Production Demos

Here’s some examples of my work over the past 30 years.  The idea is that you read the spiel first then play the mp3s.  Deciding what to actually demo is so difficult a choice.  I do all production, writing and compiling of voice over work etc.   Most of the Jingles and songs are co-written with my centuries old mate ALLAN JENNINGS, who happens to be a very adept musician.  He doesn’t know how weirdly talented he is.  He just plays –  ‘Hey, loop that, we have a hit’.  Then I will add the dinky little catchy bits if I can.  Together we come up with it somehow, but he is just a natural.   It is a good job really, because I am a mere plonker and without him I’d get all the notes wrong.  We have written so much together and good melodic, catchy stuff at that. We have  recorded demos, but for reasons you wont agree, nothing has been compiled into full length for commercial release YET!  Basically, I am always too busy doing other people’s stuff which to say the least I am grateful for, but long term I should have given some time over to what we need to do.

I did release the boarding music for AIR ARABIA, but that was myself and KAZ KAZEROONI.   The old stuff is as good, if not better than the new really and Mick Flynn was a big contributor and inspiration. The new generation of clients just don’t seem to want the old polish which I so lovingly add.  Anyway, first the ‘Warning’ just in case anyone gets any ideas about copying. Yeah, I’ve been pirated many times and we generally catch ’em. No need, just ask if you want to use something, I might let you.  It is all LOW BIT RATE for convenience, so it ‘esses’ a bit on low quality PC systems.  ALL SAMPLES ARE COPYRIGHT PROTECTED TO:   I HATE GEG HOPKINS PRODUCTIONS – ROLL YOUR OWN RECORDS.

Download Copyright Warning with a religious tone


These samples are written by me for my own clients. Clients include all the famous names you can think of from Starbucks to DHL. Of course, only a few simple samples are shown here but you want more, just ask. Back  tracks are mostly off the shelf stuff we pay for in bulk. Some are sneaky samples all mixed up. Tommy Hilfiger sounds remarkably like something from Def Leopard. Thanks boys. I didn’t know how to contact you to ask if I could steal that chord. We didn’t use this bed in the end, but I use it here because I like it.

Download Various voice-over style commercials.


Here’s the original music selection I have produced in our own studio.  All have been copyrighted and aired at some stage.  I don’t have a million Dollar set up, but it is a million Dollars to me  and I am not the the world’s best sound engineer, nor the worst,  but I get into it and  I also write the words with the melody, which can be tough at times.   Over the past 25 years or so, Allan Jennings and I have written so many 30 – 45 seconds advertising jingles and radio stings   each of which we swear to turn into songs one day.  Never going to happen.  Hey;  don’t knock it, short catchy jingles are harder to write than songs, trust me.

 I never realised I could do them until a great friend (as mentioned above)  Mick Flinn (he of New Seekers fame and others)  knocked out some simply brilliant stuff and his genius made it look so easy as he spliced bits of half track tapes.  He is a wizard musician as his his wife Donna with the throat and I only wish for a quarter of his talent.

Funny,  other than in places like Turkey, you just don’t hear so many jingles these days. Mind you, I have compressed the shit out of the demos on here and they sound like it.  It don’t know who did the Turkey Airlines ‘We are Turkish Airlines’ thing which goes world wide, but it sounds so cheaply done like a pub band of Filipinos  on a cassette recording in a bathroom. (Same as the Malaysia truly Asia thing).   This makes our stuff sound Abbey Road.  (Not that there is anything wrong with Filipino talent as it is some of the best in the world).     Coca Cola don’t even bother forking out for jingles any more. Maybe the world has lost its touch.  We haven’t,  give me a call.

Download Original Music Jingles and Stings


Oh I’ve had a lot of fun doing some of these for the big boys. Dead corporate to dead stupidly funny. I think  British Caledonian Airways was my first Airline client way back in 1980 something and used the line. ‘So good you don’t want to get off’. A very simple phrase ‘after’ it has been thought of and one which had the public mimicking the lines, emulating the  Scottish voice-over’s rendering. I’ve done a lot for KLM and QANTAS. 

Download Airline Samples.


With my coarse voice, many production houses, especially radio station asked me to knock out stings and station IDs. I did one for Heart FM in London as it was opening, but they never even bothered to listen to it.  Later, a good man and I would say now friend Francis Currie took over as Programme Controller at Heart,  but I did not know that. He once offered me a DJ job with him while he was at Bull Ring Radio in Birmingham UK.  He moved to Melody FM in London, but I did not follow up. Shoot me now! Too late, Francis now runs his own consultancy business. I also answered an industry ad for BBC Radio One UK and sent off what was a ripper, hard hitting, no contest demo and everyone in the biz I know said so. Unbeknown to me,  the tapes were delayed in transit and arrived on the morning of closure and I was told by a rather cold-hearted voice at Radio One that anything received that morning was automatically binned.  They missed out!

