Tag Archives: John Denney

The ART Of VoiceOver Demo Production


Airlift Productions’ VO session in progress with Steve Blaze of Lillian Axe fame at the hot mic

Of all the audio jobs produced at Airlift Productions, I enjoy creating Voice and VoiceOver Demos the most.

Whether working with a ‘newbie’ or a veteran, taking the written word on a page and using all the tricks in my audio producer’s bag to bring it to life, to create ART, is indeed an art unto itself.

And today in 2022 the Voice Demo runs the gamut – from commercial to animation, video games to the medical field, and from industrial narration to audio books.

Still today affectionately called a “reel”, I’ve seen the demo go from reel-to-reel tape… to audio cassette… to compact disc… to digital wav file and mp3.

Yet through all the technological changes, the heart of the art remains the same —

The copy has to ‘sing’, the reads have to be spot-on, music selection and editing, along with proper equalization, compression, reverberation, and normalization remain paramount.

Art, unlike science (although there is  a helluva lot of science involved here), is indeed a very subjective call.  And what is art to one … is shite to another.

The call here is obviously up to the reader of this blog.

Enter Exhibit A – JOHN DENNEY.

When Denney first rang my phone, he’d found my website in a Google search, had experience behind a microphone – he founded the Weirdos, an LA-based punk band in the ’80s – had moved here to NOLA, and had never done a commercial in his life.

I said, “Well, John, we’ll change all that!”

And change it we did. It began with a commercial demo (heard here); after he landed his first job within two weeks of production, he subsequently returned to produce an animation demo… and a medical demo.

                               ** JOHN DENNEY VOICEOVER DEMO **

Rachel Wulff records her VoiceOver Demo at Airlift Productions NOLA

Enter Exhibit B – RACHEL WULFF.

A longtime television news anchor and reporter, Rachel had moved to town, had been in New Orleans about ten years, and was looking to exit the local TV scene and begin self-employment as a VoiceOver artist.

Again, like John Denney, she had a lot of on-camera and on-mic experience, but Rachel had no commercial background.

She does now.

                       ** RACHEL WULFF VOICEOVER DEMO **

Mary Rose Neumeyer having way-y too much fun at the Airlift microphones


Mary Rose was all of fourteen years old, had studied acting for some five years, done some on-camera things, but was looking to spread her wings into the VoiceOver field.

After a brief pre-production meeting, we collaborated on some copy, I then coached her through all the reads and edited her demo. 

It captures promo pieces as well as commercial copy, and I’d have to say, for a “newbie”, she states her case for an on-mic job most eloquently.


Finally, an entry from yours truly.

Enter Exhibit D.

New Orleans Voice Talent & All-around Audio Dude Micheal Ziants, Airlift Mike

As I pursue the AudioBook field, I’ve  compiled a demo targeted at this particular audience; a demonstration recording completely different from the shorter commercial ones.

It also differs from the previous demos, which were “manufactured” and produced from scratch, in that this demo is actually from a product being currently sold and marketed.

So, in this case, the demo is more of a ‘sampler’.

What follows here are actual excerpts from “Murder In Coweta County”, a true crime drama that took place in 1940s Georgia and shocked the nation.

Think ‘The Sopranos’ gone south!  With mysticism, race, murder, and the police all thrown into one big gumbo….

                    ** MICHEAL ZIANTS AudioBook DEMO **

Commercial, AudioBooks, Industrial, Animation, Video Games, the Voice Demo in 2022 sure does cover a lot of ground.

Er, ah… make that “air”.

And make no mistake. Evoking this kind of emotion is an ART.

Or is it a science?

OK, how about BOTH?

Well, whatever you want to call it…

Call on Airlift Mike and Airlift Productions to book yours.


