Christian and I were talking via Twitter and email quiet a while. I liked the stuff he was putting on his soundcloud and as Oli and I have done work for RTL back in the past, it was a no brainer to reach out and talk imaging, tricks and radio life. Learn about Christian’s weekly Imaging Trick, his go-to plugINs and of course his ways to get inspired.
Which production system do you use and why?
At work I am using Pro Tools on a Mac Pro. At home and on my mobile devices I am using Pro Tools 12 on my MacBook Pro with Waves Bundle and NI Komplete.
I tried other DAWs like Cubase and Nuendo, but I grew up with Pro Tools and I really like it for radio imaging. The structured workflow for audio editing and mixing is great. At the other hand it’s not that easy to work with MIDI in Pro Tools. I tried MASCHINE of Native Instruments and it’s really handy to create musicbeds and beats pretty fast. It’s fun!
What are your favourite plugIns?
To add a musical feel to IDs and VO, I am using Waves Tune for pitching applications. Most of the time I’ve got a melody in mind, recreating the soundlogo of our station or I’m trying to create a part of the song using vocals (like in this example of Justin Bieber). Most of the time I trust my ears to find the right notes. If you’re not the best in melody theory, Waves Tune has got some tools for you to find the right notes, fitting the key of the song. That’s great.
It’s not a real plugin, but I love using the elastic audio function of Pro Tools. Stretching audio to match the timing and rhythm of a song, as well as pitching and tempo automations are powerful tools!
How do you schedule your work?
I’m using an old fashioned sheet of paper being my “To do list” for the week. In my opinion writing down your tasks is very important. I like to prioritize my work so I don’t forget to do something if new tasks come in. Furthermore it is good to see the workload of your day to get an overview planning breaks, free time to breath, getting inspired by doing a walk, listening to music and such things.
For deadlines, meetings and other dates I am using my calendar (Outlook) as a reminder.
What do you love about working at 89.0 RTL?
I love the young and creative team. To work in a CHR format is great because it’s more open for creative “overdoes” 🙂 I am lucky that the team and my boss are confident in me.
I am also working for Radio Brocken (AC) as a backup. It’s great too. I would say, for a young producer it is easier to surprise the team and listeners in an AC Format. You bring in another kind of thinking and different ways to realize topics.
What is the best production trick anybody should know?
The best trick is to know your DAW and plugins in detail. I started with a minimum of plugins and not the newest ones. For me limitation is a gift. If you are limited the way is open to be creative. You will checking your DAW and plugins in detail. I will figure out what they can do to create the same cool effects as your idols. I watched the presentation of Dave Foxx at the Imaging Days. He keeps his production style simple, uses a minimum of plugins – compressor, eq, limter, … standard ones. And that’s the point. It is not about plugins, it’s about arrangement! I could have a great multi-delay-stutter-flange-tune-monster-plugin. But can it fix your production if you are not good in timing, breaks, rhytmn,…?
To learn more about your DAW (Pro Tools) a cool tip is to check out my little quick-tip series 🙂
How do you get inspired and what do you use as source of creativity?
Listening to music is a good source. I also scroll through soundcloud and listen to other’s station imaging. There are so many talented guys out there.
Doing something different is another good way to get new ideas. Walk a different way to work, watch a different series or movie genre, try another hobby, …
Who were your radio production idols, who influenced your work as a producer?
By checking soundcloud, basically every male or female producer could be an idol, in case he or she produces stunning promos, intros, … and influences my work. Just because I would think “why this wasn’t my idea?!”, „how did he/she do this?“, …
At the Imaging Days I met some cool and talented guys and now I want to stalk them. Denzil Lacey, Oli Pengilly, Staxx, Bryan Apple, …and many more. It’s good to share experiences and being friends. Bryan shared a nice quote on twitter which summerizes this: „Call me crazy but I love to see people happy and succeeding. Life is a journey, not a competition.“
What would be your 3 key advices for a youngster?
Learn the basics and your tools in detail. Get inspired to get better. Be patient to be sucessful.
Thanks for this Interview Christian!