Comments Off on The Royce of Imaging…Favorite PlugIns, Mentors and so much love for radio – Enter Royce Stevenson

Scott introduced me to Royce a couple weeks ago, we had been fb friends before, but not really talked. I really fell in love with some of his productions and thought it would be awesome to chat a bit about imaging and…here we are! Enter Royce!

1. Can you give me a bit background on yourself, your career, achievements? I am sure a lot of the readers will know you or of you, but it puts a lot of the below in context I assume.

I have worked in radio since 2006.  I started at KSJM-FM 107.9 Jamz, which was an urban station in Wichita, Kansas.  I started off working one hour a week running board for a teen talk show.  Within a year I was doing nights and making mixes for the station.  While I was working at KSJM-FM I was also going to Butler County Community College.  I wanted to get into radio, and they had a program there, but more importantly, you could have your own two-hour show on the college radio station. 

I have always loved radio and wanted to work with audio, and I took all the radio production classes I could while I was there.  We were able to make our own promos for our radio show and that is where I started learning about radio imaging.   I told one of my classmates to show me how to record my voice.  I knew if I could figure out that I could figure out the program.  I had a Saturday show, and afterward I took the manual for the DAW (I believe it was called Sessions), and read through it and sat in the production studio all afternoon until I could work the program.  While at KSJM-FM I helped with production and one day they needed a promo done so I told them I could put it together.  After that, they started letting me do some imaging and producing the drops for my mixes.  I worked there for two years until the station got sold.  I then went to work for KDGS-FM, a rhythmic in Wichita, Kansas.  I have been working there since January 2008.  I started off doing mid-days and helping with production. 

I became the music director of KDGS-FM in 2011 and moved from mid-days to pm drive.  When I became APD/MD I also started handling all the imaging for the station.  Since 2017 I have been handling the imaging for another station in the cluster, KEYN-FM which is classic hits.   

 

2. Who have been mentors of yours and how did they support you?

Wow, I have had a lot of mentors.  Lance Hayes at Butler Community College was a huge mentor.  He had worked in TV and radio and really gave all his students real-world examples of what it is like to work in radio.  He only had two rules, no profanity and no vulgarity.  Other than that, he let us be creative as we wanted which was huge!  We could produce whatever we wanted to in the way of promos and audio.  AT KSJM-FM there were a couple of people who helped me a great deal with my production. 

Chris Stimpson (Playmaker) who now is on air at KPRS as well as Todd Reynolds and J-Smooth.  They gave me opportunities to produce imaging and it really helped me grow.  When I got to KDGS, Deuce who now does mornings at KPTT-FM in Denver showed me a bunch of tricks and gave me a chance to produce audio for the station.  On the commercial side while I was assistant production director BJ Stewart was there to help guide me and fine-tune my audio skills.  Each of those people listed helped my knowledge of radio production grow and gave me a chance to show it.  

 

3. How does a typical day in your life look like? Is there a blueprint? A routine?

I usually get to work around 8am or 8:30. The first thing I do is check emails and do any admin paperwork I have to do station wise.  That doesn’t take more than an hour.  After that, I begin to work on imaging.  If there isn’t anything pressing, I try and work on things to freshen up.  Sweepers and stations promos.  If there is a promotion or event, I knock that out as soon as I can.  In between all this, I might voice a spot that comes in from another market that needs my voice or record a client that needs a commercial produced for the cluster. 

Every now and then there might be a day when I don’t produce anything.   If there are a lot of remotes or station events going on, but that rarely happens.  Maybe only once or twice a month if that.  Most of the meetings a before 10:30am, which there are a couple a week that I attend.  They aren’t long, just a recap of what is going on for the week.  Around 2pm I do a bit more of the APD admin if anything comes in.  I go on air at 3pm-7pm.  If there is still imaging that needs to be done (especially on Fridays) I will voicetrack the 3pm hour to get what I need done.    

   

4. What is your “baby” ? Most fun project? 

The project that I had the most fun doing was the opening for our Powerhouse Jam concert.  It was the first time I had done the audio opening for a huge arena show.  It was amazing to sit in an empty arena and watch it on the screen for the first time during soundcheck because it was the first time, I saw the audio I produced with the visuals.  When the concert started, I stood in the back by the mixing console and watched it while it played.  That is still one of the highlights of my career so far.     

   

5. How important is politics, if you work in an organization that size?

Interesting question.  It is important to a certain degree.  I play my role and when I am asked something, I give my two cents.  I think in some ways there are politics in every workplace no matter the size.  It is important to be seen.  Out of sight, out of mind.   

 

6. What DAW do you guys use?

We have Adobe Audition 3 as the DAW that everyone uses in the cluster, which I use to record VO and to produce spots that have a music bed and that is it.  All the imaging I produce is on Pro Tools 12.  I have it on my laptop that I bring to work and on my iMac at home.  Around 2012 I bought Pro Tools when version 9 came out.  It took me awhile to use it, but once I got the hang of it, I never looked back.  It is all I use.   

 

7. What are your favorite plugins?

The Waves SSL Channel strip is a must-have for me.   

 

You can’t go wrong with the AIR Vintage Filter and Filter Gate.  For free plugins that come with Pro Tools they can do so much!  

 

Waves H-Delay and True Verb I use a ton!   

For EQ I use the Q8 EQ from Waves a lot, but most of the time I use 7 band EQ that comes with Pro Tools

Native Instruments The Mouth I use quite a bit. 

 

Love the L2 Ultramaximizer 

 

8. What are new learnings? Ideas you work on? Inspirations?

I get inspired daily.  I always try and listen to what other producers are doing or new plugin videos to give me some inspiration.  Lately I have been trying to build beats using kicks, snares, etc.  I see that being done quite a bit lately and have been trying to incorporate that a bit more.   

 

9. Any new tools you discovered lately?

I was recently listening to the Earshot creative podcast and the Waves morphoder was mentioned.  I grabbed it and love some of the vocoder sounds it has.  I never used it too much, but I am using Waves Tune more and more.  It’s one of those plugins that (for me) took a while, but once I got what I was doing I love using it.  I have also been trying to use little alter boy from Soundtoys a bit more lately.  The promo below I use both the morhphoder and little alter boy.   

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