October 2010 Highlights

Production 212: The Phrase That Pays

by Dave Foxx

In most businesses, the axiom goes, "the customer is always right." In radio, I have to say the customer is almost always wrong. The customer in this business is the advertiser, not the listener, and far too often, they are in it for the wrong reasons. One reason is often vanity. Taken to an extreme, these are the same advertisers who insist that they voice their own commercials. They say it's because they want to build a relationship with their customers, I say it's because they want to hear their own voice on the air. They say it's a way for them to be "up front" about their business, I say they just want to become minor local celebrities. It's vanity, pure and simple. Even those who shy away from being their own spokesperson, say they want to shape and mold their advertising to make sure they get the right message across, but they almost never do. Very often you end up with an entire shopping list of things they want covered in their spot. It's better, cheaper, safer, faster, sexier, AND... if you act now, you'll get a 'special' discount. Is your BS meter erupting as much as mine is, just reading this drivel?

Radio Hed: Social Proof

by Jeffrey Hedquist

Let's face it; we all like to belong to something. That desire can be a short-lived one, or a lifetime desire. Unless we're talking about a rare one of a kind piece of art, no one wants to be the only buyer. When we see or at least know about others buying, visiting, indulging in, investing in, consuming, supporting something – a cause, a brand, a lifestyle, an advertiser – it gives us confidence that we're making a good choice, or at least a popular choice. "Ten thousand people can't be wrong!" Well, yes they can, but at least we weren't the only ones making a bad choice.

R.A.P. Interview: Ricky Roo, VP Creative, TM Studios Dallas, TX and former Creative Services Director at KDWB-FM Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN

by Jerry Vigil

You might have seen a story in the trades a few months ago, about the legendary KDWB in Minneapolis finally hitting #1 in the ratings again, after some 30 years. And this is a PPM market. That was enough incentive to try and find out who was doing the imaging at this Clear Channel CHR monster, and perhaps have a chat with him or her. At the time, it was Creative Services Director, Ricky Roo, who has since moved to Dallas to take on the VP Creative duties at TM Studios. This month's RAP Interview checks in with Ricky to find out what was brewing in the production room during KDWB's very successful past year in the PPM world. Be sure to check out the RAP CD for some awesome audio from Ricky's KDWB days, starting with some of the dry imaging he talks about in the interview, then on to some of the custom intros he mentions, and finally a montage of promos. Turn it up and enjoy!

Technology: Backup Strategies For BIG DRIVES

by Steve Cunningham

Lately I seem to be surrounded by hard drive failures. It started a couple of months ago when a client, whose production machines I maintain, called to report that one machine had locked up. When he tried to reboot it, the hard drive made grinding noises and refused to boot. Two weeks later another client called reporting that two external backup drives from the same manufacturer just refused to spin up. Then there were the two laptop drives that failed, each of which issued clicking sounds instead of spinning up.

In all cases, the hard drives involved were simply toast. No amount of software diagnostics, recovery tools, or voodoo rituals worked, and I tried 'em all. This included my favorite trick which consists of putting the dying drive in a sealed baggie and then into the freezer for 30 minutes, in an effort to get the spindle bearings to shrink up for long enough to get the data off the drive. That didn't work either.

Test Drive: Word2WAV

by Steve Cunningham

This month we're going to take a look at a piece of Windows software that was specifically designed for use by voice actors. It records audio and allows basic editing, and also it names the recorded files. It is the last function, the naming part, that makes Word2WAV different than most other editors. Word2WAV was specifically designed for voice actors who record lots of short individual audio files for video games, IVR, and more recently, online learning. Allow me to explain why the naming function is important in these markets.

...And Make It Real Creative - The Creative Tap Room: Last Call

by Trent Rentsch

It's been quite a party. I've always wondered what it would be like to get a bunch of my Creative friends together for an informal discussion of Creativity, and the result has been better than I ever dreamed. Regardless of their location, regardless of their mode of expression, all shared a common passion for the Creative process and where it comes from. Sadly, like all great parties, this one must come to an end. As I see our Server headed to the table, "Last call" most certainly on her lips, I imagine what other Creative legends, living and passed on, might have added to the conversation... Someone taps on my shoulder. I turn, and I'm face to face with Stephen FREEKIN' King. ""If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot."

The Monday Morning Memo: How to Describe

by Roy H. Williams

Minor key life is the mournful echo of a hollowed-out gourd, bleached in the sun, hard and empty. Life should be lived in a major key, drenched in the colors of nature, quivering with energy, throbbing with purpose. Last week I showed you how to extract liquid color palettes from famous paintings. This week I'll show you a similar technique using words. It's the one taught by Christopher J. Maddock* in Accidental Magic, chapter 15, "How to Color Your Writing." Master this technique and you'll wring vivid dictionaries from a single word.

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