June 2011 Highlights

Feature: Cornering the (Small) Market

by Mike Johnson

I was pouring over a radio message board some time ago and saw my name in a thread about Aberdeen, South Dakota. Seemed I was being called out for having never 'moved on' from a small market. I was dumb-struck! For some reason I guess, some of my peers find it hard to believe that I have spent my entire career in a small market by choice.

R.A.P. Interview: Alan Peterson, Assistant Chief Engineer / Production Director, Radio America, Washington, D.C.

by Jerry Vigil

You don't have to look too hard or go too far to find the slaughter of production people in radio is still taking place. It's the new way of doing radio, at least in the U.S. We'll know the slaughter is over when we call the local station and the receptionist is answering from India. In the meantime, what can you do to protect yourself when even the most creative have not been spared? Diversify. Some of you may recall our first interview with Alan Peterson back in 1992. He was cranking out award winning commercials in a 2-track analog studio in the small market of Danbury, Connecticut and writing articles about production for Radio World, amongst other things. Alan was pretty diverse in his skill set back then, and that would be an understatement today. Nearly 20 years later, Alan is a survivor and still in radio, the trade he enjoys most, and he owes much of his success to diversification.

Test Drive: WaveLab 7 For PC and Mac

by Steve Cunningham

Like so many other businesses in the 21st century, the audio software business is changing. In some ways audio software has become something of a commodity, as the differences between Pro Tools and Audition and Sound Forge and Wave Editor and Twisted Wave are not measured by sound quality; they all sound good, and only dogs can hear the differences. What differentiates them is their workflows and user interfaces. Once esoteric DSP-based software has become commonplace. Heck, you can record, edit, and mix on an iPhone if you're so inclined. In an effort to differentiate themselves, some companies are going cross-platform. Cockos was smart to introduce Reaper in both Mac and PC formats; Adobe introduced Audition for the Mac in an effort to steal some Pro Tools thunder; Avid's defense was to remove the hardware requirement from the already cross-platform Pro Tools software. Steinberg, went cross-platform a while ago with Cubase and Nuendo. Now the company has granted a long-standing wish of mine by releasing its WaveLab 7 stereo editor in both Windows and Macintosh formats. This is a big deal for me personally... I kept a Pentium 4-powered Windows XP box around for a long time just to run WaveLab.

Production 212: The Big Argument

by Dave Foxx

I have resisted getting into the "which is better" debate for years. Entire websites have been devoted to the premise that MAC is better than PC, and vice versa. Over the years, the arguments have raged on about one DAW being the best or easiest, or fastest, or simplest, or whatever. I've always maintained that you need to find the system that works best for you and then get the appropriate platform, regardless of what anyone else says. I have, however, always said that the best system for me was Pro Tools™ on Macintosh, but I've never really explained why. This month, I do.

Radio Hed: Why Before How

by Jeffrey Hedquist

A successful commercial engages me, its intended audience in a selling sequence, often in this order: 1. Sparks and keeps my interest by telling a story about me. 2. Knows me, knows my wants, needs, desires, hopes, and dreams, understands my frustrations. Speaks my language. 3. Reminds me of my pain, perhaps of something missing in my life. 4. Sells me on a solution. 5. Lets me know where to go to and how to take advantage of the solution.

...And Make It Real Creative: The Lingering Smell of Bell

by Trent Rentsch

Ever since I was little, bells always smell like Christmas to me. It doesn't matter if it's the tolling of church bells, or the occasional tinkle of an old fashioned door bell, I instantly smell pine trees and fresh-baked gingerbread and the icy breath of a South Dakota December. If I close my eyes, I can also see row upon row of houses decked out in glittering lights, the gaudy trailer that Santa called home each year on Main Street in my home town, and the stacks of brightly wrapped mysteries under the tree. And if I listen to the bell very, very closely, I can feel the paper crinkling under my fingers as I tore it from my presents, and taste the cloyingly-sweet divinity candy my Great-Grandmother made each Christmas without fail. But all these memories always start with the smells, when I hear bells.

The Monday Morning Memo: Counterintuitive Radio

by Roy H. Williams

"The best radio ads entertain the public and generate favorable comments." That kind of thinking is why most radio ads don't work as well as they should. I know it's counterintuitive and disconcerting but the ads we hate often work better than the ads we love. What are you trying to make happen with your radio ads? Have you been confusing compliments with results? You're probably dismayed by what I'm saying right now. Bear with me. I'm betting you'll find a nugget you can use.

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