From Community Radio to Head of Production at Fox FM…
Feels so good to reconnect with Dom, we had such a great time in LA this fall. He was out with our ruling iron Imager champ BT and we had a blast. Dom is one of the most lovely and talented people in our business I ever met and when he sent me some audio last week I thought, man I REALLY REALLY have to share this. Check out his latest larger than life secret sound production, learn about his mentors and and and…Enter Dom!
1. Can you give me a bit background on yourself, your career, achievements, role at the FOX. I am sure a lot of the readers will know you or of you, but it puts a lot of the below in context I assume.
I started in community radio at age 13. A fantastic student radio station called SYN did a presentation at my school. I fell in love with it immediately and from there on in, it became all about learning the craft of making great radio! I was very fortunate to get a foot in the door here at The Fox at 18 as a Panel Operator. From there, off to Hot 100 in Darwin (the very top of outback Australia), then to hit929 in Perth where I looked after the imaging and production for the breakfast show. After Perth, back to Melbourne, looking after our Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth stations alongside the legendary Konsky and Blacko, before stepping into The Fox role in 2016. I’m part of an incredible team here at The Fox. We have Konsky overseeing the entire network. Mike Santos looks after our breakfast show, Fifi Fev & Byron. Tim Hammond and Chris Marsh look after our two drive shows, Hughesy & Kate and Carrie & Tommy respectively. I produce major station packaging, promotions, song intros etc. We also have Jez based in Brisbane, who primarily looks after hit105, hit107 and hit929, but you’ll hear his work on The Fox too. We’re a very collaborative team.
2. How is it to work for some of the biggest radio brands in Australia? How has your role evolved in the last couple years?
Working at The Fox was always the dream, I grew up listening to The Fox and the insane work of Matt Nikolic (Blacko), and so it’s a real privilege to work on this brand. It’s my fourth year as Head of Production here at The Fox, I feel like it’s a constantly moving and evolving beast. I’ve started becoming more involved in script writing which I’ve really enjoyed. I think as producers, we can hear a vision and a sound in our heads, it’s awesome to be able to set the foundations with a killer script concept.
3.How are your days look like? Is there a blueprint? A routine ?
If you told me you did this routine a year ago, I’d think you were crazy. So I get up at 5am, my girlfriend and I go to the gym first thing. Back home around 6:30, quick breakfast and on the road by 7am (first stop coffee). I’m here in South Melbourne just after 8, first thing I’ll do is check e-mail and say good morning to Santos in the studio. We have a daily meeting at 8:30 with the jocks and key content staff to set up the day. From there, it changes depending on what’s happening. There are meetings and calls, but I still spend most of my day in the studio producing. I work very closely with our Assistant Content Director, we’d probably talk on the phone 20 times a day discussing what’s required, how it should sound, what it should say etc.
4.What is your baby? Most fun project? I assume the podcast….:)
The podcast has been an awesome experience! I would say my favourite projects are promotions (we call them tactics). I love coming up with ‘a sound’ for something to bring it to life. With The Secret Sound for example, I’ve got an Ariana Grande acapella with a few catchy EDM songs, and some cinematic drums and air horns all in the same key. I’m really happy with how it’s all come together, projects like that, I’m really in my element.
Secret Sound Promo
Secret Sound Opener
Secret Sound Sweeper
5. What DAW do you use and why?
Pro Tools. It’s the industry standard here in Australia, I couldn’t imagine using anything else.
6. What are your favorite plugins?
Pitch N Time Pro, H Delay, Sans Amp, WavesTune, Morphoder, Izotope Nectar.
7. What are new learnings? Ideas you work on? Inspirations?
I love a clean sound. I think over time I’ve learnt that less is more. A few key elements working together is all you really need to make something pop out of the speakers. It’s very easy to overcook it, and it becomes too much. I’m also a big believer that you never ever stop learning, so I’m quite often picking up the phone to Jez and Konsky and asking “how did you do that!?”.
8. Any new tools you discovered lately?
I’ve known about this for a long time, but I’ve started recently grouping regions together for tags on promos, really nice and easy to move around on the grid.
9. Your favorite piece of imaging / production ever?
This is such a tough question. I have heard some incredible production! The first one that comes to mind is a stellar promo from Blacko back in around 2007, it was a huge epic beatmixed concert promo, it has stuck in my head ever since.
10. Radio in 5 years? What will be different, new, more of, less?
There is a lot of talk about what radio will look like in 5 years. My view is that people will always need to be entertained. Audio on demand is without doubt a growth market, but I think linear radio has an opportunity to rise to the challenge and keep itself in the game. Certainly in Australia, radio is alive and kicking, the companies that operate here invest significantly. As for us radio people, it might be clever to reframe that to content people. Content isn’t going anywhere, storytelling isn’t going anywhere, entertainment isn’t going anywhere, audio isn’t going anywhere.
More of Dom’s work: