November 2010 Highlights

Production 212: Simplify Your Life

by Dave Foxx

The most frequent question I get from producers around the world is "How do you get so much done in so little time?" Speaking in Amsterdam, demonstrating in Los Angeles and of course, writing this column, I hear that question again and again. I wish I could say that it's because I am so brilliant, but that would be a lie. I get an avalanche of work done in minimum time because I'm prepared. I have built a mighty arsenal and know it intimately. Every little piece of music, stock phrase and sound effect is carefully groomed and locked into my bunker of workparts, set up for fast retrieval and instant applicability.

Q It Up The RAP Network Speaks!: What monitors do you use for mixing, and how do you use them?

Q It Up: What monitors do you use for mixing, and how do you use them? Do you use near-field monitors? Or do you use large monitors hanging from the ceiling? Maybe you use a cheap cue speaker. Maybe you use all three! Do you think headphones can be of any use in monitoring mixes? Do you mix with the monitors turned up loud, down low, somewhere in the middle? And finally, how different are your ears from the ears of your Program Director(s) or your clients? How often do you have to remix a spot or promo because somebody else's ears heard the mix differently? Please add any other thoughts you have on the fine art of mixing.

Have a question for the RAP Network? Email it to editor@rapmag.com.

Test Drive: The Reaper Grows Up

by Steve Cunningham

It's been just over two years since we looked at Cockos Reaper, a multitrack recorder and editor software program. During that period, the company has updated the software about 150 times, taking it from version 1.86 in the previous review, up to version 3.71. That's not a typo -- there have been some 150 revisions in just over two years! The overall buzz on the street has some audio folks abandoning their Pro Tools rigs as well as other editors for Reaper. It's not hard to understand the reasons -- besides being ridiculously cheap, Reaper runs on both Windows and Mac platforms, in either 32-bit or 64-bit mode. But the important question for you, dear reader, is this: Has the most cost-effective multitrack editor currently available finally grown up? Is it suitable for radio production, and moreover, is there any reason to abandon one's long time choice for this relative upstart? Let's see if we can find an answer.

Radio Hed: Scarcity

by Jeffrey Hedquist

Which would be a better motivator for you to act? 1. Our sale is on all this month. 2. Our sale ends this Saturday at 5PM. Only one day left. 1. Sign up for the seminar now. Seats are going fast. 2. We are only accepting 25 people for this seminar. There are 9 seats left.

Feature: A Phonebook Eulogy

by Travis McGinnis

I had one of those "Oh my God!" moments the other day. I was listening to one of our stations on my way into work. It was a commercial for a locally owned gas station chain. The owner was asking listeners to call him personally if they received less than excellent service at one of his stores. "Find our local office in the White Pages under [gas station name]..." he instructed at the end of the spot.

...And Make It Real Creative - "I'm a Salesman?"

by Trent Rentsch

In the grand tradition of the Grinch, I would like to celebrate the holiday advertising season by stealing every present. Pro Tools! And barter beds! Sound effects! Drums! Copywriters! Neumanns! Plug-ins! And Tums! (Don't lie to me... we all need them, and perhaps something stronger, this time of the year.) I'm cramming all our little Creative toys in bags and stuffing them up the chimney, for the moment. And yes, like the Grinch, it's about the noise. Oh, the noise! Oh, the noise! Noise! Noise! Noise! That's one thing I hate! The NOISE! NOISE! NOISE! NOISE!

The Monday Morning Memo: Style Tips for Ad Writers

by Roy H. Williams

Your unconscious writing style is how you write when you're simply being yourself. You also have a formal style and you might even have a whimsical style. But three styles is usually as good as it gets. Language, however, is extraordinarily plastic. You can make it do anything you want. With a little conscious effort, you can speak and write in a thousand voices. The possibilities are intoxicating. I'm going to give you 10 ways to expand your literary voice. But please, I'm begging you, don't get legalistic or analytical with this stuff. Style is like a frog; you can dissect the thing, but it dies in the process.

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