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Commercial/Advert Essentials
Old 18th May 2018
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Commercial/Advert Essentials

Hello All,
After doing a quick search with little luck, I decided to make my first post.

I am in the early stages of planning to start my own business working in Commercial/advert audio. My question is, what are some essential pieces of software, sound banks, etc. to obtain right away and what could I wait to get?
Old 18th May 2018
  #2
Here for the gear
 
RockvilleAudio's Avatar
 

Hi Atelles,

If you are working on audio for commercials (i.e. jingles, infomercials, etc.) I would strongly recommend a good studio microphone for voice-overs and ADR, a really solid choice is the Shure SM7b or the Electro Voice RE20 (they also make really good singing microphones if you're looking for a more crispy vocal sound). Pair that with a nice vocal shield and pop-filter. Some really good flat studio reference monitors are a must, acoustic treatment for your listening environment if you can afford it. I would also suggest a good MIDI keyboard for composing music if you'll be composing.

As for software, the industry standard is Pro Tools, especially in Post-Production with video, a really good sound bank that I like to use is Hollywood Edge, but there are tons of websites that offer free sound effects and foley. I would also consider a convolution reverb plugin too, it will give you a much more realistic reverb when it comes to video production, the Altiverb 7 is extremely expensive but the standard, but there are other cheaper convolution reverb plugins as well. Hope this helps!
Old 18th May 2018
  #3
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

It's a vague question. What do you want to do? Mix commercials? Do sound design? Record VO? Compose music?
Old 18th May 2018
  #4
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JR Mastering's Avatar
 

You definitely need DAW software.

I recommend Cubase for it's all around versatility. It does everything very well -you can create and arrange songs, record, mix, master.
Old 14th May 2019
  #5
Here for the gear
 

@ RockvilleAudio Thank you for the detailed response. I actually ended up moving to the Cleveland market a few months after originally posting this. As life goes, you get caught up in it. I am finally back in a position to start my research again in a new city.
I am interested in recording commercial advertisements for radio/online play and mixing them. It seems like a more steady source or work than strictly recording bands. My next question would be:
Does anyone have advise on how to reach out to potential customers to get them into the studio to record their commercials/podcasts/VOs/etc?
And after I get their recordings finished... how to I get them into the radio circulation?
Old 14th May 2019
  #6
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atelles View Post
... how to I get them into the radio circulation?
Your client does that, not you.

Actually, in most markets your biggest competitors will be the radio stations or station groups themselves. To sell commercial airtime, they'll throw in the writing and voice talent and production for free.

For the client, the upside is free commercials. The downside is that they can't be run on any other stations. And compared to what a pro ad agency or radio creative can do, station-produced ads usually kinda suck.

Your job is to target potential clients (the advertisers themselves or their ad agencies) who don't want to be restricted to one station and are willing to spend for that. And your sub-job is to find a way to convince those folks to spend that extra money on you. Steep hill to climb.
Old 14th May 2019
  #7
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
To sell commercial airtime, they'll throw in the writing and voice talent and production for free.
That brings up another good point. If I get in contact with an Ad Agency to work with them, would I have to provide the voice talent, or is that something that the agency would provide (assuming that they would also provide a script)

Or am I going about this all wrong?
Old 14th May 2019
  #8
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atelles View Post
That brings up another good point. If I get in contact with an Ad Agency to work with them, would I have to provide the voice talent, or is that something that the agency would provide (assuming that they would also provide a script)

Or am I going about this all wrong?
I suggest you try to meet someone at an ad agency, buy them lunch or a beer, and have them explain how it works. I don't know where you live, but in bigger cities the process is a bit more "steeped in tradition," while in smaller markets the roles aren't so rigidly defined. Good luck!
Old 14th May 2019
  #9
Lives for gear
 

I agree with Brent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atelles View Post
That brings up another good point. If I get in contact with an Ad Agency to work with them, would I have to provide the voice talent, or is that something that the agency would provide (assuming that they would also provide a script)
This all depends. There are several VO talent agencies actually so the ad agencies often contact them directly. The more established the ad agency the more aware they are of what they need and can target specific talent or they already have a good relationship with an agency with a deep, varied and quality talent pool.

Put differently; while you certainly could get into the game of finding and offering VO talent, that's a whole different level of 'stuff' to deal with on top of everything else you need to learn to start working in this industry. I'd personally simply put this aside for now.

To add to what Brent wrote:

I think there's a fair chance that the ad person you meet with, to get some information on the industry in general and your area specifically, won't tell you everything they need. Not because they are holding back on purpose, but because some things are sort of.. assumed.. So probably you should talk to more than one person if you have the chance, see if they're cool with follow up questions maybe, and also read up online about how things work.

One thing I'll add is that a big part of this is the environment you offer. Quite frankly, while music studios are "cool", they're not really "advertising cool". And while musicians can put up with a fair amount of.. 'less comfort".. ad agencies have options. So;

- Is it clean and tidy (always)?
- Is there a kitchen?
- Is the kitchen well equipped / stocked? (coffee, snacks, cheap quick foods)
- Is there a lounge?
- Is there wifi for all?
- Are there quiet places for office work / conference calls?
- Are there a couple of computers for them to borrow?
- Phone lines? Skype hookup? ISDN or SourceConnect?
- Menu books from local take-out/delivering restaurants?

and so on.

Basically, in a best-case scenario you get demanding clients that want all of that.. and they're willing to pay for it all :-)

If you are missing those items though chances are they'll go to another place where the service is better even though the 'audio services' are no better.

It really is a customer service industry.
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