FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)
Q: WHAT ARE YOUR RATES?
A: There's no easy way to answer without knowing a good bit more about the project you have in mind.
For voice imaging for radio stations, factors like market size and the amount of material you'll want voiced each month will enter into the calculations to determine the cost.
For one-off projects, rates are negotiable.
My rates are competitive, and I always do my best to work within your budget. Bottom line: I'd rather get the work than walk away. For an accurate quote, get in touch.
Q: WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY "VIRTUALLY UNLIMITED ACCESS?"
A: I tend to work one of two ways with stations. Some stations with minimal needs prefer a page rate for one or two pages a month. But stations constantly freshening their imaging prefer to work it so they don't have to count pages. So we first identify how many pages each month you'll need and set the monthly ceiling of pages so high in our agreement that neither you or I have to keep count of pages, making it, for all practical purposes, "virtually unlimited access."
Q: HOW FAST ARE YOUR TURNAROUND TIMES?
A: Officially, one business day to turn a short voice job around. But in everyday practice, the fact is, my turnaround times are about as fast as you'll find anywhere in the industry. Typically a one or two page voice job will get turned within a few hours, maybe two or three hours. And if you happen to catch me at just the right moment, you might be surprised to get it back as quickly as a few minutes. It happens. I wish I had a dollar for every time a client has said after their tracks were done, "Man, that was fast!"
Q: I'm really finicky. Can I direct you?
A: Sure. I actually encourage clients to sit in and direct me on the first session or two so we can both make sure I'm providing the type of read you're looking for. I'm very open to direction, and I like to think that I'm pretty versatile in my ability to adapt and deliver different styles. But I also recognize that most radio people are wearing a lot of hats and don't usually have time to stop down their day and direct some insecure voice guy. So if you want to direct me, feel free. But know that I'm quite used to working on my own. If I deliver voice tracks that need recutting, I'll be happy to recut them. No problem.
Q: What if you suck and I hate working with you? Am I stuck through the term of our deal?
A: Well, I'm pretty sure I don't suck, and I'm really easy to get along with. So you won't be dealing with some tempermental, whiney voice guy. That's just not me. I was a program director for 25 years, so I know the drill you're going through, and how you don't have time for nonsense. But if you just get buyer's remorse and want to change horses, all my contracts are written so clients can get out at any time for any reason with 60 days written notice. To date, nobody's ever bailed because they regretted signing me.
Q: What kind of gear and processing do you use?
A: Only radio people ever ask this question. The mic I typically use (I have more than one) is a Sennheiser MKH416 (the Hollywood mic) running through an Avalon VT737sp tube pre-amp. I record into Twisted Wave or Pro Tools on a Mac and apply only a very slight bit of processing. (I find that most producers would rather be able to control the processing in post-production; I know I always do when I'm the one doing the producing.) But my usual chain includes a little bit of EQ, a very light layer of compression, some de-essing and a mastering layer where I apply what I call my "secret sauce." I could tell you what it is, but I'd have to kill you. ;-)
Q: How is the work delivered?
Q: Your voice tracks can be saved in pretty much any file format of your choosing. Most clients prefer .wav files at 44.1K, 16 bit, mono. But that's entirely up to you. Your audio files may be posted to a password-protected web page where you can securely download them on demand at your convenience. In some cases, you may be sent a link through email enabling you to simply click the link and download the audio files directly to your computer right then and there. No muss, no fuss.
Q: Do you do radio imaging production, too?
A: Not usually. In my career, I've produced about a gazillion radio commercials and promos, as well as hundreds of long- and short-form radio programs. Quite a few of the spots, promos and programs I've had a hand in producing have been honored with some pretty prestigious awards along the way. I enjoy doing production. But honestly, nowadays, I try to stay busy enough doing voice work that production jobs are just too time-consuming and would roadblock me from doing my voiceover work.
Q: I want to get into doing voiceover work. Any advice?
A: Yeah, be realistic. Just because Aunt Milly thinks you have a great voice doesn't mean you're cut out for being a voice actor. Having a good voice has nothing to do with it. Being able to deliver a message with conviction is the key. Radio people usually have to unlearn what they think they know before enjoying success doing voice work because they've been taught to hype everything they say. Voice acting is storytelling and you have to be able to get into character. Or in other words, be the guy who would say that.
"Patrick Stewart who? James Earl Jones who? You sound fantastic on this film."
Don Barrett - Academy Award-winning filmmaker and Producer/Director, Bowling Wars
"Things sound terrific, Randy. We sound fabulous with you on our station imaging."
Steve Kassay - CKDO/Durham
"I am always looking for new opportunities to plug you in to one of our radio stations."
John Butler - National Program Director, News/Business Talk - Salem Communications
"The stuff you've voiced for us just sounds great on the air. Thanks, man!"
Mike Kennedy - Program Director, KHLR-FM/Little Rock
"We are so glad to have you back on our radio stations."
Ray Rintimaki - General Manager/Wind River Radio Network
"You've surprised me more than once with your quick turnaround times."
Marcus Brown - WIND/Chicago
"You're just the best -- easy to work with, versatile sound, and very responsive. Usually your first take is just what I need."
Todd Chambless - former National Imaging Director, Salem Communications
"You make us sound big-market."
John Gabrielsen - KTAK-KVOW/Riverton, WY
"I wouldn't hesitate to use you again at my next radio station."
Dave Russell - former Operations Manager, WLEV-FM/Allentown
"We are very fortunate to have you as a resource."
Michael Serio - former Operations Manager, Salem-Tampa/Sarasota
"I know I can count on you every time to deliver exactly the read I'm looking for."
Lori Conrad - President, Seascape Imaging