So, Ladies and Gents, here he is: The Contender from Australia … Triple M! I mean you guys know all him as BT or Brendan Tacey … a legend in the Imaging space. Starting out, he was one of my influences and his legendary YouTube videos were the first touching points we ever had. I am thrilled to hang with him soon in LA and chat Imaging in person. For now, let’s find out how he prepares, feels and trains to become the new Iron Imager. I am sure Sam will do his best to prevent that. ENTER BT!

Have you been to LA / California / the US before? Are you excited to visit?

Spent a month in the states in Oct’17, covering Florida back to CA, including driving from San Fran to LA with my wife and daughters. Then spent an amazing week in LA. Was such a great vibe and I can’t wait to get back and have an awesome week with some even more awesome people.

Of course you know Sam Wickens – what’s your strategy against one of the best Imagers out there? How do you want to win this battle?

Well … I have everything crossed in the fact that Sam will fit the Pommy Cliché of Loving a Pint and late night dodgy curry … Both of which I will work very hard on loading him up on the night before … In the hope he wont be able to sit at the desk for more than 3 minutes at a time during the contest … If you get my drift.

If any, what will be your key advantages?

Without knowing how Sam operates and goes about his work each day… Maybe having to produce multiple intricate pieces on a daily basis in a very short timeframe will go some way to having an edge on the day. Other than that.. I’mm a deer in the headlights trying to work out what key advantage I might have … um … maybe my lucky Jocks/undies/briefs ?

Any idea of how the training regiment will look?

To be honest from hearing past stories of the week in LA around Iron Imager…I think I might need to do more training on getting my liver in shape for the week. I’m actually more concerned about that than the competition itself!

How difficult will it be to work off a portable workstation vs. your fully equipped studio? What’s your setup?

What’s a workstation? 😉  I’m pretty comfortable working off a laptop… It’s what I use everyday and have done for the last 7+ years. Only difference… I have a huge 48 inch TV hanging off it…. And cos that won’t fit in my overhead compartment on the Qantas flight I might struggle reverting to 15 inches of screen real-estate on the day.

Other equipment in my studio is a new set of Adam A5X’s and a Mbox Mini with a pair of AT M50x Headphones.

BTW … This is Brendan’s “workstation” … stunning views AND a wine cellar AND a pond?!! Love it.

What are your favorite PlugIns right now? New findings? 

I’m a simple kinda guy when it comes to PlugIns. Been using the same gear for the last 10 years … but regularly twisting the digital nobs in different directions to see what new sounds I can get out of things.

I’ve just got the basics….Waves Gold, McDSP Filterbank, Focusrite D2/D3 and whatever else comes with the Tools.

I like diving into things like Lo-FI, Sci-Fi or Recti-Fi … picking a preset then adjusting those lever things and seeing what comes out of it. I’ll find a sound that works nicely on a voice and process it over a thinned out doubled up copy of the original mono voice track … split and slightly off-centre the effected tracks, full pan them and then using the volume envelope bring the effected VO into the mix with the original VO until I find the sweet spot so you can hear an effec … its nice and wide, but you still get the clean cut through from the original VO.

Konsky got me excited about the Tony Maserati Signature Series to use on Band Recordings  so that was my most recent ‘Black Friday’ purchase although I can’t use it yet as I’m at that upgrade tipping point where I need the latest PT, but also a new mac to run the new PT to run the Maserati.

In a nutshell I need to move the Camira to get the Torana out so I can get to the Commodore…. But first I’ll need the keys for the Cortina if I’m going to move that Camira (if you’ve read that and think … ‘WTF?’…. Grab a copy of the movie ‘The Castle’ and all will be explained.)

What techniques do you use most often these days?

I’ve been doing a lot of Sketch Comedy the last couple of year working with our country’s most iconic political satire groups, ‘The Chaser’.

The technique I have used or refined more so in recent times is my mixing. Because in some sketches there can be so much going on from a SFX point of view I’ve had to really focus on making every element work in the sketches, enhance the script, and be heard so it all makes sense and isn’t just background noise. It’s been about giving things the right space, bringing them in at the right point and removing it just as fast in order for the next element to do its thing. I also love whipping up a good music montage … playing around with different elements of tracks to create a feel and vibe in a piece. So not always relying on a hook of a song, but the iconic elements of any given song … it might just be an element that appears in a piece of work, but you get the same payoff as you would if you used the whole hook. That way you can fit many more songs into a shorter piece of work!

’71 Music Montage – Click to Enlarge


What are the biggest challenges in radio imaging these days?

Ask Imaging guys from different corners of the world and you’ll get different answers from each corner. For us in Oz…. having the studio space for all the roles that now exist. It’s a good challenge to have because it means our company (SCA) is growing and expanding its platforms that require Imaging Producers. There is always the challenge of retaining great Imaging guys. Often they get to a point where they out grow their current roles and need to spread their wings but at the time we may not have that next opportunity so when it presents itself ‘over the road’ then we lose great talent. But the thing about all the producers in Oz… SCA or Nova or ARN and beyond it is just a country full of amazing talent and just bloody great people in Production land and I know I speak for the senior guys in our industry here when I say it does become a thing of great pride and honour to think that you just may (in some small way) have had something to do with the success of so many of today’s great Imaging guys in Oz.

Anything you want to tell Sam?

Swap you a pack of Tim Tams for a warm beer from the cupboard in the kitchen next to the washing machine.

Get Ready!! Iron Imager Contest is happening on Thursday, March 27, 2019 … Keep an eye out!!

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