December 2012 Highlights

Q It Up: How do you perceive the state of radio imaging today?

By Jerry Vigil

Q It Up: How do you perceive the state of radio imaging today, and what predictions or hopes do you have for imaging in the future?

I had the opportunity to listen to imaging at a lot of major market radio stations recently, and what I came away with was a lot of the same -- deep voiced male announcers as the imaging voice, short imaging pieces with no creativity in the copy – just the basic station info and positioning statements, and very little creativity on the production side of things. Granted, there were several stations that stood out with creative copy and production technique, but for the most part, it sounded like the large majority of stations were plugging in imaging elements with about as much thought as you would give to light bulb selection.

What's your take on the state of imaging in your market in general? What trends have you noticed, if any? And where do you see radio imaging headed, or how would you like to see evolve?

Production 212: A Foxx Loose Amongst The Koalas

by Dave Foxx

I recently had the distinct pleasure of travelling down under to Sydney, Australia to speak with the producers and programmers of Southern Cross Austereo. What a great collection of people! Not just friendly, but genuinely interested in stepping up their game. There was a tangible energy in the room, buzzing and zapping with some really terrific questions. I'd been in contact with several via email so it was great to put faces to names. Equally fun was meeting some new people whose work I had heard and really enjoyed. As I usually do in forums like this, I suggested they keep the conversation going via email from time to time. Allison Rasmussen in Queensland wrote and re-introduced herself:

Radio Hed: Story Forms for Radio Writers – The Fable

by Jeffrey Hedquist

"There once was a radio writer (squirrel) who was stumped for a way to craft a commercial story for her client. She searched everywhere (throughout the forest) for new and innovative ideas and was about to give up and go back to the tried and true "sounds like a commercial" format when she stumbled on an article (left by a wise old owl) that outlined a centuries-old way to create a fable. Voila! It helped her break writer's block. Her client prospered and renewed his radio schedule ever after (ensuring a steady supply of acorns)." A fable is a short story, often somewhat formulaic in structure, that teaches a moral or advice on how to live. Most fables feature anthropomorphized animals, inanimate objects or aspects of nature as characters, often in roles that fit the archetypal symbolism of the different animals or objects. For example, foxes as tricksters, ants as hard workers or giraffes as caring friends.

Technology: AES 2012 WRAP UP

by Steve Cunningham

Every fall, audio professionals from around the world make a pilgrimage to either New York or San Francisco to get their Geek on at the Audio Engineering Society Convention. This year's festivities, marking the 133rd time one of these gatherings has taken place, were in San Francisco, which is just a bit more than a half-day's drive from my humble abode. So I cancelled a class, faced north toward my Audio Mecca, and fired up the '65 Ranchero to make the pilgrimage. The AES Convention is truly a recording-oriented affair, unlike NAMM or the NAB Radio Show or Faffcon or any other event that might cater to production types. The gear shown tends to be the best of the best, mostly suitable for high-dollar music recording studios and the sunlight-challenged denizens who inhabit them. As a result, a lot of the products are either inappropriate or just too damned expensive for VO production types like your humble servant. However, persistence pays off from time to time and this was no exception. So here are a few items that caught my eye as being useful, well-made, totally cool, and with one exception, totally affordable (my gear lust kicked in on one of them, but hey, two out of three ain't bad).

Notes Off the Napkin: Das Demo

by Andrew Frame

My freelance business offers opportunities for talent to make a little butter & egg money from time to time. Like many freelancers, I rely on friends and long-time colleagues for the bulk of my talent pool. Most, I have worked with for ten years or more, so I know what they sound like, and what their limitations are. Having a small roster, and being close to each person, gives a reliable reference when discussing talent with an agency. Having a talent group to call on also means having demo material from each person, so when building a presentation to a prospective agency, I can package a select group for the job being offered. Having those demos also means my existing customers can browse the files at their leisure, and select the voices they would like to hire. It's a pretty simple concept. Until you get to the actual demo.

Feature: Five Words We Could Do Without in Radio

by Jim Van Dusen

Sometimes you can make your stations sound better just by making some small changes. Here are Five words you might want to think about eliminating from things you write. You should agree with most of these... keeping in mind there are exceptions to every rule.

"...And Make It Real Creative!": From Santa's In-Box

by Trent Rentcsh

Dear Santa, I know, you never thought you'd hear from me again. Truth be told, I'm just as surprised that I'm writing you, after all these years. The last time had to be, what, in the early '70s? By the way, thanks for that haul... believe it or not, I stumbled on some of those old Hot Wheel cars not long ago, and while G.I. Joe continues to be missing in action, I gotta tell ya, you really came through for me that year!

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