Like a chef in the kitchen creating a mouth-watering masterpiece, radio production is the final step in the process. It’s when the radio producer takes all the elements of an advertising campaign and puts them together to create an ear enticing radio commercial.
The client has been consulted as to what the focus of the commercial should be. The copy has been written and approved. The voice talent that fits the feel and intent of the script has been chosen. This voice talent will do various reads. The media buy is in place and everything is set for the final stage of the project:
The radio commercial needs to be produced!
It’s time for the chef to enter the well-stocked kitchen and use the ingredients to produce a tantalizing ear engaging dish.
The Voice Over
Radio production brings to life the message the client wants to communicate. The producer starts by making sure the voice is lush and full. This can be done by processing the voiceover to give it more presence. When a voiceover artist first voices the commercial, it’s usually done with flat EQ. Some voice talents will have some processing set up in advance so that their voice is processed as it is recorded. In either case, when it comes to the radio production of the final commercial, the producer will do what it takes to fatten up the voice and give it the presence it needs.
The Music Bed
The next step is to select the right music bed. Every producer needs access to a music library of stock music. These are usually provided in 30 or 60 second cuts. In the case of national radio advertising, the music bed is usually custom produced to make it unique to the advertiser. In the case of our local radio production project where stock music beds are used, these tracks will often be edited and mixed by the producer to flow with the voiceover or fit various parts of the commercial. A little dab of this spice, a little dice of that. Throughout this process the voice track can also be edited to space the phrasing out so it flows properly and fits with the music mix.
Sound effects are also effective ingredients to paint a picture in the mind of the listener. It’s long been said that radio is “theater of the mind.” This is why radio can be so effective at engaging and motivating the target audience—and at a lower cost than television. Anything is possible in a radio commercial. Just like radio can reach potential customers in the car, at work or at the gym, an effectively produced radio commercial can go another step further in taking the listener anywhere in their mind. That’s the power of radio advertising. It can tell a story, touch emotions and motivate people to respond. Sound effects enhance the story.
While music sets the mood, sound effects bring the imaginary setting to life.
All of this is done with radio production software, which is like a kitchen equipped with all the necessary ingredients and utensils. When all the parts are in place and the final mix is complete, all that is left to be done is the mix down. With the click of a mouse, all the parts in the various tracks are mixed to a single audio file that can be emailed to the radio stations.
Of course, as far as the client is concerned, all these elements happen behind the scenes after the message has been honed and solidified on paper. The result should always be a radio commercial that entices the ear (grabs attention) and engages the mind to respond to the call to action.
When deciding what to focus on for your advertising campaign, ask this very important question: “What is it I want the potential customer to do?” Then, tell them to do it in a well-produced radio commercial.
SpotWorks also provides Voiceovers and Production for TV spots.