Go Green – Spin’s Nick Karkazis shows you how to…
Nick reached out via the blog and shared a great piece he did for Jingle Ball. I was thrilled and reached out for an interview. Learn what plugins Nick is using the most, how grid mode changed his world and how he gets inspired.
Which production system do you use and why?
I use Pro Tools and Adobe Audition. I use Adobe for recoding VO and really quick edits of things that don’t require creating a whole PT session for. When it comes to imaging and creating though, it’s all Pro Tools.
What are your favorite Plugins?
I definitely have a few “go to” PlugIns. It’d be hard to pick a favourite.
For EQ it’s the standard EQ3 – 7 Band. I think it’s just as good as some of the expensive ones and does everything I need it to.
I’ve been having a bit of fun with Soundtoys’ Decapitator. It has some really good distortion presets and if you mess around with it, you can get some really cool sounds. Sometimes I take it a bit further – I like to use it on a VO track that I’m layering behind a clean vocal. I’ll add a filter (Phase Mistress is cool, Vintage Filter and Meta flanger are just as good) and a delay to it and I’ll get this really cool, wide, gritty vibe going.
How do you schedule your work?
I would start by meeting with the Breakfast/Morning show when they get off air and deciding on what content is going to run across the day in Promos and Sweepers. We run two promos and three sweepers in rotation across the day with content/a good moment/caller from that days show. I then make and load this into the logs.
My day is then broken into two halves – before lunch and after lunch (haha). I work through until about 1pm on any sales/sponsorship/promotional things that need doing as well as the standard maintenance stuff like scripting and show production.
After lunch is when I do the imaging. It’s like eating a dinner with steak and veg. You get the veg out of the way first and then enjoy the steak last! (best analogy I have). The second half of the day is devoted to Imaging. So Music Promos, Station Promos, Sweepers, Branded Intros (I call them Spintros… Get it? Spin… lol) etc…
What is the best Pro Tools or production trick anybody should know?
Two things I didn’t know for ages and wish someone would have told me sooner.
- Automation. Automating PlugIns. It seems simple now and like an obvious thing, but if you aren’t shown – you don’t know. It’s a great trick to have.
- Beat Mixing & using Grid mode. There was a time when I didn’t know how to use grid mode simply because I hadn’t been shown. But it’s one of those things that as soon as you learn, your whole world is opened up.
Pretty much everything I do is on a grid now. Even things I’m not beat matching. The reason for that is because if you work on a grid in a certain BPM, then PlugIns will also react to that BPM. Like if you’re using a generic bed on a promo, put the bed on the grid and then if you’re using a delay on your VO, it’ll echo in time with the bed. Its little things like that that add up.
How do you get inspired and what do you use as scource of creativity? What means the term “creative Imaging” to you?
I get inspired by listening to other people’s amazing work! I hear something or a trick and I try to work out how they achieved it… I then try to emulate it in my own work. It not only broadens my arsenal of tricks but it encourages me to do more and better.
Who were your radio production idols and who influenced your work as a producer?
There are so many amazing producers out there. I’m from Australia so I’m a huge fan of a lot of Aussie guys like Konsky, Boz, KCB, Sidey… The list goes on. They’re some big names but there are a lot of guys and gals around Aus and the world that are killing it. I’m also a fan of Dave Foxx, Chris Nicoll!
What would be your 3 key advices for a young mate starting in the imaging business?
- Listen to Imaging. Turn the radio up between songs.
- Don’t be scared to suck. Keep practicing. There’s no right or wrong. It’s only what sounds good through trial and error.
- Be open to criticism. Get people to critique your work (preferably someone who knows imaging).
What is your favourite most recent thing you’ve made?
We did the Spin1038 Jingle Ball at the end of 2016. I made an opening for the event which was really exciting to get to do. It had a 60 second count down, then beatmixed through the artists performing and finally announced our headline act who was Craig David. I managed to beatmix 5 Craig David songs into 12 seconds which I was happy with lol… You can hear it here and I’ve cut out the 60 second countdown not to bore you =] Listen: