Monday, June 27, 2011

Part 5 of PML’s: How does a Voice Talent Prepare for a Session?

#63- Jon S.

We asked some of our top 100 voice talents to find out how they get ready for a voice session. Here is what Jon says…

“In preparing for any voice over job I like to make myself familiar with the script, and of course, the message that the client want to get across to the audience. Knowing the goal of the project helps me to understand the "feelings" that I must project. The other thing I always do is drink plenty of water in the hours prior to the session. Keeping hydrated allows more vocal flexibility, not only on voice overs, but when I sing with my band as well. The more water I drink, the better my vocal range.”

More responses from other talents are coming soon!

Jordan Eckenrode

Intern, Propulsion Media Labs

Friday, June 24, 2011

Staff Favorites: North Dakota State Fair

This spot was created by Audio Producer Scott Spaulding for the North Dakota State Fair. But this isn't your average state fair, because this one features performances by Kid Rock AND Cheryl Crow!

Rob Pardini
LaSalle University

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Employee Face-Off 2

Propulsion Media Labs


Acct. Coordinator Mike (left) VS. Acct. Coordinator Darren (right)

What came first, the chicken or the egg?

Mike: The egg,, the chicken

Darren: The chicken

How long have you been with Propulsion?

Mike: 7 yrs

Darren: 5 1/2 yrs

What is your best memory from college?

Mike: I don't have many

Darren: College

What was the most rewarding experience you have had here at Propulsion?

Mike: Landing my first billing account for sales

Darren: Utilizing my criminal justice degree

If you could have any pet in the world what would it be, and why?

Mike: A monkey because they throw poop

Darren: A monkey so it could get me stuff...and steal things

What is it that drives you to do a good job?

Mike: Having a steady paycheck and to avoid getting reprimanded

Darren: If you are getting paid to do a job, you should do it right.

If you were on death row, what would your last meal be?

Mike: Surf and turf

Darren: A buffet

How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?

Mike: Zero, you bite.

Darren: As many as you want

Do you prefer answering a phone call or an email?

Mike: Phone, because it is quicker without having to wait for a response. You can get the

information faster.

Darren: Email, because it is more convenient for both parties, and you have instant notes!

If you were a yogurt, would you rather be fruit-at-the-bottom or already stirred?

Mike: Shaken

Darren: Fruit on the bottom

What is your favorite viral Youtube video?

Mike: Leroy Jenkins

Darren: Mobile Alabama Leprechaun

What is your favorite online video game?

Mike and Darren: World Golf Tour!

How many emails do you get a day?

Mike: Hundreds

Darren: A lot more than Mike

If you could have a super power what would it be?

Mike: Mind control

Darren: Flying

What is the secret to your success in one word?

Mike: Michael J. Fox

Darren: Success?

Written by
Jennifer stow
Summer 2011 Intern
Kutztown University

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Producing Radio Commercials vs. Producing Music

If you’re listening to the radio, chances are good that you’re either hearing a commercial or music. Although one is different from the other, they do have their similarities.

Radio commercials tend to fall into 60, 30, 15 or even 10 second segments. Quite a far cry from the average three or four minute song you hear on the radio. Now with music, you typically have fifteen seconds to catch someone’s attention before they lose interest and change the station. However, if you use that approach to a thirty second radio ad, half the ad is already gone. Music isn’t produced with any time constrictions in mind like radio commercials are. It’s much more focused on producing the sound the artist wants in their song rather than making sure that the song fits a certain time frame.

The composition and construction of a radio ad and music are also very different as well. A radio ad typically consists of a voice over, a music bed and appropriate sound effects. This results in anywhere from 6 to 16 tracks in a ProTools session depending on the amount of sound effects used. The composition of a song depends entirely on what kind of music it is, but just as an example, a music producer will often use at least 10 or 12 tracks for an average drum kit alone. Of course, if you’re working with a hard rock drummer such as Neil Pert of Danny Carey, a producer may use over 24 tracks just for their drum kits. Simply put, when you add in guitars, keyboards, background vocals, and other instruments, music producing typically involves processing much more information than a radio spot does.

While there may be more to produce in music than a radio spot, that doesn’t mean that production is handled all that differently. Both producers are still going to critique and spruce up the vocals of a song or commercial. Both are most likely going to use some EQ and reverb effects on the voice, however they may use these effects differently to get a desired sound. This mostly depends on the type of song or the radio spot. The artist may want their voice to lay low in the mix and not be the main feature while radio ad may want the reverb to distort the vocals in a stylish way and draw attention to it.

All differences aside, at the end of the day radio and music producers want to do one important thing and that is to sell their product. Both of them want you to hear their work and either go out and buy their advertised product or event ticket, or go out and buy their artist’s album.

Dave Gravelle
Summer 2011 Intern
Penn State

Monday, June 20, 2011

Part 4 of PML’s: How does a Voice Talent Prepare for a Session?

