Here are my top 5 simple ways to add more punch to your promo’s:
- Silence is golden
My favourite production effect is no effect at all. With the wash of sound on radio and every commercial competing to louder than the one before it nothing helps a an important phrase stand out better than cutting the music bed and letting the voice sit out on it’s own. It can be used to build anticipation, humour or impact. Below are a few ways I’ve used a sudden cut in the music bed to enhance my promo’s:
2) Reverse Delay
There are many great voice effects that I like using but I think a reverse delay works really well on a station ID or the opening word of a promo. There are many ways to do it but the way I do it is:
- create a copy of the audio below the voice track so that the original file and the copied file are in sync
- cut off everything after the opening syllable on the copied audio file.
- Using your favourite delay plugin set a short delay time and highish feedback and rather than clicking ‘render’ click ‘reverse’.
- You may need to play with the delay settings a bit to get your desired sound.
- adjust the volume and length of the effected audio file until you are happy with how it sits in the mix.
- If you want to get really creative you match the delay to the tempo of the music bed.
Below is an example of how reverse delay can be used on a station ID:
Often as a producer you don’t have much say it the music used in each promo. A script may ask for five songs that you know won’t blend well together and now matter how hard you try you can’t get your edits to flow. If I run into this problem one of my go to solutions is hide a dodgy sounding edit with a simple sound effect. Often an impact or whoosh sound effect is all that’s needed to take the focus away from the section you can’t get right.
Whether you are panning the voice, sound effects or music, panning can be a great creative tool. My favourite use of voice over panning to add more presence is:
- Make a copy of the audio you want to effect on the track below.
- Move the copied audio slightly out of sync.
- Pan the original left and the copied audio right.
5) Automate EQ
When make demonstrator promos one of my favourite ways of adding a bit of life to the mix is to automate the EQ of the music tracks. It really works well when editing two songs together and fading music out at the end of the mix.
Below is an example of how automated EQ can add life to a mix. There are also great examples of panning and sound effects:
If you have any techniques you like to use please share them in the comments section below.
Josh Newth Producer & Voice Over Artist at Voice Media