R.A.P.: We keep a continuous eye on the use of the famous "stutter" effect. Do you use sampling this way?
Mitch: Yeah, I'll do that quite a bit. A lot of mine is done by using the SPX-90 and the Ultra-Harmonizer. Sometimes I get some effects out of these units that you don't get on a keyboard.

R.A.P.: Do a lot of your clients still ask for the stutter effect?
Mitch: Yes, there's still a good bit of it, and there are some stations getting away from it. Every once in a while, you'll run up against a guy who will say, "Man, do not use that stutter effect. That's the most horrendous sound I've ever heard, and I don't want to hear it on my radio station." I think the stutter effect is all a matter of how you use it. On certain things, I still think it sounds really good.

R.A.P.: You don't use the stutter effect as your signature in any way, do you?
Mitch: No. My signature is, "I'll try to do what you want," whether it's stutter or non-stutter. If they say, "You're not going to give me that stutter effect, are you?" I'll say, "No... I'm not going to do that. I'll read the line backwards if you want. Whatever you want, I'll try to give it to you."

R.A.P.: Are you working several different formats with the voice work?
Mitch: Yes. I guess the main focus has been CHR, but I do some country and some A/C gold. As a matter of fact, I'm mailing one package off to Tokyo for a station called FM Yokohama. It's all English, but I don't know what the format is there. What was interesting about this deal was the call I received from this fellow in Japan. I have an answering machine that I leave on 24 hours a day, and I'll come in sometimes and have a call from Italy, or Germany, or Australia. You never know what you're going to hear, and I don't know how these people know about me. I guess it's from listening to the States or word of mouth. So anyway, when the guy called me from Tokyo, he said, "I want you to do a sweepah, and I want you to do it like this..." and he played some sweepers that I had done for KMEL, and some that I had on Pirate Radio and on Z100. I thought, "Boy, this is weird. I'm listening to a call from Tokyo and hearing sweepers that I did in the States!" So, we made the transaction, and they're going out today.

R.A.P.: There seems to be a growing trend with the country stations to use more "CHR sounding" sweeper guys. Have you noticed this trend?
Mitch: Yes. The ones that I've dealt with are like that. They're very much the CHR presentation. I mean, they don't want to get it too "lazery" or with too much "attitude" that it gets cocky sounding, but they do like that CHR approach and it sounds good.

Radio production overall, not just on country stations, is getting slicker. Plus, radio stations are now putting the bucks into hiring outside people, like myself, to produce for their stations, whereas years ago, they didn't do that very much. Now, they're allocating budgets for this kind of thing, and you're hearing a lot better production on radio stations across the country.

R.A.P.: What kind of facility are you working out of?
Mitch: I have a three room suite in an office building. One room is devoted to office space, one room is the main production studio, and the other is like a dubbing studio and storage area. The main studio is 8-track. I have a Tascam ATR-60, which is their new, big 8-track. Plus, I have an Otari 8-track. I have three Otari MX5050-III 2-tracks, DBX, the H3000 Ultra-Harmonizer, an Aural Exciter, a Gain Brain, SPX-90's, reverb, and a few other goodies.

R.A.P.: Is that H3000 your favorite toy?
Mitch: I like it a lot. I use that little SPX90, too. For the dollar, you can't beat that thing with a stick. It's really clean and it is inexpensive. The H3000 is some $3000, so it's a little more expensive, but it has some pretty neat effects in it, too. I'll combine the two every once in a while and run one through the other. You can really come up with some crazy sounding stuff that way.

R.A.P.: Other than your obvious vocal talent, what else would you contribute your success in the voice business to?
Mitch: What has always been my ace in the hole is being able to actually produce. When I was working for a radio station, being able to produce always seemed to be my job security. Now, all of those things -- the production, the experience I've had with syndication -- are sort of meshing together and working for me now.

R.A.P.: Do you have any tips for folks wanting to get into the voice business?
Mitch: Well, I don't know if there are any tips, really. There aren't any secrets. Everybody knows the same things that I know. If you want to get in it, you just bow up and get after it. I think it's all in your presentation and what you put forth to your clients -- what they hear, what they see, and how you talk to them. I think the key to how successful you are in the end is how you treat 'em once you get 'em. I would always badmouth car salesmen because they would sell you a car, then you would never see them again. When I went into business, I always said that I would never do that. That's what I try to live by, and it has worked well.

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Audio

  • The R.A.P. CD - December 2001

    Promos, commercials and imaging from Dan Motut, Z95.3, Vancouver, BC; Anthony Timmers, Radio 538, The Netherlands; Rich VanSlyke, Rich VanSlyke...