# 31- Chris R.

We asked some of our top 100 voice talents to find out how they get ready for a voice session. Here is what Chris says…

“The first thing I'll do is look over the script, making notes and checking to see if there are any words/names I'll have pronunciation questions about. If it's a timed script, I'll do a dry run with a stopwatch to find out what kind of pace is needed. I'll also make sure I have a glass of room temperature water handy. Since I'm also the engineer for about 95% of my sessions these days, if it's a phone session I'll double check my recording set-up and set my levels so I'm ready to go when the client dials in.”

More responses from other talents are coming soon!

Jordan Eckenrode

Intern, Propulsion Media Labs

Friday, June 17, 2011

Staff Favorites: Somerset Nissan

This spot for Somerset Nissan was created by Video Producer Matt Dipippa. “The event is called the Bottom Line Year End Sales Event so I incorporated a graphic of a line that never ends.” Matt says, “It sort of ties into everything and brings it all together.”

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Employee Face-Off



1. How long have you been with Propulsion?

Andrew: 5 years

Tom: 14 years

2. Have you ever had your heart broken?

Andrew: I don't think I have a heart.

Tom: Almost.

3. What annoys you the most at work?

Andrew: If there isn't a clear communication of vital details.

Tom: Losing some of the cable channels in the building.

4. Would you ever have plastic surgery, if yes, where?

Andrew: Yes, I would get shin implants.

Tom: No

5. Do you prefer working in the winter or summertime?

Andrew: Winter

Tom: Summer

6. Do you use Firefox or Safari?

Andrew: Safari

Tom: Both

7. Would you rather eat in or out?

Andrew: Out

Tom: Eat in, I have more control over what I eat.

8. Would you rather use a laptop or desktop?

Andrew: Laptop

Tom: Desktop

9. What is your favorite type of spot to work on?

Andrew: Political Advertisements

Tom: Anything creative, an ad that makes you think

10. Do you prefer Chinese, Mexican, or Italian food?

Andrew: Chinese

Tom: Italian

11. How many projects do you work on daily?

Andrew: 5 to 10

Tom: 8 or 9

12. Do you prefer Microsoft or apple?

Andrew: Apple

Tom: Apple

13. Do you prefer comedy or horror?

Andrew: Comedy

Tom: Comedy

14. Do you mainly work with video or audio?

Andrew: Video

Tom: Audio

15. Blondes or Brunettes?

Andrew: Brunettes

Tom: Brunettes

16. Which day during the work week is your favorite?

Andrew: Friday

Tom: 3:26 pm on a Wednesday

17. Microwave or Toaster oven?

Andrew: Toaster Oven

Tom: Microwave

18. Come in early or work late?

Andrew: Work Late

Tom: Come in early

19. What is the secret to your success in one word?

Andrew: "Screw-it"

Tom: "Dedication"

written by
Jennifer Stow
Summer 2011 Intern
Kutztown University

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Video Editing Software Review

So you want to edit some video do you? Think you have the right gear? Propulsion Media Labs is hooking you up by doing a little “Siskel and Ebert” with some of the software that’s available. We’re not Consumer Reports, but hopefully you’ll consider these pros and cons before you plunk down some cash to whip up your next YouTube masterpiece.

• Adobe Premiere Pro
Adobe Premiere is product of Adobe Systems. The program provides you ability to capture, edit, as well as delivering video online or on disc.

Thumbs Up↑ The latest version of the software allows you edit footage filmed on a digital cutting edge RED camera.

Thumbs Down↓ Editing in Premiere Pro CS5 is faster but still isn't as efficient as Final Cut Pro 7.

• Adobe After Effects
Adobe After Effects is also a product of Adobe Systems. It provides tools for video recording, trimming, splicing, cutting, arranging to final video.

Thumbs Up↑ The program has ability to import 3D models from Adobe Photoshop software, and then combine them into After Effects with other elements.

Thumbs Down↓ This application has so many great features so it takes time to master completely.

• Avid Media Composer
Avid Media Composer Software is a professional video editing software program developed by Avid Technology, Inc. It provides solutions for SD and HD film and video editing software.

Thumbs Up↑ The Media Composer is believed to be the fastest film editing software out on the market.

Thumbs Down↓ It’s extremely expensive.

• Sony Vegas Pro
Sony Vegas Pro is a professional version video editing software program developed by Sony Creative Software Inc. It offers all necessary features including capturing, editing, sound recording, mixing, DVD authoring and burning.

Thumbs Up ↑ This software includes a Blu-ray Disc burning feature.

Thumbs Down ↓ The user interface is a little tricky to master compared to other edit systems.

• Ulead MediaStudio Pro
Ulead MediaStudio Pro is a video editing software program aimed professionals in independent production, event videography, business and education.

Thumbs Up ↑ It also contains an anti-shaker filter so you can stabilize shaking videos with this easy but good result filter.

