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Topic: A fun radio advertisement

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  1. #1

    A fun radio advertisement

    Ok, this isn't necessarily some orchestral mock-up, (or masterpiece) like many post...but it's quite fresh and different than what's normally seen on these forums. I got to do some fun editing and make a radio bumper for an internet radio show in Atlanta. These things are fun to make. Everything but the techno beat was all my editing, including my own voice. This thing kind of sounds like those scary car dealership commercials. There is a lot of comedy and jokes in this as well using the radio clips.Comments welcome.

    NOTE: The techno beat was used from a piece by the artist a98.

    http://www.hudsonstudios.net/bumper3.mp3

    Jared

  2. #2
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    Re: A fun radio advertisement

    Here's my typical no-beating-around-the bush opinion. I'm listening on headphones and I still can't understand half of what is being said. The most important part of any radio spot is for the listener to be able to clearly hear the announcer. Part of it is lack of articulation and low overall levels on the VO, part of it is competing frequencies with the VO and the music, and part of it is the FX coming in and out and muddling some of the lines. Sure, cute and flashy vocal FX are fine so long as you don't sacrifice the ability to actually understand the words. Good overall, just needs some tweaking.
    -Hudson

  3. #3

    Re: A fun radio advertisement

    I definitely see your point. That's always been one of my main problems and concerns. Voice editing, and dropping it into a mix correctly has always been a struggle for me. Are there any basic techniques to follow that work almost everytime? I'm not exactly sure what frequencies to look for, and what are important to get rid of and leave in. If you or anyone knows some great tips on VO editing, please let me know. I'm pretty eager to get that mastered. Thanks.

  4. #4
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    Re: A fun radio advertisement

    I agree with Hudson on this. I do a ton of radio and TV work, so I know the challenges of trying to create exciting, effects-heavy mixes without losing all clarity. For starters, the voices in a spot like this need to be compressed to death to help keep their perceived levels up and even through the din. Your flanged (or whatever) voices are probably mixed a little too deep in the effect, which makes them more difficult to understand. Proper use of pre-delays on reverbs can not only help separate the dry voice from the wet for clarity, but also act as a sort of cool slap echo at the same time. And on any over the top mix like this, I always scoop out a few dB of the principal voice frequencies from the music track. Depending on the voice, this may involve a fundamental frequency in the 200-400 Hz range, plus the presence range between 2kHz and around 5 kHz. Then you can pump up the extreme top and bottom of the music and it will still sound big (the rock'n'roll smile EQ).

    These are guidelines, of course, and often automating changes within the spot is still necessary. As cheesy as this format is, it can still be fun once in awhile as an excercise in reckless audio abandon.

  5. #5

    Re: A fun radio advertisement

    Sound Forge's Wave Hammer will fix those vocals right up

    Other than the vocals being a bit un-intelligable, I thought the mix was pretty good.
    Michael Peter

    If music be the food of love...
    play on

    William Shakespeare

    homepage

  6. #6

    Re: A fun radio advertisement

    Quote Originally Posted by His Frogness
    Sound Forge's Wave Hammer will fix those vocals right up

    Other than the vocals being a bit un-intelligable, I thought the mix was pretty good.
    I actually used Wave Hammer...but ran smooth compression...pretty light....maybe some more tweaking and it would've sounded better. Medium Compression is too much, I tried that. Although, I ran compression on the WHOLE mix, not just the vocals....is that where I screwed up?

  7. #7

    Re: A fun radio advertisement

    I would have used more mic proximity effect and less ambience on the VO. Also a good side-compression setup on the main track, driven by the VO would have given a more up-front and more intelligible sound. IMO the VO should be in front of the music, not within or behind it.

    Just my 2 cts, cheers

  8. #8
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    Re: A fun radio advertisement

    Quote Originally Posted by Jared Hudson
    I ran compression on the WHOLE mix, not just the vocals....is that where I screwed up?
    Use both---heavy compression on the voice tracks, lighter compression or limiting on the mix.

  9. #9

    Re: A fun radio advertisement

    Quote Originally Posted by Jared Hudson
    I actually used Wave Hammer...but ran smooth compression...pretty light....maybe some more tweaking and it would've sounded better. Medium Compression is too much, I tried that. Although, I ran compression on the WHOLE mix, not just the vocals....is that where I screwed up?
    Yeah that sounds like the problem. The quieter parts of the VOs are being drowned out by the other tracks. Compression needs to be applied to the voice so even the quieter parts of the vocal track are just as loud as the loud parts, then when you find the ideal level for the voice in the mix, that level will be consistent throughout the whole ad.

    It's still a good idea to compress the master. I usually mix down so the peak is 0 to -1 db, then run it through wave hammer with the "master for 16bit" setting. That's a really nice setting that will bring the whole thing up about 3db without it sounding as if it were compressed. Then when they broadcast it they'll compress it even more.

    I haven't done much vo work, maybe 3 game trailers and a couple of corporate multimedia things, but one thing I found, having to do this stuff with no pre-amp (let alone any hardware compression) is that you have to get a hot signal that has absolutely zero background noise. It almost makes it worth the 7 grand for a broadcast quality compressor (although maybe a just a good pre-amp will do the trick). Also, I don't think you can compress these voices to the amount they need it to be legible in broadcast without also applying a good de-esser. I'm sure there's more experienced engineers around here. I'd love to hear how they prepare vo on a daw.
    Michael Peter

    If music be the food of love...
    play on

    William Shakespeare

    homepage

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