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Andy’s Fiver Friday #123 – Max’s new venture, MComb and some HARP Action for Valentine’s Day!

Benztown Imaging Blog - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 12:01

This was a great one, had so much fun destroying Oli and Jan at Tischfußball and of course also by creating some new awesome Imaging with a PlugIn I have not played around with for a while… MCOMB!

   1. PlugIn 

MComb, the extremely powerful multi-comb filter… The best feature is to create the filters in the key of the song and automate the feedback – check it out!!!

 

                         2. Inspiration 

How did you capture the very essence of romance in sound this Valentine’s Day? See below:

http://blog.benztown.com/imaging/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/180212_Harp_Benztown_rfcs_MASTER.mp4      3. Music

The greatest filmmaker of all time and his soundtracks…

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Imaging OZ in 2018, Chris Davis, Mike Santos and the KIIS Imaging crew show you how to rock down under and the Imaging world!

Benztown Imaging Blog - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 06:09

WOW! It’s finally here! The first masterpiece of 2018. I am so thrilled we could finally put this together. One of the best Imaging teams in the world in one interview. Thanks so much to the KIIS crew for taking the time to answer all of my questions and for going far beyond! ENJOY…and learn more about favourite PlugIns, tricks and of course check the latest imaging pieces!

Chris Davis – Senior Network Image Producer – Sydney and Melbourne / Benztown HotAC & Turbulence Format Captain Rhys Messenger – Kyle and Jackie O Audio Produder (New in 2018) – Sydney Mike Santos – Jase and PJ Audio Producer – Melbourne Jaxson McLennan – 2nd Audio Producer for Melbourne Breaky Show Dan Hunt – Network Image Producer – Sydney and Melbourne Melissa Alger – Will and Woody (National Drive Show)     WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE RADIO RELATED EXPERIENCE IN 2017?   Mike Santos:
Producing the lead up piece for the Same Sex Marriage result.  It was a massive deal and probably the biggest thing I’ve produced in my career. That, and being nominated for an ACRA.  
KIIS Same Sex Marriage Montage   http://blog.benztown.com/imaging/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Mike-Santos-KIIS-S-SAME-SEX-MARRIAGE-MONTAGE.mp3


Melissa Alger:
Intro-ing a refreshed team for the 3pm show on network. It meant a re-package that played up the playfulness of the new girls, and staying an active part in editing show content. It was a way to re-energise that hour of content.

Chris Davis:
Well, the biggest highlight has to be winning the ACRA for Best Achievement in Production. But broadly speaking, our ratings successes are always highlights and great to celebrate! Other highlights include repacking the station for a fresh launch in 2018. We updated almost everything on the station (Sydney and Melbourne KIIS) in one big go and that is always the most satisfying.  
KIIS Sydney Switch Promo   http://blog.benztown.com/imaging/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Chris-Davis-KIIS-S-SYDNEY-SWITCH-PROMO-LONG.mp3
Dan Hunt:
The morning every listener that got to air during The Kyle and Jackie O Show won a car! 14 cars were given away during the show that morning which sounded amazing. In the production booth, I got to make an epic montage of all the car winners and the funny content around them winning, along with a winner promo to play outside show hours.   Jaxson McLennan:
Getting the gig at KIIS!   Rhys Messenger:
 It would have to be landing my dream job as Kyle & Jackie O’s Imaging Producer. Nothing in my 2017 can really top that.   Kyle and Jackie O Show Opener   http://blog.benztown.com/imaging/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Rhys-Kyle-Kyle-And-Jacky-O-SHOW-OPENER.mp3  
TALKING ABOUT YES AND NO, WHAT IS A MASSIVE YES IN RADIO IMAGING FOR YOU @KIIS, WHAT’S A BIG NO?

Mike Santos:
YES – we’re always pushing each other to be more creative, to produce bigger.
NO – losing to Chris at the ACRAs! hahaha

Melissa Alger:
Massive YES – keeping imaging playful and upbeat, while not being afraid to play around with stopdowns and playing up
awkwardness in content. 
Massive NO – getting used to relying on the same tricks without trying to explore new ways of doing things. 

Chris Davis:
YES – big, bright, slick and energetic imaging that sounds different to the rest. 
NO – plain, boring, typical, near enough is good enough sounds.

Dan Hunt:
YES – making station/show branding that is not only selling a message but is creating great content at the same time.
NO – doing the same production over and over again. I think all audio producers always need to change what we do and not be afraid to try something different.

Rhys Messenger:
A massive YES is making things sound loud, tight, hot, big… need to say more? Also, you’ve definitely got to live and breath radio. Some people believe the complete opposite, but I think you have to, because if I didn’t analyse and study radio as much as I do, I wouldn’t be where I am now. A big NO is having something go to air that sounds crap. As an Image Producer, it’s your job to make things sound 110% even with the tightest of deadlines.

