WLP16 Mike Russell and New Media

In today's episode, Pilar chats to Mike Russell, Creative Director of Music Radio Creative, amongst other things.

00:30 Pilar talks about how the world of voiceover has changed and she has some updates.  (Transcript below.)
09:50 Mike talks about Music Radio Creative and how they help podcasters, djs and other broadcasters.
18:30 New Media Europe 12-13 Sept 2015. What's happening there?
23:05 Mike talks about how he started 'Youtubing' about Adobe Audition.
27:45 Mike's journey as an audio professional.
35:45 Working with people you can't see: trust and letting go.
40:45 The different uses of social media. Personal vs personable

New Media Expo

New Media Europe

 Music Radio Creative and his personal website.


Mike's YouTube channel

UK Podcasters Group

Mike's Udemy course Adobe Audition Tutorial CC Audio Production Course Basics to Expert

 "The more control you hand over, the better the business becomes."

Today’s guest is Mike Russell, who is the Creative Director of Music Radio Creative, a website where you can get your audio on demand. But of course, it’s much broader than just a website and through Music Radio Creative, podcasters and other artists, can work with Mike and Isabella on their audio, content, their marketing, branding, anything they can help you, they will do so. They are driven their belief, and I quote from the website: "that everyone - beginners, professionals and people with passion and dreams deserve to have access to great sounding audio - without breaking the bank."

And this is something that has definitely been made possible by technology, not just when we’re talking about podcasters for example, but also when you think about entrepreneurs, or small businesses or people who just want to start a side business, or even hobbyists, and that is that we now have access to a wide range of talent from, yes, I’ll say it, all over the world and now we can actually afford some services.

Now I am very happy to be able to engage a web designer or someone to format my book for, I don’t know, a third of the price of what I would have been quoted about ten years ago. But of course, I don’t want to put my own prices down. And I do struggle with this, that I do find, oh it’s great that everything is so affordable to me but I really have to then think what I do about my rates. I rarely talk about my profession and career path in this podcast but I thought today’s episode is very relevant. I’ve actually been working as a voiceover artist (I think the artist part is quite funny, and I do often drop it), so I ‘ve been working as a voiceover since 1998. I’m an old-fashioned kind of voiceover, I physically pop into the studios with the client or producer or just the engineer, read my script and off I go. I don’t have the set up at home to record anything here, I just about think the podcast can take it, as it’s a little bit more DIY style of broadcasting, but to get proper sound, studio quality, I’d need a set up that I can’t have, because I don’t have the space. But there are people who can and there are people who can do this very well from home, of course, at a cheaper rate because they can take more work on or because they don’t live in London or whatever.

This means that the industry has really changed. We were super privileged before, I remember the time when we were paid to go to a casting. Now we get an email asking if we can just record something on our phone and send it to the agency. And our rates have been frozen. Most of my jobs are paid at the same rate as in 1998. It’s still a very good rate, but in effect we’ve been taking a pay cut. But this is just the way the industry is going. And this was one of the reasons why I realised I needed to diversify what I was doing and not rely on the voiceover fees because in the future, who knows what is going to happen to the industry. In these cases, personally, I like to look at how I’m also benefiting from technology. My costs have also gone down. If I want to do a demo, I’ll just do it from home and cut and paste it myself. The quality will do. And this is just how it is. I think something like what Mike offers is great because it means that you can now start creating products of high quality with low budgets and I think that is always a good thing. Yes, lots of industries and professions are being disrupted but that’s ok, we’ll adapt and move on.

I really enjoyed my chat with Mike by the way, and not just because of the content but because he’s so used to chatting into a mic and he’s got such a great setup that I barely did any editing on this one, I mainly edited my stuttering and hesitating that’s still pretty much there when I’m formulating a question or moving the conversation along, but I have to say, I did almost no editing on Mike’s side, thank you Mike!

So, before we move on to the chat, and on the theme of working with people all over the world, I’m now working once more with designer Kate Rance. Kate and I worked together a lot on theatre shows and I absolutely loved working with her. She also created the websites of the different companies I used to run, way before Wordpress. We’re now working together again, even though she’s now in New York, where she’s been working on a few feature films, and she’s now re-designing the podcast images, or should I say, designing, because up until now, I was just using Canva to put them together. And Canva is great by the way, for doing things yourself. But it’s not the best use of my time and I am in heavy need of proper branding. So Kate is doing that for now and she’s also going to be helping me put together the website for the course on leading virtual teams, coming up at the end of this year. But I will be talking a bit more about that as we go through the year. Just letting you know because I always forget to remind you, that I do have a newsletter you can sign up to which comes out once a month (more or less) and you can sign up to that on the sidebar.

Right, back to Mike Russell. I met Mike at one of the meetups he organised in London and we spent quite a while talking over pizza. I have to say, I find it really difficult to talk to someone I ;ve just met over pizza because I am incredibly self-conscious about it going everywhere, but even so, I had a really good chat with him and thought it would be good to continue our chat over Skype. So a few months later, here he is. Voiceover artist, media creative, new media all round person, Mike Russell.