I am almost totally lost. Being a part-timer at my station, I don't have a lot of experience with a lot of specialty equipment. When I do cut commercials, they are your straight voice with background music or your typical SFX from a variety of sources.
What's my point? Well, I have experience working with bands and as a jock on the bar scenes, so some of the technical jargon makes sense. Whereas other times, I can be a total technical illiterate. For those of your readers who are like me (don't tell me there are none out there), please explain some of the terms, etc.. All I know I have virtually taught myself. The only equipment I have ever used are amps, EQ, limiters, and sustainers and reverbs. So you see, a lot of this stuff would be more interesting and useful if myself and others knew what you were talking about. For example, what is MIDI, a sampler, and a Harmonizer. On CD players, what is the difference between 4, 8, 12, and 20 times oversampling. When talking to area suppliers or technicians, you get told that these are just numbers. Bull.
I think by now you understand where I am coming from.
Philip J. Schlosser
WAQE-FM, Rice Lake, WI
First of all, let me thank you for taking the time to present a valid point. During the first year or two of R.A.P., we spent a lot of space talking about the basics. We defined samplers and their uses. We even had a seventeen month tutorial on MIDI. We did reviews on Harmonizers written in terms radio producers could understand. (As for oversampling, as far as radio producers are concerned, those numbers ARE practically insignificant. Still, there's nothing wrong with wanting to know what they mean.)
What I think is in order here is a "R.A.P. Glossary" of terms used in the articles and interviews we publish. If there are others out there like yourself (and I don't doubt there are), we would like to hear from you. Write or fax us a note asking for definitions on any terminology you read in R.A.P. or any other trade magazine for that matter. When we get enough "words" to define, we'll publish this glossary and continually update it.
For a quick fix, you might check out your local library for some recent books on recording studio basics. Or, better yet, maybe your station should consider investing in a few back issues of R.A.P.!!??
I am going to take full advantage of my new subscription by asking you to include this letter in the R.A.P. Sheet. It dawned on me that perhaps my situation is not unique. I decided to put it out for some feedback.
I create the imaging production. The responsibility fell into my lap two years ago when the bankrupt AC satellite-assist station I worked for was bought and converted to a classic rock station.
I attacked the challenge with enthusiasm (thrilled to still be employed!) and have done a very good job. Here's my problem.
I feel limited with the tools I have to work with, and it's frustrating me. I work with two CD players (home types), two reel-to-reels, one Tomcat, one Dynamax, and one microphone. Yet, the promos I hear in my head seem to be more complex, more layered than what the equipment is able to do. There's no one at my station with imaging production experience, so I lack a teacher. The other stations don't offer much originality, though I listen for something new. My production load is very intense. My PD expects and gets great stuff every time. Yet, we only have one production room and two sold out stations. I'm slotted two hours a day, but I need four! I have no equipment that facilitates my task. I'm also on the air 9 a.m. to 2 p.m..
Management says they are aware of the situation; yet, the planned upgrade is seven months late in beginning. My PD won't lower his expectations (nor can I) because we're the number one station in town. My back is up against the production room wall!
I look forward to some advice.
Camille Conte, AT/APD/Imaging Producer
KBFX-FM, Anchorage, AK
The best advice I can give you, you've already taken. You've subscribed to Radio And Production, the only publication written BY production people like yourself, FOR production people like yourself. Rest assured you are not alone in your situation. In fact, it's quite common. As you get to know our "R.A.P. Family," I'm confident you will get a number of ideas and tips, plus a ton of encouragement that will help you achieve your goals.
As for feedback, we'd be happy to let our Family (now YOUR Family) give you a call or drop you a line with some comments and suggestions. How 'bout it folks? Camille can be reached at [info no longer valid].
I am the Production Director for WHMA-AM/FM (Alabama 100) in Anniston, Alabama. I have been in this position for almost a year. I was trained by a very talented lady who was moving back to Florida and didn't have a lot of time to go into detail. Luckily, I had a smidgeon of copywriting talent to start with and possess about six different voices of my own. I also do the morning show here on the FM station. When I took this job, I wasn't sure what I was doing or that I was going to be good at it. I just today got a copy of your magazine. WOW, this has been a lot of help. Up until this point, I've been going on my own intuition. I don't know how this magazine got past me. I wish it hadn't! I'm just a babe in production, but you've helped me a lot! Thanks for the articles on good production!
Randi McNally, Production Director
WHMA-AM/FM, Anniston, AL