Recent Posts



    Have You Relaxed Today?

    Jan/30/2013 | Posted by John Melley

    This is something a little different.

    We spend a lot of time taking in information, searching for Voice Over work and running around. Sometimes it's important to stop, rest and catch our breath.

    Take 3 and a half minutes to stop and watch this beautiful video.

    It's particularly impressive when you enlarge it to full screen mode.



    Will Toyota's New Ad Slogan Pay Off?

    Jan/17/2013 | Posted by John Melley

    I loaded in the latest radio spots for Toyota this afternoon and was surprised to hear their new Slogan at the end of the spots.

    They used to end with "Toyota... Moving Forward." Now they end with "Toyota... Let's go places."

    Wow... how boring. {Crickets chirping sound effect inserted here}

    I wondered if they {Toyota} decided to move away from the "Moving Forward" slogan since it so closely resembles Obama's exhaustive plans for the next 4 years of: "Forward."

    It worked for Obama so it makes me wonder why Toyota would change it. Lump it under the heading "If it ain't broke don't fix it."

    So I did some digging around and found a press release. Part of it reads as follows:

    "Let's Go Places" speaks to the evolution of Toyota and our commitment to leading through innovation, enriching lives and connecting with customers in new ways they define," said Bill Fay, group vice president and general manager, Toyota Division. "It is energetic, aspirational, inclusive and very versatile. The phrase conveys a dual meaning of physically going places and taking off on an adventure, while also expressing optimism and the promise of exciting innovation that enriches people's lives. It allows our associates, customers, dealers, and suppliers to interpret it in ways that are most personally relevant to them."

    Wow! and that was only 1 of 3 paragraphs that went on about how they arrived at this.

    I don't know if I felt any of that after hearing it. Then again, I tend to be more concrete in my thinking. For example Ford's slogan for a while was "Quality is Job 1." Simple, direct and a corporate value that meant something for the customer.

    It took 5 ad agencies and 1 research firm; Saatchi & Saatchi, Dentsu America, Conill, Burrell, Intertrend, and Grieco Research to come up with the nifty new slogan.

    I bet this cost Toyota a bundle. It makes me wonder how they'll measure the return on the investment of its creation. I don't think that's possible.

    Maybe it will resonate with buyers. I noticed it, but then I work with so many commercials each day that I can pretty much recite any slogan for any major brand (Go ahead... try me ;-D) so when there's a change, I notice it.

    Do you have a favorite slogan for a company? If so, please feel free to share and why you like it.


    Recording Session Nightmares

    Dec/13/2010 | Posted by John Melley
    Last week I sent out an email to my newsletter subscribers and asked them to share some of their weirdest experiences, while recording or performing.

    The winner of the voted best story will win a $50 Starbucks gift card, or something of equal value if you're not a coffee drinker.

    I'm happy to say the stories I've received so far are great, so if you have a great recording session story, send me an email to: and share it with us. I'll post them and the story that receives the most votes will win the $50 Starbucks gift card, or something of equal value if you're not a coffee drinker.

    Read On!

    Hi John, good to hear from you

    I specialize in audiobook narration, and a big part of my enjoyment in doing this comes from volunteering at RFB&D.  I get to read/record all sorts of books for them, from technical instruction manuals, to medical textbooks, to fiction.  Recently I had a children's book by author Jon Seizka (sp?) called "Spaceheadz".  I was having great fun with it until I got to a chapter 4 pages long of the hamster speaking.  4 WHOLE PAGES of "eeek weeeeek eeeeek eeeeeee, weee eeek"! This one got me both laughing and out of breath.  I can now add a 3rd language to my capabilities..... hamster!

    Kind regards,


    Hey John,

    My nightmare has reoccurred a few times, recording my interviews over the phone and nothing on playback.

    Flipped the wrong switch.

    We’ve been caught saying some things with the mics open at the Meadowlands.

    Once I called an entire race with the mic off, or they didn’t record the race, so I had to improvise over the replay.

    Watched the replay show with bad edits inadvertently left in.

    I’ve done spots with the wrong dates or inserted words that weren’t in the script (Freudian slip)

    Ken Warkentin

    Dear John,

    The funniest and most embarrassing thing to ever happen to me was at a recording session in Berlin, Germany.  I was assigned to the American Forces Network and scheduled to do an interview with the incomparable Count Basie.   First of all, I was so doggone nervous meeting such a giant of a talent, and would you believe - the Count was in his
    underwear in his hotel room eating peanuts from a planters bag?

    He greeted me and asked me to take a seat.  In hooking up my Nagra Reel-to-Reel and plugging it into the wall socket as a safety precaution in case the battery failed I began my interview.  Half way through it, I happened to look down and notice that the mic cord was dangling.  The darn thing wasn't even connected to the recorder.  You talk about a red face. Whew!  By then Mr. Basie noticed it too and he began to laugh and laugh - then I began to laugh and laugh as tears rolled down my face.  Being the kind gentleman he was, he said don't worry sonny, we can start all over again whenever you're ready.

    Ed Tooma


    Hi John,

    About 25 years ago, I had a client who sounded like a sloth on downers, but insisted that he do his own tag line.  This was many years before digital manipulation would have allowed me to time compress him, so I used an old trick I learned years before.  Several wraps of tape around the capstan increased the speed of the tape slightly, speeding up the delivery but not so much that it distorted his voice.  Judicious splicing of the resulting tape made him sound a lot less like he was on Quaaludes.  What they say about multimedia these days was always true: it's all about the workarounds.

    Calvin B. Littlefield

    Dear John,

    Does singing the Ave Maria in church and swallowing a bug interest you?  I was singing a solo and straight out...... mouth open....bug in and gag, cough, gag! 

    It was difficult to explain to the congregation what had happened, so I continued and re-grouped. Maybe that's how you all got your show-biz genes.

    Elinor Melley A.K.A. “Mah!”

    So send YOUR  great recording session story to: and share it with us. I'll post them and the story that receives the most votes will win the $50 Starbucks gift card, or something of equal value if you're not a coffee drinker.

    Watch Sound Disappear Right Before Your Ears!

    Mar/29/2010 | Posted by John Melley
    How can one sound affect another sound? Watch this quick video and hear what happens! Post your comments and feedback below!

    Adding Reverb to Voice Over Track

    Mar/11/2010 | Posted by John Melley
    This is the video I promised that would go into more detail about adding the reverb effect to a voice over track. Enjoy. Please feel free to add your comments and feedback below!

    Production Video Update

    Mar/10/2010 | Posted by John Melley
    Here's a quick update on the status of the next voice over and production video lesson.