Radio advertising production usually happens in three stages. A copywriter or advertising writer actually writes the script for the commercial, voice talent then reads the script and records the audio, and a production specialist then puts the whole thing together. The end result typically often has music, sound effects, or both added to it. It usually takes a team of professionals less than a day to carry out radio advertising production from scratch. A single person with the right skills and equipment can produce an advertisement by herself, but the process is often carried out by a team of professionals.
Copywriting is the first stage of radio advertising production. Sometimes a business will write its own script and then submit it to a radio station or a production company to create it. It’s more common for a business owner to present a concept that includes his or her branding and ideas to a radio station, and the copywriting will stem from that. The actual writing of the radio advertisement is usually carried out by the marketing staff at a radio station, and sometimes it’s done by the salesperson who sold the ads. This often depends on the size of the station and the number of employees it has.
Once the script is written, it’s then passed on to the voiceover specialist or vocal talent. This can be one or more people, depending on how elaborate the script is. The vocal talent then reads or dramatizes the script in a soundproof recording booth. The talent will often read the script two or three times in order to give the technician more options to work with. Their voices are recorded onto digital or tape format and then supplied to the technician for the final step in the radio advertising production.
Using digital recording and mixing software, the technician will then load the voice talents’ audio tracks into a computer. The technician will often add a music bed underneath the advertisement, followed by any sound effects. The software is capable of using multiple audio tracks, and each of the elements is often laid on a separate track. The technician will usually adjust the audio levels of several of these elements so that the music doesn’t overpower the voice track. Once the radio advertising production is completed, the client or business owner will often review it before having the ad placed on the air.