Artwork for podcast Audio Branding
The Evolution Of The Audio Industry: A Conversation With Van Gunter - Part 2
Episode 17122nd February 2023 • Audio Branding • Jodi Krangle
00:00:00 00:37:07

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“And I parked my car, I jumped out of the car, and this happy dog is springing around, and I laid down on the sidewalk because I know that they want submissive approaches. So I sat down and then I laid down, and then kind of did stuff so he’d come over and sniff me, and then I lightly grabbed the pup named Jazz, which was funny, and right as I was, like, laying on the sidewalk sprawled out, sprawled out like I’d just been hit in the head with a bat, this cop drives by. And he looks out and he sees me and he sees this dog, and he just keeps driving by. He didn’t even stop, didn’t say nothing, was like ‘not today, mm mm, not dealing with that weirdness.’” -- Van Gunter


This week’s the second half of my interview with voice artist, DJ, and sound engineer Van Gunter as we talk about some of Van’s spookier experiences with sound, the value of social media when it comes to building a brand, and why he always keeps emergency dog treats and leashes in his car.

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Keeping Everything Moving

The second half of our interview starts with Van’s account of some of the spooky audio phenomena that the acoustics of his studio, a converted church, can create. “It creates a lot of silence and weird pockets of sounds. There’s so many times that I thought there were people here in the building, and it’s totally empty.” Van offers his voiceover advice as a sound engineer and how he works to ease anxieties and helps sessions go more smoothly. “It’s the respect and the simplicity of keeping communication,” he says, “but that's also teamwork... it’s just keeping everything moving and flowing.”


A Puppy Studio

“I am a firm believer,” Van says, “in the power of the puppies.” We talk about how he and his wife work with rescue dogs and some of his most memorable adventures when it comes to helping animals, and he shares their volunteer work has taught him about “speaking canine,” a skill that’s just as useful with humans as it is with dogs. "I love to speak canine because it does sweet things and we're a puppy studio," he explains. "Things melt away, anxiety melts, and people become whole again."


Teamwork With a Vengeance

As our interview comes to a close, Van tells us about his latest projects, including what he calls a dangerously catchy new jingle. “We need to remember this time right now,” he playfully warns us, “because in a few weeks when this hits the air, you're going to want to hit me with a bat.” We also talk about his work at the Sidewalk Film Festival, which he calls a "teamwork with a vengeance experience.” Van credits his wife and their sixteen years of marriage for keeping him sane and talks about the important role social media plays in this day and age when it comes to branding. “I think we all need to get a little bit more active, if you want to, on social media. I certainly need to.”


Episode Summary

  • How building acoustics can create unsettling audio effects and illusions
  • Van’s advice as an audio engineer when it comes to voiceover
  • How “speaking canine” can be a valuable skill for working with humans
  • Boutwell’s latest projects, including DIY Science Time’s new season


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Editing/Production by Humberto Franco -