...Our biggest problem? The shoddy work released by some of the "smaller" agencies in south Florida ...spots that are as much as five seconds short or too long, tapes that come in well past the production deadline (What's that?), and spots of quality too poor for dubbing. But what the hell... everybody has to deal with that, right?
Keep up the good work. We look forward to the Cassettes and monthly issue.
WIRK-FM, West Palm Beach, FL
If it's any comfort, know that your problem with small agencies extends well beyond the Florida state line. You're not alone. What's more, the agencies you describe at least produce their own spots. What about those small agencies that take their 15% then call the station's creative department with copy facts or a 45 second script! Wasn't the 15% agency discount conceived as payment to the agency for providing a finished product on reel? And if you produce a script for an agency, regardless of where it runs, shouldn't you get a talent fee for producing it? After all, the 15% is supposed to cover production costs!
As far as dealing with these problems, let's get some input from our subscribers and share some solutions. If your station deals with problems similar to these, drop R.A.P. a line and tell us how you deal with them, or how you'd like to deal with them.
I have a problem, and hopefully you can help. I have trouble finding the "just right" level for the music bed that I put under my voice. Either the music drowns out my voice, or the music bed is so low, it loses its effect because you can barely hear it, or you can't hear it at all!
Any advice anyone?
KAMI-FM, Cozad, NE
If our database information is correct, you don't have an equalizer or a compressor in the production room. Our first suggestion is to get management to spring $200 for an inexpensive graphic equalizer. For the money, you can't buy a more useful piece of equipment. (If they squirm about $200 for an equalizer, tell them you don't want anything more than what's found in most cars in your high school parking lot!) Once you get EQ in your room, upper mid-range frequencies of your voice can be boosted so the voice punches through the music better, letting you mix the music louder than you can now. (See article on front page.) In the meantime, try working the mike a little further away. This will give you a net result of increased mid and upper frequencies by cutting the lows somewhat.
A compressor can help with your mixes, too; and, combined with an equalizer, the two can improve the sound of your production 100%. A compressor will cost a little more than an equalizer ($500 will give you more than one to choose from). Let us know how you do.