What Makes Us Special
New Look, Same Great Services
We've Retired the Kid, But Not the Vibe
If you’re a returning client, you remember this image of a kid letting it rip into the mic.
This image has always been emblematic of the creative vibe we want all our clients to experience.
It’s not about shouting into the mic, it’s about creating with abandon. No filters.
Producers, directors, writers, creators, actors – everybody should get to create like that. Everyone should get to record voice over in Los Angeles like that.
Despite our growth these past few years, the creative vibe remains our core value.
LAVO is still a home for that kid, letting it rip.
If you’re new to LAVO, this page will fill you in on why we love our clients and our clients love us.
If you’ve been coming to LAVO for a while, there’s some new info on this page that wasn’t on the previous site.
Plus a little history at the bottom because our advertising friends always tell us that people want to hear our founder’s story. Spoiler: it’s long.
Check out the info and let us know what you think. We’re all ears.
It's All About Our Mission
Mission is fun, but it’s no joke. Everything stems from the mission.
And here at L.A. Voiceover, that’s you – YOU are our mission. Really.
Despite our rapid growth over the past few years, LAVO remains a boutique voiceover recording studio in the truest sense. Your project becomes our project, and we’re driven to help you succeed. Each and every session. Big projects, little projects…everyone’s project is always the most important one.
We’ve been around a minute and have seen some things. At the same time, there’s nothing more exciting than learning new things. Keeping current on new voice over trends and technologies. This level of experience helps us support you to get what you want from your session.
The only surprises you’ll find here are the happy kind.
Like, when your actor knocks your tag out of the park.
Or when your narrator gives everyone goosebumps.
Or when your pitch gets the green light.
Or when all the dialogue you’ve recorded separately comes together with the same ease and realism as if it had all been recorded together.
Or when your audition lands you a role on a show you’ve been dying to be on.
That’s because these aren’t actually surprises. These are successes you work hard to achieve. And there’s nothing more fun for us than watching you achieve those goals and helping in any way we can.
Our mission is to make you happy and help you shine.
Why New Clients Can Trust Us
Here are some of the companies we’re honored to call clients. We deeply appreciate their trust and their high standards for quality. And we’re proud to support the value they bring to their customers, clients, viewers, listeners and fans around the world. We’re their voiceover recording studio, and we’d like to be yours as well.
And finally, if you want the founder's story...
(put the kettle on, though, it's long)
It’s hard to say exactly how it started, this obsession I have with sound recordings.
When I was 2, my dad got hold of a reel-to-reel tape machine and recorded my sister and me playing “How Big Is the Baby”. You know, the adult asks, “How big is the baby?” and the baby stretches up tall and says, “This big!” I’m sure we were adorable (or at least our parents thought so). Unfortunately, I’ve never heard that recording because a fellow at my dad’s work carelessly recorded over it when he was trying to sell a tape machine. For which transgression, my father apparently drove the guy’s car into a brick wall out back of the building. One of the many things to love about my dad. Regardless, the recording was lost forever.
But the idea of how important a recorded voice was? That became locked in my psyche forever.
My mom was an actor, and so I kinda grew up backstage, which was all kinds of fun. Although I tried acting when I was a kid, it didn’t stick. Me, I loved music. And perhaps because of the era in which I grew up, the recording arts always seemed to be part of that. So while the world of acting, and being around actors, became part of my foundation, my head was filled with sound. And my heart became filled with making it special.
When I was about 13 or 14, I got hold of a clunky reel-to-reel tape machine. I would record my voice making all kinds of utterances and then I’d manually wind the tape backwards and listen to it, mesmerized by the transformation. Then I realized that by inverting the tape that way, I was able to record on just one channel at a time. So I started recording various sounds – books dropped to the floor was a favorite, but also shuffling bottles on table tops, opening and closing windows and doors, fluffing drapery, an oddly plucked guitar string, random audio recordings played out of a battery-operated cassette deck, and of course spoken and sung words…It all felt meaningful, combining sounds, listening in reverse, breaking the laws of physics (in my mind), although it was likely more amusing than important.
But yeah, that was probably the actual beginning. Those magical double-mono recordings and the constant search for fresh ways to record and listen to sound. It was a kind of fun that I found deeply satisfying.
Then in the 80s, at my first professional music recording session – such excite! – friends of my producer were in a small side suite at the Warner Bros. Amigo Studio, trying to hammer out some commercials for records that Warner Bros was releasing. The VO talent they’d hired apparently didn’t have quite the desired juice for the job. They asked me to try so that they could hear a female voice deliver the script. Apparently it was magic, and a few weeks later I got my first voiceover check. It was marvelous. And I did more. And more. The work was fun, and getting paid was very fun.
