December 2011 Highlights

Notes Off the Napkin: Smart Startup

by Andrew Frame

An excited e-mail dropped in the box. "Just got word that I have a meeting with three private investors next week to discuss investing in my business," it started, sent by a Johnny, a colleague I've worked with for the last six years. "These people sought me out through my network of friends. According to one email I got, 'I've heard you've got some good ideas and I'd like to hear them.' I have an art director on board, a videographer and a web specialist. I'm sort of freaking because this could be a big reboot to my self employment. Wish me luck and any advice you freelancers might have is welcome." He closed with something most every creative has said, "Most companies like what I want to do were begun by former reps and ultimately suffer from the same failures we have all experienced in our line of work. My idea is an employee owned company that is built by creatives."

Production 212: Keeping Your Head Properly Inflated

by Dave Foxx

You really take your time crafting a promo (or spot), sweating all the details, pouring every ounce of creativity you have into it, making it as perfect as you can make it. Once you've balanced it all out, finished the mix and are ready to bring your listeners to their knees, your Program Director (or Account Executive) tells you it's all "wrong;" there's a fundamental flaw in your design and he or she knows exactly how to fix it, and then sets about the absolute destruction of your creation. If you're a good corporate soldier, you eat the pain and move on to the next project. But that pain you've dined on is real, and if it's a meal you know all too well, you're in danger of having your head simply explode.

Q It Up: What's New in Your Toolbox?

Q It Up: What new piece of gear or software did you stumble across this past year that you find useful with your work? A new plug-in perhaps, or a way cool phone app? Maybe some actual outboard gear? You know, that stuff in the rack that uses wires! Tell us about it, what you like about it and how it has helped you work better

Radio Hed: Commercial Status Seekers

by Jeffrey Hedquist

Determining the status of the characters (any of the voices) in a radio commercial can give it focus, help define the relationships and make it more interesting. This is an application of a principle from improv. Status can bring great dynamism to a spot – there can be jockeying for status position – changing, aligning with others, etc. This is what lends interest to the spot.

Technology: AES New York: Great Gear for Radio Production

by Matthew Morse

Radio managers get an NAB show twice a year. Engineers get their regional SBE conferences. Deejays and on-air talent get their boot-camps and Dan O'Day weekends. Wouldn't it be just the best if radio production people had their own trade show, to go and check out new equipment and software? Well, we sorta do: the Audio Engineering Society (AES) held its 131st conference and convention at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City, October 20-23. The upper level of the hall was where manufacturers, publishers, software authors and organizations displayed their formidable wares; the downstairs suites were reserved for technical papers, demonstration venues, social gatherings, SBE certification tests and overpriced food court chow.

Test Drive: Three Sets of Cans

by Steve Cunningham

For me, buying another pair of headphones has always been something of a non-event. I buy headphones and blue jeans the same way -- out of habit. I've found a brand and style of jeans that I like; they look good, don't fall apart, and are comfortable. When I need another pair I buy the same thing. So when the last pair of longstanding favorite AKG K-240 headphones (the regular 240 model, not the "Studio" or "MKII" versions) finally gave up the ghost, it was time to go shopping. This month I'll tell you what I found.

...And Make It Real Creative: The Creative Kid at Christmas

by Trent Rentsch

We just got back from a long Vegas weekend (no, no missing teeth and/or tribal facial tattoos, thanks for asking). I always look forward to a Sin City visit, and, as usual, when it was time to leave, I was looking forward to getting home. Losing money at the speed of blackjack is only one reason. What really makes me long for the relative peace and quiet of home is the total and complete lack of peace and quiet in Las Vegas. Everything is bigger, brighter and louder there. The average daily American diet of images fighting for ones attention is amped up to 11 there, and I always leave feeling a bit punch drunk.

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