FAME FX for free or the Battle of THE Imaging…

I am thrilled to present you our exquisit line up for the Fame FX contest.

1.The world famous Dave Foxx & Eban 2.Australia’s CHR Imaging Icon and a good friend of mine David Konsky & Nic Kelly 3. Musical genius and TM’s VP/creative Ricky Roo & my man Mike Santos 4.The Rock Imaging Pioneer John Frost & Andrew Choiniere.

One of these matching couples of blog users and Imaging icons will get the brand new Fame FX for free (more than 450 Sound FX, Loops and Imaging workparts as bounce outs and subversions for maximum imaging flexiblity), before you can even buy it! 2nd and 3rd place will receive a 25 and a 10 Sound FX package hand picked by Oli and me.

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Read the interviews, enjoy the audio bits and vote for your favourite interview.

1. Eban & Dave Foxx

Well Eban…I hope this doesn’t come too late for your contest. My apologies for letting this sit so long. (It’s been a particularly trying week for me.)
Your questions:
What do you love about being the Imaging guy for station Z100?
The nicest thing is having all the tools I need at my disposal. While my company is well known for being frugal, they do insist that I get the right tools; a high-end Mac computer with lots of hard drive space, a large monitor and an excellent sound system. Because of this, I don’t spend my days wrestling with equipment issues, but rather creative issues. I don’t have to “make do” with an inferior set of monitor speakers. I can operate knowing full well that what I hear in my studio is what I’ll hear on the air.
Who influenced your work as a producer?
Oddly, I have to say television did. I clearly recall some of the graphic work I used to see on the three big networks and marveling at how they could take a simple message and make it seem so much more important with splashy visual effects. The early days of MTV were particularly influential with their fast-cut, timed to the music visuals, simple, bare-bones voice overs that didn’t make it seem ‘hypey.’ I would see all this and say, “There has to be a way to do this on radio.” I think, after all these years, I’ve finally done it.
What was your greatest moment in your radio career?
Before I was an “official” producer, doing commercials and then imaging, I was a premier DJ. I hosted the number one morning show in Washington, DC for several years. When I moved on to Baltimore, I took over mid-days and took their ratings from 18th place, overall to number one in six months. Just writing this now makes me swell up a bit with pride. Those were heady days my friend. More recently, I have won several awards for my work as a producer. Each award has a special memory attached, but my first was extra special. I won the top prize in RAP Magazine’s annual awards and still display the trophy proudly in my studio. (It features a razor blade embedded in Lucite, which has raised a few questions with some of the younger producers who’ve wandered through.)
What are your 3 favourite PlugIns and why?
Well, two of them change, almost monthly. One month it would be Metaflange, the next Cosmonaut. That will always be that way, I guess. It’s a matter of where my head is any given month. There is ONE though that I will use on every piece. It is my essential, absolutely must-have plug-in, called L1 Ultraharmonizer. Yes, there is an L2 and L3 version, but none can out-perform the L1. It’s really the best. It’s simple to use and understand, it never ever fails to work exactly as promised and it uses the slickest “brick wall,” clipping algorithm I’ve ever seen. It never sounds overdone and is always smooth and flawless.
What is the key to be a successful Imaging guy?

Wow…that’s a loaded question. There are actually a few things that are essential. (Bear in mind that there are a number of different areas and not everyone is proficient at all of them. Someone who is lacking in one area or another can still be very successful, but to be top tier, absolutely the best producer, you need all of these traits.
1.    Patience – Keep working at a project until it sounds like what was in your head to start with. If you get in a hurry, the product will suffer.
2.    A Musical Ear – I have long advocated music lessons for producers. Every day, producers must take music apart and re-assemble it to suit their purposes. If you really don’t understand what makes music work, you must absolutely have a natural rhythm, a strong sense of (if not perfect) pitch and an ability to sense flow.
3.    A solid grasp of The King’s English!!! The best promo in the world can be ruined with a touch of  bad grammar.
4.    A solid sense of humor. The self-deprecating flavor is absolute best.
5.    Good friends in high places.
Hope this helps! Good luck…
Regards, Dave Foxx

2. Nic Kelly & David Konsky

Good luck Nic!

