Welcome to the September 2008 RAP CD, brought to you in part by Guy Harris/VoiceOverGuy.co.uk. Check out Guy's demo on track one!
Next up is a sampler from this month's interview subject, Jim Kipping. The sampler features some of Jim's voice work at the front, and the rest is commercial work from Jim and his crew at Emmis Austin. The rest of this month's CD is filled with the submissions we had to our "Produce Dave Foxx!" experiment, beginning with track 3 from Anthony McNutt who came up with the suggestion (thanks, Anthony!). Track 26 has 2 promos on it, one for each format at this particular facility. This may well be the most internationally represented RAP CD ever, with submissions from Greece, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, North Ireland, South Africa, the Netherlands, and Kuwait!
We were going to publish (in the print version of RAP) comments from the producers about their approach to the promo, but space would not allow, so we have posted all comments below. Comments (if any were submitted) are included next to each track listing. Next month, Dave Foxx will give us his take on this project, and we'll hear Dave's version of the promo, as he heard it in his head in the very beginning. We also invite your comments and analysis of what you hear on this month's CD. What message do you take away from this experiment? Whose promo did you find most effective and why? Please email your comments to jv[at]rapmag.com by September 11 to make the October deadline.
1. [ADV} Guy Harris – +44 7973-350-178 www.voiceoverguy.co.uk, guy[at]voiceoverguy.co.uk or SKYPE voiceoverguyuk
2. Jim Kipping Sampler – JimKipping.com, Emmis Broadcasting, Austin, Texas, jim[at]jimkipping.com
3. Produce Dave Foxx! – Anthony McNutt, Atlantic Media, Kentville, Nova Scotia, Canada, amcnutt[at]ns.sympatico.ca
4. Produce Dave Foxx! – Al B. Love, Sheridan Broadcasting, Atlanta, Georgia, alblove2u[at]aol.com -- As far as how I approcahed the promo, I never plan an approach to any production I do. I just kinda let creativity take its course.
5. Produce Dave Foxx! – Brian Haymond, BrianHaymond[at]voiceoverforyou.com -- My bread & butter is voiceover, but my great LOVE is audio production. Here is my take on the promo. I am VERY interested in hearing thoughts from professionals, as I'm a self-taught audio production novice of sorts. My thoughts on the exercise: This was a blast of an assignment. My mind immediately went to trying to establish a beach/vacation visual in the listeners mind, then accentuate the "filling the tank" with an echo which screams of an empty tank and the huge cost to fill it. Then, I wanted to get them excited about the Z100 dollar bills, thus the driving music...then the winner drives off thrilled!
6. Produce Dave Foxx! – Brian McClure, Iowa. brianmcclure[at]hotmail.com -- My first thought - as Dave was reciting prices - was that the tank fill up was 'priceless.' But I left it blank.
7. Produce Dave Foxx! – Carl Hitchmough, SeaFM/GoldFM, Gold Coast, Australia, Carl.Hitchmough[at]macsc.com.au
8. Produce Dave Foxx! – Chad Mandichak, Dial Global, Seattle, Washington, chad.mandichak[at]gmail.com -- When putting a promo together like this I start out by thinking what sounds people would associate with surfing and a gas station, creating theater of the mind, so then I began my search for the perfect sound effects and music. Once I found everything I needed I put myself into the listeners shoes. With gas being so costly I want to scream everytime I fill up, hence the scream, instead of "priceless" like MasterCard commercials! After the MasterCard Ad opening I want the promo to be upbeat and keep the listeners attention. So a fun, fast paced bed for the "meat" of the promo. There are two "dings" like if you were pulling into a gas station, where Dave mentions winning two "Z100 Dollar Bills," these I carefully placed right on the beat so it doesn't sound like they were sloppy and just thrown in carelessly, gotta keep the flow! Finally, the bed I used continued way beyond what I needed and the end of the bed had an odd echo fade out that I HATED. Sometimes I take the end of the bed, the last 4 beats, splice and match up those 4 beats, and wha-la, the end is where I need it. But like I said in this instance I didn't like the way the bed ended. So, I put one final "gas station ding" right on the last beat I wanted and quickly faded the bed out. Take a listen, hope you don't want to rip it apart too much!
