Freddy Cruz – Houston’s No1 Hit Music Imager

I met Freddy last month, while checking the entrys for Iron Imager 2015. Especially for me it is super interesting, because I use KRBE as flagship for our CHR library. I liked his stuff and reached out. Learn about Enigma’s possibilities and why Houston is a great place to work! Enter Freddy:

Which production system do you use and why?
Pro Tools is what was taught to me when learning to produce and it will always be what I use.

What are your favorite PlugIns?
Renaissance EQ 6 is what I use for voiceover, L1+ Ultramaximizer and C1 for master tracks, and Enigma and Vari-Fi for special effects.

How do you schedule your work ?
Lists, lists, and LISTS.  I’m a big fan of writing everything down on paper because I have a PC and Mac in my studio, an iPhone and iPad with me almost all the time, and a Mac at home.  If my to-do list gets typed, I worry that something will get lost in the shuffle.  Mornings always start with prepping my live show (10a-1p) for about an hour and answering e-mails.  Then I have the entire rest of the day to write and produce.

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What do you love about working at KRBE?
My staff is my family.  We’re fun (and dysfunctional) and our love for our city oozes through the speakers in everything we do.  My PD is Leslie Whittle and her trust in me plays a big part in my ability to create for KRBE.  Getting to work for a legendary radio station with a worldwide following (our morning show has listeners in Australia and Greece and I recently talked to a listener in Mexico) in my hometown is the icing on the cake!

What is the best Pro Tools or production trick anybody should know?
I love the reverse echo with Enigma.  It’s subtle, but then it’s not.  Depends on how you use it.  I think it sounds cool.  Microstuttering is also really cool, when beatmixing a hook for a music promo.

Enigma Screenshot

How do you get inspired and what do you use as source of creativity?
Like most imaging guys, I like to listen to work from my favorite producers.  When I’m in a rut, sometimes I listen to a favorite piece of production from a year or 2 years back and tell myself to “SNAP OUT OF IT.”  Outside of radio, painting with my kids and reading.  Recommended reading: Creative Confidence by Tom and David Kelley, Think Like a Freak by Steven D. Levitt, and Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon.

Who were your radio production idols, who influenced your work as a producer?
I learned my craft by helping bc (Brian Christopher of Audioboy Soundworks), he’s my imaging mentor his work speaks for itself.  Jeff Thomas blows me away, as do John Frost and Eric Chase.

What would be your 3 key advices for a youngster?

  • Never stop learning.  I’m constantly trying to learn new and different ways to communicate with and entertain KRBE fans.  Pretty much everything’s on-line, so learning has never been easier and knowledge is literally in the palm our hands!
  • Volunteer to do the jobs/projects that nobody wants to do and do them as if your career depended on them.  And never stop volunteering for those jobs/projects.  It’s what separates you from everyone else.
  • When you’re in a rut, refer back to #1.  Learn something.  Don’t sit idle.  Train your brain to always find a creative solution to the challenge, even when the circumstances don’t seem optimal.
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