M1NT cellars – chinese radio advert
Producing from start to finish a radio advertisement is one thing; producing it for a chinese radio station is quite another but with a lot of thankyou’s a great deal of team work & a few late nights it is done…
M1NT cellars (http://m1ntcellars.com) is another Alistair Paton brainchild; having grown out of the huge success of the global nightclub phenomenon M1NT it is selling high quality imported wines & spirits to the Chinese market at crazy low prices (I guarantee you will place a sneaky order or two after you’ve read this piece!!!); now when I say Chinese market i mean just that… over 300 cities & what better to penetrate that market than radio advertising… at a fraction of the cost of TV placement it still has been shown to be at least 1/3 as effective; evaluate your CPP (cost per point); (see http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/177002 if you don’t know what I’m talking about) & away you go.
What about from our studio-perspective; well it goes something like this… brainstorm (with client input)… generate script & tag-line (“the life and soul of everybody’s party”)… generate some music or “jingle” (ideally 2 or 3 variations)… pitch to client & modify accordingly… translate (not such an easy task as many nuances & idioms can be lost in the process)… review script in chinese… find voice talent… dub… edit/mix… master for radio… crack large bottles of champagne & get some well needed sleep.
All joking aside; as a studio one of the other things that you need to do is manage your budget… quality voice-over talent does not (& neither should it) come cheap!!!
Thankyou’s… well to Jim & Paul for help with the original script development… my man Aho for production, dubbing & the late night editing… Alfred & Elle for those sexy vocal tones & of course Alex & Audrey at M1NT cellars; the “life and soul of everybody’s party”!!!
Poised for full “hardness” (cos what else does a “soft opening” imply) by March 6th 2012 (of course bearing no relation to our esteemed CEO’s (that would be me) 51st birthday (but all contributions greatly received); dbstudios is i think quite justifiably very proud of itself (or should i say ourselves!!!) as our new live-room unfolds itself and the first sessions start to be produced and recorded (& that includes a huge nod to our resident engineer & producer Aho Tsoi).
And where better place to start than our new guitar rig; which of course (me being a Brit) has to be an Orange, a Dual Terror with a delightfully sounding British built 2 x 12 Orange cab (& believe me that extra 2000 RMB vs. a Chinese built speaker is completely noticeable); an Ashdown (ABM 500 EVO III) bass head with a Warwick (and more of Warwick later) 15 inch and a 4 x 10 stack (cos we are old school and like to hear our bass players moving air not just simulating moving air) & a new all maple Blast plus Sabian cymbals drum kit and with more cables than Medusa’s hair stylist we are ready to rock out.
rehearsal space: 75 RMB per hour
recording (live room): 3,000 RMB per day (8 recording hours)
recording (dubbing room): 450 RMB per hour
mixdown/mastering: 450 RMB per hour
And where better place to finish this piece than to recall that i was just seven years old when the Orange brand first saw the light of day; music entrepreneur Cliff Cooper originally setting up his Orange Recording Studio in 1968 in 3-4 Compton Street, where in spite of recording/co-producing such musical luminaries as Stevie Wonder, Tom Jones & Robin Gibb financial expedience forced him to sell off some of the studio’s gear in the shop window and the heady pathway to Orange Amplification was begun.
The future’s bright… the future’s dbstudios…
“I’m gonna wait till the midnight hour
That’s when my love comes tumbling down
I’m gonna wait till the midnight hour
When there’s no one else around
I’m gonna take you girl and hold you
And do all the things I told you
In the midnight hour”
The midnight hour is when the stars come out, so Wilson Pickett told us and looking at Nicky Almasy’s (soon to be hosted at dbstudios) “In the Midnight Hour” collection of Shanghai’s musical alumni he was not far wrong; ranging from funk heavyweight Carlton J Smith to the completely funked up Alec Haavik (http://www.alechaavik.com), passing through the dulcet tones of Coco Zhao to the gyspy meanderings of Lulo Reinhardt, with a smattering of saxophone muse Willow Neilson right up to the Hendrix-meister himself Jimy Graham, there is something for every auditory and for that matter visual palate.
The pictures are intimate yet abstract at one and the same time. Startingly personal whilst also resorting to large swathes of primary colours as he tries to capture the evanescent personalities and sounds of the musicians we know and love that provide the nocturnal soundtrack to this ever changing metropolis; most apparently they could only have been taken by someone who has strong musical sensibilities themselves & it is no surprise that Almasy also heads up pop rock outfit Monroe Stahr alongside working as a That’s Shanghai journalist.
dbstudios is delighted to host this exhibition which will open on the 24th March – date to be decided… prints framed and unframed will be on sale including a limited edition of signed prints so don’t be shy come on over and feel free to contact Nicky directly on + 86 13162883931 for sales and further details.
Monday – Friday: 11:30 – 15:00
Saturday /Sunday: 11:00 – 17:00
Studios are highly software driven these days and defined by the interfaces: Protools/Logic/Reason/Ableton etc. and the plug-ins (equivalent to the hardware racks we used to slaver over in analogue studios) they support; but there is still no substitute for good old fashioned bits of kit and dbstudios is no exception; so thought we’d shoot you a shot or two of our China built UFO in-house jazz drum kit that has been played and much appreciated by lots of Shanghai’s top drummers… Ronnie… Gilbert… Yam… Yan and this weekend Sam Hooper’s Akiro.
PS a big thanks going out to Yam who helped me reskin it this week… cos it sounds just the business… at dbstudios where the “only limit is your imagination”.
PPS you fancy yourself as the next Ringo Starr then come learn with dbstudio’s resident drummer Ronnie Williams:
Shanghai’s primetime state-of-the-art digital studio… driven by 3 macs… protools 8 and a host of m-audio peripherals… with a concrete floored drum booth and a 55m2 live room (offering up to 24 simultaneous ins) “the only limitation is your imagination…”
sara routh at a recent session…
Here it’s late so it just remains to say… “Happy Birthday” to my mum and then hit the hay!!!
PS just got some good press so can’t grumble…
“the only limitation is your imagination…”