9. Produce Dave Foxx! – Cooper Fox, Mt. Washington Radio, Conway, New Hampshire, fox893[at]yahoo.com
10. Produce Dave Foxx! – Daniel Shandroski, 106.1/99.7 The Goat, Lloydminster, Alberta, Canada, dan[at]borderrock.com -- This was fun. You should do it every couple of months. I played more with panning then actual effects. As far as EQ on the voice goes I used a generic one that Dave designed for our old producer. Hope you like it.
11. Produce Dave Foxx! – Don Elliot, www.SpotsNow.com, Hollywood, California, donelliot[at]gmail.com -- I JUST might try this - the first thing I did to it was to get rid of his prolonged last syllables and disconnected consonants so every LAST word of a phrase didn't sound like a "sooooonNNNNg-gah". It really "crisped up" the performance. Next, I put it thru an expander to reverse the effects of the so-called dry track that I found to be rather irritating because it wasn't dry - it was compressed up the ying yang. There was, therefore, no start-point. It was like taking on a half-done project without any control, so I re-built as much as I could from square one. I couldn't figure out why anybody wanted to process a dry track. This is for demo purposes, not air, right? Is the final going to be aired? Maybe it's Dave pre-templating his air chain that they have to fight in order to make the promos "print" right on the air? That would explain it. And in his surroundings, it takes a LOT of steps off of repetitive daily v/o chores. So much for why-it-came-the-way-it-did. So, then I re-eq-ed the track to sound like a mic instead of a cell phone, except for the parts that oughtta have a filter effect anyway. I am digging for effects now and will see how this goes... jammed with sessions today but when you laid this idea out, it sure did stimulate the braincells without really trying - it just was a mindsticker that wouldn't go away, so I AM UP FOR THE CHALLENGE, I THINK! To add a little bite to the challenge, I am going to do this entirely on a laptop, and on solar power! It'll be my GREEN promo contribution! Hope that isn't taking too many liberties, but there didn't seem to be ANY rules attached except the Friday deadline.... Monday EVE: Thought the backstory added some continuity and would make it different from other entries. It BEGGED for the PRICELESS line, so I took the bait. ANd what says surfer dudes better than a VAlley Girl transplant with some overly-calssical surf music? THen I thougt, hey, it ALWAYS sounded to me like Jan and Dean were singing, "gotta take that wild-assed riiiiide" instead of wild last... so I figured if I "re-educated" the audience's ear by suggesting it in the copy, that when the SING happened, it would pay it off and in their mind's ear, it would sing ASSED. Worked. Why? I dunno... just wanted to make it fun, thassall! (And I'm sorry, but another song still sounds like they were singing "like a douch in the night". You'd have to admit your age to really remember that one or be a real oldies freak. Well, I DID make the mistake of playing the promo rough early to a few cronies who also got inspired and then made their versions.. surprisingly, a lot of us thought the same way.... one brain, huh? So don't think any of the stuff was copied. It's just a different way of looking at the same chore... and that's what makes creativity fun. I mean, most video shoots use at least 3 cameras to look at the same thing, right? The analogy works well here, too!
12. Produce Dave Foxx! – Drake Donovan, Drake Donovan Productions, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, drake[at]drakedonovan.com
13. Produce Dave Foxx! – Grant Brodie, Radioworks, Auckland, New Zealand gbrodie[at]radioworks.co.nz -- I decided to make this trailer on a whim on Saturday morning as I was reading RAP mag with breakfast, I thought I'd give it a crack and came into work for a couple of hours. I hadn't listened to the VO until this morning and when I first heard it I thought it would be a cool one to use SFX with. Also the track "Pump it" by Black Eye Peas stood out to me (I'm pretty sure there will be others using this). First of all I decided to illustrate the VO with SFX, much like the Master Card commercials do, nothing too distracting, and coming up with an audio logo with a cash register door closing and the sound of cash going into the register. I also dispersed a few other effects to illustrate what was being said. So then I decided a healthy marriage between music and SFX would be the go, for a bed under the guts of the VO, so I figured out the BPM and grabbed a loop and put a few effects in time with the beat just to add some colour and personalize the track to the promo. Nothing beats making your own effects and my keys are jangling in there too. The BEPs track worked well with the "Turn up the radio, etc" line, so I made this a feature at the end. Thanks for listening.
