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May 17, 2024

Kevin Conroy: Audio Director of The Saints

May 17, 2024
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Kevin Conroy, Audio Director of The Saints, runs us through his process, inspiration, and background for a life in audio. You can hear more of Kevin's work here!

TMB: As much as you can, can you walk us through the post production process?,

Kevin Conroy: It starts in the room. As we're recording takes, we select all the best takes from the session. Next, our audio assembler goes through the entire recording session and takes out everything we're not using, keeping the best takes, and lining up the session in chronological order so that we have completed episodes of dialogue from start to finish. From there, I meet with the director, and we go over the entire vision of the series. I meet with my team, and we go over the vision for the series together. They put together several drafts. We give notes, and once they’re implemented, the session comes to me, and I take it the rest of the way there. Simultaneously, we have music designers that select and compose several scoring options for each scene. After that, I select the best music options and mix them into the episodes. Lastly, I master the episodes.

TMB: What's your role within the process?

Kevin Conroy: As Audio Director, I manage a team of six Assistant Sound Designers, two Music Designers, two Board Operators, and an Audio Assembler. And I work in collaboration with the Director of each series to create the world for each Saint.

TMB: How long have you been working in audio and how did you get started?

Kevin Conroy: I've been working in audio for about 13 years. I started in music composition and production, at which point I joined Relevant Radio, where I was a producer for several shows and all the advertising content that was going out on our stations at the time. When the Merry Beggars were acquired by Relevant Radio, I joined them as Lead Audio Producer. Producing all of their content. At the time I joined, episode one of A Christmas Carol had already been released and episode two - still unfinished - was set to be released the next day.  I had my work cut out for me, building a whole world in the course of less than a day. But I went through it and got it done, and it's been our most popular show to date. Since then, I've worked on On the Night Train, several more of The Quarantine Plays, and, of course, The Saints.

The X-32 Board during a recording session.

TMB: What’s the best part about creating the Saints?

Kevin Conroy: The best part about creating the Saints is creating the worlds that they live in. We build unique sound scapes, not just for the location, but all the actions that take place – really, we make all these things that come together to create the world. That’s the best part about making The Saints for me. When we build a world like that, it allows each of the actors performances to shine. And hey - if we get to design an explosion, that's a bonus!

TMB: Do you have any advice for young people interested in working in audio?

Kevin Conroy: It starts with three things - first and most important, a passion. You have to have a passion for audio. The passion is what is going to drive you through the entire process of developing your craft. The second aspect is honing your ear. You have to have a good ear for audio. And that starts with listening to excellent productions that you're passionate about – and to practice. Finally, finding a good mentor to guide you through that process is also key. Constructive feedback is what's going to make you better each and every day. All three of these also work together. If you have that passion, you’ll be hungry to hone your ear and to make the most of that feedback from a mentor. You'll get better and better while also developing your own style.

Kevin Conroy is an award-winning producer and writer. Producing commercials for nearly 600 national and local clients, he most notably wrote and produced the One Voice Award winning commercial “Crispy.” Other nominees for this category included McDonald’s, Miller Lite, and Benjamin Moore. In 2021, he joined The Merry Beggars as Lead Audio Producer, before becoming Audio Director. His work includes A Christmas Carol, The Quarantine Plays (episodes 6-12), On the Night Train, and The Saints.

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