Hopefully, you listen to your show regularly, so you can hear yourself more like the Listener hears you. So take a tip from how a lot of great Production Talents work—listen at a fairly low level, often through a small cue speaker. (Same thing with many recording engineers and Producers.) They may mix at “blast,” but then they’ll play it back at “background” level.
There are good reasons for the Low Volume Test:
• You can really hear the levels, to tell if background music for a break you’re doing—or a spot or a promo—is too loud or too soft. (Or whether it fits the mood and cradles the subject, or it’s just thumpy-thumpy noise.)
• You get a much truer read on whether you sound natural and real, or you’re just another booming, “announcing” radio guy, over-inflecting and “selling” too much.
• You get feedback more at the visceral level about pace and momentum.
• You not only can, but DO instantly decide, subconsciously or even UNconsciously, whether the person you’re hearing is interested in what he’s saying, or is having any FUN.
You want to listen at about half the level most disc jockeys usually listen at. So YOU can feel the momentum, interest level, and fun factors, instead of putting every little thing under a magnifying glass all the time, but not really learning anything about the Voice Acting part of your craft.
Once you hear yourself this way, you’ll never hear the show the same way again.
It’s like being in a room, with a movie playing on the TV in the next room. A bad actor reads lines. A great actor IS that character he’s playing.
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Radio Talent Coach
Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2013 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.