 

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT PEOPLE COPYING YOUR SOUND? DOES THIS HAPPEN AT ALL?

Mike Santos:
We’re in a business where EVERYTHING is derivative and ideas are constantly being shared, borrowed, stolen, etc.  I’m all for copying when you’re first starting out, because it gives you a good starting point and a reference for critique, but it will only take you so far… At one point in time, everyone wanted to produce like someone, but you should never lean on someone else’s style to define yours.

Melissa Alger:
I’m still building up my name and reputation in the industry, so no one is biting on my stuff just yet. I think I would be flattered, more so if they’re someone that I know and have had a conversation with.

Chris Davis:
In terms of sound, I think it’s a great thing when people emulate gear they like and endeavour to learn how to do the same tricks – to get to that next level.  It’s how you grow and improve as an image producer.  

Dan Hunt:
I personally like it and feel complimented. Although I think everyone copies and gets ideas from other audio producers work from time to time as well.

Jaxson McLennan:
Everyone pulls inspiration from somewhere. When you’re working in a team, particularly when you’re all producing imaging for one station – you all want to be pulling in the same direction – so it should sound like it ‘fits’ whilst still having your own creative stamp on it. Completely copying someone else’s work isn’t going to get you far. It’s your own creativity and interpretations that will further your career and get you the gigs you want.
That said, if someone does ‘my sound’ better than me – good on them. Means I need to step up my game!

Rhys Messenger:
I don’t think this happens to me as I’m still quite young (19 years old), but if it did happen to me or does in the future, I actually wouldn’t mind – I would be honoured that someone looking up to my work wants to copy my sound. I think it’s okay to copy some things as long as you can keep developing your own sound at the same time.

 

ANY NEW FINDINGS IN TERMS OF TOOLS, PLUGINS, TRICKS?

Mike Santos:
Meta Flange/MondoMod/H-Delay has been my go-to combo as of late. I love it for VO layering.

Melissa Alger:
Building more with subtle layering with pitch and delay. Especially with stopdowns, as a way to bridge the silence so that it’s building to the beat kicking back in.

Chris Davis:
I’m always messing around with different PlugIns to see if there’s any new stuff they can do. I’m big on messing with octaves on VO at the moment and combining plugs to alter the sounds slightly rather than just hitting presets.

Dan Hunt:
At the moment I am a fan of stuttering VO, distorting, panning and filtering both high/low ends of the stutter for a subtle sonic sweetener.

Jaxson McLennan:
I started working in grid mode almost exclusively a little while ago for anything that contains music or music hooks and it changed my life. In terms of tricks, for me I’ve realised that the most important stuff is not necessarily the tools or the PlugIns, but the process side of things. Learning to keep perspective on the overall mix rather than getting lost in the minutiae and being able to stay in the right headspace so you don’t get sloppy.

Rhys Messenger:
I’m a big fan of going through acapellas for a song lyric that relates to the promo and then find a bed for the promo in the key of that acapella. Once I’ve got the key, I then try to find other acapellas in the same key that also relates to the promo. I think acapella cuts really help sell a promo and make it sound good.

 

STAYING CREATIVE – WHAT’S THE SECRET?

Mike Santos:
Get out of the studio. Live your life. Talk to people. Do everything you can to not stare at the computer.

Melissa Alger:
Being motivated by the team around me helps. If I feel like I’m in a place where people are confident in my work I feel more freedom to experiment more and to take risks.

Chris Davis:
Study different formats/sounds/styles and experiment. Scripting plays a big part. Got an ‘out there’ idea, not sure if it will work? Try it!

KIIS Threesome Tease

http://blog.benztown.com/imaging/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Chris-Davis-KIIS-M-30K-THREESOME-TEASE.mp3


Dan Hunt:
For me at the moment it is listening/viewing other sources of entertainment for content ideas, to get an understanding of different program structures and to keep up to date with new sounds that are out there.

Jaxson McLennan:
Make sure you take time out for yourself. If you’re stressed it suddenly becomes a lot harder to be creative. Consume other media and listen to music – especially music your station doesn’t play if you like it. Be open to the idea of ‘what if’. ‘What if we did…’ ‘What if we took this and did this to it…’. Play around with stuff. Try new things. Find what works best for you – try out different things and see what happens!

Rhys Messenger:
Being inspired daily is definitely the key. Monitoring other people’s work is also good, especially the Imaging Producers that you look up to. Also once again I want to mention, living and breathing radio is a must. Yes, it is easy to get burnt out in this industry, but if you live and breath radio and have a big passion for it like I do, it’s hard to get burnt out, because you enjoy your job and the industry you work in so much.

 

WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE FOR PEOPLE  WHO WANT TO WORK AT KIIS? I BET YOU HAVE PLENTY CVs coming your way

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Andy’s Fiver Friday #122

Benztown Imaging Blog - Tue, 02/06/2018 - 08:30

4. Awesome for collaboration! Check out this insane game changer for the mobile imager!

(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=v2.12'; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

Le Slide

You'll be a multitasking master in no time.

Posted by Thrillist on Sunday, January 21, 2018

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Andy’s Fiver Friday #121 – Tischfussball, Imaging Assassins and new colors in the office

Benztown Imaging Blog - Fri, 02/02/2018 - 07:06

Ahhh. Another week, DONE. And guess what I found out what has been missing in my office life :)…

  1. PlugIn

The new ChromaVerb that came with the Logic Pro X Update, a beauty – by the way, it also sounds really nice

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Radio (Imaging) – A dream job?

Benztown Imaging Blog - Wed, 01/31/2018 - 00:41

For me this has always been the case, but somehow I feel the talent pool is drying more and more. 20 years ago, when I started in the biz, Radio was cool, people wanted to work in radio, become on-air talent, imaging director or else.
And NOW?
Am I right with my observation, that I mainly see the same people attending radio trade shows? Am I right, that we get less and less qualified entries for our volunteer / intern program, which has an insane track record, building some of the most talented guys in the radio imaging world? Where is this new exciting, great radio show every one is talking about and and and….The list goes on!
This is all what I’ve heard last weeks and months! After getting soaked into this feeling for quiet a while, too…I changed my mind!
IT IS UP TO US to change this again. Let’s find better people, create awesome content that makes an impact, do our homework as best as possible. STOP COMPLAINING ! DO GREAT THINGS!

If you are interested, this is my agenda :

– More blog posts and interviews
– Work more with our interns
– Find great people, who really want to do Imaging (if you are one of them and don’t have the chance to learn this job proper, email me (You find my contact info on the benztown website)
– Do more trade shows, excite people with our work

What’s your agenda?

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Andy’s Fiver Friday #120 – From Paris with love and recording on the road with UAD Arrow

Benztown Imaging Blog - Fri, 01/26/2018 - 09:21

This week I am writing this little piece of weekly entertainment from Paris! It was a great conference at Le Salon de Radio and I am happy to be back in the city of Paris meeting clients, partners, friends!

  1. PlugIn

No PlugIn this week, but as a UAD Fan the new UAD Arrow – a brand new interface with one DSP, means one less than the Apollo Twin, but cheaper and also with the option to record with NO latency! Check it out!

  2. Inspiration

This is waiting for us in the cinemas this year!

Upcoming Movies 2018!

3. Music

The whole damn place is groovin’ and I bet you can’t resist either..no one can resist the legend!

  4. Web/Social/Whatever

Whats more nerdy than retro synths?? I show you The Floppotron

  5. Imaging

My Man Vish with a demo for his last gig – Radio 1 in the UAE!

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Andy’s Fiver Friday #119 – Salon de Radio, Native Instruments and some new stuff from yours truly!

Benztown Imaging Blog - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 08:22

Second week of 2018 and already full steam ahead. I am already looking forward to seeing some of you next week in Paris, France for Le Salon de radio  and hopefully for some awesome french Imaging discussions :).. For my readers in other parts of the world, I highly recommend to check out the french radio market. Find some of our work and video material about that here.

1. PlugIn

The latest from NI – awesome designed page and I bet some awesome materials. I look forward to check out more as a part of the beta testing group.
https://sounds.com/

2. Inspiration

One of my Idols and without a question one of the smartest entrepreneurs out there.

Richard Branson

3. Music

N.E.R.D and Ed – not a whole lot more to say!!!

4. Web/Social/Whatever

Thats how you build and airport. Can’t wait to see this in June at BCA.

The world’s best airport has a new nature-inspired terminal

5. Imaging

This week I feel it was an easy one. I have not posted some of my own work for a long time and after so many of you have asked, here is the latest – (Side Note: My demos are always thought as of being composites and not real demos, which are sonically perfectly designed – I want you to see the different stuff I do and not the stuff matching with each other the best.)

 

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Behind The Mic with Brian West

Benztown Voice-Over Blog - Wed, 01/17/2018 - 16:21

Brian West is our Voice of the Week feature but really…he’s the voice of every week in the voiceover community. This guy is behind the mic, in front of the camera, you name it and he does it. And he does it well. Welcome to the family Brian!

What radio VO work have you done in the past? Currently the image voice for WBLI Long Island, New York; WNFN Nashville, Tennessee; WAJI Fort Wayne, Indiana; WLMI Lansing, Michigan. I was also the national voice for CMT Television in Canada for a few years.

