Sunday, May 4, 2008

Belgian ales in the mirror may seem smaller than they appear.

Judgment Day. I'm sure mine will feel eerily similar to this most outstanding ale I had last night while watching the Tribe blow another one to those pesky Royals. Port Brewing in San Marcos, CA creates a phenomenal line of beers called "The Lost Abbey", or as they like to say, "brewed for sinners and saints alike". I enjoyed Judgment Day, a 10.5% behemoth, brewed with raisins. And other stuff. All combined, it made for a delectable concoction that had no qualms about reminding me this morning how powerful it really was. So, I can only surmise that my "evaluation" will, more than likely, be a similar experience. Eye-opening and inspiring at the outset, and then slowly gliding towards the grim reminder of my deeds. Whenever that occurs, I hope there's a bottle of aspirin nearby.

I poke my head inside a "production" board on Radio-Info.com from time to time. It's basically populated by fellow voice-over guys and gals, as well as production/imaging types, who wax philosophic about gear, processing chains, tips and tricks on DAW software, and other audio subjects. There was a recent thread on "rock imaging", and the person who started it asked who was their favorite "voice", favorite "effects package", and such. There were several posts that took an almost "anti-imaging"-approach. For every fan of "Ned Spindle"-type creativity, there was an almost equal amount of admiration for the minimalist approach: short, to the point, on to the the music. One person posted something to the effect that most "voices" couldn't "interpret" copy the same as John O'Hurley and some of the other actors that are used as imaging voices on stations. These same people were really in favor of the "less-is-more" concept. (otherwise known as "LIM")

LIM....or not LIM? Hmmm....well, I understand the rationale, but, personally, I didn't get into radio, or production/imaging, solely for LIM. I "get" the philosophy behind it, the challenge inherent in promoting something "clever" about Rush Limbaugh or Dennis Miller, for instance, in an allotted :10... and, of course, the necessity to hit the network feed at the TOH. But other than that....hell, I want all the time I can get to be creative!!

I liken it to "Saturday Night Live". You're a couple of minutes or so into a "bit"...and...it's just not working. It continues on for awhile and you "feel" it in your abdomen that....this should just....end. I feel the same away about a sweeper or a promo. (In fact, I think sweepers ARE promos. Or can be.) If it's good, then roll with it. If it's not, then end it. I remember a Joel Moss piece several years ago involving a press conference with the Rolling Stones, during their visit to Cincinnati. As I recall, Joel was the "news reporter" and used clips of the Stones press conference as "answers" to his "questions". It's a bit that's been done about a gazillion times. But it was GOOD. And FUNNY. And LONG. And I didn't care WHEN it ended. So, I ask...."what's wrong with that?" Why shorten something....if it's....good? To do what...play "Sweet Emotion"....AGAIN?

I also had the luxury of hearing Ann DeWig put Sony Vegas through its paces every day while at DC-101, and only a nutbag would have reeled her in when she felt it necessary to "stretch the boundaries".

I'm not equating "good" with "length" (at least not for radio, necessarily.) Sometimes "short is better". It depends on the situation. But I just don't agree with it as a "code of creative conduct". Maybe the trend of PD's and OM's going the LIM route is simply because they don't have time to foster Joel Moss or Ned Spindle-type creativity? Maybe they don't know how. Then again, I suppose I'm also from the school of thought that says that a "more music morning show" for a station is merely a quick-fix....until a morning show can be found!

I agree that folks like Barry Corbin, John Corbett, John O'Hurley, and the like, are great! But I think there are a handful of other VO folks who would really relish more opportunities to play "voice-actor", if the copy was just....better! Just my opinion...but nothing, and I mean NOTHING, is better than a well-written promo, commercial, or sweeper! Writing is, by far, my favorite thing about production and imaging. Man, I wish we could also include our favorite WRITERS, along with favorite VOICE or favorite FX PACKAGE. I don't know if I'm a good copywriter, but I sure do enjoy it! I used to tell groups who would come through KDKA that my favorite imaging tool, by far, is Microsoft Word! It's better than Pro Tools, Vegas, Adobe Audition, Cakewalk...all of them! And the only thing I enjoy as much as writing a good promo is being able to voice someone else's well-written promo. I LOVE interpreting copy, and I hope I'm ok at it!

So, I'm mentioning my favored WRITER:

Favored Writer(s) = Blair Trosper Imaging Director, WBT-AM Charlotte - clever, erudite, cunning wit

Tim Sheehan, PD, WRKI-FM, Danbury, CT - witty, engaging, sarcastic

I've really enjoyed "performing" their words. (or at least trying to!)


Oh, did I mention that I'm a big fan of Ned Spindle?

I'm a big fan of Judgment Day, too. And the cobwebs are beginning to clear a bit! Woo-hoo! It's time to look through my provisions to see what ghastly turbo-charged extreme libation I can get my hands on so as to seal my fate before the divine powers-that-be. I'll feel mildly better if it goes hand-in-hand with an Indians "win" this time!

On second-thought, perhaps it might be better if I practiced a little LIM tonight.

-30-

* Why not grab your favorite beverage, cop a squat, and groove to some DEMOS at www.mattmultimedia.com

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