14. Produce Dave Foxx! – Ian Fish, 100.7 Heart FM, West Midlands, United Kingdom, ian.fish[at]heartfm.co.uk -- Attached is the MP3 of my meagre attempt at producing Dave Foxx. My approach was to try and produce Dave's VO in the style of my own station.. soft AC. OK, the delivery was a little more up tempo than we'd normally use (and obviously American!), but the sound, music etc is all very much in the style of Heart's AC sound. I've also had to fit it in with my existing workload, so it got the same amount of time that I'd spend on my own promos.. although this was odd, as I hadn't written the script, so didn't have a "picture" or sound in my mind that i was aiming for. At one point I was very tempted to leave the voice completely dry. In this age of slick, smooth wall to wall sound I thought it would be a novel angle to have a dry promo.. give the VO room to breathe for a change... sadly it didn't really work as Dave had obviously voiced this to have punctuation around the delivery... I did consider phoning him up and asking for a re-take for a soft AC dry promo - but I thought that was going a bit far ! So I settled on this version... simple.. not too cluttered... easy for our 30+ target audience to listen to... I just hope it's not too simple when it's next to other examples on the RAP CD
15. Produce Dave Foxx! – Roy Hall, www.royhall.com, Londonderry, North Ireland, info[at]royhall.com -- Ok, had a spare 45 minutes so I thought I would give producing Dave Foxx a go. I started the project not really knowing what I was going to do with it so I broke it down to the project needs The Project needs for me was Good strong beds, Razor sharp fx, Something to break up the prices of the stuff at the start so I ended up using shopping channel audio. But if I use clips from shopping channels for the prices, what do I put after the line "filling the tank to get to the beach". After spending 5 or six minutes searching through my drops with nothing jumping out at me, I got the idea to do just that, use nothing; well nothing but some noise to highlight there's nothing there. Then a dry of Dave saying "Don't let high gas prices keep you from going anywhere "then its straight into Chris Brown- Forever singing "We can go anywhere, Go anywhere" This adds credence to the promos as a top 30 song references part of the promo. So then I mix out of that line in to an instrumental part of the song and mix a drum rhythm over that and lay Dave's voice over that. Finished it by mastering it on waves.
16. Produce Dave Foxx! – John Pallarino, Entercom, Greenville, South Carolina, JPallarino[at]entercom.com -- Great idea, great project! After listening to the VO my first thoughts were that it was a pretty straight forward promo that needed some fattening up. The easy route would have been to use clichés which would have turned out a flat and uninteresting promo. I decided to add some copy for a female voice which would add some life to the promo. I called in a favor to my friend Stacie Bartro who in my opinion is one of the best upcoming female imaging talents in the business. She agreed to do some reads for me as long as I give her a plug in this write-up; so here goes: http://www.myspace.com/staciebartrovoice, staciebartrovoice[at]gmail.com. Stacie nailed the read and added some great outtakes that made the promo really come to life. I also snagged a read from Dave Foxx saying 'Z100' and bam, a couple of cool workparts and effects on the voice and the promo was done. This project is very similar to what we all work on everyday...the PD gives you a script, the VO guy reads it and then it is our job to make it come to life. I think this should be an ongoing feature to RAP, it really gives all of us a another creative outlet to show off our talents and learn from others.
17. Produce Dave Foxx! – Lindsay Johnson, 94.7 Highveld Stereo, Johannesburg, South Africa, LindsayJ[at]primedia.co.za
18. Produce Dave Foxx! – Maurice Verschuuren, Fastlane Audio, Berkl-Enschot, The Netherlands, maurice[at]mauriceverschuuren.com -- I have worked as a creative services director for Dutch stations like: Yorin FM, RTL, CAZ!, SLAM!FM, Decibel and many more. Now owning my own production company. Here's my promo for next month's 'produce Dave Foxx!' It was really awesome to work with his voice. Here's what I did and why I did it: I start the promo with an easy vibe to catch the attention and create a suggestion in the listener's mind. - Where the part of 'filling the tank' comes in, I break the atmosphere and create a moment of silence because this really tells what the promo is all about. - After that the promo kicks in with a uptempo and powerful beat. This has to be the most positive moment in the promo because you're telling the listener what they can have! - I swop the music just before 'it's a free gas weekend' to give that some attention too. Also, I added some sounds of a beach, screamin' girls and a car to really get that sunny feeling. I'd love to hear all the results. This was really fun:-)
19. Produce Dave Foxx! – Mike Santos, KALC-FM, Denver, Colorado, MSantos[at]entercom.com -- i went into this promo with the idea of two guys getting ready for the beach, but the driver has been scraping fumes because gas has been so expensive. so the music is light and happy, but when it was finally time for them to go, the car starts, but then (along with the music) dies out. for the main part of the promo, i wanted to keep it as clean as possible. i felt that if i had splattered the body of the promo, the selling point would have been lost in all the noise. so instead, i did a little VO doubling to keep the promo interesting by changing what the listener hears. i think this is a great idea, a lot like iron chef for imaging. can't wait to see what everyone else puts out.
