Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #355 – Finding the Right Volume

This may seem academic, but I’m hearing a lot of that “bull-horn” delivery lately.

Finding the right volume isn’t usually something you just “get.”  It takes exploring different mic techniques, and learning as much as you can about your vocal “instrument.”  Being able to “caress” something, vocally, is important.  We’re voice actors, not just “personalities.”

Voice trackers, in particular, often sound totally out of touch with the music, because they don’t think about volume and intonation.  Or, as the great voice coach Marice Tobias calls it, “noticing” a word, rather than the typical instruction to “inflect” or “sell” it.

Let me try to quantify this for you:

The Standard is what I refer to as “normal plus ten percent.”  You work in either direction from that “setting.”  The extra ‘ten percent’ is simply to guarantee that you can be heard in the car, in traffic.

Louder than that – if it’s just a big boom-y “deejay” delivery – will make you sound robotic, unmindful of the “texture” that whatever you’re saying needs.

Softer is okay if you move closer to the mic to project a bit better, but if you get TOO soft, you may not be heard at all.  And THAT would be a real shame.


Tommy Kramer

Tommy has spent over 35 years as an air talent, programmer, operations manager and talent coach - working with over 300 stations in all formats. He publishes the Coaching Tip

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