Thumbs Down ↓ The software doesn't convert content for PC playback or viewing on mobile devices.

Emily Plummer
Propulsion Media Labs, Intern
Communication, La Salle University

Monday, June 13, 2011

Part 3 of PML’s: How does a Voice Talent Prepare for a Session?

# 74- Johnny G.

We asked some of our top 100 voice talents to find out how they get ready for a voice session. Here is what Johnny says…

“My prep for a session is simple:

· Get a good night’s sleep the night before.

· Clean glasses.

· No milk products with 1 hour before a session.

· Drink plenty of water!

· Tongue twisters to loosen up my mouth. I use two main ones and go back & forth between them.

· Vibrate lips as much as you can without making them fall off.

· Review your original audition MP3 if possible to see why you were selected.

· If a script has a lot of difficult pronunciations or ones that need extra help – practice script with a pencil between my teeth. Causes you to enunciate better.

· Give your undivided attention to the client and their time.

· Do your best. Remember you are not Superman. Be positive and don’t try and yak too much with client or producer.”

More responses from other talents are coming soon!

Jordan Eckenrode

Intern, Propulsion Media Labs

Friday, June 10, 2011

Staff Favorites: Freehold Subaru

Video Producer Andrew Kunkle created this commercial for Freehold Subaru. One of the inspirations for this spot was the popular E-Trade commercials, as evidenced by the cute baby using the computer. “The stock video we purchased of the baby worked out really well,” said Andrew. “…Like when baby looks down as he’s typing on the keyboard. The baby has some pretty good one-liners as well, like when he exclaims ‘Are they on formula?!’ when looking at the great prices.”

Rob Pardini
Intern, Propulsion Media Labs

Monday, June 6, 2011

Part 2 of PML’s: How does a Voice Talent Prepare for a Session?

#93- Donovan C.

We asked some of our top 100 voice talents to find out how they get ready for a voice session. Here is what Donovan says…

“For preparation, all I really do is get a bottle of water ready and make sure all of my equipment is functioning properly, especially my ISDN line, if needed. If the session requires a specific sound or read (outside of my normal speaking voice,) then I go back and listen to the audition I submitted to book the job. That way, I can practice and make sure I can recall that sound when the session begins. Of course, I will also go over the script again, so that I won't be reading it for the first time when the client is on the line. I never want to over-think the script or character, so outside of those things, I remind myself to just keep it cool ... and have fun.”

More responses from other talents are coming soon!

Jordan Eckenrode

Intern, Propulsion Media Labs

Friday, June 3, 2011

Staff Favorites: Camel Beach Resort

This radio spot for Camel Beach Resort was created by Senior Audio Producer Tom Trezniowski. “There was a lot of sound design that had to go into this one,” said Tom regarding all of the background ambience. “I had to really think about what exactly was going on at that house.” This spot has a bit of humor in it too. As the spot goes on, the kids go from running in the house to tying up the neighbors to shooting a dog out of a giant slingshot. How did those kids even get a giant slingshot?

Rob Pardini
Intern, Propulsion Media Labs
Communications, LaSalle University

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Advantages and Disadvantages of Mini DV & SD Formats

Most video producers are either using DV or SD cards as a format to record their footage. Here are some of the pros and cons of each:

Mini DV (Digital Video)

DV first burst onto the scene in 1995 and it immediately became the standard for professional, semi-professional, and home video recording. DV comes in five different sizes x-large, large, medium, small and mini.


-Mini DV tapes are cheap to buy. (as low as $5 each)

- Cost efficient storage capacity – A standard Mini DV holds 19.5 GB which is around .25 cents / GB.

- Converts easily from standard to HD

- Tapes are easily labeled and ideal for long-term storage


- Transferring footage requires a fire wire connection (Most stock PC’s lack this)

- Real time log and capture - A 60-minute tape will take 60 minutes to transfer

- Fragile: The tapes are sensitive to heat and cold

- Image quality degrades after each recording pass

- Records only 60-90 minutes

SD Cards (Secure Digital)

SD is a type of memory card that was first developed in 1999 by Scandisk, Matsushita and Toshiba to compete with Sony’s memory stick format. As the new tapeless technologies are evolving each year, SD cards are becoming very popular. SD companies continue to develop new formats such as SDHC, SDXC and SDIO. They continue to expand the limits of Secure Digital formats.


- Log and transfer files much faster than transferring footage from tapes in real time.

- Can be used over and over again without losing image quality.

- A 16 GB card can record up to 2 hours of footage

- Future SD cards will allow up to 2 Terabytes of memory.


- Most formats such as SD, SDHC, and SDXC are incompatible with each other.

- Expensive – A 16 GB SDHC card cost $40.

- To re-use cards, data must be transferred to an alternate medium before using card again.

John Leonard

Intern, Propulsion Media labs

Telecommunications, Penn State University