9 1/2 Questions: Manu Levy (NRJ)

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I started this post with the goal of spreading some info about the people behind a new imaging fx service I posted about recently, SFXRadio.com.  Then I realized that the guy behind this service/product is also the Morning Host at NRJ.  THE NRJ.  So there is even more pedigree here than I originally thought.  But they let me inside to check it out and use it and as I mentioned before, its a great product at a really good price.  So read on to find out more about French-Radio-Nerd Manu Levy.

BTW… you may want to check out the end for something financially gratifying just for ROTR readers…

 Name, location etc…

Name: Emmanuel LEVY
Location: Paris, France
Owner of Grelot Production, an audio production company (http://www.grelot.fr), creator of SFX RADIO.

What is your Radio Background?  Your site (which we will dive into in a second) says, “We Think Radio. We Create Radio.”  

I’ve been in radio for more than 20 years. Even if I’m only 21 years old (or something like that).
I am currently hosting the #1 morning show in France “Manu dans le 6/9” on NRJ (CHR). You can check out our show website here: http://www.manudansle69.com .
I’m this kind of guy who has always been thinking “radio”. This is what always wanted to do. And i love every aspect of it.
When we create a new element, i know it will be useful. For example, When you’re doing a radio show, you don’t want to choose between 50 different “doors opening” sounds. You need one, a good one. The one  that will be very explicit on the air for your listeners. This is the one we will give you. We work on each element this way. Will it be really useful on the air?

http://www.sfxradio.com/ is the site/service.  How many people are involved, and if more than just you, who are they?

We’re a small team: a sound engineer working full time on creating new elements, someone handling the support and users relations, and me. We also work with some musicians, some freelance sound designers, voice talents, a freelance developer/programer, and a freelance designer.

What exactly does http://www.sfxradio.com/ offer? OH, and tell us how long it has been around, or how long you have been building the content?

We’ve been working a lot before the launch of the website. We had to create and build everything from.. Nothing! It took us more than a full year to create the first part of the sound library, including more than 1500 elements. A developer and a graphic designer worked on the website (front and backoffice). We had a 3 months beta test and launched the V1 a year ago, in June, 2011.
It requires a lot of time to create sounds. This is a full time job for a sound engineer. Sound design is actually very tricky. You need to be very creative, always explore new ways to make a new sound happen.. Sometimes a tough work, though very interesting.
As we also offer many fully produced elements (not only dry voice overs but produced sweepers for example), many music beds, and thousands of sound design original elements, we needed to have a guy working on the library on a daily basis. Yes, this is a full time job.

What radio formats are you gearing the site for?  What types of users? (Indie prods, in-station imagers…)

Actually, any radio format is welcome. I believe anyone can find some useful audio elements. We are also very aware of what our users are searching for. We receive requests from them. They ask us to add “this kind of elements”, “this kind of medley” etc… We produce/add them as soon as we can. This helped us a lot to add more styles of music beds for example. From Dance music to country. Same for the fully produced medleys.
Because we have very low prices, even some webradios can enjoy our work.
In-station imagers will find a great new tool, small stations will find a way to sound bigger, some will use our library when they need a special element at the last minute… There are many ways to use SFX RADIO.
Low prices, and great quality, from real radio guys. This is it.

How often can users expect updates?  Break it down by category if you can.  ie. how often will the beds be updated, sound design, etc…

We update the library on a weekly basis. We add between 15 and 30 sounds each week. Sometimes more. But never less than 15 per week.  It depends on how long it took us to create the elements we add. We also carefully look at what our users requests, and the elements they download the most.
It’s also a creative work. And you know, sometimes, you don’t feel like making music, and you’ll go for sound design.
We try to add as many different kind of elements as possible each week. We won’t only add some short FX for example.

The structure of paying a lump sum for X amount of files is different than some other imaging sites.  Is this a “counter” system?   If I pay for the $4.99 plan I can choose ANY 5 sounds I want (1 bed, 2 sound design, 2 drops)?  How long do I have to get all my allotted sounds once I pay?

We had many discussions about this before launching the website. I think our system is really fair for everyone. As soon as you subscribe, you get a full access to the library. From short fx to fully produced medleys. Without any restriction.

You do offer an unlimited option.  Does this mean if I pay the max price I could literally download every single file on your site?  I see you have over 3000 items available right now…

The 1 year  subscription plan gives you something special: unlimited downloads for a full year. You’re right: you can download every single file. And of course, all added sounds during your subscription as well. This is crazy, I know!

Talk licensing.  If I pay you $18 for 20 sounds how can I use those sounds and for how long?  ie. any and all stations/projects or licensed to one station?

 You can use them as you want. There is no time restriction. Of course, if your radio station pays a subscription, you’re not allowed to use them if you move to another radio station. We ask our users to be fair.

BONUS:  As you know I have offered discounts on my site in the past….wanna do something cool for the ROTR community?  …not like I set you up with that one or anything 😉

Something cool.. Something really cool you mean? I will be pleased to offer you..Let’s say… A special discount?… A very special discount?.. An amazing discount?… Ok, here we go: just enter this code “ROTRBONUS” and you’ll get a 40% OFF on all subscriptions!
Let’s have fun together !

That’s VERY huge.  Thanks to Manu for the time and the info and congratulations to everyone who signs up for thre service at almost half off.  You’re welcome.

I got a little more follow up from Manu about his career and where he has been…BUT I assure you I will use him to get an even deeper stranglehold on all that is NRJ radio imaging down the road.

Yes, i host the morning show on NRJ. The NRJ i guess! I did not know the station was “legendary” in USA !!! Not the worst surprise of my day 🙂  I am doing my show imaging, promos included. All sweepers and the musical theme of the show. If you have some questions, feel free to ask them!

 This is my second year on NRJ. I’ve been on mornings for many (many) years now. I began in 1991, as a producer/co-host (joke man). Then i went from stations to stations, doing mornings or drive time. Two seasons ago, NRJ asked me to come to host the morning show. I built it from scratch, and here we are!
Again, if you have some questions, i will be happy to help you. I love to talk about radio.

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