Q It Up: What libraries and/or services do you use for imaging? What format(s) do you image? Which library is your number one “go to” library? What do you like most about the services or libraries you use? Any dislikes? Is there anything you’d like to see added or changed?
I basically use the strengths of each, to create my own sound.
We also use a newer service called “IMGR” – again great mixouts/workparts for colour and flavour with whatever I’m working on.
I also use both for inspiration – they have very slick work so if I’m bogged down I usually go to just have a listen to some of their work and it picks me right up again!
I haven’t taken a serious listen to any promo production libraries since the early- to mid-1990s, but I do think these older libraries are perfect for stations that are not current-based. The L.A. Air Force libraries are still available from Dan, but I don’t know what the legal status is on Ben’s stuff since he passed away almost two years ago.
Their zip file delivery style makes for ease of access and download, allowing me to be efficient, with creativity and all the pieces I need to create award winning imaging!
These are the stations I image and what I use to image them:
Hot AC, Top 40/M & Top 40/R - Reel World’s Production Vault
Country - Splat
I also use buyout packages like Ckronic FX and Alien Imaging FX
The one thing I feel all services need more of is Beat Loops. I’d much rather have a company produce five 3-5 sec long loops then one 60 second beat a day. More artist ID’s too.
Would you have any recommendations on a company that offers a buyout package of beat loops?
Format-wise, our group consists of mainly AC and some Hot AC stations.
The number one go-to package for us is generally Imaging Blueprint. The effects are very clean and not too brash or abrasive in the midrange, which suits our AC stations in particular. It also contains elements that pack a punch, plus some groove-based musically timed electronic sounding fx - ideal for our Hot AC stations. I guess you could sum it up by saying it gives us high quality variety.
Dislikes - buyout packages or releases tend to tire. I find myself using certain fx in certain ways, almost getting stuck in a rut - it’s hard to stay creative when things become comfortable. Ideally, I’d like a service that updates regularly (such as IMGR or Production Vault, both of which include world class sound design) but for a group our size, it’s not financially viable. This is one of the reasons I have started making my own imaging fx and sound design - when I need to freshen things up, I can, and I can tailor it exactly to what we need.
General comments - making sound design is easy, but making quality, razor sharp crystal clear sound design is very, very tough. I like fx that are non-intrusive, to embellish and sweeten the mix rather than cover up mistakes/sloppiness. But maybe that’s just me!
Of course plug-ins are also very important, and usually I use personal settings to make the outcome even more special. There are countless ways to create your own sound and in order to find the best you have to be able to experiment with the settings apart from the original.
Prod Vault is able to provide me with format specific pieces for all except our Oldies Station. Based on each station’s specific agreements, I have access to ReelWorld’s Hot AC, Rock, Classic Rock, AC and Holiday Vaults. Because the Oldies station is much more niche, I use selections from our commercial/imaging music service with Megatrax to really get that Big Band feel that we need!
The range, access and immediacy of all of the Vaults is fantastic! It gets us what we need, when we need it and ReelWorld is always improving their site and services to make its product user-friendly and up-to-date with sometimes daily uploads.
What would I like to see done different? Could they add an Oldies vault? Haha! Not many of those stations around anymore, probably not a huge call for it...