, it’s what is available at work, and…I also use it at home.

2. What are your favorite plug-ins? Not sure if I can nail down favorites but I’ll give 3 that I think are super neat:  

For beatmixing I love H-Delay Stereo, especially since I tend to do multiple beatmixes in one session. It’s helpful for me as I can just set it on a track and I can set it to snap to whatever tempo I have in the section of my session.

Speakerphone is this cool plugin that comes with a bunch interesting pre-sets and what not, but you can use it to mimic different mic settings like if it was recorded on your phone, a bull-horn, or in recording studio in 1960. You can also add things like bull-horns and ambiences that come with the plugin.

Lastly, this plug-in is starting to become a favorite, even if I’m essentially an amateur at using it. Melodyne. That fancy, fla$hy plugin. I’ve used autotune, waves tune, even just regular pitch shift, and I’m incredibly privileged to be able to mess around with it. You can use it to tune VO’s and drops to whatever music you are using. Essentially, all nuances can be covered. I mean…there’s a reason recording studios use it…

3. What is the perfect VO chain?

Personally, I don’t believe there is one. You can use a plethora of plugins, but it’s how it all sounds in the end to your ears. A lot of plug-ins have the same function, I think you just find the one that works for you (whether that be easy to read, or with helpful extra, etc). What I currently use is the L3-LL Ultramaximizer and L1 Limiter for mastering. I also use Renaissance Vox (RVox) on VO’s as well as REQ 4, REQ 6, and also EQ3-7-Band.

4. How do you schedule your work ?

Spreadsheets, mostly. Besides primarily working on KiSS 92.5 in Toronto, I also am the CHR Lead for Rogers, so when there are national projects I either have to work on them myself, or I assign them to another producer. I try to stay as hyper-organized as possible, so I keep a constantly updated list of on-going projects, run-dates, which producer is working on what, what things have come down last minute, which things have to be delayed, etc. I am always checking in to ensure the list stays updated (for own sanity and so that if any other producer is helping me out with a project I can keep track). I’m lucky that I don’t have to handle everything on my own, and so when things get too busy I have support.

5. How do you balance your music vs imaging time wise?

What’s considered music vs imaging? Are beatmixes and things like branded intros, parody songs, etc considered “music”? I would almost consider all of that falls under imaging?

6. What do you love about working for Rogers?

I love being able to work with a team where we can always get a second opinion. We’re able to share our own tips and tricks with each other, and it’s great being around people who aren’t fiendishly guarding their “production tricks”.
Grrr. Argh. Muh Secrets! Hiss.

7. What is the best pro-tools or production trick anybody should know?

The biggest secret that I have is…research.
OMG, so exciting!

Literally, that. It goes a long way. If I’m creating a beatmix, I typically receive a list of songs from which I arrange by Key and Tempo. From there depending on the project (such as if it’s a concert promo), I start looking into other things such as lyrics of their songs. I’m a huge fan of utilizing word-play. I mine the internet for clips or interesting things. So what I’m saying is…be an audio hoarder.

A great tool to have if you’d like to organize your audio is Mixed in Key.

Other than that, I’m not fully sure myself. Did you know if you’re in grid mode on Pro Tools if you hold CTRL (I think it’s CMD on a Mac) while dragging a clip it’ll treat it like you’re already in slip mode? I dunno. Don’t dump water on your computer?

7. How do you get inspired and what do you use as source of creativity? 

Music is the biggest source of my inspiration. I am always scouring for new, interesting songs. If there is a cool beat, a cool lyric, or a clip, I’m always thinking, “How can I use this?” If I can’t it becomes “If I can’t, how can I make it work? What will make it work? Adding a beat-bed? Speeding it up? Does it work when mixed with something else?” I’ve re-written entire promos just because I found a small piece of audio gold that I want to really make shine… 

… also, there’s Soundcloud. A lot of other radio producers are on there. I like to listen to what other people are creating.

8. Who were your radio production idols, who influenced your work as a music producer?

Not sure if I’d consider myself a music producer completely, but I can definitely list people who have inspired, influenced, and made me go “wow!” I’ve even gotten to meet some of them as well: Kelly Doherty (K3), Dave Foxx, George Taylor, John Frost, Matt Fisher, Trevor Shand, and Chris Nichol to name a few. Certain music producers and DJ’s have also inspired me as well, like Madeon, SOPHIE, Morgan Page, Kap Slap, and even Kanye (who has an incredible talent of being able to mix together really cool and/or obscure samples).

9. What would be your 3 key advices for a youngster?

Are you implying that I’m not a youngster still? I’m triggered. Where’s my anti-aging cream?
…I’m 28.
…I would say…

1) Find someone who can critique your work. Someone who can be honest and straight with you. You want someone who can give constructive criticism. Anyone can tell you your audio sucks, but it doesn’t do anything for you unless you actually find out what you can do to make it better.

2) Don’t be afraid to try weird stuff. Let someone else hear it. If you’re never hearing “no” or getting stuff rejected then there’s a chance you’re probably not growing. You can fall into a rut. I definitely sometimes do as well. Nobody actually knows it all. Constantly learn.

