March 2010 Highlights

The 20th Annual R.A.P. Awards: Members Vote This Month!

The Finalists of the 2009 R.A.P. Awards have been chosen! Now, R.A.P. Members worldwide will vote to see who the winners are. Click on the R.A.P. CD link above to get a list of the finalists. If you're a R.A.P. Member, go to the Awards page to cast your vote!

Production 212: March Madness

by Dave Foxx

Hello my friends and fellow producers. This month's column has absolutely nothing to do with college basketball playoffs. It's about the crazy CD that comes with this month's edition. This is the most exciting issue of the year for me as it showcases the best work from the last year of many of you. Ever since I got my first razor blade encased in plastic all those many years ago, I always take a lot of pride in being affiliated with all the other winners of RAP Awards. This month's CD promises to be chock full of amazing work that's funny, sad, dark, bright and more importantly, effective. The sounds you hear this month should inspire you to communicate with your audience with verve and style, keeping radio ahead of all the other media in effectiveness and cost. So let me begin this month by saluting everyone who was brave enough to make submissions. You've become leaders of the industry with this issue, because so many other producers will come back to this CD over and over again, looking for that inspiration. I'd also like to thank the judges ahead of time. Having sat in your chair before, I know it can be difficult to choose sometimes, but in the end, what you do will make all of us better producers.

Just two questions will be highlighted here this month. I got a lot of questions from new producers, but they were questions we've dealt with in recent memory, so I simply answered their emails and brought these two gems to the column this month.

R.A.P. Interview: Nancy Wolfson, BrainTracksAudio.com, Los Angeles, CA

by Jerry Vigil

Nancy Wolfson is a different kind of voiceover coach. A graduate of Vassar College with over 15 yrs. experience in Hollywood's Entertainment Industry, Nancy was the Voice Over Department at ARL, a Playmate Wrangler (to be covered in our next interview with Nancy!), a celebrity talent manager, and producer of on air promotions for Playboy, FOX, WB/CW, and ABC. Today she is the Tough Love VO Branding Coach & Demo Producer, coaching both in-person in LA as well as via phoners for students worldwide. She's also the "Go-To Cyber Casting Director," facilitating auditions daily for her buyer and talent agent colleagues. A voiceover agent and promo producer turned voiceover talent consultant, Nancy warns you about what those who sign and hire talent reject and shares the secrets of what they crave. This month's RAP Interview takes a look at BrainTracksAudio and examines how Nancy's extraordinary skill set and coursework crack the code for beginners and working pros alike.

Test Drive: Windows 7 - Ready For Audio?

by Steve Cunningham

Many if not most of us are still running Windows XP, either Service Pack 2 or Service Pack 3. Windows XP is still an effective and robust operating system, and has the additional advantage of running on older and slower CPUs. But it has three distinct disadvantages. Number one -- XP lacks most of the modern security features contained within Windows 7. For a PC running Windows XP on the Internet, especially if you're using Internet Explorer, it can be a dangerous world out there (see the sidebar for more). Number two -- I fully expect new versions of audio software from Sony, Adobe, and others, will want to take advantage of Windows 7's 64-bit performance. Number three -- you have to remember that XP was introduced in 2001, and has been officially discontinued. The 64-bit version of XP, known as x64, is no longer supported at all. Microsoft's Extended Support of XP SP2 ends this July, and SP3 ends in April 2014. "But wait," you say, "We still have Vista, right?" Well yes, we do, although many of us in the production community simply took a pass on that operating system. It is probably not necessary here to re-hash the entire Vista saga. Suffice it to say that Windows Vista was not the success Microsoft would have liked; for audio editing most users avoided the upgrade altogether, including me. Microsoft itself admits that Windows Vista achieved just slightly more than 10% share of the total Windows market... hardly a successful release. Microsoft has over the past two years fixed many of the most egregious problems in updates, and vendors updated both hardware and software drivers until they were glitch-free. But most of us have simply stuck with XP, and waited for Windows 7. The wait ended last fall, and five months later it may be time to ask the $64 question: is it time to upgrade to Windows 7?

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

by Trent Rentsch

I can still recite it from memory...

"One man in each century is given the power to control time. The man chosen to receive this power is carefully selected... He must be kind, He must be fair, He MUST BE BRAVE! YOU have fulfilled these requirements, And we of the Outer Galaxies designate to you, The Wisdom of Solomon, And the Strength of Atlas! YOU ARE CAPTAIN 11!!"

So began the daily adventures of my first broadcasting hero.

Radio Hed: Hope

by Jeffrey Hedquist

What motivates people to act? Once you have identified a problem that your listener has and that your advertiser solves, you need to make the solution believable, acceptable, and able to be accomplished. When you do, you provide hope.

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