Download Radio Station jingles, stings and I.D.s


Who knows the answer to that?  Sometimes I sit for days and wonder what the second line is going to be, then somehow it comes.  Again, everything is abstract.  We don’t release anything Allan or I  feels to be  sub-standard or not catchy.  So when clients ask for 3 or 4 samples, the second word is always “OFF”.  You get the one we like and you’ll like it too or obviously it will fail and its binned. Back to the boards and start again.

Download Making a Jingle


Less than I would like, if I ever have time, I piss about with samples like you will never know.  Mostly I generate my own, but quite often something fits perfectly and I bang it out to 30 seconds or whatever I need.  Some of this is kick-ass and I can’t remember if I actually played any notes on much of this, it was probably all lifted from the music mag DVDs and CDs they stick on covers.  Don’t ask me to re-generate it as I probably could not.

Download Sample manipulation.


Well this goes on forever but unfortunately funny commercials have such a very short shelf life. Especially if it is a joke, of course once heard it is stale.  Here I just demo a few silly ones which were suprizingly very sucessful.  One I would love to demo is an entire series, but that would not be practical,  as to hear only one, would not reveal the plot.  It was daft but immensely popular and people waited for the next installment. It was a jingle  written for a major telecom company to promote  International Direct Dialing (I.D.D.):  The jingle was written and produced by Mick Flynn of the New Seekers fame. (Mick is an old friend).  It was called; ‘Dial in a tick there’s nothing as quick as the phone’.  In the short voice over section in middle of  the jingle we would insert a very funny series of 10 second scenarios. The character was Carlos the dusky medallion clad stud with a deep, sexy Spanish voice who obviously met Sandra from Manchester while she was on holiday in Spain. The typical love affair began and the promise of endless devotion and marriage.  Once back home Sandra keeps calling Carlos expecting him to be all for it. You would hear the phone ring and Carlos answer with his ‘Ola’, but as soon as he realizes who it is calling him, he puts the phone down.  In  her strong accent Sandra would cry Carlos… Carlos.. Carlos..  The first one went something like:    C: Ola… S: Carlos?  C: Si…  S:  ‘Elo Carlos tiz me Saaandra… the weddinz all arranged… C:  Wedding??????  Ugh!  Click! S:  Carlos.. Carlos..Carlos. The series continues; as we get near the end of the many scenarios we find Sandra’s  sister Julie talking to Carlos on behalf of Sandra and ultimately ends up in Spain with Carlos unbeknown to Sandra of course. Sandra phones and Julie picks it up, sounding a little  sleepy she  mutters that it is 3 o’clock in the morning.  With the sisters sounding exactly alike, Sandra says that she is sorry and asks Julie; ‘Are you Carlos’s mother?   Next  the  mother gets on the phone to scald Carlos  for leading her daughters astray.  Of course she also finds his voice so charming and at the finale mum answers Carlos’s phone when the daughter calls for the last time.

Download A bit of fun


At the turn of the century a group of businessmen and artists got together in South Africa with a view to producting something not too dissimilar to Live Aid.  The event was for charity and the main benefactor would have been UNESCO.  Nelso Mandella sanctioned it along  with United Nations brass and I have the letters to prove it. The idea was to have at least a dozen drummers from as many countries as possible, all dressed up in their national costumes and playing their traditional instruments, marching into the stadium as we reached midnight 1999.  Eventually the stadium would be full with these drummers banging their arses off but to what? 

Next, big named artists would perform all through the day and night as the various time zones hit midnight. The entire event was to be televised world wide and CNN the carrier as I understand.  In the end CNN and MTN had the space but no product to fill it.

Totally in the dark and unaware, I received a call from South Africa from  a chap called Michael.  They wanted me to write and produce the theme song for this event.  Well at first I thought they were taking the piss big time but eventually I was convinced that it was me they wanted as they had heard my jingle work.  Allan and I got to work and followed their instructions to include; love, babies; togetherness; peace, we are the world stuff and of course the DRUM.  But first I wondered just what the drummers would be playing, so I set to work with the midi machines and came up with a short very catchy rhythm. Because it is electronic it is pretty crappy sounding, but imaging this being played by 100 or more drummers all in time on different ethnic drums.  Plus a huge brass section doing their fanfare.  You can hear this short rendering by clicking.  With the main theme written, I went to Cape Town to find a singer and what I thought I needed; a drum producer.  The organizers found one for me, his name Cedric Samson.  We started the recording in SABC with a brilliant young black guy from the township.  Shockingly, I can’t even remember his name but he was wonderful and we cried our eyes out listening to him sing.  Unfortunately his accent was a bit too strong for me for the International appeal of the song and in typical South African twang, he dropped the ‘H’, so it would be.   “When you ‘ere the cry of a new born child, ‘is ‘art so pure ‘is mind unsoiled’ and so on. This and other things caused friction between Cedric and myself as I asked the singer to re-record and stick in the ‘H’.  As talented as Cedric is, it was not my perception of what I wanted to hear.  I did not like the instruments, the fills, the weak drums and I wanted house type guitar descends and two beat power bars inserted.  It became very messy and strong artistic differences prevailed with  Cedric dominating the entire project, which was not what he was there for.   I decided to walk out and let him  get on with it. The organizers were having a fit by now as the new year was only days away. As it happens, at the very last moment some sponsor or other backed out and the entire event was canceled.  Here I demo Cedric’s final version.  The song was NEVER broadcast and has been shelved.  Allan and I planned  to revamp it and release it every single year since, but so far, time has never allowed.  Maybe 2009 will be the year.

Download Short midi drum fanfare sample.

Download Cedric Samson’s version of Drum Millennium


Here’s another story of woe.  A Lebanese agency, Saudi based – approached me to write and arrange the music for 4 rap songs and 4 short TV commercials for the entire Arab world I think.   These songs would be pressed to CD and the CDs distributed free, stuck to thousands and thousand of tins of cheese – The agency provided the words.  No problem!  I have never done anything remotely rap before, but what could be so difficult?  They wanted 3 of them in Arabic and using Arabic traditional instruments. Oh yeah?  They allowed me sort of carte blanche to do number 4 which was in English. Carte blanche meant that it still had to rap and have Arabic instruments mixed with western, but the language English.  Well I did it! I was more surprised than anyone.  Until the very last hours as we approached the deadline, I did not have a clue what to do.  Svetla my faithful soul mate and Operations Manager for the company was sitting with me in the studio crying her eyes out worried sick about me and the pending doom as I had not switched on a key board as yet and I had had 5 weeks to come up with something.  With Svets pushing me on and the adrenalin pressure way up,  low and behold, my guardian angel was hovering and if there is a God, he had clocked in too.  Suddenly I had an idea and off we went.   Working all night, I had the demo down by next day and the CEO’s visit. They loved it!  They LOVED IT!!  Next we auditioned what seemed like 60,000 kids between the ages of 4 and 8,  to see if they could rap the short TV commercial.   You know what they say about working with children and animals.  NEVER AGAIN!  Nonetheless we did it and thanks again to Svetla keeping it in order and to Fadeela who went out of her way for no gain and found the kids.  The TV commercials went out and I was paid for it.  The music was another story.  I completed the 3 Arabic rap versions and set about my own interpretation and something a bit more poppy for the 4th version.   Sadly, I never allowed the final products to be released as I never got paid for it. It was all a bit misty with the Lebanese boys wanting a free hand to run as many copies as they liked with no royalty. Shame, because it would have made a brilliant video and I might be rich now.  But I do like this!

Download Pride Cheese


Without a word of exaggeration, ADmaze Media WLL  (Call them on Bahrain +973 17231234) produce the most efficient Call Centre IVR  and network systems in the world.   Currently contracted up the ying yang with discerning clients, the door is always open to you if you want something outstanding and very special.  It is not my favourite work; as to do it right takes months and months of intense, head down pain. If you think otherwise, then you should stay well away from this business. Apparently, I must have done something very bad in my life that I am not aware of and  God reserved the work for me, because the gift is recognizable and I am good at it. Very good at it!

Telcoms is an odd business stucture and a very lucrative one for many, unless you are a SUPPLIER.  Supliers can do well, but nothing like the operators.  Between operators it is like the CIA with secrets closely guarded and of course this must be maintained, so you use trusted suppliers. Strangely there can be no ‘exclusivity’ between suppliers as much as telecom companies would wish, it just cannot happen.  Nokia-Siemans, Ericsson,  Avaya, Cisco and dozens of others supply and maintain systems as carriers in just about every telecom company in the world one way or the other. It is the same engineers and programmers dashing between them. With ADmaze Media, it is a bit like that too, but exclusivity as far as operations is concerned is given without question. Never worry about that side.

