In the Studio: Rory O’Shea

Posted on Posted in Blog, Blog Feeds, In the Studio

I got to check in with a talented Imaging Producer and Sound Designer in Canada.  Vancouver to be specific, though he lived other places…as you will read.  Rory O’Shea is his name and I grilled him on EVERY damn thing about himself and what he does!  All outlined by him below.  I got some studio pics and screen-grabs and of course some audio.  He is one of these producers that likes to be organized and creates his own custom work-parts like an actual professional, none of which I know much about but I HOPE to learn 😉  He did mention after he wrote this that you will hear Trevor Shand on The Beat 94.5 Imaging.  This is a glaring example of what a great In the Studio post looks like and I thank Rory VERY much for his time to tell us about his setup and what he does.  His site is  If you would like to join the party with your very own IN The Studio post, just shoot me your info and we can get it rolling!!

***OH and don’t forget to read his input on my EQ/COMP post at the end, IN BOLD.

 – Mac Pro 8 core with 8 Gb ram
– Pro Tools 9.05 (Upgrading to PT 10 soon I hope)
 – Mbox 3 Pro
– Rode NT 1-A mic (Not the best, but It gets the job done) and a big blanket I put over my head to avoid room verb and noise..
– KRK VXT ‘4’ Speakers
A bit About me:
– Started in radio in 2000, so been doing Radio production for over twelve years
– In 2002 I moved to The Beat 94.5 in Vancouver as commercial producer when it was still a independently owned Rhythmic station. in 2003 it flipped to CHR and shortly after  I became the Imaging Director. I stayed with The Beat until 2008, it was bought out by CHUM radio in 2006.
– 2008-2009 I was Imaging director for Flow 93.5 in Toronto, but I missed the west coast, and the Mountains, Ocean and fresh air. So In the summer of 2009 I moved back to Vancouver did a short stint at a Triple A station as a producer then in September 2009 started my freelance Imaging company. First called O’Shea Creative, I now go by Smash Audio Design.
My first client, and still my main bread and butter is 99.3 The Fox in Vancouver. I do all the Imaging and promos from my home ‘studio’ I do pop in once in awhile but it’s nice not having to go in everyday.
– I’ve also done imaging for Wired 96.3 in Saskatoon, C95 in Saskatoon. Not at the same time though, they’re competing CHR stations.
– In late 2010 I wanted to expand my freelance career into doing Sound for TV/Film/and Video games. Since I worked from home, and it really didn’t matter what time of day I did the Imaging for The Fox, I enrolled in Vancouver Film School’s program called ‘Sound Design for Visual Media’ and embarked on a crazy year of full-time work and full-time school.
– Since graduating last year I’ve gotten into doing Sound Design for some TV commercials, short films and corporate videos.
Even  More….
Also, since 99.3 The Fox has no subscriptions to Imaging Libraries, and being Freelance I don’t have access to any. So I Design all my own sound effects and music beds that I use in my production. I’m toying with putting out a SFX library called Smash Audio FX as I have hundreds built up.
I attached some screen shots, as you can tell I love to keep my sessions organized and color coded and I use a ton of busses. I also included my main VO chain for the thinned out main voice I use on the Fox. I have about five different variations depending on what effect I’m going for on the voice. These are some of my own, plus tips I’ve picked up over the years and tweaked as I go.  It seems every few months I’m back fooling around with my settings trying to improve them. Plus I have a main ‘plain voice’ with very little EQing.
***Also on a side note, on your post about EQ or compression first. I ALWAYS EQ first, because when you eq it brings out all the peaks and sibilance that’s not apparent in the regular voice, so the compression keeps that in check and I always have a Desser as the last plugin in my chain. This is the standard in the film world, and when I sit in a movie the voice always sounds rich and full, I don’t know the science behind it, all I know is it sounds better to me to EQ first then Compression.

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