July 2013 Highlights

 

Q It Up: How do you make your commercials "creative"?

Q It Up: This Q It Up question is for those of you who write commercials! How do you make your scripts "creative"? What resources do you use to generate creative copy? Do you have an idea bank? Do you use online services of any kind? Do you have brainstorming sessions? Perhaps you just take a walk outside or listen to a sound effects CD. Tell us how you inject creativity into your commercial scripts.

Production 212: Sound Effec- effec- effec- effects

by Dave Foxx
Back to the syllabus! Our last few installments have been about writing, music and the creative process. This time, we discuss another power tool in your production toolbox, sound effects, both electronic and natural. If I had to rank the tools available to the producer in order of importance, writing would definitely come first. Having the right words in the right order will ultimately mean success or failure. Having them read well comes in a close second. Making the music right with rhythm and flow helps reinforce the strength of the copy and delivery. Having it wrong can wreck everything else, so in one sense, music can really hurt you more than help. Effects can likewise hurt your efforts, probably more than they ever help, so pay close attention to what kinds of effects you use and even closer attention to how you use them.

Technology: Back to Basics: VO Processing

by Steve Cunningham
We knew it would happen eventually. As digital technology became smaller and more powerful, and as the software that utilizes it became more sophisticated, it was inevitable. Cars that parallel park themselves are now quite unremarkable, and others that drive themselves are but a few years off. So it is no surprise that we're now seeing a group of software products that process sound without the aid of human intervention. Several plug-ins have been available to "improve" the final quality of VO recordings, some of which we have reviewed in these pages: iZotope's Nectar (RAP February 2011), Wavearts' Dialog (RAP May 2011), along with Waves' CLA Vocals and VX-1 Vocal Enhancer, an entire VO processing suite from Antares, and a slew of others.

Radio Hed: Familiar Story Formats for Commercials

by Jeffrey Hedquist
As you search for viable formats to use for your commercial stories, don't ignore ones with which you and your audience are familiar. News reports: "Residents of a small Nebraska town are getting more than they bargained for today as they visited Hjalmer's Superette. Proprietor Hjalmer Chellberg is at the door, handing out coupons for a free tank of gas at his new pumps, just outside..." "In the news today, reports of a bank with a new promotional gift – the gift of time. First National Bank has added 3 extra tellers and 2 loan officers just when you're most likely to do your banking 11-2 daily. This could save you precious minutes when you're the most time-crunched..."

Six Things Radio People Say that are Hilariously Wrong

by Jim Van Dusen
Grammar and spelling errors are at pandemic proportions on Facebook... just check out failbook.com or lamebook.com. That's something Radio people need to take seriously when they're using social media. But here are some things you'll hear from radio people that are hilariously wrong. Yes, I know there are exceptions to every rule, but NOT this first one.

"...And Make It Real Creative": The Vacation

by Trent Rentsch
There are valid reasons why I played hooky from last month's edition of RAP. Work had gotten a little crazy, I spent several afternoons and evenings playing IT for older family members, I joined a new gym... oh yeah, and then there was the cruise. It's become a bit of a thing for the missus and me, these cruises. Never saw myself as a "cruise person," until we were caught up in a family trip a few years ago. After a few days, I got it... the escape, the total relaxation, the... the food! After a week away from responsibility (several pounds heavier, I might add), I realized that this was what a vacation was supposed to be, and we've enjoyed several others since.

Personal Computing: When Others Filch Your Content

by Reid Goldsborough
As a huge repository of information, photos, music, videos, and other content, the Internet is a huge boon to society. We have available at our fingertips knowledge and entertainment that previously took far more time and effort to find, if we could find it at all. Many of us -- individuals, businesses, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions -- put content on the Internet out of the goodness of our hearts or to benefit in some way, perhaps through ad revenue when people access our sites, blogs, or YouTube videos. What about when others reuse your content? The devil, they say, is in the details.

The Monday Morning Memo: Everyone is Entitled to Their Own Opinion But Not Their Own Facts

by Roy H. Williams
"If you've read about social media or been to any marketing conferences, you've probably heard tons of advice like love your customers, engage in the conversation, be yourself, and make friends. I call this unicorns-and-rainbows advice. Take a couple of time-honored adages, add in the unquestioning awe of an unaware audience, and pretty soon you've got an entire industry based on easy-to-agree-with but unsubstantiated ideas. But there's a problem. Myths aren't real and superstitions often do more harm than good." -Dan Zarrella, Zarrella's Hierarchy of Contagiousness I agree with Dan Zarrella.

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