“For voice over actors, the demo serves as a calling card and is unquestionably the most important tool in the pursuit of voice over work. Mike Ziants and Airlift PROductions produced my first VO demo and within weeks I landed my first job in the industry. Airlift’s state-of-the-art recording studio combined with Mike’s wisdom and expertise provided me with an excellent demo as well as the confidence needed to achieve success.” ~ JOHN DENNEY, Founder/Lead Singer of the notorious LA-based punk band The Weirdos … and relatively new VoiceOver Artist


“We’ll keep the mics hot…and leave the light on for you!”

Airlift Productions ~ Audio Alchemy & Digital Magic from New Orleans since 1984

Fantastic-4 Fearsome Foe Records At Airlift Productions?

The UK’s TOBY KEBBELL – Dr. Doom – Records V/O for Sony Corporation At Airlift Productions

When ‘Fantastic Four’ opens today down at the mall cineplex , Airlift Productions & I will be watching it quite a bit differently than most.  Let me tell you why. 

I almost didn’t take the call that morning because it in no way looked familiar on my caller ID.  Turns out it was a ‘Louise’ calling from Tag/Europe in London. She’d found my website in a google search, and was wondering if I had the time to help her on ‘a project’.

As it turns out, Tag’s client is Sony Corporation in Japan, and they’d hand-picked TOBY KEBBELL as VoiceOver spokesperson for all their Xperia-Z tablet computer TV ad campaigns.

Fantastic-4’s TOBY KEBBELL records V/O with Airlift Mike at Airlift Productions NOLA

Now, the problem was that in the UK the letter ‘Z’ is pronounced ‘Zed’, and their entire TV campaign – now destined for the US – needed re-voiced with the Yank’s sound … Toby was in NOLA at the time, and the call came in for some HELP!

Perhaps you’ve seen Toby already in ‘War Horse’, ‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’,’Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’, or ‘Prince of Persia : Sands of Time’.  Today, he’s cast as Victor Von Doom in Marvel’s ‘Fantastic Four’ reboot.  He’s a product of Nottingamshire, England, quite studly, easy on the eyes –  and the ‘birds’ in the UK are just gaga over this dude.


TobyKebbellRecordsAtAirliftProductionsNOLAIn any event, Toby shows up at the Airlift Studios in a rent-a-car driven by his brother that morning… relaxed, unshaven, in shorts and flip-flops – hey, it IS a voice over session after all.  And via the Airlift phone-patch, we joined forces with Louise in London … and her associate/client – in Japan!

Hey, all’s well that ends well (didn’t Shakespeare say that?), the session went splendidly – Toby laid down the tracks, they were approved by all the powers-that-be, and Airlift Productions & I delivered the big fat aif files into the mac computers at the edit bays within Tag/Europe in London within minutes.

LISTEN to just one track, destined for United States TV, and how well my new pal Toby says the letter ‘Z’ right here …

** Toby Kebbell speaks for Sony Corp at the Airlift microphones **

fantastic-four-trailer-features-the-terrifying-dr-doom-ftrNot bad, huh?  So when Toby – as Victor Von Doom – terrorizes and spreads mayhem versus those Fantastic Four dudes down at the theater during this smoking-hot summer of 2015, at least now you know what’s going on under the hood … of Doctor Doom!

Save some popcorn for me, stay safe out there, and I’ll see y’all at the movies!

Airlift Productions NOLA ~ where the warmth of analogue lives … and the lightning speed of digital delivers! 


JohnDenneyRecordsVoiceOverAtAirliftProductionsNOLA“For Voice Actors, the demo serves as a calling card and is unquestionably the most important tool in the pursuit of voice over work.  Micheal Ziants and Airlift Productions produced my first VO demo and within weeks I landed my first job in the industry!  Airlift’s state-of-the-art recording studio combined with Mike’s wisdom and expertise provided me with an excellent demo as well as the confidence needed to achieve success.”

—  JOHN DENNEY, Founder & Lead Singer for the notorious LA-based 80s Punk Rock band THE WEIRDOS, and aspiring Voice-Over Talent