3) If you’re getting into this, I think you’d better love what you do. I feel lucky to also be working with a format that I also love. Hearing new music excites me, and makes me think of how and what I can use it for in my next piece.

Oh, and toilet paper orientation should always be over instead of under. If you disagree, you can fight me.

Cheers.

 

Oh hello there!

My name is Albert To. Yes, that’s my real name…and yes, it does make me hard to google.   I’m 28 and I’m originally from a city called Edmonton in Canada. It’s a city that gets hot summers and cold winters. It can easily go as low as -25 to -30 degrees Celsius there (or around the -20 Fahrenheit range for you Americans). Oh, and home of the Oilers and where Gretzky did his thing if you care about sports and stuff.   Currently, I’m based out of and living in Toronto. I work for Rogers Media, primarily working on imaging for KiSS 92.5. I am also the CHR Imaging lead, which means I also work with a team of producers across the country to create content that can be run across all of Rogers’ CHR stations. I’ve been working at Rogers for a little over 2 years. In the past, I’ve worked at stations in both small and large markets and have worked on multiple formats: Classic Rock, Active Rock, Classic Hits, AC, Hot AC, Country, and CHR. I got my first production job in 2012 in a small town doing spots and imaging for 5 stations.   Education-wise, I graduated from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (or NAIT, for short) in 2012 from their Radio & Television program. I credit one of my old instructors, Dave Albright, for introducing me to the world of production. I can admit I couldn’t produce a lick until he shown me the basics. Also, there’s a good chance he’s reading this too, so “Hi Dave!”   Oh, and I’m not saying I have a secret identity…but have you ever seen me and a swamp witch together in the same room?  

Check out some of Albert’s latest work on his Soundcloud page:

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Behind the Mic: Chris Rollins

Benztown Voice-Over Blog - Tue, 08/28/2018 - 09:30

Chris Rollins is an Emmy winning voiceover actor that does radio and TV, commercial and narration.  You can hear his voice on FOX television as the voice of “Lethal Weaponpromos, and on a bunch of different radio formats around the world. We are ecstatic to have him on the Benztown Brigade as a voiceover artist!

What radio VO work have you done in the past (stations/markets)?

In the past? I was on 95.8 Capital FM in London, 100.3 The Sound in LA, i101 in Chicago, 102.1 The Edge in Dallas, Channel 4 in Dubai, 2Day Network in Australia, Cities 97 in Minneapolis, DaveFM in Atlanta, and a many others.

What are you up to presently (freelance/on-staff at a station)?

I am doing voiceover work and freelance exclusively, and have been since 2009. In addition to many awesome radio stations, I am also the voice of the “Lethal Weapon” promos on FOX, and narrated the last two seasons of “Yukon Men” on Discovery.  I’ve also done work for ESPN, Weather Channel, MLB, NFL, FX, etc.

What do you love about your job?

What’s NOT to love?!?!  I work from home. No two days are ever the same, and I get to interact and work with some amazing and creative people.

How did you get started as a VO actor?

I was the imaging director for many years at many different stations in many different cities, and I knew I wanted to get into voiceover.  So I started using my voice as a spice, and eventually, stations started paying me just to do voice-over. How cool is that?

What was your first gig? Any memorable ones since then?

I can’t remember to be honest.  The first station to pay me for only my voiceover was either Power 98 (a defunct CHR in Amarillo), or 96.7 KissFM in Austin.

Who are your VO idols/mentors?

My dad, first of all. He worked in radio in the DC area, as well as at the Voice of America.  He also did some voiceover himself. He introduced me to the studio when I was really young, and I fell in love with the turny pots and the blinky lights.  He also introduced me to some local VO people. Their stories were fascinating!

I also learned a lot about what to do and NOT to do as a voiceover, working with some of the best.  The late great Brian James was so accommodating and so much fun to work with. Chris Corley, Brian Lee, Jeff Berlin, Jen Sweeney, Annie DeWig and others were always so easy to work with, and fun to BS with on the ISDN.  I am proud to be working alongside them now, and to call them my good friends. As far as what NOT to do as a voiceover actor… those mentors shall remain nameless.

And my idols?  I grew up loving “Ernie Anderson” and of course “Don LaFontaine”.

If you weren’t doing voiceover, what else do you think you’d be doing for a career?

I can’t imagine doing anything else.

(But I have always wanted to drive a train.)

What did it feel like the first time you heard your voice on the radio/television?

Surreal.  And I will add, it never gets old. ☺

How has new technology changed the way you work?

With technology, you can work just about anywhere these days!!  The biggest worries you now have are finding a quiet space, with good acoustics.  But usually a small closet, some pillows and a thick blanket fixes that.

I’m also VERY glad to have FTP delivery, as opposed to FedEx’ing out reel-to-reel tapes.  What a pain in the ass!

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

HOME SET-UP: Sennheiser 416 Shotgun.  Avalon M5 Mic Pre, and an AirTools 2x Processor (thank you Brian Lee).  I route everything through a Mackie 1604VLZ4 because I like the analog sound.  I also have a Behringer Headphone Distibution Amp, to add treble and bass when needed.  You can screw up the monitor, but not the mix!