_David Konsky

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3. Mike Santos & Ricky Roo

I reached out to ricky roo, who is currently the vp/creative at tm studios.  prior to joining tm, ricky was the creative force behind top40 101.3 KDWB in minneapolis.  his style is VERY musical…a lot of parody and i believe is the one responsible for the K2 jingle package at tm, so he’s very accomplished in the recording studio as well as the prod room.  when i first started at Alice, ricky was helping us out with the imaging and he influenced me a whole heap.  from overall production to encouraging me to expand my vision when it came to radio imaging/production.
i also included some of my favorite bits from ricky’s time at tm.
what do you love about being vp/creative at tmstudios?

The ability to find or create exciting new products and introduce them into radio and television producers’ daily work lives. The accessibility of having a giant studio with like-minded creative people ready to help our customers win and by doing so, winning ourselves.

before going to tm, you were imaging director at 101.3 KDWB, what did you love about you’re time there?

The daily grind, mostly. It might sound crazy but I actually loved being handed the weekend promotions details at noon on Friday and having to conceptualize, write, voice, and produce an imaging piece that included all the bells and whistles of what a true station promo should be.

who has influenced your work as a producer and why?  are there any people outside of radio that influence your production work?

Everyone and no one. I pull ideas from everywhere. TV, movies, radio stations, other production companies. But at the same time I don’t really dig into what they are doing. I don’t want to hear my competition’s products in full. Too much and I’ll find them influencing me too much. They’re my competition for a reason. I have to beat them, not become them.

what has been the greatest moment of your career so far?

Hearing someone singing a KDWB promo in a food store. I imagine it’s the same feeling an artist gets when they hear their song on the radio for the first time.

what are your 3 favorite plugins and why?

Tough question to answer. I’m creating more music now than tweaking vocals for promos and sweepers but my go-to tried and true plugs are the Nexus Re/FX, Goliath, and the SSL E-Channel

what do you think are the keys to being a successful producer and what advice would you give to someone who wants to move beyond radio production to doing other things like jingle production or just music production in general?

Learn music. Learn music. Learn music. The majority of today’s best producers have some form of musical knowledge. Having a knowledge of music can help you beatmix pop songs, sure, but having a knowledge of time signature, keys, chords, et cetera will help you understand how records are made and will help you form a better sweeper to place in between the records. I remember back in the late ’90s/early ’00s when alternative imaging was all static noise and beeps between every phrase. I never understood that. It had no melody, no rhythm or flow. These days, there is no excuse to not know music. YouTube is your friend.

mike santos

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4. Andrew Choiniere & John Frost

Hi John !

Greetings from Montreal.

Thanks again for accepting my “invitation”. I’am the first but not the only who will enjoy reading all of your answers !

Feel free to add screenshot, any useful explanation, comments, anything you want… at any time.

So here we go…

1a) What thrilled you the most at the time of being the creative director of KROQ ?

I went from Anchorage, Alaska to Los Angeles.  So, everything about being in Los Angeles and at KROQ thrilled me.  Also, at that time,  there was no such thing as an imaging guy…  There was the ‘Production Guy.’  Maybe there was,  I dunno. But nowhere I’d been or seen or knew of at the time had an Imaging guy.  I kinda grew into imaging as it dawned on us how important imaging may become.   It thrilled me to be in what we thought was uncharted territory.  No definition existed.  So I guess the biggest thrill was trying to figure out how far we could go,  and what kind of things we could put on the radio that we’d never heard before.

1b) What do you love about being the master behind Frostbytes ?

The same exact feeling.  Frostbytes was the first of what became a long line of  ONLINE imaging services.  The first that could be updated daily… to reflect the day’s events.   President goofed?  We had a bit for the morning show online.   Anna Nicole Smith married a 90 year old?  We had sweepers to drop in.  Again, it felt like uncharted territory in 2001.  To this day,  I also love the infinite possibilities every day  brings.  That, and being my own boss. Which, simultaneously, also sucks.

2) Who or what influenced you ? (As a beginner and Today)

First,  my dad.  Jack Frost.  He was doin’ radio sketches and morning shows and Programming stations in Anchorage, Alaska as I was growing up.  Second,  Tom Sandman…  imaging guru in the 80s at WBCN Boston.  Bootlegs of his song parodies even made it up to Anchorage regularly.  He, and the vocal stylings of BCN’s Billy West (also of Ren and Stimpy fame).  Nowadays,  countless producers and programmers, for countless reasons.   Eric Chase,  Will Morgan, Kelly Doherty,  and programming gods like Michael Martin (CBS Radio West Coast VP now in San Fran.) for meeting ever-changing demands of the radio market…  and still finding room for the creative.

