The 20th Annual R.A.P. Awards: Congratulations Winners!

Please join us in congratulating the winners, runners-up and finalists of the 2009 Radio And Production Awards! See the results on the Awards page.

Q It Up: The R.A.P. Network Speaks

What do you think the future holds for internet radio, and how will it impact those of us in radio production?

There's more significant, valuable knowledge imparted in this month's Q It Up column than this editor has seen in just about any other article on internet radio and its impact on terrestrial radio and those of us watching this invasion from the creative foxhole. A special thanks to the many heavyweights who took the time to share their insights this month.

Q It Up: What is your opinion of internet-only radio stations such as Pandora, AOL Radio, Last FM and others who stream personalized radio stations and/or hundreds of niche formats you can't find on terrestrial radio? What do you think the future holds for internet radio, and how do you think that will impact those of us in radio production – producers, copywriters and voice talent?

Feature: Intestinal Fortitude

by John Pellegrini

A former colleague of mine, who for the purposes of anonymity will be referred to in this article as a former colleague of mine, has had a rough time with unemployment. Not in terms of money alone but also in terms of how it's been affecting his psyche. He's a 40-year veteran of radio and is shocked that he can't find a job. Anywhere. This whole economic meltdown has really shattered his confidence and his ability to remain professional. People who used to routinely seek favor with him are now refusing to talk to him. Pros in the industry he's known for decades, many of whom he gave their first, second, third, and even more "big breaks" don't return his calls. Consultants, VPs, major players in the industry are now unreachable. "I don't get it," he says ruefully, "there just aren't any jobs left!"

Test Drive: Riding the Wild Gain: Waves' Vocal Rider

by Steve Cunningham

Let's talk dynamics, particularly voiceover dynamics. Depending on the script and personalities, a record session for a high-energy promo can run the gamut from well-behaved to completely out of control -- think morning zoo, then add Starbucks Americanos with several extra shots in each. If you're the engineer/producer, how do you keep a handle on levels during a freewheeling VO session under those circumstances? I know what I do... whenever possible, I put fingers on faders and move 'em to keep things as level as possible while recording. That's right, I ride gain as best I can. I've been fortunate to get occasional work recording and editing dialog for videogames. Gain-riding the vox fader is mandatory when recording fighting games where vocal reactions to being hit by an opponent are interspersed with taunts. Gotta do it to keep from clipping the track! The same can be true in a VO session with talent whose mic technique is less than stellar. Waves, one of the more innovative makers of audio plug-ins, has automated a process that some of us have been doing manually for quite awhile. Vocal Rider is a cross-platform plug-in which actually rides the fader for you in real time, and writes its movements as automation data info directly into your audio editor's session.

Feature: Relationship Status: It's Not Complicated

by Ed Thompson

I hate to admit, I'm a bit of a Facebook stalker. Ever since I set up my Facebook page and started finding old friends online, the first thing I check is their Relationship Status. Are they married, single, divorced or that very ambiguous "It's Complicated"? Funny though, I don't think there's anything complicated about relationships. Then again, I've always been an either/or kind of guy. I'm not much for fence-sitting. I've arrived at a certain truth about the radio business. Relationships rule.

...And Make It Real Creative - Heads and Tails

by Trent Rentsch

Heads: Many Departments, One Page -- Have you ever had one of those conversations with someone who thinks you're talking about one thing while you're talking about something else?

Tails: The Great Phone Number Debate -- The first thing I'd like to say is, I'm not against phone numbers in radio commercials. The second thing I'd like to say is, I'm against phone numbers in commercials more than 5 times per :30.

Radio Hed: Monroe's Motivated "Radio" Sequence

by Jeffrey Hedquist

More than 70 years ago, Alan H Monroe, a professor at Purdue University, developed a template for persuasive speeches, which is still taught today – Monroe's Motivated Sequence. Is a radio commercial a persuasive speech? It may not be a speech, but it had better be persuasive. Here's how we can adapt Monroe's 5-step sequence to break writers' block and create radio commercials that work.

Monday Morning Memo: How to Think Outside the Box

by Roy H. Williams

On January 19, 1998, I wrote a Monday Morning Memo titled, Creativity is an Inert Gas. It was published as chapter 89 in The Wizard of Ads. These are a few of its paragraphs: Moments of emotional recovery are the best times to think about problems you have not been able to solve. Great, creative insights follow times of great stress. It's a law of the universe. Think of creativity as an inert gas, a substance unique. An inert gas cannot enter into compounds with other substances because, in each of its atoms, the outer ring of electrons is completely full. An inert gas is stable and cannot be changed. Unless you jolt it with too much stimulation.

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