SIMPLE ROAD SET-UP: Sennheiser, into a MicPortPro into my laptop.

COMPLICATED ROAD SET-UP: Sennheiser, into AirTools2x, into MicPortPro into my laptop.

REALLY COMPLICATED ROAD SET-UP: All of the above, plus and Audiobox USB interface and a Mackie Mix8, to send to my Comrex Bric-Link so I can bridge to ISDN.

Which production system do you use and why? Any favorite plugins?

Don’t laugh … I use SawPro32 to do all my editing.  It’s old, and simple, and kinda clunky, but I love it.  And I am lightning fast on it. I always tell people, whatever helps you do the best work and be the most efficient, use that.  If it’s ProTools, good for you. If it’s an Orban DSE-7000, I am impressed. If it’s an Otari MX5050 8-Track, I bow to your greatness.

I don’t use any plug-ins for voiceover – unless I am on the road.  But when I produce (which isn’t very often anymore), I just use EQ’s compressors and other fun things in Waves Platinum.

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

Yes I have, and I would absolutely recommend it.  Just make sure you work with somebody who is not promising you overnight success and guaranteeing a “multi-million dollar career”.  Coaches help you find your sweet spot, find your read, find your VOICE.

How do you schedule/prioritize your work? How much time do you spend auditioning for new work?

I use the calendar feature in Outlook ALL the time.  I also categorize all emails that come in and use those little color coded categories – RED for Radio stuff.  BLUE for TV. PURPLE for commercials. LIGHT GREEN for auditions…etc, etc…

Auditioning is mostly what I do.  I would say 75%-ish of my time behind a mic is auditioning.

How do you market your services to potential clients?

Email is the best way these days.

When it comes to VO work, studio & gear, what are your most ingenious methods/discoveries for saving time and cash?

This saved money, AND my ass.  Because AT&T sucks, I lost my ISDN lines.  Luckily, a very good VO friend of mine had ISDN that he didn’t use very often.  He also is a technical mastermind, and told me about this ingenious little box that talks to other ingenious little boxes over the internet and sounds amazing and had NO latency.  It’s called a Comrex Bric-Link, and I really hope it becomes the industry standard for communicating – kind of like Zephyrs were the ISDN industry standard back in the day.

Anyway, I am part of a gang of four VO dudes that co-op an ISDN box, and our little system has worked flawlessly.

What is the best voice processing trick or voice-over technique everyone should know?

Less is More.

Do you have a different approach to reading radio imaging copy as opposed to TV/Radio commercial ads?

Absolutely!  Commercial is completely different from Radio imaging and Affiliate work.  Commercial can be conversational or it can be announcery. It can also require you to have a good sense of comedic timing, or you just have to be able to squeeze 45 seconds of copy into 29.

Promo is sort of related to Radio work, but different enough that it makes the transition very tough.  Narration is way over in left field, but still a REALLY fun part of VO. They are all different and you really need to know how to approach each piece of copy correctly.

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

A – Work Hard, do the legwork. Network and market.

B – Have Patience. LOTS of patience. Don’t expect success right away. And accept success humbly.

C – Cost agents money. That is the ONLY foolproof way of getting an agent – when you take jobs from their talent, they will pay attention to you.

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

I’d go back to the 80’s, and re-do it with all the info and experience I have now. I miss parachute pants and big hair…and 80’s new wave.

Favorite 2 pizza toppings?

Besides the usual… I like pineapple on pizza. I also like mushrooms.  But not on the same pizza.

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

My father-in-law.  He was a very successful economist, and was one of the smartest guys I knew.  He was kind to me and believed in me when I was a young stupid kid dating his daughter.  Despite the fact that his daughter and I were too young to be getting married, and despite my screwy career choice.  He passed away about two years ago, and I miss him dearly.

Connect with Chris on social media

Facebook: www.facebook.com/chrisrollinsvo

Twitter: www.twitter.com/chrisrollinsvo

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Andy’s Fiver Friday #148 – The Imaging House, Rick Allen’s EQ Bible and Nasou

Benztown Imaging Blog - Fri, 08/24/2018 - 09:59

First full on week and it has been awesome! I am so happy to got some great production done and of course to clean up all my holiday left over email..UGHHHH. 

1.Plugin

Check my friend KellyKellyKelly’s brand new website the Imaging House and my favorite post there:

Rick Allen’s  EQ Bible.

2.Inspiration

An in depth analysis of a true musical genius and inspiring personality – Aretha Franklin:

3.Music

Our friend Nasou – great freelancer and volunteer here at benztown! Such a talented guy!!!

4.Web/Social/Whatever

Backpain is a common thing in our craft, we just SIT ALLL DAY!!! Check out this awesome new thing on KICKSTARTER. 

DISCLAIMER: I am not a physician or pretend to be one, this is NO medical advice :)..!

5. Imaging

Check out this week’s interview with Benni and of course his awesome work, also included in the post!

 

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Behind the Mic: Dave Hoffman

Benztown Voice-Over Blog - Tue, 08/21/2018 - 14:58

Dave Hoffman is a Benztown Brigade voiceover artist that can be heard on national and international airwaves. A veteran of the industry, we’re proud to have Dave on our roster representing the Benztown family!

