Imaging In 2019 – Andrew Bowen

Welcome to the “Imaging In 2019 Series” – a blog series that interviews inspiring producers and great creators of Station Sound.

This week’s guest hails from Trinidad and Tobago and works for Street 91.9FM. He has had a very busy career and continues to up the game all the time.

I’ve known Andrew for a while and we regularly catch up on all that is Imaging. He has some interesting stories on how he got started and all that is in the world of Radio.

Enter Andrew!

1. How did you get started in the business and tell us about your current gig?

I started off in Radio as a DJ in what we call in the Caribbean a Sound System .I did remixes and mixtapes at the time we were drafted onto radio so my natural progression was to production at the radio station. I subsequently left Trinidad and went to New York to do a sound engineering Course at the IAR (Institute of Audio Research) When i returned to Trinidad i got my First full Production gig at a CHR station HOTT 93  which was at the time own by Cumulus Broadcasting where I went on to eventually be the Programme  Director.
I took a few years break from production and focused on my PD duties and scheduling music and moved around to a couple stations in the market Boom Champions 94.1Fm (Urban) & Power 102 fm (News/Talk) ,fast forward to today I am the Programme Director/Production Manager /Afternoon Drive Presenter of the Street 91.9FM and I also do a fair amount of commercial production and Imaging Freelance (AudioDJDrops, ZRadio Ottawa and some others) I have really started back to concentrate on my first love which is production in the last 3 years or so.

2. What's your opinion on the current state of play with regards to Radio Imaging?

Well,  I am really glad to see Imaging where it is now more as a specialized field, back when I started you needed to be able to voice stuff to be in Production. Now i see job openings for Imaging Producers which really puts the emphasis that needs to be put on Imaging . With the prominence of the Imaging services and SFX libraries I think imaging will remain a very integral part of the radio landscape.

3. In 2019, what do you think is more important - creativity or technical ability (or both)

I would have to say a good balance both. I think you need to be able to have a good mix as well as get you message across with creativity. I would tell producers concentrate on both but done get to crazy about a meter hitting 0db and also make sure you get that emotion out of your pieces that make you wanna dance and sing to it and for sure your listeners will do so as well.

4. What was the best tip you know now, that’d you wish you knew when starting out?

So Much! But I will have to say working in BPM and key .I never really did that in the earlier part of my career but only about a little over a year ago i got introduced to the Camelot Wheel, harmonic mixing and mixed in key, these things have really made my stuff gel together and flow like never before and unlike when i learned the technology is there to make it a lot easier.

5. You are well versed in both Adobe Audition and Protools. Do you have a preference in which one you use?

Well this is one that always gets people debating but a a little background. I have use Adobe Audition since it was Cool Edit Pro and I have used Pro Tools since Pro tools M Powered.
Recently, I have started to use Pro Tools more and more due to some work i am doing with some guys out of New Zealand as that is what they use. Both have their Pros and Cons is what people usually say but i have learned some stuff in ProTools recently and went back to Audition and realized you can do it there as well just as effectively. But I am loving Pro Tools and becoming more and more comfortable with it as I am with Audition so the question of preference is really about what you are comfortable with and what you can get your best sounding work out of me personally at this time I would say Audition but as I get more familiar I think Pro tools would be right up there next to Audition for me.
I think we should do a challenge of putting together work in either DAW with all the same setting and let producers guess which DAW it was done in might settle the argument .I have also been fiddling very lightly with Ableton lately also.

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