Imaging Tips – Starting Out

As 2019 comes to a close – I thought it would be cool to reflect on the last year and advice that our guests have given us since “Imaging In 2019” began. To read each interview in full – just click on each person’s name!

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

Brad Leask – Nova 100 (Australia)

Knowing when to say no.

Also, appreciate the process. I used to get so frustrated at not being able to create audio that my idols, mentors or peers were making (I still do), but now I have the perspective to appreciate the learning process a little more. Enjoy it!

Scott Banks – IMGR (London, UK)

One word – frequencies. Everything in your mix needs it’s space within the frequency spectrum. Kicks/bass down the bottom, music, vocals in the middle, then hats and such up the top end. I mean that’s an incredibly simplified version but basically it’s about knowing which pocket everything needs to sit within – especially your voice over.

Bryan Apple – SiriusXM (New York)

Never be afraid to fail!  There have been occasions throughout the years in which I was hesitant of what a programmer might think of a crazy idea (as well as other producers), so I’d trash the idea before it had a chance to fully evolve. But I realized, what we produce in the studio is extremely subjective. So what if the idea doesn’t work. You learn by mistakes; trial and error. Produce away!!!

Ashley Cavaliere – iHeart (CT, USA)

I’m totally going to sound cliché – but to believe in yourself! In the beginning people would say “you sound great” or “that promo sounds so cool” but it’s one thing to hear it and another to truly believe that you could do something more with it. It wasn’t until Kelly Doherty recognized my work back in the day that I was like “wow – maybe I am kinda good at this” and became more confident.

Nick Karkazis – Spin1038 (Dublin, IE)

the more you do it, the better you get and the more you learn. I’m still learning almost 10 years into doing it. Trends change and you have to adapt your style or you hear something awesome and try to replicate how it sounded. Push yourself and listen to other people’s work for inspiration. Try to understand basic music theory and learn how to count beats.

Alastair Boyes – IMGR (London, UK)

With every piece of imaging, remember you’re having a conversation with your listener. So once you’ve written your script – read it out loud. Does it feel like something you’d say?

2) Use a spectrum analyzer. On your VOs, on your sound design, on your Master, everywhere. You might rate your ears, but even the best in the business can get tired ears. Take a few moments to understand what’s going on, and your production quality will get infinitely better!

Jerimiah Busniak – Hits Network (AUS)

It’s only radio, we’re not saving any lives. I try and remember to not take myself or this job too seriously. I am extremely grateful for this job and love it, but I think I’m a lot better at it when I’m able to take a step back from it and approach it as a bit of fun. Well crafted, to the point, thoughtful fun, but still just a bit of fun.

Josh Jensen – RadioTweaker (Nashville, TN)

Don’t look for validation through your work. Some people don’t get it and thats fine. Just have fun, do your best and get your fulfilment from helping others. 

Matt Damrow – SiriusXM (New York)

Learn how to manage your boss.  Each one is different. Every programmer and GM has a different MO. Are they driven to just deliver results? Are they interested in growing their staff or mentoring in any way that can help? It’s important to identify what kind of boss you’re working with so you know what is expected of you and how to succeed. The extra benefit of learning how to manage your boss is, once you do, you can teach them how to manage you more effectively.

Christian Troitzsch – WOW.RadioBranding (Berlin, Germany)

Saying no and setting priorities. Christoph Theile was an awesome coach. He showed me great ways to survive in working life. Also, I can highly recommend the book“ Big five for life“ by John Strelecky. I do not have an official big 5 myself, but I love the idea of reducing life and the things you do to your own priorities. It helps me a lot and you will be happier, I can assure you. Share your knowledge. Others in our business also do it. For example, you Denzil, but Chris Nicoll also and many others. 

Sean Galbraith – CanFX (Canada)

Learn how to sell yourself! It is a trait that I have not yet mastered and one that I am
learning all the time. It is such a broad aspect and one that is never really talked about by production guys in radio. The people that get ahead in life are the ones that know how to sell themselves. I watch it in every industry, the top people know how to sell themselves. You want to be the best and work with the best? Sell or be sold. To sell yourself you need to talk to other producers. People are not going to know who you are unless you put yourself out there. Talk to Program Directors, Production Directors, creatives and even your competition, gain new perspective. 

Staxx Williams
Staxx Williams – Z100 (New York)

To believe in yourself and your ideas and your gut immediately.  It really sucks when you hear someone do an idea that you maybe had too…but they had to gumption to go for it, finesse it, and ship it.

Pat Gill – 98FM (Dublin, Ireland)

Getting the EQ right on voiceovers. It can be the difference between your liner or sweeper sparkling on air or falling flat. 

As producers we can get distracted by shiny new plugins, but sometimes less is more – always step back and listen to your work outside the station as your listeners hear it. Did that liner cut through? Did that jingle clash with the song? Is that news bed too busy?

Pat Gill

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