In this project, you don’t just make the ads – you commission them! And edit them, and find an appropriate voice over artist and write the script and my god…who knew 30 seconds of audio could be so time consuming! But also so fun! Callum has been great at getting the commissions in, and I’ve added a couple to the pot such as Tourism Ireland. I’ve spent most of my time scripting as many of the commissions as possible and finding appropriate voice overs for the adverts. One thing that I need to focus on is trying to get a bigger range of voices to reflect the diversity of our pop up station. I’ve been lucky to get hold of some great voices from the team at Radio X, but as Radio X is quite white male heavy, the challenge now is to try and source a high quality of voice from different cultures/diversities, whilst also keeping to the sound of the advert. I’ve got a couple of websites in mind which I have contacted but I’m concerned that they might not be able to do it without a fee (understandably!) I think it might be useful to revise my list of potential voice over artists to fine tune the demographic suitable for our station.

On another note, as I mentioned it has been really fun putting together the adverts and getting creative with the sounds and production mixes. I really enjoyed making the Visit Ireland advert because not only did I find a great piece of music that matched the rhythm of the script, but I also played around with select sound effects to embellish the final product. Some of these I layered up to build upon the sense that ‘this is what Ireland sounds like’. Since working on my individual audio project I also thought more about adding effects to the sounds, so in one part of the advert, the voice mentions Ireland’s “literary legends”. Now, how to you turn books into a sound effectively? I used the obvious pages turning/fluttering sound effect to give the sense of reading, but its a sound that can very easily get lost among the rest. I then had the idea to add in lines of people (me!) whispering words from famous Irish literature (Picture of Dorian Grey – Oscar Wilde and Blackberry Picking – Seamus Heaney). To really ramp up the historical and mysterious value, I added a telephone voice effect over my whispers to create a sense of past and distance which I think in the final mix sounds really strong.

I’ve learned that selecting appropriate music for the adverts is equally as key. It’s a clear decision to use Irish style music for an advert about Ireland (you’d be a fool not to), but when making the HelloFresh ad…that was a bit harder. I knew I wanted to select something that was upbeat, maybe even reflect a multicultural element akin to the range of products from the brand. In the end I opted for ‘Wang Dang’ by Bob Destiny as its a little crazy but also loads of fun to listen to – just like cooking/making a mess in the kitchen can be. Again, the music had good rhythm which help to connect the music to the speaking parts fluidly. I think adverts sound so much better when the voice and music work together rather than compete with each other. That being said, I was really keen to add in some stereotypical cultural music to reflect the brand. I think the choice of a Mexican mariachi band into a French accordion actually works. It matches the words spoken at the time, so it doesn’t conflict – and it’s actually rather good fun to listen to!

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