What are you up to presently (freelance/on-staff at a station)?

I’m excited to share that I booked my very first audition that Benztown sent and I’m now the voice for FM2 in Manilla.  I also just started as the new voice for WOTW, 103.1 The Wolf Orlando, and got that one from my demo being on the Benztown site. Personally, there is no greater compliment when a station signs you on and I truly look forward to helping anyone who needs something different.  Oh ya, I just moved to Atlanta with my family in July and I can’t wait to see what this new and booming entertainment market will bring next.

What do you love about your job?

This is my dream job and is exactly what I always wanted to do since I was a kid. I absolutely love that this type of work always brings something different each day AND that it allows me to help others with their dreams too.

How did you get started as a VO actor?

I did my first commercial VO at 12 years old and never looked back. Who wants a real job after that, right?

What was your first gig? Any memorable ones since then?

My first commercial recorded was for a Chiropractor where I played a kid with scoliosis. I’d love to find the guy who made it and tell him what I do now.

Who are your VO idols/mentors?

I have huge respect for all the talent I’ve been able to meet through Atlas Talent and Benztown. I’m someone who believes that you can learn from anyone if you just take a moment to listen. My list of favorite voice talent is, well, too long to list. I’m a fan of many.

If you weren’t doing voiceover, what else do you think you’d be doing for a career?

I could always be an audio engineer… but I rather be a race car driver. 

What did it feel like the first time you heard your voice on the radio/television?

I thought hearing myself on the local radio station meant that I had “made it”! Boy did I have a lot to learn! But hearing yourself never gets old.

How has new technology changed the way you work?

I started on reel to reel machines … so, digital editing is flippin’ amazing.  I still have a tape splice block and razor on my studio desk to remind me how much harder this all could be.

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

I use Sennheiser and Neuman mics for my VO and various plug-ins and outboard amps.  Since I’m an audio geek and come from an engineering background, I have a much bigger studio setup than most VO talent would ever need.  But I love it and I just bought a C24 motorized console for my new studio that’s being built in Atlanta. It’s going to be sweet! On the road, I dig the Yamaha AG06… combined with a nice little hotel room pillow fort.  Hello, Room SI believe ervice.. can you send up more pillows?

Which production system do you use and why? Any favorite plugins?

I’m a ProTools guy.  I started with ProTools 5, so I know it quite well and speed is a plus in this industry. I also had my 003 sent to Black Lion Audio for an internal upgrade on the mic pres, A/D convertor, etc.

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

I’ve studiied with numerous coaches along the way and I still study with one today.  I honestly think training with a quality VO coach is imperative to succeed. It’s been the best investment I’ve made yet.  Learn. Apply. Repeat.

How do you schedule/prioritize your work? How much time do you spend auditioning for new work?

I try do the work as it comes … or whichever script is on fire.  I try my best to do all auditions that come in from my agents. You’ve gotta keep planting that seed.

How do you market your services to potential clients?

I fill out blog questionaires from Benztown.

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

How to image RTL in Halle and REVOLUTION in MIAMI – Meet Imaging Producer and longtime friend Benni Wellmann!

Benztown Imaging Blog - Mon, 08/20/2018 - 23:19
    Benni and I go way back in time. We had a few chats, while he was working for REVOLUTION in Miami and doing freelance work for several stations in Germany, Italy & Switzerland. Now after a few years in tech and dev, Benni is back with a new gig and new sound for 89.0 RTL in Halle, Germany. Maybe you remember Christian, who was featured on the blog a few years back and shaped the sound of the station. Enter Benni!!!


Benni, how is it to be back in radio full time?

First off I have to say: Thanks for having me in the same row with other Radio Imaging guys! 

It’s awesome. It was important to see that I can’t live without Radio Imaging. For 3 years I worked as a radio technician and produced Radio Imaging in the evening at home as a freelancer. It was a good experience, but I wanted to do it full time again. For me it’s not a job – it’s a passion. Radio & Imaging is my personal drug. 


How is it to take over from an extraordinary talented producer like Christian?

It’s an honour. He’s a great guy and I really love his work. We’re staying in contact to exchange some knowledge. 

At the beginning it was really hard to take on a job from such a guy, because going from a “freelance evening gig” to a full time job is always a hard thing. Stepping into Christian’s footsteps is like going from a hobby soccer club to the MLS.


Which production system do you use and why?

At the beginning in Nuremberg I started out with Pro Tools, after that I worked with Sony Vegas, then Audition and Cubase. Now I’m back with Pro Tools. I think it’s the best DAW for the radio business. It has a great workflow. Automation tracks are much simpler than Cubase, but that’s my opinion. What I miss in Pro Tools is the single “cut window”. 


What are your favourite PlugIns? What is the perfect VO chain?

