From A (Amelia) to Z (as in, Channel Z)
Amelia-GoodbyeAutumn is the season of change, - The air is fresh and crisp, the colors are ripe, and there's a distinctive crunch you only hear this time of year when you're out bagging leaves amongst the long shadows of a sunny Saturday afternoon.

There are changes happening here at Babble-On as well. A truly distinctive sound that we've been so proud to call our own for the better part of seven years will no longer be laughingly pinging its way down the hallways here at Babble-On.

Yes, we're sad to say, Amelia Ruth, the sunny, saucy, serendipitous and helpful voice that has answered our phones, managed impossible scheduling duties and handled client lunch requests, cocktail orders and special bubble-gum queries all with humor and a hollywood star moving on.

While we're unbelievably saddened to see a member of our family (and I don't use that term loosely) leave the nest, we're so happy that she's going to work with a great group of people at Channel Z, an offline editorial facility less than a block away from us.

Her new job will be to act as the producer for our friends there and, we can only say, that we can think of no one better to do the job, or of anyone else who has so assiduously "put in their time" in order to get such an opportunity.

So, when you call us after this Friday November 9th, it's a little unlikely you'll be greeted on the phone with the same swinging, "how can I help you, sugar?" or "what's happenin' hot stuff?" . You might, (for awhile anyway) need to gently remind us what you're typical, "Hey, I'm a regular here" lunch order is. And, unless one of the guys here starts wearing stiletto heels - that happy clickity clack of someone coming down the hall to see if you need " a special coffee" - will need to wait for a bit.

You see Amelia always was, always is, and forever will be the quintessential "Maître d'" (Master Of The Hall) in the truest and most revered sense of that timeless phrase - 'cuz nothing ever got by her and she always made you feel special.

So, as "A" goes to "Z" , we wish her well, knowing that she'll be great at what she'll be doing, all the way down to the letter.

We love you, Amelia. - But... you'd better bring your butt by for coffee every now and then! See ya hot stuff.
Tabling The Argument - "Can't We All Just Get Along For Thanksgiving?"
EAtHamFinalWith politics dominating the headlines, and the odor of presidential stumping just to the south of us in nearby Iowa, it should have come as no surprise to anyone here this week when we were inadvertently drawn into a "Fisticuffs Of The Feast" imbroglio.

Ya see, Turkey is big business here in our fair state of Minnesota. And being sensible, practical and ever logical Midwesterners, we believe that eating leaner and healthier is a smart thing to do. Seriously, if you'll pardon the observation - when we talk turkey, we put our money where our mouth is - especially at Thanksgiving.

Well as you can imagine, in a state with so many turkeys, and more than a few lawyers who have nothing to do (anybody put a call into Rachel Paulose?) somebody would hatch a turkey lobby. The movement, E.A.T.H.A.M. (Every American Turkey Has A Mother) is dedicated to raising awareness about the plight of turkeys and their preference that you consider ham for your holiday table (or any table, for that matter - but the movement is still young).

We were quick to realize that recording a turkey isn't the easiest thing to do. If you put the copy stand right in front of them - they can't see it, their snood gets tangled in the headphones, and the mere mention of using a shotgun mic just freaks 'em out like you wouldn't believe.

(we were picking up feathers and droppings for days - and there's a certain"funk" still in the air that's...indescribable).

However, in the end, with the right sound design and much fussy editing (to get out all the occasional noises of ruffling feathers) the radio spot came out as well as one could expect. Here's the radio spot, - Wattle We Do?

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Now, in the interest of fair play we will also share with you the angry rebuttal work of S.N.O.U.T. (Slaughter Not Our Underlings, Turkeys). This session was so filled with mud slinging, that we are unable to say much other than - have a listen for yourself....

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Happy Thanksgiving from the gang here at Babble-On Recording.
Class Act - Brainco Visits Babble-On Recording
Brainco-2One of the many nice things about working in the biz of advertising and communications is that we get to see, directly, how our field attracts young, fresh, hungry minds who are curious about how to speak to the masses, creatively.

Additionally, it's nice for us to support a local school, Brainco, that for years has churned out some of the finest creative talent that you now see dotting the ad landscape across the country.

Casey Brewer, the teacher of this radio class (who is also a superbeast blogger and a brand new hire at Minneapolis Ad Agency Carmichael Lynch) brought in his charges to produce a radio ad for, if this isn't a masterful show of efficiency, Brainco.

The difficulty in writing or producing a radio ad like this is that the school has become so much more than just, quote unquote, "another ad school". So with many masters and interests to serve, the class was given the assignment to write an ad that would speak to the broad audience that the school is looking to attract. The winning ad, written by student Michelle Swanson (see photo), was distinct from the others that were submitted in that it had a higher concept to it - picking on and successfully skewering the illimitable purveyance of pharmaceutical ads that saturate the broadcast media these days. Plus, y'know, in the final analysis - the spot's funny.

A significant part of the credit for making the spot humorous is that Minneapolis voice-over talent David Allen (from Talent Poole) completely got the concept from the beginning - dripping with über sincerity when it was needed, and then sliding into feigned detached indifference when delivering the tongue-in-cheek-disclaimer. Along with the completely euro-trash music - the combo just felt "right". Or, "perfectly wrong" (depending on your perspective).

Casey offered this to say about the experience -

Being able to record a spot as a student is not only an important learning process, but it's a great opportunity to show prospective employers that you have the experience necessary to dive in to radio assignments right out of the gate. It was a good experience for me while I was in school, and I'm very appreciative of Babble-On for offering the same experience to my students.

Michelle's script had both a nice, solid concept and the kind of messaging Brainco wanted to get across to listeners. That, and it turned out really funny. Which is nice.

Kudos should be given to all the students - Max Bayram, Theresa LaGuardia, Kelli Wilkerson, Chris Yocum and Nick Nelson who asked good questions, made helpful observations, and tolerated a studio owner with a penchant for excessive chattiness.

Heres the spot entitled, "Creative Edge". If you'd like to listen to more radio ads - please check out our samples page.

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"It's that Time Warner Cable Of The Year"
Elf-Meld-1Of the questions mankind faces on a daily basis, certainly one of the most pervasive (along with “WTF, Britney?!”) is “Have I been naughty or nice?”

Which may be followed up with -

" what do I get?"

Or, after a time spent with too many special egg nogs -

"Officer, I think you misunderstood"

Twin Cities ad agency FAME sought to help answer the "Naughty vs. Nice" nut with a recent Time Warner Cable radio spot that we recorded here in Studio C at Babble-On.

No need to draw straws, or vote anyone off the ice berg by convening a special Elfen Council - nope, this would be a simple “Naughty-or-Nice Quiz” that would tie in nicely to the Fred Claus movie that is hitting theaters. FAME copywriter Julie Feyerer and freelance producer Lynda Crotty, along with engineer Greg Geitzenauer kept the sleigh on the road and filled the spot chock full of cheekiness and holiday cheer.

What's a bit different in the spot is that often times elves sound so "pitched up" that they are either too difficult to understand or carry the audio equivalent of being pixelated - grainy, edgy and lacking definition. Thankfully, since we had, y'know, real elves (see photo) we didn't need to worry about artificially creating their unique sound.

Our Announcer (who has quite the pedigree for these kinds of things) was Jim Cummings of Danis, Panaro & Nist (whom we recorded via ISDN digital patch). He, as is his usual, did a nice job adding the familial and welcome Holiday Magic tonality that helps hold together a spoof like this.

Feel free to take a listen...

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