20. Produce Dave Foxx! – Mike Wade, miketwade[at]hotmail.com
21. Produce Dave Foxx! – Nicos Vouris, Primedia Broadcasting, Cape Town, South Africa, Nicos[at]primedia.co.za -- A bit off background, if you like!!! I reside in Cape Town, South Africa and work for Primedia Broadcasting, Cape Town, as Senior Imaging Producer. (94.5 KFM & 567 CapeTalk) I have been with the company for nearly 5 years. Besides the radio imaging, I am actually a music producer/composer, and have had several Pop/Dance hits across Europe, Australia and South Africa. I am 31 yrs old. Keep on Keepin on...Loving the RAP Mag..Very informative!
22. Produce Dave Foxx! – Steve Babson, Regional Radio Group, Glen Falls, New York, prod[at]regionalradiogroup.com -- My first thought was to put the sound of an atm spitting out money after the price quotes he says, followed by the thing going hayware after he mentions the cost of filling the tank. I don't have any good, distinctive atm effects on hand, and while I was thinking about going with the sound of change dropping I thought the whole money sound thing was too predictable and I wanted to do something different, so I made up a character talking about the various cost points. Nothing major, just a couple of lines and then the rest mixed with some tv and movie sound bites. I messed with the vocals in a couple of spots but I don't get access to a voice like that often...like never...so I thought it was quite distinctive without putting a ton of effects on them. I also changed the order somewhat of the vocals, and I've never heard of anyone buying a pint of sunblock so I cut the pint part out. Then when most of the elements were in place, I found music that fit, messed with the first track, and edited the second to fit in the time I needed, which in the spirit of making it work on my station, I had to get it to 60. Overall I'm just hoping that what I've submitted is unique. I've been on the job for about eight months and this was a great exercise for me! Thank you!
23. Produce Dave Foxx! – Barry Funkhouser, Riviera Broadcast Group, Las Vegas, Nevada, funkfm[at]gmail.com
24. Produce Dave Foxx! – Rick Harrington, CHAT-FM/My96, Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, rharrington[at]jpbg.com -- I liked the challenge with this particular promo, because I was going cold with it. Knowing nothing of the ideas behind the promo or where the station is going with it, I still treated it like I was coming back from vacation and was handed this assignment from the promotions department as if it were to start "yesterday". I wanted to use the KISS formula... Keep It Simple Stupid, and still get the point across using theatre of the mind. The best part about this exercise, is being able to hear other producers' take on the project, and maybe be able to learn a new trick or two. That's what I love about this business... you never stop learning!
25. Produce Dave Foxx! – Ryan Kloberdanz, Salem Communications, Denver, Colorado, ryan[at]salemdenver.com -- My approach: First, I listened to the content of Dave's VO. Then I decided what angle I wanted to take this promo. I decided a straight ahead contest promo was going to be a) the most fun and b) the most inviting to the audience. Next, I headed to the drops folder to find drops that would go with the type of promo I was going to produce. I pulled about 30 of them into my session and got cranking. I am a big advocate of keeping the audience ear guessing, so I chose 3 different music beds to use as a mix in the promo. After that, I chose the best statements that could be emphasized in Dave's VO and found some plug ins that I liked. As for Dave's VO, I really didn't do much to it. I put a compressor, some reverb and a limiter on the master track of the session. I pretty much put all those on every session. I believe it makes the promo pop and sound fuller. So that's it. Hope you like it!