What are you up to presently? I host the afternoon drive home show on rock station Y108 in Hamilton, ON. I’m the narrator for shows on HGTV (Mountain Life, How Close Can I Beach) and on CNBC (Adventure Capitalists). I also voice for national spots in Canada and the US (Degree, Chase, Coke, Esso, Charter Spectrum etc).

What do you love about your job? I love being able to work from home and being in different studios working with different producers and people. Every day is unique and that’s what I love about media.

How did you get started as a VO actor? What was your first gig? I started as an on air host in radio doing local spots. While I was part time I focused on my VO demos and shopped them to agents. My first freelance national VO gig was a television spot for Hyundai. My first ever media gig was the mascot for a radio station called The Bear… I was the Bear and got kicked by many children.

Have you ever had a voice coach? Would you recommend it? Yes I’ve had a voice coach and highly recommend it. It’s always best to have another set of ears hear your work.

Who are your VO idols/mentors? Who influenced your work as a VO artist? Jamie Watson in Canada has been my mentor and friend since the beginning of my professional voice over career. I also love listening to David Kaye, Pat Garrett, and Jeff Berlin. Hearing their radio imaging is what gave me the bug.

What is your dream gig? My dream gig is to be in an animated film and / or a regular animated series. Also to voice movie trailers.

Can you offer 3 helpful tips for newbies trying to make it in the voice-over industry?
1) Practice, Practice, Practice. My wife hates how I’m constantly reading out loud… like billboards when we’re driving lol. Having a voice is one tool, being able to read is a skill.
2) Listen to lots of radio and pay attention to the imaging and commercials. Try mimicking what you hear.
3) Work on different voices so you have a bunch that you can go to. Instead of singing in the shower, I work on coming up with different voices. TMI?

If you weren’t doing voiceover, what else do you think you’d be doing for a career? When I was a kid I wanted to be a school bus driver. Now that I have kids – not so much! If I wasn’t doing VO, I’d still be on air in radio. I used to have a part time job at a bank… but it’s too stiff in there.

What’s it like being a part of the voiceover community? While it’s definitely a super competitive industry, the folks that I’ve met who are successful, have always been willing to give advice and help out where they can. It’s competitive, but a small industry at the same time.

How do you schedule/prioritize your work? I have scheduled sessions that happen at a certain time with a producer, but when I have unsupervised reads I do them based on the order they come in to me (unless something is more time sensitive).

How much time do you spend auditioning for new work? I usually do an average of 3-5 auditions per day for spots.

How do you market your services to potential clients? I advertise my imaging on a radio site called MilkmanUnlimited in Canada and am constantly working on social media as well (Facebook, LinkedIn etc).

Which production system do you use and why? In radio school we learned on Adobe Audition (Cool Edit at the time), so I use that to record on my iMac.

What gear do you use? I use a Sennheiser 416 mic, Avalon M5 Preamp and Audient ID22 interface. I have a home studio after I converted a cold storage wine cellar in my basement – it’s nice and quiet! (And now has heat). When I’m traveling I use the Apogee One.

What is the best voice processing trick or voice-over technique everyone should know? Getting in close to the mic and speaking quietly can sometimes have some great results.

When it comes to VO work, studio & gear, what are your most ingenious methods/discoveries for saving time and cash? When I first started I used to voice things from the closet in our space bedroom. It was tight quarters but worked well until I could get my studio up and running. I also still use comforters and pillows when traveling and in a hotel and something needs to be voiced.

Do you have a different approach to reading radio imaging copy as opposed to TV/Radio commercial ads? For sure. Radio & TV commercials all have different direction depending on the spot. Imaging you can often have more fun with.

What did it feel like the first time you heard your voice on the radio/television? For me the coolest feeling was being in a different city when traveling and hearing my voice on a station there.

Not only are you in the studio but you have also been in front of the camera hosting red carpet events.
1) How do you prepare for a big red carpet event?
Doing as much research before interviews is key. There’s nothing worse than having nothing to say when an artist walks up to you. Also, trying to make sure you know a little bit about everyone is the toughest part.
2) Do you have a different approach to your voice on camera as opposed to the studio?
As much as you always try to be natural when reading, I think more of my ‘normal speaking voice’ comes out when in front of the camera.
3) Do you get star struck?
I’ve had the opportunity to meet a lot of cool people, so I generally don’t get star struck… although growing up watching his movies I’d probably be star struck by Arnold Schwarzenegger or Jim Carey.

Who or what kind of music are you listening to the most right now? The music I listen to is all over the map. Once minute I’m listening to Nirvana, then the next song is Eminem followed by Black Sabbath into The Beach Boys. It would be one hell of a radio station!

