July 2012 Highlights

Production 212: Lions and Tigers and Bears! Oh My!

by Dave Foxx

When most folks turn on the radio the first time each day, chances are very good that they're looking for either entertainment or information. That's really all radio is good for, but that is quite a lot. In recent years, the 'suits' in radio have been running in fear of alternative media. Satellite radio, MP3 players, the Internet, cell phones and tablets all offer the same music radio does, but with no commercials. "Lions and tigers and bears... Oh my!" Like Dorothy and her friends in the Wizard Of Oz, the bean counters are afraid of something that should not be feared at all. In fact, alternative media should be embraced and made a part of what we do. You my friends... are the reason why.

Q It Up: Your Portable Studio

Q It Up: Attention road warriors! Describe your portable studio. Is it a nicely decked out laptop, or have you minimized even further to an iPad or even your mobile phone for recording? What are you using for mikes and recording and editing software and what do you like about these choices? Are you mainly voicing, producing, or doing both on your system? If doing voicework, how do you deal with soundproofing? Do you keep the package light with earbuds instead of regular headphones? Are you using external drives? What have you learned from building and using your portable studio, and what would you have done differently, if anything? How would you build the next one?

Test Drive: Pro Tools 10 - Bit in the Butt by a Lion

by Steve Cunningham

As most of you know, I use Avid's Pro Tools on a regular basis. These days opening Pro Tools is a reflex that requires no conscious thought; while I greatly enjoy working out on some other editor (lately I'm on a Reaper jag), when a paying job comes in it's usually just easier to fire up PT and get the work done... ...except when Avid releases a new version, at which point most work stops and I have to dedicate several hours to just get back to where I was with the older version. This has been especially true beginning with version 8 and moving forward, as recent versions have included some fundamental changes affecting my workflow. Usually I can pick and choose when I want to move to the next version, since I know it's going to stop all productive activity for something between a few hours and a day. But this time around I had no choice, because I replaced a computer. Yes, I replaced an older (and occasionally struggling) MacMini with one of the snazzier, faster, low-profile MacMinis. Normally commissioning a new computer is cause for celebration, but this time there was a large fly in my gazpacho. That fly was OSX version 10.7, otherwise known as Lion, which came installed on the Mini and could not be rolled back to 10.6.8; the Mini won't run on that version.

Notes Off the Napkin: Root Out The Problem

by Andrew Frame

A colleague posted a note to one of our message boards asking for "ideas or promotions used in the past" to help them get a real estate company on the air. She said they presented an idea of listing available properties, but so far the client wasn't leaning in their favor. I wish I had a dime for every time this came across my desk when I sat in the cubicle. As a freelancer, it still does. But now, as a freelancer, you have to learn to separate the futile from the possible. That means doing what good salespeople do -- identifying the root of the objection.

Radio Hed: ommercial Client's "Disadvantages" Into Advantages

by Jeffrey Hedquist

What are the elements of your client's business that you think are disadvantages? Can they be turned into advantages? Here are some questions to consider, with examples of turnarounds. You may be able to ask your client these directly, or answer them yourself and craft commercials to show why the answers are advantages for your audience. What don't you do? You won't find burgers, pot roast or French fries on our menu. Only all-natural, organic vegan selections, made with fresh ingredients from our own gardens.

Personal Computing: There Is Such Thing as a Free Lunch

by Reid Goldsborough

Free has a long and illustrious history in computing, and it's still alive and well today. You can't obtain free PCs, supported by advertising, as you could in the late 1990s. More Web sites today cost to access in part or in whole than in the past. But there's still plenty of free software available.

"...And Make It Real Creative!": Friends

by Trent Rentcsh

I'd like to suggest that Facebook has become an anti-social network. It's not just the virtual angry mob that occurs with every "upgrade" of the site, although judging from the hateful posts I've read, what people would like to do to those making the changes could hardly be called socially acceptable. You could call it a case of growing pains. More and more people are joining in, and like those of us who have already been at the dance for some time, they become intent on adding "Friends." It might be classmates, workmates, relatives, people who share common interests... even a handful of people you've never met, but politely accepted as "Friends" because, well, it would be impolite to ignore the request, right?

The Monday Morning Memo: Japanese Summer - You Can't Quit Knowing What You Know

by Roy H. Williams

"My name is Natsu and I'll be serving you today." Pennie said, "Natsu... What a pretty name!" "Thank you. I was named after my grandmother. It means 'summer' in Japanese." Thirty seconds earlier, Natsu had looked like any other waitress. But now that we knew her grandmother was Japanese, we couldn't help but see the obvious signs of Japanese heritage in her face. "Obvious" knowledge such as this is the reason business owners are uniquely unqualified to write their own ads. Business owners are unable to put themselves in the shoes of their uninformed customers because they can't quit knowing what they know.

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