Let’s begin with the VO chain. I think there is no “perfect chain”. The VO recordings are a little different each time. Compare it to stones: you have a lot of them looking the same, but they’re not. So you have to work with a different ? setting for every VO. I did templates for every station and then worked with them. Sometimes I did a little bit of playing around with the EQs. Other stations other wishes… 

Promo – Radio 105 (no VO) 

http://blog.benztown.com/imaging/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Promo-Radio-105-NO-VO.mp3


Promo – Radio 105 (VO)

http://blog.benztown.com/imaging/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Promo-Radio-105-with-VO-Parts.mp3

 

PlugIns – oh my god – that’s a never-ending story. There are so many I like. My favorites are: Waves Tune and I really like working with simple things like H-Delay. There is no production I don’t use it with…

Waves Tune

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

H-Delay

 

                 
How do you schedule your work? How do you balance your music vs. imaging timewise?

That’s very simple: If you know what music is playing worldwide currently, you know what you can use. You don’t have to search for music pads. That saves a lot of time. What’s supposed to be on air next will be produced next. So I don’t have a real schedule. 


What do you love about working for 89.0 RTL?

It’s the format – it’s the team – everything’s perfect. CHR is my home base. I like it hot – very hot. It’s like a kick for me. Everyday a new kick. Like base jumping for people. 

 
What is the best Pro Tools or production trick anybody should know?

There are so many… Having a template with basic stuff in it like FX is the most important for me. It saves me a lot of time when creating stuff.


How do you get inspired and what do you use as source of creativity? 

My source of creativity is music. I don’t watch what other guys do. I focus on my own work. Otherwise it get’s confusing. I really love other people’s work, but I’d never copy something. 

When I listen to a song I get the feeling that it’ll work and I know where I can insert a break or an autotune. 


Who were your radio production idols? Who influenced your work as a music producer?

Let’s say it like this: I don’t have an idol. Like I said before: focus on yourself. However, there were five people that got me back into Radio Imaging again.. They said you have to be a Radio Imaging Producer. They listened to my demos I did while not working in radio. They told me to get back into the business quickly! Thanks to Erasmo, Umut, Klaus, Guido and Jens! You guys brought me back the right way!!!


What would your 3 key advices for a youngster be?

 1. Be yourself and don’t say: “I work for radio stations, you can’t touch me!” I know a lot of people that work in radio and I don’t like their attitude. It’s a normal job! When you’ve combined your passion and your work, that’s great! Don’t boast about it!

2. Take criticism as a motivation! If someone tells you to try it a different way, try it! If it doesn’t sound like you imagined, you still have your first version!

3. Radio Imaging should be a passion. It shouldn’t be a 8am to 4pm job. Radio is everywhere, Sound Design also. Stay in touch with friends that work for radio stations. Try to built a network. I did that too. Now I have a lot of contacts from all over the world. It’s important.

Some Extracts of Benni’s work: 

Beginning of reactivation

http://blog.benztown.com/imaging/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Beginning-of-Reactivation-Benni-01-1.mp3 http://blog.benztown.com/imaging/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Beginning-of-Reactivation-Benni-1.mp3


New Pl

http://blog.benztown.com/imaging/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/NEW-PI.mp3

Spanish Imaging Demo

http://blog.benztown.com/imaging/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/DEMO-Spanisches-Radio-Imaging-Video.mp4

Radio 105 Miami – Neutral Mashup 

http://blog.benztown.com/imaging/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Neutrales-Mashup-Radio-Imaging-Video.mp4

Revolution Radio Miami 93.5 – Imaging Visual

http://blog.benztown.com/imaging/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/October-Radio-IMAGING-VISUAL.mp4

Radio 105 Miami – Imaging Video Promotion

http://blog.benztown.com/imaging/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Radio-105-Radio-Imaging-Video-Promotion.mp4
Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Fiver Friday #147 – Back from GREECE, R.I.P. ARETHA and what the hell is a Shoe Dog?

Benztown Imaging Blog - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 06:37

So, I am back, boom, finally. The wind made it difficult, but we made it :)..Why Phil Knight is my hero and the most talented female singer of all time dies at age 76. R.I.P Aretha!

1.Plugin

Fab Filter Saturn – I started to play around more with it and really like it!

 

 

             

 

 

  2.Inspiration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Re-read the book while on vacation. Such an inspiring story about building what is the biggest Sports Brand today! NIKE!

3.Music

It can’t be anything different than the Queen of Soul Music. Aretha, sing for me!!! My all time favorite song from her:

4.Web/Social/Whatever

An awesome looking stand up desk for us Imaging and Post-Production guys!

Splice Posts new sit-stand grading desk

  5.Imaging

Dan Hill has done it again..such a talented guy!

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

What’s Been Going on With Harry Legg?

Benztown Voice-Over Blog - Tue, 08/14/2018 - 13:40

What a great day to hear from our talented friend and voiceover artist, Harry Legg! It’s been a while since we last checked in with Harry on the Benztown Voiceover Blog and a lot of awesomeness has been happening with him both in and outside of the studio.

1) What have you been up to lately (new projects, life happenings, etc)?