Contact:

Benztown: www.benztown.com/brigade/brian-west

Website: www.BrianWestVO.com

Socials: @MrBrianWest

Agent: Nate Zeitz at CESD Talent

Agent Contact: Nate@CESDTalent.com

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Andy’s Fiver Friday #118 – First Episode Of 2018

Benztown Imaging Blog - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 09:12
             

 

Even though producing never stops, we took some days off for Christmas and New Years to spend time with our families and are now back on track.

We hope to deliver even more this year building up from a great year 2017. So welcome back guys! 

 

1.Plugin 

Not too long ago, iZotope released its brand new Neutron 2, a plugin focusing on analysing, mixing and controlling your spectral balance.

It features the ability to unmask your mix, meaning that it compares two tracks, carving out sonic space by scooping overlapping frequencies.

As always, iZotope delivers with outstanding digital processing and innovation. Check out their website for further information! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Inspiration 

This week’s inspirational section features the VOX youtube channel with their take on N.E.R.D.’s hit song Lemon and where it got its bounce from.

I can only recommend their Earworm playlist for anyone interested in well researched, quality content regarding pop culture.

 

3. Music

For anyone who missed it, Justin Timberlake just released his new Single Filthy teasering his Man Of The Woods Tour which is just around the corner. 

Check out the corresponding trailer! Shoutout to Justin Case who’s gonna be a first row enthusiast for sure.

 

4. Web/Social/Whatever

Ever played a song on a pencil? Remember the cantina theme which is stuck in your head since you first watched star wars? 

Combine the two and a girl with too much time on her hands and you get this piece of art which will definitely put a smile on your face!

 

5. Imaging

The latest from our beloved Iron Imager Brad Leask. Go check it out!

 

Hope you had a great week and a good start into the new year. 

I’m already looking forward to bringing you the next Fiver Friday soon!

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

My Imaging New Year Resolutions for 2018

Benztown Imaging Blog - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 07:12

1. Create more Imaging

2. Use less Vocoders :)..

3. Drive Innovation by creating New Sounds! Help, don’t know what to do yet

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Behind The Mic with Beth Cameron

Benztown Voice-Over Blog - Fri, 01/05/2018 - 12:14

Beth Cameron is a force to be reckoned with in the VO world. She has quite the impressive background in the industry and we’re pretttayyy lucky to have her on Team BZ! 

What radio VO work have you done in the past? I started doing imaging VO when I worked at KISS 108 in Boston voicing intros and an occasional promo. From there I voiced WYSP in Philly, KISS in Hartford, Triple X in Vermont, BOB and US 95.7 in San Diego, Star 93.7 and MIKE-FM in Boston, KC-101 in New Haven among of others. I was also on about 80+ stations as the female voice for Dial Global’s HotAC stations.

What are you up to presently? I currently work full time doing VO of all types, but radio imaging is still my favorite. I voice stuff for Beasley Broadcasting in Boston. I’m also the imaging voice for Westwood One’s HotAC stations all over the the country, as well as the voice of the nationally syndicated Zach Sang Show. Most exciting, I’m now working with Benztown! I’m thrilled to be part of this great group of people who haven’t forgotten that radio’s supposed to be fun!

What do you love about your job? I love that every day is different and you never know what any day is going to bring. It’s still exciting to me when I get email out of the blue from a new client who just found me online, because I never know who I might meet (even if it’s virtual) and what new opportunity might come from it.

How did you get started as a VO actor? What was your first gig? My first VO was as an intern at KISS 108. The infamous Jeff Berlin pulled me aside one day and asked me to say one word, “faces” (the name of a former nightclub) as many ways as I could. Once I heard the spot on air, I was hooked.

What is your dream gig? Anything with good writers behind it. I always like when people write the way I actually talk…and have a great sense of humor. There’s nothing better than writers who make you sound funnier than you really are!

Can you offer 3 helpful tips for newbies trying to make it in the voice-over industry?
1. Take a class in audio editing before you even start to work on VO
2. Take a class in web marketing
3. Don’t read too much about trying to “make it in the industry” because it can be discouraging. All of the people I know who are doing voice-over full time took a different path to get here, so you just have to find the one that works for you…but it takes a LONG time.

If you weren’t doing voiceover, what else do you think you’d be doing for a career? Something in educational media. I actually went back to grad school and got my masters in education when I was just starting to do VO full time…but now I’m having too much fun with VO to actually use it!

How do you market your services to potential clients? I think there’s no better resource than the web. Anyone, anywhere can hear and hire you…as long as you do your homework and figure out how to make sure they find you. Also, giving great customer service to existing clients. Fast turn-around…taking direction…giving them what they want with no drama is great marketing….because then they tell others. The majority of my clients are people I’ve worked with in the past who suggested me to their boss when they landed a new gig. It’s nice to have solid long-term working relationships like that.

What are your favorite plugins? I can’t live without Metric Halo’s Channel Strip.

How has new technology changed the way you work? In every way possible, but mostly I would say in terms of delivering files to people…which has opened up a whole new pool of clientele. I remember (not too long ago) driving out to FedEx at the airport every night at 10:00 to drop off a CD so it could be overnighted to a client in San Francisco. It’s amazing to think how far things have come…not to mention how many new people I now work with all over the world.

Do you have a different approach to reading radio imaging copy as opposed to TV/Radio commercial ads? It seems like these days everyone wants commercial reads to be super laid back and conversational. I like doing that kind of read, but I really like that with imaging you can still be over-the-top, or edgy if it calls for it. There are just more things to experiment with in imaging.

If you could go back to any decade and hang out which one would you go back to and why? The 70’s. Just seems like it was simpler times…plus, better music.

If you were on a deserted island and could only have one person with you who would it be and why? My 6 year old son…because we crack each other up like nobody’s business (not sure what that says about my maturity…let’s just go with he’s very mature for his age). Plus, that face!

What’s your guilty pleasure? OK, so it’s not exactly guilty…but my greatest pleasure is listening to re-runs of Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 from the 70’s and 80’s on TuneIn on the weekends. I’m that much of a radio geek…plus, I suppose it’s a nostalgia thing. And Casey…you can’t beat Casey.

Where’s your favorite place in the world to go to and why? You mean travel? My clients don’t let me travel! Honestly, right now my favorite place in the world is my home. A few years ago I bought the house I grew up in, and I’m now in the process of fixing it up. It’s a true labor of love!

Links: 

Benztown: https://www.benztown.com/brigade/beth-cameron

Personal Website: http://bethcameronvo.com/

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! – Future Of The Blog, Improvements, and fun stuff!

Benztown Imaging Blog - Wed, 01/03/2018 - 01:17

Happy New Year 2018! 

Before we get started with the new year, we want to reach out to our viewers and readers – thats – YOU!
As you might know, we like to improve in every way. 2018 is no different, and the beginning of a new year is the perfect time to gather some feedback!

Today I want to know from you,

  • Which category do you like the most and want to see more from?
  • Would you like to know more about Benztown productions or get to know other people and their knowledge from all aspects considering imaging, music and sound.
  • Do you want more tutorials ?
  • Should this blog get more visuals such as videos / drawings / graphics ?
  • Do you have suggestions ? Leave them in the comments

Let me know!

Thanks,
Andy

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Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Top 10 Posts Of 2017 – New Years Eve Special!

Benztown Imaging Blog - Sun, 12/31/2017 - 07:00

2017 is almost gone! On the last day like we don’t want to leave you hanging, so to finish up the year, we put together our Top 10 Postings of 2017.

  #1 – Iron Imager VI: Readers Vote!

You voted for the Iron Imager of 2017. Brad Leask And Mike Anderson as the finalists with 2 amazing submissions. Listen to them again and who knows, maybe you’ll decide different this time

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Andy’s Fiver Friday #117 – Final Episode 2017, #cans4cans HUGE Success And The Megamix 2017

Benztown Imaging Blog - Fri, 12/22/2017 - 10:44

The final Fiver Friday of 2017 is here! 

All i have left to say is that i wish you all a wonderful time with your families, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Enjoy the time off and come back well rested in 2018.

See you soon,

Andy

1. Plugin

Native Instrument got this great christmas gift where you can get the PHASIS PlugIn for free. 

With its many controls it allows you to get a huge amount of sounds, from colouring your tone over classic 80s vibes to extrem phase modulation. We got Stereo Width, Mix, Rate, Feedback, Center Frequency, Spread, the Amount, a Mod Mix and the Number of Notches. And on top you are also able to run the whole toy in ULTRA-Mode.#

-> Read more

 

2. Inspiration

If you’re in need of some inspiration for last-minute christmas gifts – this list has some great tech-deals! 

 

 

3. Music

If our Megamix isn’t enough, here’s the top of 2017!

 

4. Web/Social/Whatever

Today is the last day of the #cans4cans Social campaign. It has been a HUGE success thanks to so many great people participating. 

To all of you i say:

 

 

5. Imaging

Our Megamix 2017 by Jan&Alex. Definitely a highlight at the end of the year and worth listening. Get’s stuck in your head big time

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

How To Fit 37 Songs In Under 4 Minutes – Benztown Megamix 2017

Benztown Imaging Blog - Thu, 12/21/2017 - 09:03

Like every year, we didn’t shy away from some extra work to finish off the 2017 Megamix before the holidays. Big thanks goes out to our producers Jan & Alex, who made the mix possible.