I continued to be an on-mic voice talent myself while deciding, slowly, that the elusive record deal was just too elusive. Eventually, I started scoring tv shows and indie film, which was a lot more fun than the record industry. And I continued to do voiceover, because it was also fun. I was vaguely aware that my experience of being a voice talent informed how I perceived the role of underscore. But only in retrospect, now, do I see how powerfully informative all my audio experiences have been upon one another.
In the summer of 1998, I was living in Silverlake and outgrowing my apartment with gear and more gear. So I started looking for studio space and called some places in the old L.A. 411 book. I connected with Wally Burr. Wally was the wayback machine of voiceover. He’d directed everything, from radio and TV spots in the 60s to the Transformers, Gem and the Holograms, G.I. Joe and so forth in the 80s. He had a full recording studio on Hollywood Way, and a small suite of studios a few doors north. He and I struck our rental deal with a handshake and I prepared to move all my gear, and then some, to Burbank.
I continued to live in Silverlake and commuted every day with my dog, John Macduff. I set up the patch bays into the late night on the 3rd of July, my grandmother’s birthday. As always, John Macduff supervised the setup work, to ensure I made no mistakes. (He was always the brains in the operation.)
Driving home on the 5 that hot summer night, windows down and sunroof wide open, John and I agreed that something special was happening. A new phase.
After a few months, Wally started asking me to do some recording of voiceover in the one-room space I rented from him. It was fun, and everyone seemed to love the results. It seemed I’d become the 2 guys in the small side suite at Amigo Studio.
Eventually, Wally occasionally needed someone to run Pro Tools in the main studio, was I interested? Heck yeah! A big console, 9 mics in the live room plus a booth, massive monitors in the soffits…nothing more fun in the world. Moving from the mic side of the glass to the console side was pure magic. And I was hooked.
At first I did, indeed, just run Pro Tools for sessions. Weird to think that doing nothing but run Pro Tools was an actual thing back then, lol. But it was still new to a lot of the older engineers. I’d been working in Pro Tools, and before that Sound Tools, for several years, delivering score for TV. I knew it, and Mac computers, better than most of the recording engineers I spoke. So I ran Pro Tools and started to soak up everything they knew about the mic’ing talent, signal path, and the console itself.
After awhile, I started running Pro Tools while also working the console. And mic’ing talent. And producing. I even started to get experience directing talent. All that good stuff.
My first completely solo session as an engineer/producer was with Richard Simmons, who was pretty big back then. He showed up in trademark tank top and shorts, followed by a small entourage, with his arms outstretched to give me a huge VO hug. Hilarious! He brought a new layer of fun, and I just loved the whole thing.
Eventually, Wally wanted to retire. I helped him close out his studio and set up my own audio post house on Naomi off Magnolia, less than a mile from where I’d started in Burbank. My joint, Essential Soundworks, provided music, sound design, voiceover services, and mixing. The full panel of audio post production. So I was still scoring tv and film as well, but increasingly voiceover was grabbing my primary focus.
While on Naomi, I had the opportunity to record some amazing local talent as well as celebrities. When I recorded Angela Lansbury, I borrowed a beautiful china cup and saucer from my mom because part of the amenities clause of the contract was that Miss Lansbury took tea in a china cup, not disposable paper. Michael York – super gentleman – turned me onto some new nutrient supplements for eye care. Wonderful local L.A. talents, like the amazing Wendee Lee of anime fame, became friends. Tab Hunter came in one day to record a DVD commentary and we had a detailed conversation about desert boots, which we both were wearing. Dee Wallace Stone graciously floated through to record a meditation. And on top of that, so many wonderful voices I knew from film and TV at the time. Everything, every day, so much fun.
Twelve years later, when I moved the studio to the westside, I rebranded from Essential Soundworks to L.A. Voiceover. No more sound design, no more mixing, no more scoring. Instead, I focused on exactly what I wanted to provide – a voiceover recording studio that ticks all the right boxes. We started on Motor Avenue, north of Venice Blvd. but since 2019 have been a few blocks south on Culver Blvd, across the street from Sony.
I hope you’ll come record your voice over with us. Producers, directors, ad execs, actors…whatever you do, we’re here for it. I really enjoy helping our clients achieve the success they deserve. And always, we have a lot of fun here.
On both sides of the mic.
Deon Vozov, owner
We love to listen.
Reach out with what’s on your mind. Let us know how we can help.