24 Days of Xmas – Day 11: Imaging UAE Part…
It has been more than 4 years that I had Tom on the blog for the last time. Now Tom and I had a reconnect a while ago and I feel it was time for a round 2. Tom’s personal situation has changed a bit and he is now serving mostly the UAE and the Middle East, but also other parts of the world with his world class imaging. He also joined the benztown custom Imaging crew and we are really proud to have him. Check out his latest work and why he uses 2 DAWs as his go-tos! Enter Tom!
1. Which production system do you use and why?
Pro Tools and Ableton Live are my DAW’s of choice, with Pro Tools doing 90% of the work and Ableton Live stepping in for Music Image Promos. I love the simplicity and flexibility of Ableton when working with multiple varied tempo elements such as instrumentals and acapellas.
However, I ‘ghost’ the voice over channels in ableton, and then bounce the music image promo minus station voices, I then import the bounce to Pro Tools and produce the finished piece including station voices out of Pro Tools.
2. What are your favourite plugIns?
My Vox Bus, Master Chain etc… are mainly Waves and FabFilter plugin’s, but for some creative, wild and unique layering and textual effects. I’m really enjoying using Vengeance Sound’s selection of production plugins. Glitch B*tch (despite it’s questionable name) is really hot, with some customization of the pre-sets and tailored automation you can get some incredibly unique and impressive effects out of these plugins.
3. How do you schedule your work?
I schedule my working week into a way that accommodates recurring / repeat clients (some are weekly / fortnightly and monthly deliverables) and I allocate a certain amount of time from each day to new / urgent turn arounds that arrive.
I ‘Monday’ to manage this across mobile, desktop devices, it’s a fantastic service and highly recommend it for planning your week / months.
4. What do you love about working for various and very different clients now? What is different than before? How has your regular day changed?
It’s extremely exciting. Imaging is where I started in the industry and whilst I had to cut back on the amount of imaging I could do during my program director years of late, it’s truly where my heart lives and was always the plan to come back to, doing my own thing. There are challenges working with different languages for sure, he UAE and MENA region as a whole are so vast and varied in terms of nationalities, makes everyday a school day. I now speak basic Hindi, Arabic and Russian! (laughs)
Working on the US market was always a dream and thanks to yourself Andreas and the awesome Benztown Crew – that’s now something I do weekly!
5. What is the best protools or production trick anybody should know?
I wanted to try avoid the usual ‘create templates, create channel pre-sets’ that are pretty common information provided. Instead I’ve decided to share something with your readers I recently discovered myself.
Pro Tools Memory locations have really improved my workflow
I have setup pretty basic ones within my Imaging Template that allow me to do things like quickly launch an aux bus and the plugins on that strip at the click of a button!
I now have all my busses and their plugins at the click of a command e.g by simply pressing 2.
This launches my delay bus and plugins, allowing me to adjust the plugin settings without scrolling / locating them manually through a busy session.
You can setup many and instantly launch a workspace configuration you want to access.
6. How do you get inspired and what do you use as source of creativity?
Shout out here to the guys at best radio imaging on Soundcloud, I check that page daily to hear the amazing work being shared by awesome imaging guys around the world!
I also spend a lot of time watching music production videos on youtube from places like beat academy, Z3n World, KSHMR etc… You can pickup some awesome insights into how some of the biggest hits dominating radio formats around the world are produced.
7. Who were your radio production idols, who influenced your work as a producer?
I was very fortunate enough to shadow and eventually work with some incredible people like Chris Thorpe, Dan Snaith, Paul Armstrong, Alex Jungius who were responsible for the sound of one of the greatest network of radio stations in the world, Galaxy FM, I spent 5 years there as an Imaging producer and they were all the original team of imaging guys who made it so iconic when it came to radio imaging in the world.
Now I’m part of the Benztown Custom Imaging crew I’ve got access to hear the amazing work producers like yourself, Scott and Matt are producing and talent like Ashley, Brad and Mike! The imaging world has come together and it’s inspiring to hear how talent do what they do in their respective markets.
8. What have been the key advices of your dad before you want in the radio business?
My family have been incredibly supportive, despite maybe not really understanding what I was doing all that time in my bedroom alone initially, they quickly understood and supported my decision once I got my first imaging job. My dad still shows a huge interest in what I do when he visits me in Dubai. I owe my love for music and radio production to my dad, he was part of a pretty successful uk band and grew up with a studio in our house and being around musicians all the time!
An excerpt of Tom’s work
Promo – KRUF
Sweeper – WQPO
Also check out his soundcloud: