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Updated: 4 hours 9 min ago

What’s Been Goin’ On with Joe Cipriano?

Mon, 10/22/2018 - 11:28

It’s always a pleasure to hear from our friend and voiceover legend, Joe Cipriano. Joe has been a part of the Benztown Brigade as a voiceover artist for years and had an extensive career as a voiceover artist for both television and radio imaging. A lot has been going on with him since the last time we invited him onto the Benztown blog so we’re excited to share all the new dish!

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

It’s been a great year, Susan…thanks for asking. Besides continuing to work on TV shows like America’s Got Talent and Hollywood Game Night, I’ve started working as the promo voice for a couple of new cable networks as well.  Of course, radio imaging is something I love to do. Radio is where I came from and where I was discovered originally by the Fox Network just a few months after they hit on the air.  I was their comedy promo voice for 20 years and also the comedy voice for CBS 15 years. Radio holds a special place for me and I’m honored to work with great stations like Classic Hits, K-Earth 101 in Los Angeles.  In everything I do, radio imaging the most fun and continues to be the most creative.

Joe Cipriano VO – Video Promo Demo Vers 2 from Joe Cipriano on Vimeo.

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

Voice Over is an ever changing business and in the past 10 years there have been huge disruptors in the industry, like the pay to play casting websites that have changed the way voice over jobs are found and won.  It’s always my goal to remain relevant. It takes constant attention to what’s going on today and have a clear understanding of the business. It’s why I went with Benztown from the beginning of the operation, because the business model was innovative and I knew it was about to change the radio imaging business. So staying relevant and always looking for new opportunites are my professional goals.

Take a listen to a few of Joe’s Demos:

3. Any new gear or upgrades?

Something else that has changed dramatically in 10 years.  When I built my Clubhouse studio 10 years ago it was an absolute must to have a great pre-amp such as my Avalon M5, imperative to have had ISDN capability and so much more.  Today, my studios are drastically different. I have a studio in our apartment in New York and one here in Los Angeles that are built around newer technology, such as the UA Apolo Twin Solo which replaces not only my Avalon pre-amp but every single piece of outboard gear I could ever have in a rack.  Some things stay the same…I still rely on my Sennheiser 416 and my Neumann U87 for different uses, but the way I record now is almost exactly that same in both my studios and my “on-the-road” rig. Same equipment.

4. How has new technology changed the way you work?

Just about everything I’ve mentioned up to now underscores how technology has changed the way I work.  Gear like the UA Apollo Twin Solo as my interface in my studios and road gear has been a great advance. And now the utilization of the CEntrance Mixer Face to record at an extremely high level of quality into my iPhone, when needed, has given me even more flexibility.  I’ve always tried to be at the cutting edge of remote recording technology and it’s always exciting to find new ways to be able to work while on the road without disrupting the reason I’m on the road in the first place. The latest addition to my road gear is the Skyroam mobile wifi interface.  I took Skyroam with me to France and Italy this summer and I was able to connect at VERY high speeds on cellular networks wherever I was for an all-inclusive $99 fee for 30 days. The wifi connection was fast enough to connect to buyers via Source Connect and I was able to do virtual ISDN sessions on Skyroam via ipDTL all from my laptop.  Technology rocks! ☺

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

It ain’t about the microphone. It ain’t about the equipment. Those are tools.  They are the shovels you use for digging, the scissors you use for cutting. It IS all about education.  Workshops, coaching, seminars…layering a foundation where upon you can build your voice over career. So don’t fall into the trap where you think a certain microphone will make you a successful voice over artist.  It’s the work you put into your career before speaking into a microphone that counts. Don LaFontaine could interpret a piece of copy and turn it into something remarkable to listen to and then speak it into a two dixie cups connected by a string.  And it would still be magical.

Connect with Joe on Social Media

Twitter:  @joecip

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

Website:  www.joecipriano.com

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/joecipvo

 

Categories: VOIMAGEBLOG

Behind the Mic: Tre Mosley

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

Behind the Mic: Adam Kecskemeti

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

Behind the Mic: Chris Rollins

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