Production Libraries: MegaBytes 3 from Caldwell Media & HSK Productions

by John Pellegrini

So like most radio producers, it’s that last minute promo again. Or a bunch of sweeper liners that the PD just handed you that were supposed to go on the air a week ago Monday. All apologies, but you got to get them on the air right now, so drop everything and get them done. Cursing (and thankful that you have a sound proof studio) you close out your other projects and get into the last minute crisis. And you just love what the PD scribbled in block letters on the top of the copy: “MAKE THIS SOUND HOT AS HELL” or something like that.

“Yeah right,” you reply out loud. I’ll just pull something out of my butt and a miracle will occur. Well, maybe you don’t need to fish for that miracle quite so deeply. Two of your fellow rock producers have come to the rescue with some really hot sounding effects that can help make the difference between your usual chore of just keeping your PD off your back and instead getting your PD to start thinking you’re a genius. MegaBytes 3 from Sean Caldwell and Hal Knapp, two veteran prod maniacs if there ever were any, contains the kind of razor sharp imaging elements that virtually all rock (active, classic, alternative, etc.), newstalk, sports talk, and even hot AC formats require right now.

Specialty libraries are the hottest commodities in production these days. Libraries used to try to be all things to all people, but the digital revolution has allowed wackos like Sean and Hal the ability to get out some of the custom insanity they’ve developed for their stations over the years. They’ve done FX packages like this before, with each one getting better than the previous. The newest package was conceived using a blend of vintage and state of the art analogue and digital equipment. To call them just stingers, zaps, explosions, and whatnot is to sell them short. These are quite literally explosive sounds that leap out of the speakers and throttles your listener. Or, to paraphrase the famous General, “Grabs you by the throat and kicks you in the ass.” Not for the timid.

The sounders on MegaBytes 3 vary in length and depth with loads of variety, allowing you to fill in bridges, gaps, accentuate and emphasize words or phrases, or just plain shock the heck out of the troops. Some of these are long enough that you can use them as the only bed under slogans or positioning statements. There are also sounder beds at the end of the disc in much greater length with loads of neat effects mixed in to keep the insanity going. Loads of great stereo imaging too with rapid pans and delays throughout each track.

You have two options for implementing MegaBytes audio into your studio set-up. It’s delivered as full audio CD or as a data CD to instantly import into your PC or Mac workstation (making those joyous station-wide searches to find out who ‘borrowed the CD from the prod room’ unnecessary).

Like most specialty libaries, MegaBytes 3 is a buyout. Unfortunately for you independents, it is being sold only to radio stations. It’s reasonably priced at $399 in most markets (a little higher in markets 20+, and a little more outside the U.S.), which ain’t bad for 98 tracks of solid punch.

You can get all kinds of information as well as a free demo on links from either Sean’s Website: www.seancaldwell.com or from Hal’s Website: www.hsk productions.com. They have some limited time special offers for purchasing an extra library with your purchase of MegaBytes that can also help you save budget. They even offer, and they may be the only ones out there to offer this, a satisfaction guarantee… if you don’t like MegaBytes 3, they’ll buy it back from you.

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