Brain Dead CREATIVE HELP or meet L.A’s legendary Mike Crank…

Mike Crank and Trevor Shand – 2 names you are familiar with, I bet. Mike is the mastermind behind Jack and Trevor is the head of production for the legendary KROQ. I met Mike a few months ago, while I was in LA and was really impressed. Benztown is providing the imaging for the Jack Network, for  Sparknet and Mike was highly recommended by Pat and Gary – the guys behind Jack. Before I start the interview I would recommend to check out Mike and Trevors’s brand new book. BTW Awesome Artwork, guys and of course a massive help to stay creative in stessful daily environment. BrainDeadCreative Help is about :

Is there impending doom for thousands? Thousands of radio stations?  We think not…if we act now. There’s got to be a way to put a defibrillator on the way we broadcast music and entertainment.  So how do we keep the greatest, public and free audio delivery system from being killed off by the internet, iPods, and satellite?

Easy.  Be compelling. Braindead Creative Help explains exactly how to break through stale, boring radio and turn any station into a multimedia icon.

Check out the guys’ audio and learn how to do epic work in caffeinated daily insanity! Enter Mike & Trevor:

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1. which production system do you use at JACK FM/KROQ and why?

First of all, let me say THANK YOU to you, Andreas for asking Trevor and me to be a part of your production blog!  I think you do amazing work. Okay…so…to answer your question. I use Adobe Audition. I actually use Adobe Audition 1.5. Yep, that OLD version. I use it because, in my opinion, it’s the BEST for radio production. The later versions, although amazing and great, seem like their geared more for music prouducers than radio guys. Although I hear the latest version Audition CS5.5 has a “radio production” template built in. I’ll have to give it a try.

2. what are your favourite plugIns (including screenshots)?

Man…truth is, I just use the features in Audition. I love the compressor in it, the “Full Reverb” (fav setting is Gymnasium 2), the pitch bender, scientific filter, the delay, chorus…all BUILT RIGHT IN. I think they’re great.

3. how do you schedule your work (priorities…..)?

I am the WORST at organization. My schedule consists of me always having a bunch of things rolling around in my head. I try to keep notes. I write stuff on a dry-erase board in the studio sometimes…but for the most part, I’m in a caffeinated state of craziness and I just seem to knock it all out purely by the pressure of the “start-date”

4. what do you love about being the head of production @ JACK FM / KROQ?

I have the creative freedom to not only come up with funny / entertaining ideas for promos, sweepers and liners, but I get to be a writer for Jack FM and, I am part of a creative team that comes up with ideas for an entire promotion-from on-air execution to even ideas for outdoor execution.

5. what is the best protools or production trick anybody should know?

Using reverse reverb to smooth out your transitions…as well as pitch bending down the tiny end of music or effects to smooth out the transition into the next piece.

6. how do you get inspired and what do you use as scource of creativity?

Inspiration usually hits me from movies, great TV shows, and good brainstorming…and that usually takes a unique brainstorming partner or group…people that you gel with well.

7. who were your radio production idols, who influenced your work as a producer?

For me…it all started with John Frost on KROQ. His style pioneered alternative radio production and has influenced even pop production. I’m also a big fan of Brian Kelsey and Ned Spindle.

8. what would be your 3 key advices for  a youngster?

Keep writing (don’t worry so much about big noises and sounds – write something entertaining). Make your program director sweat from edgy, creative new ideas, and collaborate with anyone willing.

9. any upcoming future projects (here you can do a great teaser for you book)

Trevor and I have just put out a book all about being creative and entertaining in broadcasting. The book’s called Braindead Creative Help and we cover everything from Production to writing, to being a DJ and so much more.

Here’s our website where you can buy the book:

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