3) What was your greatest moment(s) or achievement(s) in your career ?

Getting hired straight to KROQ LA from Nowhere USA.  That was huge for me.  Winning the Rick Carroll Radio Innovator of the Year award 1996… one year after (or before) Howard Stern… can’t remember which.   Before that,  in Alaska at KWHL FM,  one year I won every radio category other than PSAs  (like, 8 awards total), in some Alaskan Broadcaster Awards thing.  That sticks with me cuz,  I kept getting called… going up for the trophy… sitting down… getting called again… and again… and again…  people all over the room were audibly groaning and flashing me the stink eye.  I’ll never forget that.    But every time my daughter, who’s 4,  says something funny on purpose,  that’s also a great moment.

4) Talking Plugins… What are your top 3 favourite and why ?

Dunno.  That changes constantly… so I’ll just throw some out that I like right now:

Melodyne Studio.   It’s awesome.  Don’t need to midi to ‘Autotune’ that vocal and music.  Super deep, but also super easy to use from the start.

Antares Autotune EVO.   I like getting a ‘Daft Punk’ sound with that one.

Native Instruments Guitar Rig.  Any version.  I just love the variety of ‘crunch’ it offers.  I like a lot of crunch.  Always.

5) What is the key to be a successful imaging guy ?

Don’t be afraid to do new stuff.   Find new, novel, and shorter ways to still do creative things.  Don’t be afraid to ‘borrow’ ideas or styles.  In the borrowing of tried and true tactics,  you will develop your own style or styles.  Start somewhere,  master something,  branch out from there.   You should be as versatile as possible eventually.  Whatever is needed,  comedy, boom-pow production,  sincerity,  cleverness,  you will need to do a pretty good job of it.  That way,  formats can crumble,  Program Directors, Djs, GMs can come and go,  even owners can change…  but if you can do the next format’s needs pretty well,  you may be one of the few that weathers the storm and makes the jump to the next incarnation of the station.

Extra question

6) In your opinion, what are the mistakes that imaging producer often does ? (When you listen do other producer beginner or not, and you hear something wrong) Hope you understand my question.

Timing and delivery.  Make sure there’s room or space for everything in your piece.  Don’t clutter it with too much stuff.    That’s the delivery part.  In this new and supershort radio world,  don’t be afraid to cut copy.  Chances are the copy was written and approved and wordy.  Shorten and delete superfluous stuff. If you can, take out anything said twice. If you have a promo about concerts in the area, and then at the end you re-iterate with “GET ALL THE LATEST NEWS AND CONCERT INFO AT 98-7 FM.COM”,  shorten it to “Want More? 98-7FM.COM,”  or  “CONCERTS?  98-7FM.COM.”

You’d be surprised what you can leave out.   “98-7 has yer tickets to see NIRVANA… Sold Out, Saturday February 22nd at the Lake Castaic Amphitheatre.”  WHY NOT JUST “98-7 has yer tickets to see NIRVANA.”  I mean, it’s sold out… They don’t need to sell any more tickets.  So,  the venue’s not important, AND the date’s not important.  Why put the date?… so people can check their schedule to see if they can go? So they can see if they should try to win, and therefore, see if they should even pay attention to the announcement?  Any time where you CAN leave it out, DATE and VENUE should be left out.

Well, that’s it ! I hope it was not too complicated ? Thanks again John. I really appreciate the time that you took to answer my questions.

I’ll keep you inform about the interview.

Have a great one John

Andrew Choinière

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The vote will be open until midnight PST on Friday, April 15th. You can only vote once for your favourite interview. The vote is IP connected, so please only vote one time. Fame FX is available April 25th right here and has some great specials and bonuses set up for the first guys buying it. So be fast, because Fame FX is the first self extending Sound FX library ever. How that works? We installed several milestones bringing the first purchasers even more material for free.

Fame FX Milestones:
025 copies sold : additional 10 Elements for free for the first 25 purchaser
050 copies sold : additional 25 Elements for free for the first 50 purchaser
100 copies sold : additional 50 Elements for free for the first 100 purchaser
300 copies sold : Fame FX 2 (coming in 2012) for free for the first 300 purchasers

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