We want to give you some insight how to approach such a massive project. If you want to try something like this on your own, here’s a basic run down of the steps:

#1 – Choose The Songs

Well, it’s a Megamix. So you want the most successful and popular songs of the year in your session. A good list to refer to is the Billboard Year End Charts – Hot 100 Songs. 
There is no standard length for a Megamix, nor a specific amount of songs you have to use. We recommend using at least 10 songs. If you use more, no problem. But don’t worry about it to0 much and don’t settle for a specific amount on songs before you start, because you will have to adjust your production later on most likely. The only rule : The biggest hits needs to be in hit – period.

#2 – Find Acapella’s And Instrumental’s

Good quality is a is a key point here. If you don’t work with high quality elements (preferably originals), you will notice it later on. 
There will probably be a point, where you have to pitch or time stretch elements to make them fit in your production. PlugIns such as Pitch ‘n Time Pro, Little Alter Boy and Auto Melodyne are useful at it. However, this is where you lose quality! If you struggle finding good quality elements in the first place, Delay or Reverb can be used to cover it up.

#3 – Sort The Songs By Bpm And Key

Staying in rhythm on a long mix is essential. In order to do that, take 2-3 songs with similar Bpm (f.e. Bpm range from 90-100), similar keys and put them together. You can play these songs as a block before switching to a different bpm or tonality.

#4 – Find A Suitable Drumloop

This also helps keeping the rhythm. Depending on the length of your mix, we recommend using only about 2-3 different loops max. Also possible is an instrumental of a big song.

#5 – Start Mixing

This is the fun part. Let your creativity flow, don’t overuse PlugIns and stick to your presorted blocks of songs. Also, don’t be hesitant to try things out, maybe even switch out songs, just to see what different outcomes you cant get.
If you think you are finished, let someone else listen to it. You need another pair of ears to judge flow, transitions and rhythm.

#6 – Mastering

Every good production needs good mastering! We don’t want to get too much into detail here, but you should give it as much attention as the rest of your work. Mastering is the glue that brings everything together.

So there you go guys, we tried to break down the production of a Megamix in a few steps. If you follow these steps you should have a good foundation to just go at it and have fun.

 

 

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Free Plugin Monday – Greetings From Native Instruments!

Benztown Imaging Blog - Mon, 12/18/2017 - 09:49

Today I’d like to share a great pre xmas gifts from Native Instruments!!

The PHASIS Plugin is the Native way to wish you a Merry Christmas and like the name is teasing it already, you’ll get a FREE Phaser today! I think loosing some words about the company is not necessary here, so lets get straight to the plug in..

With its many controls it allows you to get a huge amount of sounds, from colouring your tone over classic 80s vibes to extrem phase modulation. We got Stereo Width, Mix, Rate, Feedback, Center Frequency, Spread, the Amount, a Mod Mix and the Number of Notches. And on top you are also able to run the whole toy in ULTRA-Mode.

In the following example I put the PHASIS over some Xmas Guitar shreds! First i fade in the Mix and then is start to play around with the Rate, the Stereo Width and the Feedback knobs. Here you’ll see already that you can get some crazy sounds without loosing any clarity or getting glitches!!

http://blog.benztown.com/imaging/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Xmas-Phasing-Guitar.wav

 

Now I run the PHASIS in ULTRA-Mode on another Xmas Guitar shred! Its getting extreem..

http://blog.benztown.com/imaging/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Xmas-Phasing-Guitar-Ultra.wav

I think you got an idea of the new creative space that is waiting for you! You even get a 25,- off when you enter NIHOLIDAYS2017 by checking out!

So no more questions, get your FREE gifts right HERE!!

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Fiver Friday #116 – FREE PlugIns, Cans4Cans Made The News And A Fresh Promo For Eminem’s New Album

Benztown Imaging Blog - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 07:26

That’s it guys, just one more week and one more Fiver Friday to go for this year,  before we officially take some time off. YEAHHHH!

For us, and probably many of you, it’s an important time to take things into consideration, set new goals, come up with new ideas and evaluate the year that just passed. Did we achieve our goals in 2017 ? What went right, what went wrong? Where are we heading in the next year ? 

But before we all do that and take this well deserved time off with friends and family, have a look at the second last Episode of the Fiver Friday of 2017!

 

1. Plugin

I want to remind you again of the Free PlugIn recommendations we gave you over the last two weeks, as you can still grab them for free!!

