...congratulations on a long overdue publication. A monthly update designed for those of us faced with the daily crush of sales department production orders and programming department demands is welcome indeed. The fact that each issue includes "The Cassette" is simply icing on the cake! ...I'd like to encourage more production people to contribute more spots that emphasize copy creativity. Electronic wizardry is great, but are we beginning to use it in place of simple, creative copy?
I also have 2 questions. Perhaps you can address these in future articles or toss them out for comment. First, where are the good production libraries? I'm aware of quite a few that are on the market, but quite honestly, I find most to be less than complete in meeting my needs. Is anyone else using sound tracks as a primary source for promo bed material?
Secondly, what is the most economical way to step into the digital domain. Specifically, with a "non-digital" staff, what equipment would you recommend to both "meet the need" and not give your production staff a severe case of future shock? I look forward to receiving my next issue of R.A.P. and hope that I may have offered a few thoughts for others to ponder. Keep up the great work.
Michael R. Terry
Creative Services Director
Your letter is loaded with some good questions, and we'd like to invite others to respond with their ideas and comments. It is interesting that in the past week, we have received several calls and letters that have commented on the creative copy vs. creative production issue. Obviously, a combination of the two is ideal, but the tendency to be more creative on the production side might be because "electronic wizardry" is easier to do these days than it is to write a great piece of copy. It's also faster in most cases, but you can't get away from the fact that a good spot or promo starts with a good piece of copy. It's also interesting to note that technology has taken our production skills a long way, but it hasn't done nor can do a thing for our copywriting skills. A good writer will always have a job in this industry.
Where are the good production libraries? If that were an easy question, there would be a lot of producers of production music out of business. Which ones are "good" is a question of personal taste. There are very few, if any, production libraries that are going to meet all your needs. Rather than trying to find one that will have everything you could possibly need, the trend seems to be more towards buying several smaller libraries that each satisfy a certain area of production--one or two for promos, one or two for commercials, etc. If you really want to hear what's out there, get those demos! They're free and waiting for you. A collection of 3 or 4 libraries from different companies is a good way to keep a variety of music on hand. Regarding movie sound tracks as promo beds, yes they are frequently used this way as well as on commercials. Every production room should have a good selection of 30 or 40 sound track albums on hand.
Regarding your question on stepping into the digital domain, we are going to take your advice and prepare an article for a future issue. We also welcome any comments from subscribers who have made this step and would like to share their experience in doing so.
The Cassette is outstanding. You can study the work on each tape and learn "the tricks" that not only sound great, but save time too. Hope The Cassette goes on!
I have spent months trying to persuade management to invest in processing equipment. The Cassette appears to have closed the deal. A great learning tool. The entire KEAN staff benefits tremendously from Radio And Production. We love it. Thanks for the hard work.
KEAN 105, Abilene, TX
Thank you for the kind words and your support! We're glad we could assist you in getting some "toys". Playing The Cassette to management to show them what can be done with the right tools is a great way to convince them that the tools are worth it. Too often, particularly in the smaller markets, the quality of production on a station will suffer simply because management is unaware of what a $400 box can do for them. They are unaware of how much the cost of processing gear has come down while the quality of the gear has gone up. Good way to use The Cassette!