Voice Tracking

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pbergin
Posts: 145
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 5:44 am
Location: DC

Voice Tracking

Post by pbergin » Tue May 11, 2010 5:09 am

Over the past couple of years I've pontificated about how voice-tracking can sound live and local. For two years I did a show on CHUM / Toronto from my home in Fredericksburg, VA. Most listeners (and a good many radio professionals) never suspected it wasn't live.

With a $30 mike, a POTS (plain old telephone service) line, and a computer we were able to create a relevant, tight show including all the bells and whistles without fancy studios, buildings or hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment.

Dale Patterson has posted a scope of one of those shows on his website if any of you are interested.

http://rockradioscrapbook.ca/ck-may9.html

jayester
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:06 am

Re: Voice Tracking

Post by jayester » Tue May 11, 2010 5:02 pm

For pundants who say radio is dead, it is not. Take out your ear buds and take notice of what radio has always been and the true professionals who intimately know the medium. I think too much emphasis is placed on matching studio digital quality and levels and less on meaningful content. Plus, unlike with analog equipment (remember when we used to "pin" the meters?) levels that do not quite match are very obvious in a digital world. Scott Carpenter's superb illusion (and I mean that in the most flattering way) of being live at CHUM worked so well because of his conscious effort to not sound...well, voice tracked. He obviously and very skillfully uses the medium (voice tracking) as an ends to a means with his personality beaming through. And as I was listening to the CHUM air check link , I did hear a little bit of "live" sound, like a little echo at times and not sounding too technically sterile, which is part of the trouble with most voice tracking (just listen to how bad the announcer's "live" voice does not match up with a previously recorded identifier). But these "quirks" that make the air check believable are found in any scoped check from Musicradio WLS, CKLW or any other Top 40 giant from the 70's. My hats off to Mr. Carpenter, a true radio professional who is fired by the love and passion for his craft. Finally, I recall a quote a wise PD once told me that still could apply today; if you have true passion for radio it will shine through (your prep and presentation) and you will connect with your listeners who would listen to you even through a PA

pbergin
Posts: 145
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 5:44 am
Location: DC

Re: Voice Tracking

Post by pbergin » Wed May 12, 2010 8:29 am

Thank you for your kind comments.

You're absolutely right, now that I listen carefully I do hear a little "slapback". I'd never noticed that before. You're absolutely right about the old WLS studio too. It had hard walls, and a window directly behind the jock's mike. You could hear the room loud and clear. Ron Riley told me it used to drive him nuts!

I worked at CKLW too. That studio was HUGE. The jock's position was on top of a riser in the middle of a huge room, with drapes on the walls. The "live" sound you hear is probably from the front wall, which overlooked the board op's room. The only thing on that wall that could possibly absorb sound was a huge, paper banner which I suppose Paul Drew had placed there which read "See-Kay-El-Double-You!!!"

cdenver
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 8:47 am

Re: Voice Tracking

Post by cdenver » Mon May 24, 2010 6:42 am

Dial-Global(a division of Triton Radio) prides itself on sounding local. With our STORQ system and EZ Localize program, it allows the jocks and the affiliates to make a station sound as if the jock is right their in the market. Case in point, we have an Oldies Plus affiliate in Satellite Beach, FL that rocks in the ratings. I do mid-days and another DG jock does afternoons......we are #1 & #3(last Fall) in the area and the local morning talent was # 2. Not bad for being tracked from outside the market. The key is the PD....he actually uses the system to promote live appearances and I am even able to do ticket giveaways. www.beach985.com . Or if AC is your thing you can check out www.v1029.com or eazy1007.com. We are also moving toward more of our jocks doing their show from home studios. Try it, you'll like it

jayester
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:06 am

Re: Voice Tracking

Post by jayester » Mon May 24, 2010 9:02 am

Hey Chuck, I was wondering if you were going to notice this topic. Good to see you are weighing in. I replied first to this timely topic, but maybe you did not recognize me (Jay), or maybe you did. It is good to see when radio is done right, it can still reap rewards like the ratings you indicated. So, Waitt Radio Networks is no more? It is good to see that your new company is able to utilize talent from their home studios. My home-based studio is not being fully utilized (hint, hint) and am always seeking voice tracking opportunities with an emphasis on localizing content, which you and your satellite company have more than proven. Interestingly, there is a post in the jobs section that mentions radio's current trouble started with voice tracking. Apparently written by a discouraged job seeker, since usually potential employers post there. Actually, radio's problems began way before voice tracking became accepted. I believe it started with liner cards, where jocks had to "read" the same positioning statements over and over. Back then it was all about consultants singing the praises of tuning in to a station at any time of the day or night and sounding the same. This way, the listener would know he or she would be assured that their favorite station would always sound like well, their favorite station. And lo and behold, the consultants got exactly what they ordered, sameness in an otherwise unique medium.

pbergin
Posts: 145
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 5:44 am
Location: DC

Re: Voice Tracking

Post by pbergin » Wed May 26, 2010 2:42 am

Check out the scope. If you like it let me know, we might be able to move on something. I'm not doing any radio at all right now.

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