Have fun creating sounds from another world with the Native Instruments Reaktor 6 Library: The Space Drone! With this one, it’s all about wide and surrounding elements to create space-like beds. -> Go to original post

 

Klanghelm’s MJUCjr was featured in our blog earlier this week, along two other junior versions of Klanghelm’s best PlugIns, a saturation driver and another great compressor. The three-way switch of the MJUCjr makes it simple and easy to get great results. -> Go to original post

 

2. Inspiration

Want to achieve more ? Start ruthlessly prioritising. 

Sandberg says: “I think the most important thing we’ve learned as we’ve grown is that we have to prioritize. We talk about it as ruthless prioritization. And by that what we mean is only do the very best of the ideas”

-> Read the article

3. Music

Yup, it’s that time of the year where you can’t escape the christmas music…

4. Web/Social/Whatever

#Cans4Cans is such a great campaign, it made the NEWS again!!! Big shoutout to KTLA for spreading the word and participating. Also thanks again for everyone else that posted a picture

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Free Plugin Monday becomes Free PlugIn Wednesday – Warm Compression from Klanghelm

Benztown Imaging Blog - Wed, 12/13/2017 - 02:36
http://blog.benztown.com/imaging/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Drums-No-Compression.wav

 

First things first: I am sorry for the delay of this post. Under all the christmas pressure and some huge projects we have to finish before this year ends,  I had to turn  the #FreePluginMonday into a #FreePluginWednesday! But to make up with you guys I show you THREE great FREE Plugins today!! Wich are all easy to get HERE at Klanghelm!

Klanghelm is a small company based in Germany. Tony Frenzel is the guy behind Klanghelm, he is  a man with passion for everything what is related to music. He created some really affordable, warm sounding and highly flexible Plugins that you can get around 20 bucks. 

He also offers three junior versions of the three best Plugins in his portfolio for FREE! Today I want to show you the MJUCjr, the junior version of the Klanghelm MJUC. A really handy compressor with some nice 60s vintage character.

Tony Frenzel is not about to emulate existing analog gear, but creates what sounds good to his ears, something that “stands on its own feet sound-wise”

The Klanghelm MJUCjr is a tuby, very soft and gentle reacting compressor, which can also pump really hard when you crank up the Compression Knob a little bit. And next to the Make-Up Gain there is just a three way switch with FAST, for fast attack and release, SLOW, for slow attack and release and AUTO, for fast attack and automatic release. So it can easy lead you to good results. 

Following i put the compressor on some drum track. For that i used the FAST mode. In the first track you will hear eight bars of the dry drum sound. On the second track i put some gentle compression on it and on the third track i compressed the drums quite hard.

http://blog.benztown.com/imaging/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Drums-No-Compression.wav http://blog.benztown.com/imaging/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Drums-Gentle-Compression.wav http://blog.benztown.com/imaging/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Drums-More-Compression.wav

Also go ahead and check out the other two Klanghelm Juniors, a saturation driver and another great compressor. All 3 for FREE!

 

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Andy’s Fiver Friday #115 – Izoptope’s Trash2, 400 Million Monthly Views And An Xmas Jingle Package

Benztown Imaging Blog - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 07:57

Merry Christmas guys! 

I just want to use this special time of the year to say thank you. Thanks for your support, for your love for our craft, for your dedication. Writing this blog with more than x posts was not always easy, but it feels so good after doing this for so many years now, because I still get messages from people saying thanks and that we are inspiration for them. This makes it totally worth doing!

Sure it can be stressful sometimes, between all the deadlines, business appointments, productions to finish, but I love it and I LOVE YOU.

Merry Christmas and have a great time with your friends and family!

Andy and all your friends at Benztown!

 

1. Plugin

Today’s PlugIn tip is coming from our Producer Alex. Among other formats he is producing for our Rock Library, where the Trash 2 Distortion PlugIn comes in place. Although, it’s not an every day tool to use and even if you do, be gentle with it. 

  2. Inspiration

Now that’s a clever idea! Followed through with the right decision and a sense for the audience.

Bleacher Report’s House of Highlights gets 400 million monthly views — and famous fans — on Instagram

  3. Music

Keep on rockin’!

  4. Web/Social/Whatever

It’s been only a couple days and the #Cans4Cans Social Campaign is already a success thanks to YOU guys. People are dilligently posting pictures to make sure we are helping a ton this year! Thanks a lot guys and keep on posting since the Campaign will go through Dec. 22nd.

  5. Imaging

Listen to our latest Xmas Jingle Package for HitWest.

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Catching Up With Gavan Bruderer – Reasons For Switching His DAW, How To Stay Creative And The Importance Of Work-Life Balance

Benztown Imaging Blog - Wed, 12/06/2017 - 06:50

 

Gavan, long time no talk, what happened since we spoke last? I bet a ton

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

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