July 2010 Highlights

Production 212: Fill The Well... Drain The Brain

by Dave Foxx

This month's column is a follow-up to last time, when we discussed filling the well. One might call this article a "companion piece" to the previous, because it sounds a lot like I'm repeating myself by telling you to get out of the station (or agency) with more frequency and duration. With back-to-back columns about being anywhere but your studio, you might consider, not showing this month's article to your boss, lest he/she think you're trying to skate on your work. Or even worse, that I'm trying to foment some kind of radio revolution. Viva la pâté... or something to that effect. Trust me, when I tell you that this is all about getting yourself into peak creative condition. To put a simpler handle on it: It's how to deal with what authors call Writer's Block. For us, it's Producer's Block.

Q It Up: The RAP Network Speaks - What processing do you use when recording voice tracks?

Q It Up: What processing do you use when recording voice tracks for your more common tasks? What pre-amp are you using? Do you have an outboard processor in line for preliminary processing before bringing the voice track up in your DAW for final processing? Which external processor are you using, and what are settings you like to use for most VO sessions? Once you get a voice track into your DAW, what plugs do you use most often to perform any final processing on voice tracks? When EQ-ing voice tracks, what are you trying to achieve? When do you know it's EQ'd "right"? What is your goal with compression on voice tracks, and how do you achieve those goals? Please add any other thoughts you may have regarding the subject of processing the voice.

If you have a question for the RAP Network, email it to editor@rapmag.com!

Test Drive: Low-Cost Plug-ins from LiquidSonics

by Steve Cunningham

With the economy still in the intensive care unit, there's little in the way of disposable income available for most of us to update and refresh our rigs. But the fact is that there are more good sounding plug-ins for little or no money than in the past. I've been spelunking on the web lately looking for cheap plugs, and this time I struck a bit of gold from a UK company called LiquidSonics. They've produced a convolution reverb named Reverberate, and a parametric filter named Filtrate LE. Both sound good, and are ridiculously cheap -- just what the doctor ordered in these times.

Technology: The Year Of The Penguin - Part Three

by Andrew Frame

29 April, 2010. Release day for Ubuntu Linux 10.04. Up to this point, releases had been candidate versions, the last hop between the beta (still testing) and the distribution (public release). But, 29 April was the real deal. In keeping with the Ubuntu six-month upgrade cycle, the end of April was to have arrived with a 700Mb download of Lucid Lynx. (Apparently alliteration has some geek cred I'm still not fully aware of. Version 10.10 is going to be Maverick Meerkat.) Regarding the release, I say "was to have" because the target day came and went, and no release. For that, I offer appreciation to the propeller-heads at Canonical, the Ubuntu maintainers. I'll wait to have an OS that works out of the box, than one that may still have a few bugs in the code. I need this thing to work, and not waste my time. Why Ubuntu? Why not Slackware? OpenSuse? Mint? Debian?

...And Make It Real Creative - The Creative Tap Room: Second Round

by Trent Rentsch

This month, the virtual Creative roundtable continues, as a variety of Creatives in my life answer the not so simple question, "Where does your Creativity come from?" We are just about to ask our Server for another round, when the door to the Tap Room bursts open, and HE struts into the room. At that moment, all at the table know that the conversation is about to take a, unique, turn. HE is Roy Cunningham. I think I've introduced you to Roy in this column in the past. It's hard to define Roy (and not just as a Creative). Roy has been a DJ, an Audio Producer, a Guitarist (with major rock stars whose names you would know), a Composer, a Writer, a Video Producer... and that's really the tip of the iceberg. I've often thought that if the most bizarre Frank Zappa album came to life, it would be Roy. He recently signed a contract with a German record company and is working on his first release with them. In the meantime, he continues to Create radio and television ads for businesses across the Pacific Northwest. You can discover bits and pieces of his work at roycunningham.com, but it's really hard to get the whole picture that is Roy unless you sit down and tip back a couple with him... like, this...

Personal Computing: Deciding What Information is Fair to Use

by Reid Goldsborough

One of the catchwords on the Internet is "Information wants to be free." This creates the impression that anything you come across online is free for the using. Not quite. The same laws that protect intellectual property elsewhere can get you in trouble for appropriating someone else's words, images, music, video, and so on. As with much else about the law, the devil is in the details. But you don't need to hire a lawyer to stay safe. A basic understanding is often all it takes. If you're involved in a project you're uncertain about, however, by all means consider consulting with an attorney specializing in intellectual property.

Radio Hed: The Billboard Test

by Jeffrey Hedquist

I don't like billboards because they obstruct my view of the scenery, although sometimes that scenery is merely the side of another building. I do like the economy of words it takes to communicate on billboards. I notice as I drive along this great nation's highways at the maximum speed allowable, that many billboard messages don't work. They have too many words, too many images and too much detail for someone to catch at a glance.

The Monday Morning Memo: Introverts and Extraverts

by Roy H. Williams

Run the following ad in any newspaper: 2006 Honda Civic DX 4dr, White, 63,000 miles, $8,100. Call 555-1212. These are the questions you'll be asked by nearly half your callers: "What year is that Honda Civic? Is it a 2-door or 4-door? What color? How many miles on it? How much are you asking?" I know this because I bought and sold an average of 3 cars a month for the first several years Pennie and I were married. I've answered these questions many hundreds of times and in every instance the information was in the newspaper ad. I always wanted to ask, "Where did you get this phone number?" Then a few years ago Dr. Richard D. Grant taught me the difference between introverts and extraverts.

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