Sounding off: Virtual Announcer becoming a hit with high schools


An off-handed comment by North Central High School Athletic Director Andy Elkins led public address sports announcer Aaron Pitman to a business venture.

“He made a joke that if we could clone your voice, you could be here more often,” Pitman said. “That’s how the concept of (the) Virtual Announcer program was built.”

Pitman, a Westfield resident, is the only voice for the program, which creates scenarios for a program to run during games when an announcer isn’t available.

Jake Hinson, another Westfield resident and former high school assistant boys basketball coach, joined the company in August 2023 to help with the business end.

“We put Aaron in the studio weeks in advance, and Aaron is able to record everything you need in a game,” Hinson said. “We determined we could predict with 99 percent accuracy everything that is going to be said at a game, but we are not able to predict when it’s going to be said.”

Hinson said they partner with a company in Portland called Sound Director for software to create the program. Sound Director creates the sound effects at Indiana Pacers games, Hinson said.

“We give the program to the school, and we encourage the schools to give it to a student to run the program,” Hinson said.

While schools have live announcers at football and basketball games, Hinson said the program can be used for junior varsity or freshman games or other sports when an announcer isn’t available.

Carmel and Westfield are two of the high schools using the program. Pitman said he is working with North Central to join in the fall.

Pitman is the live announcer at Carmel High School for varsity football, boys and girls basketball and baseball games.

“It benefits us because it takes the stress out of finding a qualified announcer for your events,” Carmel High School assistant athletic director Jeff Hester said. “It can be a little unnerving. Even with the best intentions, sometimes people with a live mic can go off script. For us, a lot of time for our freshman and junior varsity events didn’t have an announcer, or it was a parent volunteer. This gives the same atmosphere of big-time events at the lower levels.”

Hester said he sends the visiting team rosters for Pitman, who records in his home studio. CHS has three laptops with the computer program.

“He pre-records basically anything that could happen, say, in a baseball game,” Hester said.

For football, Hinson said there are generic calls that aren’t player-specific, such as first down or interception. There is no charge for schools to use the program if they have the package.

The cost of 200 game credits is $5,000, which Hinson said most schools purchase. The Virtual Announcer part started in the spring of 2023. Hinson joined in September 2023.

“We allow the athletic administrator to pick and choose how to use the credits,” Hinson said. “We don’t put a time limit on it. If it takes them five years to go through, as long as they have the game credits, they get their sponsorship reads for free. The program is designed to get more student involvement.”

Mic’d Up is the parent company, which includes Virtual Announcer and DJ Mic’D Gameday Radio..

“The DJ goes in and creates DJ mixes and then delivers them to the client events,” Pitman said. “The DJ is Anthony Hope, who is the DJ for the Cincinnati Reds and University of Cincinnati. He goes by DJ Hope.”

Pitman started announcing about 11 years ago on the side. He was the public address announcer for the NHL’s New Jersey Devils for a short time and serves as one of the announcers for USA Volleyball. He is a backup announcer for the Indiana Pacers and does announcer work for Ohio State University and Auburn University.

Pitman was a financial advisor for six years but started transitioning into being a full-time announcer in 2022.

“This opportunity presented itself and you can do what you love,” he said.

For more, visit

Future plans

In the future, Aaron Pitman would like to cut back on his live announcing to spend more time with his wife and 2-year-old daughter.

“For high school events, the goal is to put the product in the hands of a student. I do the recordings during the day and (be) home with the family at night,” said Pitman, who moved to Westfield three years ago and previously lived in Carmel for seven years.

Jake Hinson said the program can do everything a live announcer can do.

“Aaron will tell you it’s better than him announcing live,” Hinson said. “It doesn’t ever get stuck in traffic or ever take a family vacation.”