by Roy Scivally
Several months ago, I wrote a column about persistence in getting a new studio and how it paid off for me. I promised a follow-up column, so here it is.
Since the installation of our new 8-track studio, I've been very busy, to say the least. With this new equipment, everyone now expects great commercials every time I do one. They see that I have more equipment and better equipment, so it makes sense to them that I can do more and do it better than I could before. As a result, I now spend more time in the room than I did before. It's nice to be able to produce better spots and be more creative technically, so I do my best to keep clients, sales, and management happy, even if it takes more time. Quality vs. Quantity? -- I say give it everything you've got... every day.
In the beginning of my attempt to upgrade the production studio for KZPS/KAAM, I proposed some good equipment to get a clean sound. Working for General Manager Tom Glade and Bonneville International changed my proposal. I ended up with great equipment and one of the finest production studios in the southwest. Imagine, if you can, turning in a bid for a studio and having your boss double or triple the proposed amount. There's no substitute for quality, and this company believes in getting the best. Case in point: Our new Pacific Recorders ABX-26 console. It is less than five months old and recently we received all new faders for an upgrade.
Another expense of the new studio that turned out to be well worth it was the employment of Wray Reed, a freelance engineer. KZPS/KAAM hired Wray solely to do the installation. Springtime in Texas can bring some pretty bazaar weather and all we needed was to have the studio gutted, then have an AM or FM transmitter go down. That would have left the gutted studio sitting there while the engineer attended to the crisis at hand. On top of all the other duties of our full time engineers, installation would have taken much longer had it not been for Wray. Bringing Wray in was a smart move for all concerned. Our staff engineers were glad to not be burdened with a major project on top of their normal load of crises. The new studio was assembled quickly with special care and attention to detail, and Wray didn't have to worry about the broken cart machine in the control room.
Believe it or not, we have even more equipment on the way. A co-op advertising plan was put together with Roland and a local music store, and for Christmas we'll receive a brand new Roland W-30 Workstation. There are other sources for equipment than the budget! Use them!
Something else that worked out well was communication with our sales staff during the installation. I let them know in advance when the studio would be down and kept them posted on the progress. By explaining that many complicated orders could not be filled during down time, we were able to keep problems to a minimum.
In closing, my public thanks to Tom and Bonneville for the funds and the support, to Wray Reed for a quality installation and education along the way, to R.A.P. for bringing production people across America together through its publication, and even to the KZPS/KAAM sales staff for making an effort to reduce last minute orders during studio down time. Now, I think I'll take my vacation...