On the radio imaging VO side, I voice the NBC Sports Radio Network. I have also been having a lot of fun with international clients like Cork’s 96 FM in Ireland, 89.7 Bay in Malta, Beat FM in Jordan and most recently I’ve landed on Radio 1 in the UAE, an English language CHR that covers the country out of both Dubai and Abu Dhabi. It’s great to work again with Benztown’s Scott Phillips who is providing Radio 1’s production wizardry. It’s been another year of growth and learning. Besides being part of the Benztown team – I voice the Benztown CHR service, the Today in Rock History feature, I signed with Atlas Talent Agency last year and they have helped me expand into other areas. Nickelodeon and  Travel Channel are a couple of the clients that have come my way. I’ve also been working on my video production skills. I use Final Cut Pro and created my most recent voiceover demo as a video. If you’re one of my Facebook friends, you’ll see plenty of martial arts training and teaching posts for my school, New Jersey Tai Chi. Most people don’t realize it’s a vicious martial art – they think it’s just an exercise for old folks…far from it! Tai Chi Chuan has equal parts martial and equal parts health and healing. In the next year, I’ll be making more and more online instructional videos.

Check out Harry’s Imaging VO demo:

2) You’ve had an outstanding career already. What are some goals you have professionally?

I want to continue evolving. As the business changes, I want to make sure I’m on the top of my game. I’ve been fortunate to work at some legendary calls, KIIS-FM, WKTU, and at a very special station where the passion was at an all-time high, Energy in Chicago. It’s not possible to recreate the magical days at any of those stations. Voicing for stations that are having fun, that are creative, that want to establish loyalty and emotional bonds with the listener is what turns me on from an imaging VO standpoint. Continued growth in the other voiceover categories is important as well – I enjoy sports promo VO and TV documentary narration.

3) Any new gear or upgrades?

Yes! I travel a lot, primarily for martial arts training and teaching, so mobile gear is always something I’m looking at so that I can provide the best quality VO from the road. I’m a bit of an audio freak and really pay attention to the acoustic environment as well as the transparency of the electronics I’m using for the mic preamp. I recently received the long-awaited CEntrance MixerFace R4. After hearing the quality of the company’s previous unit, the MicPort Pro, I was immediately excited to have their latest piece, which promised an even cleaner mic pre and connectivity to smartphones. They did not disappoint in the quality department – it sounds really clean and smooth. It will be my new travel interface along with a Sennhesier 416. The MicPort Pro will be my backup. I’ll bring my MacBook Pro, but it’s great to know that if that should die or if Pro Tools should decide to give me any BS, I can plug right into the iPhone. I use the Twisted Wave app and it works very well.

4) Is there any crossover between your voiceover career and your martial arts career?

Yes, I’ve found several ways. I combined my passions with an ad that I called “Vocal Kung Fu” –where I had headphones on while wielding a Chinese broadsword and speaking into the mic. Plus, we all know that you need to have thick skin in the media business. Martial training helps provide a very strong mindset – you know how hard you train and what you have learned to endure – that training directly translates to confidence and a focused mind when it comes to business decisions and difficult situations. While others may be freaking out about something, the martial artist typically has control. Then there’s the obvious, a healthier you means you feel better and thus, sound better. I recently saw a funny Tai Chi FB post, “Are you rich? Do you want to live long to enjoy your wealth? Practice Tai Chi.” There is also crossover in that I voice and produce promos for martial arts events. I am also beginning to spend more time in front of the camera lens as a teacher. Now, here comes the face for radio wisecracks!

5) What advice can you give to aspiring voiceover artists trying to get into the biz?

Get coaching! Spending hours everyday talking over Cardi B, Blake Shelton, Drake, Led Zeppelin, or presenting the news will affect your delivery. Radio has a different delivery style that almost always sounds a bit forced. Radio is a bad word in the voiceover industry. Seriously. That doesn’t mean we leave radio if you want to do agency level voiceover work. It means you invest in yourself and your business. Take acting/improv classes and/or get a professional voiceover coach to sledgehammer the radio out of you and teach you the various voiceover industry protocols. Next, network! Here’s my quick Benztown networking story: I was working as the Creative Director at WKTU in NYC and was listening online to overseas stations for inspiration. I heard an amazing promo on 2day FM in Sydney. I called the Creative Director, Kacey Baker. We struck up a friendship and he ended-up hiring me to be the American VO for the station as well as most of the CHR’s in the company across 12 markets in Australia! All because I reached out with that one phone call. Andreas Sannemann, CEO of Benztown in Stuttgart, Germany was listening online to 2day FM. He was just starting Benztown Branding with Dave “Chachi” Denes, who is the President of Benztown in Los Angeles. He played my voice for Chachi and asked if he knew who it was. We knew each other because Chachi worked at KBIG while I was working in the cluster at KIIS-FM. Chachi said, I know that guy! He called me in New York and I became the very first Benztown voiceover talent as well as one of the imaging producers that helped get Benztown up and running! You never know what twists and turns will happen in your career – stay in touch with people. Don’t be afraid to reach out. Network! I made a video several years ago about my transition from radio to voiceover and have included that link with the interview. Thank You Benztown for checking in with me!

