Producer's VU - September 1998

Dan Culhane,  KEEY/Minneapolis, MN:  “K102 New Year’s Eve Country Bash”

producers-vu-logo-2By Craig Rogers

It’s a concert with two of country music’s biggest stars, Bryan White and LeAnn Rimes.  It’s the first concert of their worldwide tour.  It’s happening on New Years Eve, in your town.  And your station gets to be part of it.  The promo better be good. (Gulp!)

K102 LogoDan Culhane of KEEY, K102/Minneapolis met that challenge with the promo in this month’s spotlight.  Read here about how Dan produced the promo, then give it a close listen on The Cassette.

Dan’s working with SAWplus32, a software program whose power and affordability has made it a staple of many production rooms.  He has it running on a Pentium 200 with 64 megs of RAM.  This production shows off much of SAW’s power along with Dan’s.

Voice talent is JJ McKay.  Dan received JJ’s voice tracks via ISDN on his Zephyr.  He recorded him directly into SAW through his Mackie 32-8 board.  Dan now receives JJ’s tracks via e-mailed MPEG files.  He e-mails JJ the script, and JJ can turn it around in an hour or so.  Dan says download time is only a couple of minutes.  It’s less expensive since there are no long distance phone charges.  The drawback is that Dan can’t direct JJ to get exactly the read he wants.

Dan builds the promo as he goes instead of editing a voice track then fitting the music to it or vice versa.  The first sound you hear is the memory eraser device from Men in Black.  JJ’s voice is on track one.  Dan copied the opening phrase, “It’s another,” to a second track then back to the first track to get the repeat.

He copied the call letters to a third and fourth track and turned on the vari-speed for those tracks.  One track was varied up and the other was varied down.  When an effect is assigned to a track in SAW, everything falling on that track will be run through the effect.  Dan makes use of these tracks again later in the promo.

 The two music beds under this section are from Toby Arnold and Associates’ Rockin’ Country and Generation X-2 libraries.  Accenting the open of the first bed is a rewind effect Dan created on his Otari 5050 reel machine.

On the phrase “the very first time” Dan again copies JJ’s v/o to the tracks that have the vari-speed assigned to it to add some punch to the phrase.  At this point, a cheer from a concert crowd swells in the background.  Dan got this from Garth Brooks’ Concert in Central Park video.  He says the video has been a terrific source for a variety of crowd cheers.  The explosion that opens the cheers is from the Sound Ideas library.  You’ll also hear another piece of the MIB memory eraser, plus a drone from the Toby Arnold library and another rewind effect that segues into the LeAnn Rimes hook.

For the phrase “LeAnn Rimes,” Dan moves JJ’s v/o to the background with a filter that rolls off sharply below 400 Hz.  He then copied that filtered v/o to another track and offset it from the first track to give a slapback delay effect.

Dan creates some flanging through the phrase “Target Center on New Year’s Eve” by copying JJ’s v/o to another track and offsetting it a few milliseconds from the original.

Next comes a phrase from Bryan White’s song, “I’m Not Supposed to Love You Anymore.”  This was a live acoustic performance by White in the K102 studios.  Dan recorded this to DAT from the K102 program buss as Bryan performed.  Garth’s crowd helps put this already live performance into an arena.

Another custom tape rewind closes the White cut and segues into touch tones Dan recorded from the phone.  He then pitch shifts JJ downward for the phrase “Come on Twin Cities.”

Dan makes good use of an instrumental measure in the chorus of White’s “So Much for Pretending” to put in the “listen and win” portion of the v/o.  When the chorus repeats, Dan copied the phrase “much for” to five other tracks, then placed them one right after the other to create a short loop.  He adjusted the faders for each track so they were successively lower in volume, making the phrase repeat and fade.  The end of the lyric comes back at full volume right at the end of the v/o after the sixth repeat to finish the phrase.

LeAnn Rimes closes out the promo.  Dan edited the chorus of the song to the tail.  Garth’s crowd brings it all to a close.

Before sending the promo to the RCS system for on-air playback, Dan listens to the promo until he hears a portion that needs an adjustment of gain or pan.  He stops, uses the mouse to adjust the on-screen faders, then continues on.  SAW remembers all the adjustments and repeats them as the promo is played back, automating the mix.

Now drop in The Cassette and listen to Dan’s work.  If you’d like to reach him, e-mail danculhane@k102.com or call 612-820-4214.

You’ve certainly produced something lately that deserves to be shown off.  If not, you’re probably in the wrong business.  So call, e-mail or drop one of your best productions in the mail to the address below.  Anything you’ve produced is fair game: commercial, promo, imaging, song parody, comedy bit, you name it.

Next month, Producer’s VU takes you through the production of a “Phenomenal” club spot from Chad Rufer and Joe Edwards of Advantage Productions in Ft. Myers, Florida.

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