September 2016 Highlights

R.A.P. Interview: Bob Heil, Heil Sound, Fairview Heights, IL

He’s the man behind Heil microphones, he invented the Heil Talk Box used by Peter Frampton, Joe Walsh and others. He’s an organist with a serious set of ears. He’s a ham radio operator that could probably build one from scratch if asked to. The hardest part of this interview was knowing all the things we would have to leave out unless we wrote a book on Mr. Heil. So we just focused on a few things, starting with some great stories about his early career and how it started, get his thoughts on big dollar mics and preamps, and discover what makes his microphones so special, including his PR-40 microphone tailored to broadcasting and voiceover.

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Q It Up: "Revision: The client says the music is too loud!"

The Q It Up Panel Responds to this Q: Do you ever have sales account reps or clients inform you that you mixed the music too loud in a commercial and request that you remix it? How do you typically react to this analysis of your mix? Do you stand your ground and try to explain to the untrained critic that you know what you’re doing? Or do you take the path of least resistance and remix the commercial to their liking? Or are they sometimes right? We’re not talking about concert spots where the music should be hot because it is the “star”. We’re talking about commercials where the music is something generic from your production library. Please add any other thoughts and comments on the subject!

Radio Hed: The Right Way to Do Audio Headlines in Commercials

by Jeffrey Hedquist

A reader of my “Five Second Test” article responded with frustration: I’d love to rock into my commercials but what do you do when you have clients who are still back in the ‘60s with “Tommy’s Auto has a lot of great cars for sale” or “If you are looking for a store that will save you money, ABC Sporting Goods is the place.” When I try to be creative and use a different approach, I get shot down, so please suggest a work around for this archaic attitude.

Production 512: Make Room For The Boom!

by Dave Foxx

If you’re trying to create a concert environment, you have to decide ahead of time on the dimensions of the room it’s supposed to be in. Sound travels at about 340 meters per second, or more than 3 football fields (end zones included) for a one-second delay. Even the biggest indoor arenas are seldom larger than 150 meters, so any ‘echo’ you add needs to be pretty short... perhaps 200 milliseconds.

"...And Make It Real Creative": A Matter of Style, or Where Did I Put That Flash Drive?

by Trent Rentsch

True confession: organization has always been a bit of a mystery to me. For the majority of my life, I’ve believed in Santa Claus and a balanced Federal budget more; it’s truly the unicorn of skills for me. I have made half-hearted stabs at hunting for the elusive beast. I’ve read at least the forward of several dozen books on the subject, owned (though never wrote in) several lovely, leather-bound planners... hell, every cell phone I’ve owned in the past 5 years has had at least 2 goal-setting apps installed on it (always the first victim to be sacrificed when space became an issue, but...). Still, despite all that effort (uhm...) I still seem to function… no, thrive on chaos.

The R.A.P. Soundstage

First up on the Soundstage is this month’s Editor’s Choice Award winner! Ryan Spooner at Tyler Hodkinson at Larche Communications in Owen Sound do a nice job on this spot for “All Drains Plus”. Cut 2 is the promo Dave Foxx talks about in his column. More creative commercial work is on tracks 3 – 8. Tracks 5 and 6 each contain a few spots from two campaigns. There are three 30s on track 5 and two 30s on track 6. We get a couple of promos on tracks 9 and 10, some hot summer splitters from Gary McClenaghan on track 11, a fun parody on track 12, and we wrap it up with something a little different. It's not always about the lasers and beat-matching. Sometimes a production pro has to 'rescue' (edit) audio to make it airable. When a guest canceled his appearance on the syndicated 'Mom Talk Radio Show' at the very last second, the host improvised a tease which, needless to say, had to be edited for airplay. For DC-based engineer Al Peterson, it was gold.

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