Connect with Harry

Facebook: facebook.com/harrylegg
Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/harrylegg
Twitter: twitter.com/harrylegg

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/harrylegg
Instagram: instagram.com/harryleggvo
Facebook (Tai Chi): facebook.com/newjerseytaichi

 

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Fiver Friday #146 – Scott Mayton Takeover, CLA Effects, Creative Quest And R&B Grooves

Benztown Imaging Blog - Fri, 08/10/2018 - 06:54

Since I’m still hanging out in beautiful Greece restoring my creative energy, we’ve got another takeover. This week’s fiver friday comes from our very own Scott Mayton!

1.Plugin

An oldie but a goodie that allows for some dirty layering!  Chris Lord-Alge “CLA Effects” is one of my go to’s for quick filters with a heavy punch.  Try the “ear dart” preset, tweak from there and layer with a thinned out VO…dirty! 

2.Inspiration

I picked up “Creative Quest” by the legend himself, Questlove. A hell of a read, dubbed a most anticipated book of 2018 by Esquire. From the roots, to the Tonight Show and his legendary DJ sets, Quest talks all about how he harnesses his creativity. If you dig these quotes from the book, 1 click buy that is on Amazon right now!

“You need to push toward new ideas of yourself and push back towards the earlier ones that encouraged you to push toward the new ones.”

“Don’t let people make you feel that you’re something you’re not or else you’ll get in your own way.”

“True creativity requires an artist to both insist on his own plan and recognize the needs of the crowd and to live inside the tension between the two.”

“Collaboration can be like hanging out with the Knicks. You’re not as tall as you thought you were. But you have other qualities that you didn’t notice until you stop being preoccupied with your height.”

 

3.Music

I drive the LA office a little crazy with the music I play far too loud on a regular basis. Funk and R&B is my groove. Here’s one of my favorite albums as of late: 

4.Web/Social/Whatever

One of my favorite daily emails is from The Hustle! Biggest stories of the day in a quick read with some solid humor.

The Hustle 

5.Imaging

Had the pleasure of spending some solid time with Albert To, Imaging Producer for Kiss 92.5 Toronto and National CHR Imaging Lead for Rogers, when he was in town for the launch of K3’s “Imaging House.”  Some awesome inspiration, especially with his beat mixed promos…and dude has some solid musical taste.  Check him out!

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Behind the Mic: Tasia Valenza

Benztown Voice-Over Blog - Wed, 08/08/2018 - 08:40

Tasia Valenza is an Emmy-nominated actress for her work playing the role of Dottie Thornton on  All My Chilren and has acted in numerous television shows and series throughout her illustrious career before finding her true passion off-camera as a voiceover actor. She’s had the good fortune of being one of the top female voiceover artists in the county over the last several years, having voiced thousands of national commercials, promos for major networks, narrations, etc.  Known for her range and versatility, Tasia is best known for her Iconic strong female roles in video games and animated television shows such as Poison Ivy in Batman: Arkham Games, General Shaak Ti in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and SniperWolf in the Classic Video game Metal Gear Solid., to name a few. She’s also worked in radio imaging over the last twelve years in radio stations around the country!

What radio VO work have you done in the past (stations/markets)?

I started in radio imaging after a successful vo career in all the other mediums, when I was handpicked by Alan Burns for the the Movin format and have remained there since 2006 I worked for years at Chicago’s rewind 100.3 as well as other markets around the country.

What are you up to presently (freelance/on-staff at a station)?

I’ve been the female voice of the Marconi winning 101.1 More FM for the last eight years and counting.

What do you love about your job?

My motto is I love what I do and I do what I love and for me that’s exceeding my client’s expectations! I love collaborating with my clients and being able to translate their direction quickly, and easily and make it a fun and creative experience.

How did you get started as a VO actor?

They say, “Mother knows best” and for me that’s true! My mother helped me start my on camera acting career with a bang when I was just 15 being cast opposite Sean Penn in a Louie Malle film called Crackers and went on acting in movies, television shows, including being nominated for an Emmy for All My Children.

In my twenties my mother told me she’d met a girl doing voiceovers and insisted I attempt it. Being a good mother she nagged me until I tried it and found my true calling translating my love for acting into my love for voice acting.

What was your first gig? Any memorable ones since then?

My very first voiceover job was a radio spot for Blockbuster video.

I’ve been blessed with a long and fruitful career with some of the highlights being the voice of Soapnet for 10 years which combined my love of VO with my soap opera background so well.

I’ve also been lucky enough to do a lot of animation and video games and have played some iconic roles such as Poison Ivy in many games and then some as well as Shaak ti from Star Wars the Clone Wars and Sniper Wolf from Metal Gear Solid.

I’ve recently been the new computer for newest Star Trek Discovery series which super cool, and I created an affirmation meditation app called Haven which is a passion project that allows me to give back in a meaningful way. I also love to donate my voice to charities and was thrilled to be part of an Emmy winning video for the Wild life Sanctuary, playing a magnificent lioness named Morelia.

Who are your VO idols/mentors?

I was privileged to know and be mentored by the late Don Lafontaine for promo and trailers, which was pretty cool since he was the king of “In a world.”

If you weren’t doing voiceover, what else do you think you’d be doing for a career?