With nearly 30 years experience and even crew with telecommunication qualifications, your needs are actually understood probably more than your project manager’s handle on the business at hand.  I know that sounds like BS and you hear all that crap on every TV and radio ad from every other company; but I have to say, IVRs and Call Centres, neworks and whatever,  is an art and not an occupation. I have to thank my old buddies at Batelco (Bahrain Telecommunications) for that.  Quite a technically excellent company and we bonded years ago.  Learning a lot on the job, we designed and implemented every network right through to GSM. It was during this time that it became obvious that I had a gift for this stuff and few can compete now.  Very sadly, Batelco are naively and structurally disloyal in consistency and we no longer do anything for them.  We hear new systems appearing, which are not very good, but it seems nobody cares or indeed perceives them as substandard.  It is specialized work, but so few see it that way. Anyway, from Batelco, the guys moved to Zain formerly MTC, another excellent company and so it goes on.  By reputation and the movement of these folk, we end up in the most obscure places sometimes.

It is preferred for my team and me to do all the writing, flow charts and all recordings using professional voices in just about any language you like.  The hardest part really is training voices to be able to do prompts to the standard.  There is a knack to this work and that knack is a secret and it is here! The other secret that many ask us to reveal: ‘HOW COME YOUR SYSTEMS ALWAYS SOUND SO LOUD, CLEAR AND CONSISTENT COMPARED TO OTHER SYSTEMS, IN A HEAVILY COMPRESSED TELEPHONE LINE ENVIRONMENT’?  Good question and I am not telling you the answer – just contract us and you’ll benefit and indeed relish ‘the secret’.

Oh yes! Every agency, studio, you name it, claim they are the best at this and that and some even believe it.  Some are brilliant of course at recording music and so on, but Telecom systems is another field altogether, so just go where you know you’ll get the real McCoy. YOU WILL NOT FIND ANOTHER system anywhere in the world as flowing as the ones produced here.  The only  thing that could possibly make systems from here sound a bit off, is interference from you the client, insisting on putting your interpretation on the proceedings, with patronizing, condescending and unnecessary wording.  Leave it to the team at ADmaze Media.  Really, in most cases you are not that ‘instant expert’ you think you are. Too much confidence at this end you say? Compare Gulf Bank Kuwait, or Zain Sudan and Saudi, even Bahrain in its heyday and even now since we revamped it in 2010 – to any other and see if you think they are better?

Silly things do happen though, when lovingly the wrong person is making the wrong decisions sometimes – and often those silly thinks live in a place called ‘marketing’.  In Saudi, someone  insisted on using ‘Muruba’ (square)  instead of ‘Hash’, which now makes the ‘Zain One Network’ with dozens of other countries, slightly incompatible. I did warn and tried to change their minds, but lost the battle. In fact, we lost the battle with Saudi altogether as they did not honour the contract and have indeed corrupted our work. Nevermind, you will let me win eventually.

Admaze Media WLL operates in many countries, but it all comes from Bahrain. We go long term in most cases, servicing the systems up to five years and more.

As for the pysche of the IVR – One quite often gets the impression that telephone prompts are nothing and so throw away and easy to do.  Companies refuse to accept or even perceive that telephone IVR systems are public broadcast and reflect the company’s image. Furthermore your IVR is often the first external to internal connection the public has to your company. How stupid so many of the world’s companies are because 99% of them are just bad bad bad.  But who cares?  Well ADmaze Media does and if you come calling, it wont be cheap, but by GOD you’ll be the best for miles and miles and miles around you, or at least make sure you match next door if we did that for them.

The samples here are just various voices and some even amateur made to sound good. Ooften clients have this weird desire to use someone from their own offices rather than trained professionals or put local accents on broadcast when most people don’t hear their local accents, but others do and it annoys when it is right down your ear.  Using amateurs  makes the work much harder, which surprises some because they percieve it to be the other way around.  I still nurture amateurs (providing they have the desire)  and squeeze out any talent they have.

Listening to the samples here might not do justice if you are not used to hearing demo snips. So better to call the call centres or hotels and listen to the systems ADmaze has installed – in action.

As a foot note and as mentioned above, all telephone delivery systems use a devastating audio compression format, simply because of bandwidth restrictions. The prompts you can hear (by clicking below) are processed and some are actually recorded off a telephone line.  I have also given a sample linking flow, such as an account balance.  An Arabic or whatever language version would be exactly the same flow. Please be aware, each value is a separate prompt and fetched from the system as programmed for that value.

If you can find better in the world,  please tell me, because they deserve huge recognition,

Download Various Prompts and sample on-hold

DownloadRandom variable fetch for example