mail@PeterBakerVoiceover.com +44 7831 231869
In the last 12 months, Peter Baker has recorded material for many international organisations including these organisations
I seem to have spent my whole life communicating…
As a child, I was brought up on listening to the UK pirate radio ships
and forts and I made my own transmitters (with valves!) in my bedroom
and had my own radio station for my town every Sunday when the
Post Office people had a day off and couldn’t catch you!
I was amazingly lucky and got sponsored through University by the
BBC engineering department, something they don’t do anymore.
At Bath University, I was a presenter on the campus radio station,
University Radio Bath, and loved the job so much I made a showreel
and sent it off to the new independent stations around the UK.
I had a job offer from Piccadilly Radio in Manchester, a place I had
ashamedly never even visited. Piccadilly was an astonishingly
successful new radio station and I was selected to be a presenter and
worked with many great broadcasters and commercial production people
who taught me an awful lot about voiceover and presentation techniques.
I hosted a variety of time slots before getting the rock show gig, where I
was interviewing bands and artistes and then I was asked to host
the Piccadilly Radio breakfast show for 5 years. If you want to know
more about the flavour of the Piccadilly Radio years, check out
Chris Evans’ book “It’s Not What You Think”. I worked with BBC
Radio 2’s breakfast host Chris when he was at Piccadilly, and he
kindly has put me in his chart of “The Best DJ’s I have Ever Heard”!
Very good of you, Chris! I also worked with “Mr Jingles” Steve England
and top radio ad producer Tony Hawkins who really helped me hone my
voiceover work as well as learn many audio production techniques.
We were between us writing and producing a wide selection of
station promos and radio commercials for clients and even radio drama.
After about 9 years in total at Piccadilly Radio, I then got all sensible and
got a news job at the BBC presenting on TV. I started off as a bulletin
newsreader for the West region, “opting out” from the London feed for
the breakfast, lunchtime and late news bulletins. It was like being a DJ
in that I had to operate my own gear! Nobody was in the gallery; I switched
my own lights on, adjusted my own “studio”, fixed my microphone and
pressed the sequence of buttons to get me onto BBC-1! Such power!
After doing this for a while, I was also invited to be the presenter of
various features and short reports for “Points West”, the BBC regional
show and this gave me invaluable directing experience as well as
presenting. I continued voiceover work as well as hosting a regular
BBC Radio Bristol show.
Returning to Manchester in the late 1980’s, I was offered the
breakfast show on the newly formed KEY 103 radio station and also
to set up a division making radio & TV commercials. I was also
presenting a TV show each evening on ITV Granada called
Granada Action, a ten minute “know your rights” kind of show.
Eventually I joined Granada as a staff person, directing and
producing all kinds of material and putting my voice on as much as
I could; if you ever watched the motoring shows on the UK’s
Men & Motors channel in the 90’s my name was at the end of every
one of those shows! In that era, we also discovered Richard Hammond,
who is now a star of the UK’s Top Gear series.
These days, as well as training business people in communication skills
and dealing with the media, I’m also a TV director on various projects
such as company training videos, I’m a good broadcast cameraman
and video editor as well, but my main work is in my custom built broadcast
quality studio, where I record voiceovers.
I love the world of audio where your choice can paint so many pictures
in listeners’ “Theatre of the Mind”. I am lucky to be asked a wide variety
of really creative scripts ranging from TV and radio commercials to
audio books which can mean a whole couple of days or more reading,
recording, editing and editing. My equipment includes top of the range
studio Neumann U87 and TLM 103 microphones, and professional
software such as Adobe Audition to edit and optimise as required.
Most clients send me scripts with firm direction and let me get on with it,
but many like to direct me while recording. That’s fine, and the best and
easiest way is for us to be linked via Skype - but I record the studio output
at my end. Then I edit the recordings with the best takes and send clients
the files via the internet after the session. This system gives far better
quality than the ISDN line system which often gives distortion or
interference over the miles of lines & compression.
For most non-broadcast projects, the client has total rights over the
recording with no future royalties or repeat fees at all.
Check out the rates for broadcast and non-broadcast projects here.
As well as being a very experienced audio editor and producer I also happen to be skilled at video editing using Adobe Premiere Pro; useful if a project involves his voiceover needing to be mixed and adding to existing Powerpoint slides or video footage.
On my demo page you will find extract montages of projects other clients commissioned including a wide range of videos. I am always willing to demo an excerpt of your actual script at no cost or obligation if you send it to him. They say "if you want anything done, ask a busy man". Well, I’m a very busy voiceover artist and media producer, but I also really enjoy being busy! I always have time to fit into my recording sessions scripts for charitable organizations, religious audio projects and good causes which are not charged for at all.
So, if there is no budget for one of your projects that could benefit people or be worthwhile in other ways,
please feel free to get in touch if I can help you out with a voiceover or two!
On the practical side of business, when you send me your scripts, please double check the grammar and punctuation and please let me know any unusual pronunciations, by giving me links to Forvo or HowjSay,
or please send me an mp3 of you saying the words that I may not know how to pronounce – thanks!
If you’d like to know how long a script is likely to last in time, at the BBC, we always worked out durations estimating three words a second. So simply count the words in your script, divide by 2.5, then divide again by 60 to get the number of approximate minutes.
So what do I do in my spare time? I still create! I love writing songs, and if you’re interested, please check out the pop demos I’ve written at www.songnet.co.uk If you need a future hit for your new album, have a listen!
I hope you’ve found this interesting and I look forward to working with you. Finally a snap of me in the 1970’s when I had a bad hair day! Thanks to Piccadilly Radio journalist Stephen Fleay for the photo!
PETER BAKER firstname.lastname@example.org