Something that you might not know about Radio spots

Posted on August 26, 2011 by


This is a tip that doesn’t deal directly with casting, but is something that even many radio spot producers don’t know.

When a radio spot runs a full 60 seconds, sometimes your first word or two and last word or two can become lost in the spot that comes before or after yours, or may actually be slightly cut off. I’ve been told that in an effort to combat that, many producers will make sure to add a tiny bit of space before and after the spot, thus making the spot actually 59 ½ seconds long, with a quarter second of silence in front and back.

The problem? At the radio station, they generally ignore this space and simply cut to the very beginning of your sound file and to the end. Thus you still run the risk of losing the beginning and end of your spot, and in this case, you’ve lost a half second for no real reason.

This is why you will often hear some sort of sound effect at the beginning and/or end of the spot. Or you might hear a tiny bit of music at the beginning and end of the spot, even when there is no music (bed) under the actual voice over.

One suggestion would be to talk with the people at the stations you buy time with and ask them how they handle things and for their suggestions.

About the Author

This tip was brought to you by J.S. Gilbert, who has quietly been performing and producing voice over for many years. A lifetime of documented screw-ups has led to him being able to advise you on best practices for getting almost any audio done well, on time and within budget. J.S. uses Voice 123 both as a talent and as a voice seeker and was an early adopter of online casting. You can find out more about him and hear his demos at

J.S. Gilbert J.S is a guest blogger and a talent of Voice123

Photo by Leeooh

Posted in: Cast Smart