A few weeks ago the benztown studios Stuttgart have been visited by a good friend and great production guy, Sergey Zelentsov from Moscow. He heads up the production department of one of the biggest european radio networks Europa Plus and he was here for a special occasion: to check out his brand new “Brigada U”-Jingles before they hit the airwaves. I took the chance to interview this very talented radio imager. I wanted to know all about his work, technique and whats rocking Russia at the moment.
So let’s check out Mr. Europa Plus, Sergey Zelentsov…
1. Which production system do you use and why?
Here on Europa Plus we use Pro Tools, Vegas and Logic. Pro Tools for basic, fundamental work like promo spots, jingles and so on. Vegas – if we need to do something fast and extremely fast. Usually it’s pre-recorded news. Also we use Vegas to produce 2 hours long pre-recorded programs (I don’t want to get old and die because of real-time rendering in Pro Tools, but we going to have 11th version soon so this problem will be fixed). Logic is great for music elements production. Every music bed and over musical stuff we do – we do in Logic. There are couple of other DAWs I’ve put my eyes on and start to explore: Ableton Live and Studio One.
2. How do you schedule your work (priorities/ team management etc…….)?
The main thing here – goals we have. The global goal – to make people happy, of course! So we should be number one to do that. And everyone in my team should work good, precise and fast. All of our “work to do” I can split into two category: basic (constant) work and event work. Basic work we should do all the time are daily promo spots, pre-recorded shows and so on. So every guy in my team has something like “list of thing to do” for every day. Besides we have “Event work” when we support or organize any events so we should do a great promo company, special games, jingles and other elements (Europa Plus Live as an example). In this case I should divide the work inside my team the most effective way. We should think about the way we going to make promo spots, scripts, jingles, teasers and so on.
3. What do you love about working as head of production for europa plus …?
I love my job at first, of course! I love the process of creation! I love to hear and see the results of my team’s work! I love to know that one of the reasons of “Europa Plus – number one in Russia” is because I have a best team doing the best things! And I love to have possibilities to improve myself every time.
4. What is the best protools or production trick anybody should know?
Templates!!! You should have templates for everything! It helps free up your time for parties, celebrations, sleep and meeting with your friends instead of getting older creating a new tracks, sends and inserts for same VO over and over again! (but you have to do it from time to time anyway. “Be creative!” remember? 😉 )
5. What are your favourite plugIns ?
Our favorite are: Waves, McDSP, Soundtoys, Sugarbites, Izotope Ozone.
6. How do you get inspired and what do you use as source of creativity?
There are a lot of sources for me: I can get inspired listening different radio stations (Z100, KissFM and so on), being in shower (I don’t know why, but this is the main “inspiring place” in my house), drinking tea with my friends, watching movie and youtube podcasts, reading forums, having a brainstorm with my team, traveling, meeting with talented people and so on. Everything you need is to have your eyes and ears wide open
7. Who were your radio production idols, who influenced your work as a producer?
For me it was not the person itself, but the radio station. Then I was 14, I liked to listen local radio station in the city where I lived. There were many different music and some shows. I always loved to hear that, knowing that this made by people from my city. (you should to know we had no internet that days) And as far as I had passion for “all the buttons, knobs and faders” I had a growing desire to see everything “from the inside”. Later I’d reached that goal and became a sound producer. So that’s how my “radio life” was started. Nowadays I still have different modern radio stations as an “influence points”. I listen the way they produce different elements and analyze how they were done and if it’s possible to use something like that here in my station. Also I have a luck to know one of the greatest “radio-production-man” in the world – Jean-Michel Meschin. I’ve learned many things from him and extended my experience a lot.
8. What would be your 3 key advices for a youngster?
– Enjoy what you do. Really.
– “Bypass” – one of the most useful buttons! And you know what? Every plugin has one!
– Stop to eat fast food and start to do some physical exercises. Or gym. Or both. It helps to follow the first advice. Really!
9. What is different between imaging in russia and maybe the rest of the world?
For me the biggest different is the pronunciation features. It’s harder to work with Russian words and sentences. English is more rhythmic and more melodic language. So we should be more precise in our scripts. As for the rest of imaging differences – internet allows to erase them. Now you can get almost any kind of information, share your experience with a lot of people, have contacts with other producers around the world. So feel free to contact with me too!
Thanks Sergey for sharing his knowledge with us!