I’d be teaching “Giving Great Voice” which is the art of confident verbal communication, by thinking like a voice actor in your own life! (which I do:) )

What did it feel like the first time you heard your voice on the radio/television?

I loved it, because it was the first time I was freed from the physical limitations of what I looked like, which my on camera career was so much a part of.

How has new technology changed the way you work?

I was limited only by what my voice could do and it was and still is exhilarating! That’s also where my “hat logo branding came from, since it allows for a little mystery. (plus it’s an excuse to buy more hats ☺)

It’s also been liberating. The old saying for successful VO artists is that you have on golden handcuffs because you have to be in your studio or near it because the old technology was not portable. I missed out on my trip honeymoon, because I couldn’t transport my telos box and my isdn lines.

Now I have source connect and IDPTL and along with my equipment and a good closet, I can pretty much work anywhere.

Which production system do you use and why? Any favorite plugins?

I have had my trusty sennheiser 416 shotgun for over fifteen years and it’s never failed me in keeping noise room at a minimum and my voice at a maximum.

That, my headphones, my apogee one and my Macbook pro and I are good to go, “I call it VO on the GO.”

How do you schedule/prioritize your work? How much time do you spend auditioning for new work?

I’m a big believer in always continuing to grow and expand my talents and keep them sharp. I’ve had and still have vocal coaches, acting coaches and singing coaches. I love honing and refining my craft and keeping my main instrument, my voice at its best.

I’m lucky enough to work in many voiceover mediums so each day brings something new. I voice multiple stations so there’s usually something in my inbox for me to turn around by the next day. I also have several agents around the country so there are always auditions and jobs to turn around which I can all from the comfort of my own studio, unless it’s animation in which case I always head over to an outside studio.

I’m a social media convert. I used to be resistant to it, but since I’ve learned to embrace it, I’ve connected with all kinds of different clients from around the world and it’s been a great opportunity that would not have been possible when I first started. I particularly love Integra since it’s become more than just photos so I can share videos as well.

What is the best voice processing trick or voiceover technique everyone should know?

My favorite VO trick that everyone should know is the lovely “lead in” which I use in every medium from Radio imaging saying “OH Yeah!” to get my energy going before I say my first excited line to. Here’s the coolest thing before I say the word “introducing.” It helps to get “into a script” in a more organic and real way.

Do you have a different approach to reading radio imaging copy as opposed to TV/Radio commercial ads?

Every medium is different and even in each medium there are different reads. Sometimes when I’m reading Imaging copy it’s big and fun and over the top and then sometimes it’s man or in my case “woman on the street” Each is unique and I draw upon my acting skills to tap into the right read for each piece of copy.

Three tips for newbies would be to join a FB Voiceover group or on LinkedIn to learn from those that have gone before. Listen to the current trends in VO to stay current. And work on your craft. There is no substitute for that.

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

I would go back to the eighties since it seemed like such a fun, decadent and yet simple time and dance the night away!

Favorite 2 pizza toppings?

Favorite two topping pizza, eggplant and caramelized onion.

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

If I could invite someone to dinner, it would be my mom who passed away five years ago, so I could ask what it’s really like on the other side and share with her my wonderful and blessed life.

Contact: 

Benztown: https://www.benztown.com/brigade/tasia-valenza

Website: http://tasiavalenza.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TasiaValenza/

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/tasia-valenza-1

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tasiavalenzavoice/

Affirmation Meditation App:  http://haven.am/

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Fiver Friday #145 – Scott Phillips Takeover, Timeless 2, Moon Safari And Taping Songs off the Radio

Benztown Imaging Blog - Fri, 08/03/2018 - 01:34

Guys, I am still in beautiful Greece laying in the sun and relaxing all day long. Therefore this weeks Fiver Friday take over comes from Scott Phillips !

1.Plugin

I always see people talking about Fabfilter plugins such as Pro-Q, but I’ve not seen anybody talk up their delay plugin, Timeless 2. This is one of my ‘go to’ plugins and it features somewhere in all of my sessions. It comes with a STACK of really useable presets until you become familiar with its functions. I get better and quicker results out of this, than any other delay plugin.

2.Inspiration

Every time I watch Gary Vaynerchuk speak, it’s like the penny drops. This guy is one of my inspirations and watching this video this week was 15 minutes well spent.

3.Music

This is a throwback to one of my favorite albums in my collection, and a genre that I never get to work with in radio.

4.Web/Social/Whatever

I’d say about 70% of the imaging that I produce is based around creative writing, and sometimes writers block kicks in. Whenever that happens I open google images, tap in a keyword and search for meme’s. I’ll usually find something that will spark an idea and develop it into a sweeper.

Old enough to remember taping songs off the radio? This time, we promise not to speak all over the end – Your Life, Your Music – Mix 92.9

5.Imaging

This week we feature one of the leaders of country imaging. Introducing iHeartCountry’s Steve Sykes, who I’ve been following for a long time. You’ll have heard his work on the nationally syndicated Bobby Bones show. Steve takes the format to a whole new level.

The vocals you hear on this montage are all country artists who record with Steve in Nashville on a regular basis.

I’ve uploaded a picture of his set up too, which is insanely awesome.

 

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

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