Sunday, April 10, 2011


Voice tracking is a way of life for most radio stations, programmers and air talent. Voice tracking doesn’t have to be negative. It can be a useful tool to have key talent on the air more often and to keep the station sounding consistent on weekends and holidays. Voice tracking the right way can not only make you sound live, it can free up talent to do other duties to make your radio station even stronger.

Here are a few tips to make your voice tracking sound as live as possible:

Always cut your voice tracks as close to the time they are going to run as possible. This will put you in the right frame of mind for your show.

Live shift or voice tracked? They need to sound the same. Be consistent.

Prep and prepare. Just like when you are live, bring your show prep and use it.

If you fumble or make a mistake, leave it in. It will sound more live and real this way. Most likely your live show isn’t perfect, your voice tracks don’t have to be either.

Find ways to reference the time. You can say "coming up in the next ten minutes before 1 o'clock I’ve got…" or "a few minutes after two." Simple tricks like this will make you sound even more live.

Be topical and in the “now.” Talk about things happening in your area while you are on the air.

Reflect your day part. If you are tracking midday’s talk about being at work. If you are tracking afternoons, keep in mind people are ending their workday and heading home. Tracking overnights? Most of your listeners are working a third shift or can’t sleep. Talk to them. Simple words will help you connect with what listeners are doing in different day parts.

Have a three ring binder that has all the exact same promo copy, liners and station information that’s in the studio. Consistency is key.

Never feel the need to say the day of the week (“…with you on a Monday”). It doesn’t make you sound any more live to say the day of the week. You just create useless words by telling people something they already know.

Think of your voice tracks as “a show”, not “a shift.” This goes for when you are live as well.

If you have the technical capabilities to run phoners, do it. They will make the show sound extremely live and help connect you to the listener.

Just like when you are live, think of just ONE listener. Use “I” and “you”, not “we” or “us.”

Above all, take some pride and put forth some effort in your voice tracks. A little extra work can make good voice tracks great.


  1. Right on John! And if you have artist audio talking about their song, drop it in over the intro 'I had a chance to ask Kenny Chesney about his upcoming tour...' or maybe you had the mayor in the week before and you're vtk'ing the weekend, again drop the audio in and reference the day he was on with you. We voicetrack quite a bit in Bozeman, but always try to make it sound as live as possible!
    Thanks for the goods John!

  2. I know this is an old post, but I love it. Just what I needed now I'm preping to do voice tracking myself.