26. Produce Dave Foxx! (2 cuts) – Sakis Korovessis, Star FM, Heart FM & Ellinikos FM, Thessalonika, Greece, sakiskoro[at]netscape.net
27. Produce Dave Foxx! – Scott Fisher, Riviera Broadcast Group, Las Vegas, Nevada, scott[at]rbgvegas.com
28. Produce Dave Foxx! – Shayne Sinclair, HOTFM, Townsville, QLD, Australia, Shayne.Sinclair[at]macsc.com.au
29. Produce Dave Foxx! – Jeremy Snell, Clear Channel, Nashville, Tennessee, JeremySnell[at]clearchannel.com
30. Produce Dave Foxx! – Scott Papek, ProdGods.com, San Diego, California, spapek[at]prodgods.com
31. Produce Dave Foxx! – Talal Malik, Marina FM, Kuwait, talal.malik[at]marinafm.com
32. Produce Dave Foxx! – Terrence Adendorff, 94.5 KFM, Cape Town, South Africa, Terrence[at]primedia.co.za -- Approach to the promo In typical Image Producer fashion, I waited until the deadline for submissions before thinking about a concept. Had to prioritize my work before I got to play. The immediate and obvious association to the beginning of the promo would be to that of the master-card ads. I used the real life/staged FX of board-shorts, lotion and Gas Pump, then a guy losing it as he hears that yet again, gas prices are up. Something that everyone can relate to I'm sure. For the second part of the promo, the biggest challenge was breaking the mindset of doing a promo for the Station I work for, to that of a more Z100 approach. Listened to a Z100 stream for a 30min or so and got to it. Initially I was looking to create a jingle very similar to that of the Rolling Stones so Jumping Jack Flash, and play on the Gas, Gas Gas, with the promo. Didn't quite work, so took a more 'urban energy' approach to the later part of the promo. I managed to spend about an hour and a bit on producing this, while running in and out of meetings. Not much work on Dave's Voice, as it is, mastered 'hot', just a slight more Rverb, and high-pass on various parts of the voice. Sound Design bits mainly from TrynityHD/FX and Killer Hertz V. All in all a worthwhile exercise, and looking forward to hearing Dave's take on it.
33. Produce Dave Foxx! – Troy Jones, Gap Broadcasting, Shreveport, Louisiana, TroyJones[at]gapbroadcasting.com -- My DAWS: Adobe Audition V.2.0 Build 5306.2 Prod Library: Chase Cuts, Sound Ideas The General 6000, Killer Tracks (Edge, Match, NJJ, Atmosphere), Koka Media What I did: I first took his VO dry, then ran dynamics processing, ran a noise reduction profile to get out some of the hiss behind the VO, then hard limited to -9.97db to set the playing field level so to speak. The -9.97db is close the level NEXGEN uses when we drop it in for on-air use. That way I know about where the bed/sfx/etc. need to fall. I then ran a parametric equalizer, using a generic high pass filter to make his VO pop over the music beds and sfx (a trick I learned from Dave Foxx's Anatomy of a Station Promo CDs). Then I threw in the stab "HEY!" to start things off on a high energy note. With the VO up to par, I listened in to the rhythm of his read. I could hear the punctuation screaming at me when he said the prices. I found a bed that had the gas "ding" in it already from Chase Cuts and lined it up for punch. When he reads the prices, I "stuttered" the first one just for fun, then panned it to 70% left channel, then the other price to 70% right channel. I found if you do 100%, people listening online or in mono don't get the benefit of using panning. Then I ran an FFT filter on both for that stop down kinda sound without having to stop my bed. Then I cut the bed with the engine cranking sfx followed by the scream which I think zeroed in on the feel of the sting at the pump. Followed that up with a generic drone, and added an aural flange to the VO. Had the "time to get away" dry already from another flyaway promotion and put the same processing on it to match Dave's. Then I used the Doppler shifter to throw the VO left then right to highlight the prize. Had the girls VO from our summer promos on our CHR and wanted to make it almost conversational and sound FUN! Panned her voice to 50% left then 50% right with the rhythm of the music for effect. Then I followed it with the car door sfx on the downbeat (which I think sounds like a trunk given the mindset) threw the stab at the end with Dave ending with the sponsor instead of where he read it. I don't like putting the sponsor in until the very end, almost as an afterthought. And I got that idea after reading the article about PROMERCIALS in an edition of Radio and Production. Timed everything out so that it ends at 29.956 on the IOC with a trail out for transitions sake to make it easy for my PD to throw on.