How to win an ASCAP award and work in RADIO…

While I was partying in Vegas for the Billboard Music Awards I found out our composing machine Shane rocked it big time by wining an ASCAP AWARD for Real Husbands of Hollywood.  Shane is incredibly talented and I thought it’ll be time, even if this is a radio imaging blog to talk about composing androutines for composing in radio and TV.

What production system do you use and why? I prefer using Pro Tools only because I’ve been using it forever and I’m quick on it. Staying fast is the key while composing in a program.  On the other hand, I really like the layout and easy use of Studio One by Pre-Sonus.  I plan to get into using that a little more soon.

What instrument you compose most on? I switch it up depending on which format I am working on.  For CHR, HOTAC and AC I usually stick to piano and keyboards. For Rock and Country I like to stay on the guitar mostly, but it’s always different depending on what type of sound or style I’m going for.

What is your favorite PlugINS right now? My favorite plugins are by Universal Audio. They give me the feeling of using real legendary analog hardware and outboard gear from the past. I use the Fatso, Studer Tape Machine, Pultec EQ’s and API Vision Channel a lot. The SSL G Bus Compressor is always on the master bus of all my sessions.  I love that thing! A friend of mine showed me a magic preset that just breathes life into whatever you pass through it. Their new Neve 1073 is also amazing.

What is your favorite software instruments? Software wise I use Kontakt, Steve Slate Drums and Addictive Drums a lot now. I was using Reason for a very long time and I still do for certain sounds that I can’t seem to get anywhere else.  I also started using the Access Virus TI Snow for CHR and HOTac Beds.  That synth is awesome because you can use the TI (total integration) part of it as a plug in right in your DAW.  Therefore you don’t even have to touch the hardware, the plugin controls every aspect of the synth.

Who influenced you most in terms of songwriting and composing? I was always heavily influenced by Michael Jackson’s productions composing wise and sonically.  BT was my first influence in electronic music.  I really like the stuff he was doing about 10 years ago, it was a nice blend of rock and electronic.

What is the great thing to write for radio ? The great thing is that I get to do what I love.  I get to create music all day long.  As a producer you sometimes don’t realize how much better you get on a daily basis just by creating and writing all the time.  Your ears and judgement of sounds and ideas get really strong. Once in a while I’ll  listen back to decisions I’ve made a year ago or so and cringe.. like.. why did I use that snare drum?.. or, that clap sound doesn’t work at all.  Composing is one thing but then using the right sounds is another.  It’s like a painter having the right color palette.

What is your favorite radio format / music style to compose? I really enjoy all of the formats.  Its fun being able to switch it up all the time too.  I can start in the morning with a nice soothing AC bed and then I can be rocking out after lunch for the Rock formats!

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