Stephen Lyons - International Voice-over
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The Voice

The Magazine on the Internet for Voice-overs
& Radio Commercial Producers


First of all my apologies for the delay in the appearance of this Issue. I wish I could say that it was just work that has delayed me but it has been a combination of work, community and personal commitments. My thanks to everyone for your support and have a very Happy Christmas. Ed.

Stephen Ryan has left Pirate to be Business Development Manager for DMG Radio - with interests in Australia, Hungary, Sweden & the UK. Barry Short has gone freelance - although remaining at GWR South. Steve Owens has left City to Head the Viking Comm. Prod. unit and is joined in Hull by Jane Taylor (late of Beacon & Signal). Sarah Hodgson has moved from Viking to join Hallam FM's Creative team. Paul Carter leaves Aire to be Head of Metro Radio commercial production in the New Year and Lisa Carr is also leaving Aire to go freelance down south. Kenny Dillon is leaving Galaxy 101 in Bristol to take post as Head of production at Jazz FM. Mark Magrs has been appointed as new Head of Production at Century Radio.

Hallam's Creative department recently won the coveted "Conceived & Produced by Station" award for a Commercial for Sheffield College. Written by James Cridland, produced by Karl Svenson and voiced by Red Dwarf star Craig Charles, the commercial was one of seven nominations at the London International Advertising Awards.

VOX '98
Bookings for "The Radio Event of the Year" are going well, say the organisers. More than fifty percent of the available places have already been taken, mostly by VOX97 participants but with 20% of bookings from newcomers to the bash.

Sponsors of the event are as follows..

The Radio Magazine - free advertising.
LBS - Event Design
Nicral - Champagne Reception
Sounds Visual - Dinner Jazz
BRMB - Disco
Radio Aire Ltd Comm. Prod. - Pro. Radio Forum

VOX '98 will take place on Saturday 6th June 1998 at the Chateau Impney Hotel, Droitwich. The price for those wishing to stay at the Hotel and indulge in the whole hog is from �64.95, including the full English for those who can face it on the morrow.

Full details and a booking form can be had by calling the VOX '98 Hotline on 0181 408 3680 and leaving your name and address etc.. Alternatively you can write to:-

VOX '98, Norfolk House, 298 Staines Road East, Sunbury-on-Thames, Middlesex TW16 5AX.

Surfers will find info at

A mailing will take place at the end of January to update those who have booked and to contact those who have not yet taken the plunge.

The last day for payment (absolute & final) will be 14th May.

Well done to Chris Kent and Fenella Norman on the arrival of Georgia Mae on 22nd September - weighing in at 8.10
(thank goodness it wasn't 13.80).

Music and Commercial Production company Airforce can now be reached by e-mail.
For General Enquiries and to reach Alan Bell, John Calvert or Accounts.
for Mark Woodman, the Production Studio, availabilities etc.
for Music Director Roger Dexter and the Music Studio

The Laws of Voice Overs:

1. If the copy requires many complicated changes during a session, it will NOT be double spaced.

2. You will never be scheduled to do a soft-sell spot before a screaming hard-sell spot.

3. A five second tag requires you to take more direction and more takes than a 30 minute narration.

4. The more stilted the copy is, the better the chances are of being told you sound too much like an announcer.

5. Whenever a director gives you an example of who he wants you to sound like, the example will be a character from a TV show you don't watch.

6. A difficult ISDN connection will clear up just as you tell the punch line of a dirty joke.

7. Your best performance will be lost because of a glitch on the ISDN line.

8. In a spot with many people in it, the person with the smallest part will ask the most questions about his character.

9. The harder a word is to pronounce, the more often it will show up in a script.

10. You will work harder on a spot that only runs for a few days than on a spot that runs for a year.

11. After many takes and a lot of coaching from the director, the finished read will sound remarkably like what you did on the first take.

12. You will not enjoy a session working with a director who thinks "announcer-ish" is a genuine word.

13. Whoever wears the headphones before you do always uses way too much pomade.

This, of course, is not the complete list of the Laws of Voice Overs. Please send the ones I've left out to:

Following a suggestion from Tony Aitken, Nicral's Nick Broomfield is looking into the possible production of a remote light to indicate arrival of a call on the ISDN. The gismo would plug into the back of the Terminal Adapter and would be a positive benefit to the home studio where the Codec and TA is located in another room.

There was a time, in Drama College, when we found the tutor's play copy with various sets of initials against the cast list of a play we had just performed. At the end of production party we featured a "See who you could have been for 6d" stall. Fate and possibility have always fascinated me, so I recently asked a few colleagues what they would have been if they had not become a voice-over and, also, what they would like to have been. Here are the responses...

"The answer to both questions would have to be busy or Nick Coady. Seriously, in my dreams I'd own a pan-european album radio station."

"Well, if I wasn't a voice I might well be a chef on an ocean liner. At least that's what I used to be! Mind you, I didn't have a wife, kids and a mortgage then! What would I be in my dreams? A voice with a bank balance!"

If I wasn't a voice-over I would probably still be a session singer. In my dreams I would be doing ISDN sessions from my colonial house in Vermont."

"I've no idea what I would be doing. I'd like to be a singer."

"My father gave me two choices; be in the Navy or else! I chose the latter and pissed him off greatly by going to Drama School instead of Naval College. In my dreams ... truly, deeply, madly...a novelist. Have neither the balls nor, I fancy, the talent, however....."

"If I wasn't an actor I'd be a layabout. In my dreams I'd own a vineyard."

"An agency or radio copywriter, which is what I used to be, but I love driving buses."

Thanks to, in alphabetical order... Mike Hurley, Chris Kent, Bob Lawrence, Tanya Rich, Alan Turton, Pete Twist, and Bob Weedon for sharing their secrets. Send your answers to the ED for the next issue.

Equity has announced the new rate structure for 1998. The rate card specifies minimum rates for commercials recorded by radio stations (for own use and for other stations) or by subcontracted production studios. Fees listed are per voice, per script, per station and each tag counts as one script. Pilot or demo commercials are charged at the station rate. Both Life and Usage of a commercial is 12 months. The Agency Rate card should be used for commercials made by the Advertising Agencies.

Notable changes are the downgrading of Atlantic 252 to the Classic FM Band and of Spectrum International drops to the former �17.20 band.

The new Network Rate (excluding national stations) is �787.50.

Other Bands change as follows...

�370.00 to �380.40
�74.00 to �76.10
�37.30 to �38.35
�19.10 to �19.65
�17.20 to �17.70
�13.80 to �14.20
�11.00 to �11.30

Any queries or requests for details should be addressed to Vivienne Brett at Equity.

Which FVO has now returned from three month world tour of America, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore? Must be her fluoride smile that takes her places!

Which voice is now so busy with overseas work that he accepts Credit Card payments?

Which satellite MVO couldn't get his sat. system repaired recently as it was obsolete? Time to renegotiate the contract and the Sky's the limit!"

Which FVO, while retrieving another script from the fax mid-session, was heard to say to her offspring.. "Look, it's another fax - more private education."

Which Creative Producer recently went gunning for his colleague and put him in casualty? Then, to cap it all, he fell back on the old "no health warning" routine!

"Local advertisers want their commercials to stand out. Is there an economical way of achieving this?"

Certainly. Stop using professional voice-overs immediately and book cheaper, local voices instead. Then compare the results with the national ads and see for yourself how the local ones stand out.

Your advertisers will be pleased!

[Part of a campaign devised by Chris Denning for British Actors Equity Association]

Sounds Visual has now released their third CD in the Music to Voice-over range. The third offering has 93 tracks in four categories with more stabs and powershots than before. There are 52 metric length tracks between 20 and 60 seconds and a variety of other lengths. The YoPo library is now establishing itself as the "buy-out" alternative for commericial radio producers in the UK and is making inroads in the U.S.A., Spain and Estonia.

Direction of the last month...

"A bit more of a slight pause"

a crack at Lottery stardom to Essex...

Neumann TLM 193 - �900.00
Elastic Suspension Unit - �102.00
Beyer GST400 Mic Stand - �39.00
Soundcraft Spirit Folio Mixer - �323.00
Tascam DA30 MK2 DAT - �1,106.00
CCS CDQ Prima ISDN Codec �2,680.00
Nicral Easycall - �925.00
Beyer DT100/400 Studio H/phones - �119.00

All items are hardly used and in perfect condition. Total paid for the above �6194.00 exc. VAT.

Contact Jo Baker on 01993 822712

All codecs covered
Over 1300 ISDN users listed
Only �25 inc p&p (UK only)

Cheques payable to..Metro FM

Metro FM,
ISDN Book,
Newcastle, NE99 1BB
Phone 0191 420 0971
Fax 0191 496 1528

Publisher & Editor
Stephen Lyons, Cwmcaddon, Ochrwyth, Risca, South Wales NP1 6EL

No.1 Sept '95| No.7 June '96| No.8 Sept '96| No.9 Dec '96| No.10 April '97|
No.11 May '97| No.12 July '97| No.13 Sept '97|