Imaging Espana and why social networks mean FILTERs OFF for…
I wanted to post this interview for ever. Mikel is one of the best Imagers in the Spanish speaking world. His beatmixing is legendary as well as his power intros. We re-connected when Mikel entered the Iron Imager contest this year and I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to interview him. Enter Mikel !
1. Can you give me a bit background on yourself, your career, achievements, role at the Flaix?
Ever since I can remember the radio and music have always been by my side. As soon as I was old enough to work, I combined my electronic studies with being a music radio speaker and a DJ in the clubs. During that time I met great DJs and music producers who did awaken my interest in music production and audio editing. Thanks to this I have always worked in what I like: Radio stations like Los 40 Principales, Europa Fm, Rac105, Radio Flaixbac, Flaix FM. Record labels like Blanco y Negro Music, Vale Music o Bit Music performing Megamixes, sessions or musical productions. Grup Flaix is a company who runs to two stations: Radio Flaixbac (Chr) and Flaix FM (Dance Music). I’ve been working for them for 15 years and now I’m responsible for Radio Imaging of both.
2. How is it to work for some of the biggest radio brands in Spain? What is special about Spanish radio imaging / the scene?
It’s the daily challenge that I love! I always try to find new things to surprise our audience, and now, not only on the radio but also in social networks. Social networks are the meter of your productions, there are no filters, if they like what you do, they say it and if not, they say it too.
3. How do your days look like? Is there a blueprint? A routine ?
I usually arrive at the studio at 9:30, the first thing I do is having a coffee (until 12:00 I’m not a person ) I take a few minutes to look at radio blogs, listening to what other producers are doing (always learning) or discovering new plugins. At 10:00 my workday begins. I have a meeting with the stations’ director every week and after that I have to produce, renew some promos, sweeps, beds or what songs to do powerintros for example. I have a weekly radio calendar and a monthly one with important events (Summer, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, movie premieres, Halloween etc).
4.What´s your baby? The most fun project?
The project to which I’v had more affection, it’s one I didn’t produce it for the radio.It was commissioned by the Record labels company Blanco y negro music. I created the Megamix of the Bolero Mix dance compilation.
And the production, that I´ve had the most fun with, was when I presented Iron Imager 08. Why ? It was the first time I’ve worked with English voice and that made me produce the promo in a different way.
5. If you had to pic 5 Plugins…which ones they would it be?
Valhalla Freq Echo
6. What DAW do you use?
I use different DAW depending on the work that must be done. For all radio imaging, I use ProTools. The quality in the mixing process and the audio processing is spectacular. For music production I use Cubase. The functionality, when I am working with midi, is better. But the final mix of the tracks, I do it in Protools.
7. What are your favorite imaging techniques?
I love integrating the radio logo into the powerintros or beatmixes. Finding the sound that most closely matches the original and mix so that seems to be of the same song.
8. What are the new learnings? Ideas you work on? Inspirations?
I have to admit that I am a freak. I listen lots of radios, especially from outside of Spain. that way I am attentive to everything that other radio imaging producers do. The Radio Imaging is constantly evolving and we must be up to date. I’ve been working on the thematize of the Top of hours for some time. When an expected film is released, I try to integrate the melodies of the film and our logo into the top of hours. It’s fun.
9. Any new tools you discovered lately?
YES!!!! The RX7 from Izotope. AMAZING! I can not live without him anymore. With it, you can extract acapellas, instrumental or bass layers for example.
10. Your favorite piece of imaging/production ever?
I couldn’t tell you just one, I have several beat mixes or power intros that I love.
11. What would be your career advice for your twenty-year-old self?
I would say to him that radio imaging can’t be learned in one day. In a society where “I want it now” is becoming a constant,…, I know that everything has a learning process. It´s not possible to go from 0 to 100 in two days.
My advice: “Listen lots of radios, listen to what big producers do.” If you listen carefully every day their productions, you’ll realize that they are like a masterclass. Start with the basics, know how to equalize, compress, pan, create stereo voices, learn to use the grid. Once you learn the main thing and a lot of imagination, the success will come.
An excerpt of Mikel’s work:
TOH Flaixbac Jurassic
TOH Flaixbac World Cup 2018
Flaix FM Downtown
Rampa Mix Speaker