Imaging from the TOP OF THE WORLD and having the…

Imagine having that view everyday at work, while you’re imaging one of radio’s biggest networks in the world. Mikey Muscatello, Imaging Director and Voice Over Artist, made his way from #1 Rock station in Cali KRXQ 98 Rock over WAAF in Boston and finally settled down in NYC. Now  he’s doing imaging for the SiriusXM radio network.

Check out Mikey’s tricks for being successful in the radio business, his favorite plugins and how to end up with the sweetest view in the world. Imaging from the TOP OF THE WORLD – enter Mikey:

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1. How is it to work in NYC?

It is as awesome as you could imagine. The city is unbelievably inspiring. This has literally been a lifelong dream of mine, so I guess you could say I am living the dream. 

2. How is it to work for Sirius?

So far working for SXM has been great. I work with some of the most creative and talented people I have ever met. A few of these people have been huge influences on me throughout my career and now I work with them. I don’t think it gets much better than that. Plus, my studio has a pretty sweet view of NYC so that helps too. (see pic)

3. Transfer Adobe / Pro Tools…how does this go? What do you like more or less on PT vs. Adobe?

Going from Adobe 3.0 to Pro Tools 10 has been quite a change for me not only did I switch DAWs but I also switched my OS. So Adobe on a PC to Pro Tools on a MAC… yeah it’s been a little rough. It’s a slow process but with that being said, I am coming along just fine. I think the biggest problem was getting over the intimidation of Pro Tools. When you spend 10 years working with one program (Cool Edit/Adobe) you become used to doing things a certain way and become very fast at it. Then you have to make a switch to this whole new way of thinking and working… it’s a scary thought.  It’s not like I’m a beginner but now sometimes I feel like one. I do like Pro Tools a lot and will eventually switch my home studio over… once I become faster. Currently, I think speed is my biggest issue. But speed comes with time and practice. I’ll get there. There are a couple of things I miss about Adobe but to be honest Pro Tools is a much more intuitive program and now that 11 offers offline bounce, there is no need for Adobe.

4. What channels are you doing imaging for?

At first I imaged for random channels, different projects for everything from 70’s on 7 to BPM to SiriusXMU, First Wave, Pearl Jam… I was over the place.  But now I am the producer for The Highway (Country), Octane (Rock), The Blend (AC), Studio 54 (Disco) and a new, yet to be announced channel that I’m pretty excited about. The people I am working with on this channel have been great and I think once we are done with it, kids will really love it.

5. What is your favorite Pro Tools / Production Trick?

I’m still learning my way around Pro Tools… Got any tips?

6 .What are your favourite plugIns (including screenshots)?

I’m a big fan of the iZotope stuff. Spectron, Trash, Ozone 5, Nectar and Vinyl.

7. How do you schedule your work (priorities…..)?

There are some channels that have priority over others but most of the time it’s first come first served and that works the same way with my freelance stuff. And as usual there is always a “OMG I NEED THIS DONE NOW OR THE STATION WILL BLOW UP INTO 10 MILLION PIECES AND WE WILL ALL DIE” prod order that comes in. Then I gotta do it…y’all know, ‘cause I don’t wanna die.

8. What do you love about working as producer and VO talent for SiriusXM?

What do I love about being a producer and voice talent at SiriusXM? … Well… EVERYTHING! I get to be creative and work with different formats and programmers and on top of that, I’m doing it in the greatest city in America, NYC!!!  Who wouldn’t love that?

9. How do you get inspired and what do you use as source of creativity?

Life. Life inspires me and is the best source for creativity. I’m talking real life. Think about it. If you can look at a situation that has happened to you and think of a way to break it down into a 10 second funny or emotional piece, then you have just created gold. That will be a piece that will speak to millions of people because if it’s happened to you, more than likely it has happened to others and you have just made a connection. A fan. A listener for life. I also get inspired by talking to other producers, picking their brains and seeing what inspires them. Honestly, everything can be an inspiration and spark creativity, just let it happen.

10. Who were your radio production idols, who influenced your work as a producer?

Guys like John Frost and Ned Spindle are true radio geniuses. Their writing and prod skills made me want to become the best producer I could be. Listening to 100.7 WMMS growing up made me love radio. The jocks were funny, the production was great and the presentation was flawless. I could sit here and list 100 different people who I looked up to growing up but really, I was born to do this. Ever since I was child I knew I what I wanted to do. The people I looked up to just made me want it even more.

11. What would be your 3 key advice for a youngster?

1. Never give up.

2. Practice constantly… Just produce stuff for fun. Sometimes the best piece will happen when you aren’t being told to make it.

3. If you work your ass off and stay positive, you will get what you want. Trust me.

Thanks to Mikey for sharing his knowledge with us.

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