August 2012 Highlights

Feature: The Next Frontier: Content Producers

by Michael R. Lee, Ph.D.

It has been a wonderful run. About two decades ago, radio took an overdue step. It recognized that production had two areas of responsibility and expertise. While radio traditionally had one person designated as production director, it added another person and another title: Imaging Producer. That system has worked well for a long time. Imaging producers thrived as the renegades who got to do the most creative work, who spoke to the audience in quick bytes (sweepers) and clever stories (promos). Except for morning shows, that was the most glamorous gig in radio and certainly had the most influence on the sound of the station. Good times, good work, good pay.

R.A.P. Interview: Bob Souer, Professional Storyteller, Pittsburgh, PA

by Jerry Vigil

If you're in radio, doing freelance voiceover on the side, and hoping to one day break free of your full-time job for a full-time career in voiceover, this interview is for you. But don't expect to learn how to make that break anytime soon. Bob Souer spent 30 years in radio, doing professional VO work on the side for nearly all of those years, and in most years, surpassing his radio income with his VO income. Nevertheless, "pulling the trigger" and leaving that full-time job was something that would not happen until just recently, in 2009, when Bob left the corporate world to focus his time 100% on voiceover. Today, Bob enjoys a thriving VO business doing work for everything from network television to the internet. His client list includes: The San Francisco Giants, The History Detectives (PBS/Lion TV), The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, The Military Channel, Harris Corporation, Hewlett-Packard, Cigna Insurance, Federal Express, Time Warner, Kodak, Iomega and more. Check out this month's R.A.P. CD for a sample of Bob's VO work and visit his site for more at www.bobsouer.com.

Production 212: Training Those Pesky Clients

by Dave Foxx

Every once in awhile, I hear a promo or commercial that really does it perfectly, with just the right balance of clever and sincere, rhythmic and flowing production that really sells the message. Sometimes... they're promos I've done! (Imagine that!) This is a business that doesn't grade on a curve. It demands perfection all the time, because our incomes all depend on it. Being human, of course, means we never really achieve perfection, so we're all striving to get there every time we fire up the workstation. Oh, if you have the idea that I bat 1000 on my promos, let me disabuse you of that notion right now. It's never going to happen, any more than having a batter do it in Major League Baseball will. Keeping with the baseball analogy, the better your batting average, the more valuable player you are, but some of the pitchers we have to face are really hard to hit. "The client wants you to say his phone number at least seven times." There's a slider.

Radio Hed: Who's Doing The Heavy Lifting In Your Commercial?

by Jeffrey Hedquist

F: Y'know when I first met you, you had more hair.
M: That's because I've torn so much of it out trying to write...
F: Commercials.
M: Yeah, so they don't sound so much...
F: ...like commercials?
M: Yeah. I have important information to get into the spot, but it's not stuff that any human being...
F: ...would ever say to another human being?
M: That's it. So what do I do?
VO: Just have the announcer say it

Test Drive: SAMPLITUDE PRO X Multitrack Recorder/Editor

by Steve Cunningham

long time. To be precise, it's been since May of 2008 that we've looked at the Samplitude product (specifically, Samplitude 10) from Magix in Germany. While the Samplitude range of multitrack software editors is seldom seen in the US, it does command a respectful market share in Germany and other parts of Europe, where it enjoys a reputation as a feature-rich recorder and editor for PCs running on Windows. As we noted back then, Samplitude is extremely flexible, highly customizable, and the new version runs in full 64-bit mode to take advantage of multicore processors and large quantities of memory. In an effort to increase their market share in the US and elsewhere, Magix have reorganized their Samplitude line of editors in such a way that they now include two versions of their flagship Samplitude line; the "Pro X" which we'll examine this month, is most suitable for radio promo and imaging work and is priced appropriately for radio (see below), while their "Pro X Suite" is aimed at music studios and carries a much higher price. So why would anyone even look at a multitrack editor that was well off the beaten path? Let's find out.

"...And Make It Real Creative!": Radio is NOT a Dirty Word

by Trent Rentcsh

After all these years, I am still, first and foremost, a radio groupie. My memory is that the first "high tech" gadget I begged my parents for was a transistor radio, and I would spend hours with my ear against the crappy speaker, absorbing, everything... the music, the news, the commercials, the jokes, all of it. It didn't matter to me if I was listening to my hometown station, or one of the more "exotic" offerings 60 miles away in the big city of Sioux Falls, SD; radio was a constant companion in my young life, exposing me to new music, news, humor... life.

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