by Andy Capp
The sleek rocket craft blasted around the planet in micro seconds per revolution, its powerful turbo thrusters impossibly screaming like gale force winds in the soundless vacuum of space. Suddenly a voice echoed from the stars:
One man in each century is given the power to control time. The man chosen to receive this power is carefully selected...he must be kind, he must be fair, he must be brave. YOU have fulfilled these requirements, and WE of the outer galaxies designate to you the wisdom of Solomon and the strength of Atlas. (drum roll) YOU are Captain 11!!!"
Fade up to the interior of the ship, filled with a complex and dazzling array of flashing control panels, but none as impressive as the man himself. Tall, rugged, dressed in a crisp dark blue uniform complete with shining black boots and an officer's cap emblazoned with the number 11. The hero smiled, saluted the camera and said, "Hi kids, Captain 11 reporting, and how's my crew today?" The ship shook from the excited screams of "FINE!!!" from the young crew members, and Sioux Falls first and only Super Hero blasted off for another journey.
That was how it began for nearly forty years on KELO TV, as the Alter Ego of Weatherman Dave Dedrick daily invited area children to his space ship in the Kellow-Land studios to watch cartoons, to play Freezeburg, perhaps win the treasure chest of toys and, most importantly, be a part of the crew.
Several months ago, the man with the ability to control time decided that the Time Converter on the wall was signalling him to retire, and the Captain had one last journey, joined by generations of crew members. It was a bittersweet day filled with the happy memories of hundreds of children, young and old, all remembering the dash home each day to spend time with the Captain via the tube, or even better, that occasion when one was lucky enough to be taken to 13th and Phillips to walk through KELO TV's lobby, through the unassuming wooden door into the huge room where the Captain's ship was waiting. True, the years hadn't always been kind to the Captain, many personal problems that had become all too public, a decision to cut the show back to Saturdays only, but on that day the crew was there for Captain 11, their hero, their friend.
I was glad I was back in Sioux Falls for the final journey. Besides the daily TV ritual, I had been a crew member live a couple of times, once for a friend's birthday party, another time when my Mother was tired of my begging. I remember everything about those trips, including the Captain shaking my hand and asking my name and where I was from..."Brookings? I've been there!" (Wow, the Captain had been in MY TOWN!!!) I remember wanting to lie and tell the Captain that it was my birthday so I could flip my favorite color jewel on the Time Converter, but I knew he wouldn't tolerate liars, and so kept quiet; I mean, you just didn't mess with Captain 11...he'd know!
Some years later I really did take a flight with the Captain. I was a DJ for KELO AM at the time, and a cross promotion with TV put me in a hot air balloon with the Legend. There were lots of laughs about it at the station, I myself told everyone that "up" in a hot air balloon with Captain 11 was a contradiction in terms (Dave and I were both heavier at the time), but inside me was this seven-year-old who was thrilled to be the Captain's only crew member that day, heading for the stars. (Yes, they DID get us off the ground!)
What makes a legend? Is it spending an entire career in one place, doing the same job day after day? Dave Dedrick could have certainly gained Godlike status on those points alone if that was the case, but it takes something more than standing still, accomplishing exactly what's expected (unless it means staying past five), to really make an impression. Something more was what Dave delivered. Those of the Outer Galaxies (or more accurately, the Upper Midco Management) may have designated to Dave "The Wisdom of Solomon and the Strength of Atlas," but it was up to him to make something of those "powers," to reach out and touch several generations of KELO-Land kids, make their day a little better, maybe make them feel that they, too, were special. Hey, if Captain 11 believed in you, there must be something inside for you to believe in too!
Despite what the open to Captain 11's show said, the power is granted to many, though far too few seem to make the choice Dave Dedrick made. Every day there are those who are crowned Morning Show host, Sales Manager, Program Director, Production Director, on and on. Some accept the responsibility and work hard to live up to it, eventually creating something bigger than themselves and their position, raising the bar of excellence a few more notches. Sadly, most don't, seemingly feeling that being granted a title makes them all wise, all powerful. The power is wasted, the King becomes stagnant, and it's two steps back for the industry.
It's a question of choice. Use the power, abuse the power, try, spin those wheels, be better, be worse. Given the power, I'd like to think that I would take to the stars like Captain 11, some day landing at my final destination knowing in my heart that I did the best with the opportunities that were presented to me.
Blast off or sit idle at the launch pad; each of us is our own Captain.
y copied the file twice on the same track to give him a loop of his winner that extended under the host's lines.
The pan crashes when the winner falls off her chair are also filtered using the same phone EQ patch in SAW+. The effect is on a different track than the voices, but SAW+ allows him to apply the same EQ to more than one track.
The music under the tail is the end of a bed from the Network Brainstorm series.
Altogether, Don uses 7 tracks in this production. In SAW+ however, each track can be stereo or mono, so it doesn't take two tracks for a stereo sound. Only two stereo tracks are used, one for the music beds and one for crowd fx. All others are mono. Don's track assignments stack up like this: Track 1-Open and close music; Track 2-Game show host and announcer; Track 3-Sfx: tack, phone pickup, buzzer and bell; Track 4-Callers; Track 5-Female winner; Track 6-Crowd applause; Track 7-Pan crash sfx.
Don assembled the spot in order, opening music, then announcer, then sfx, the next announcer piece, right on down the line.
When it comes to the mixdown, Don plays back all tracks. If an element needs a level adjustment, he clicks in the window to open a fader window and makes the adjustment. SAW+ will remember all these adjustments and repeat them on playback. It essentially gives him an automated mix when he masters the spot.
He uses a light compression ratio of 2:1 during mixdown. The spot is mastered to DAT with a digital transfer from SAW+, then transferred to reel for distribution to the stations getting the buy.
Next month, Producer's VU takes a roller coaster ride with Jym Geraci of B103.7 in Richmond, VA. Til then, keep those meters jumping.