Voice Over Studio in Illinois
It was the fall of 1985 when I received a call from Ron Westphal, owner of Ron Westphal Chevrolet in Aurora, Illinois. At the time, Ron was an advertising client of the local radio station I managed. We had a common interest in flying as we both had our own airplanes and that usually preceded any other topic when we spoke. On that particular fall day, Ron called my office to tell me that he had been visited from some “jerk” from one of the music royalty companies insisting that they stop playing our FM radio station in his showroom’s overhead music system and to remove it from his telephone On Hold System or be sued for music right infringement. They gave Ron the option to sign an agreement which would give him a “Play to Play” license and allow him to put CDs or the FM radio back on. Like many businesses owners, he couldn’t understand why his business must pay for the privilege of playing a commercial FM radio station or to have to pay to play his own personal CDs. He wasn’t aware of music copyright laws and his attitude was that if he had to pay to play why not put information on his phone system about his dealership. He asked me to come up with some ideas on how to implement Message On Hold for his dealership.
I tossed the idea around the radio station and all but one person just shrugged the idea off as some kind of hair brain idea that didn’t have any appeal. Only one person was interested in the idea of putting together a Message On Hold concept and presenting it to car dealers! Chuck Filippi and Dave Sonefeld became partners in the newly formed Illinois Audio Productions in the winter of 1985 and Ron Westphal Chevrolet became Illinois Audio Productions first Message On Hold Customer.
At the time, CDs were just being released and players and recorders were somewhat rare. Our first Message On Hold player used an auto reverse cassette player made by Peso which was imported from Italy. Initially, we targeted customers within a 25 mile radius from our offices. The cassette players required routine cleanings and we provided the needed maintenance to our clients. If the tape heads were not cleaned on a routine basis, the tape breaks, drags or just began sounding distorted.
In 1989, we discovered that endless loop tape was a better option for music on hold players and in 1993 moved all of our subscribing customers to digital players that downloaded a standard cassette on to a memory chip.
Today, Illinois Audio Productions, Inc is owned and operated by my family. We boast a voice talent pool of more than 50 voices…plus access to many other foreign and character voices. Our recordings can be heard as close in town here in Plano, Illinois to as far away as Grenada, West Indies. Our digital player offerings include IP based networkable players, Mp3 download, Cd and many more. Not long after clients began enjoying the quality of our voices and high level of customer service, they have turned to us to produce their radio commercials, voicemail prompts, e-learning & cbt narrations and much more.