A Sound Economy
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A Sound Economy
Did You Know?
Tech Notes
Recent Projects
In Production
Our computer technicians are hard at work tracking the latest trends in audio.

A Sound Economy


I am about to offer a very un-scientific view about the economy, as seen through the eyes (and ears) of an audio engineer.  In the production business, we often see a correlation between the types of production and the state of the economy.  If the money is tight, then the most common projects are bare-bones, foundational, and to-the-point.  When people have money, they like to have fun, experiment, and put lots of icing on the cake.

It's a new year and time to reflect on the year that was.  I won't bore you with a long list of big events in 2013.  But I think it's worth reviewing some projects that happened here at Dynamix and how they reflect not only how we're growing, but how the economy is growing as well.  You might say we're looking comes a buzzword...trending.

Spending Trends

When money gets tight, the first thing to go is discretionary spending.  One knee jerk reaction is to reduce, or even completely cut advertising and marketing budgets.  Smart businesses that want to survive the downturn may actually increase this kind of spending because it's the lifeline to their customers.  The last few years we saw exactly this.  But in 2013, we saw the return of the smaller businesses and individuals, the ones who had previously cut their budgets.  Unlike the years of the Dot-com bubble however, people are being very careful about how they spend their new found money.

Documentary Trends

One subjective, but interesting trend is that more documentaries are produced when times are good.  Documentaries rarely make a lot of money, so these fit into the discretionary spending mold.  Several new documentaries are in the development stage right now, but ones completed or started production in 2013 are:

Television Trends

We were part of the birth of three network television shows this year:

  • "Mind Games," from ABC-TV, with Steve Zahn and Christian Slater
  • "Rake," from FOX Broadcasting, with Greg Kinnear and Tara Summers
  • "Siberia," from NBC-TV, with George Dickson
And we recorded location audio for NBC's "America's Got Talent."

Radio Trends

Radio hasn't gone away, and we provided live audio for several NPR programs, including:

  • On Point
  • On the Media
  • Tell Me More
  • All Things Considered Weekend Edition
  • Science Friday
  • Back Story

We also provided live production for Talk Radio Network's "Flashpoint Live."

Music Trends

Music isn't our primary business, but it's part of our foundation.  2013 saw the return of Alltech's "Celebration of Song," a holiday celebration in Victorian Square featuring UK Opera Theater, The Victorian Square Orchestra, Lexington Children's Choir, and UK's Blue Steel.

Musician / songwriter Ben Sollee was in town for Story Magazine's "Story Sessions."  Dynamix provided audio recording and coordination for this live event at The Livery in downtown Lexington.  Look for a video on-line soon.

We also recorded several performers and small groups in our studios during the year.  We see this as a good sign as well that the economy is improving.

Other Trends

With the Affordable Care Act in full swing, so were the health care agencies and hospitals.  There seemed to be an uptick with hospitals especially.

Political advertising is generally cyclical, but we saw more radio ads than in recent past.  Maybe political advisers are rediscovering the added benefit of running radio along with television.

Restoration of old LPs, cassettes, and reel-to-reels was also up.  Gotta love that analog!

Location recording was up dramatically, mostly for marketing videos.  The smart businesses are getting smarter.

Trendy Trends

Our biggest physical improvement was the new parking lot.  It coincided with several new businesses joining our neighborhood after a complete renovation of a building next to us.  From the time we moved here nine years ago, our landlord has completely turned this neighborhood around.  Gone are all the shabby empty warehouses.  New, upscale, and trendy businesses now make this one of the hottest new neighborhoods in Lexington.  I believe that none of these businesses would have tried this in 2008.

Did You Know?

Google Trends is a free service that tracks the increased frequency of a search term. That is, how often a particular search term is entered relative to all search terms, either across various regions or languages.  In other words, a topic would be hot, or "trending," if it spiked in Google searches.  One way businesses use it is to track consumer buying habits.  But it may not necessarily be a good thing.  If a business was recently in the news for bad customer service, for instance, it might trend. There's no way to tell why it trended, unless it is cross-referenced with news or social events. People might just be curious about how bad the business behaved.


Tech Notes

How powerful is Google?  We know that in the past, they have favored smaller, off-the-shelf computer systems.  Operating together, it's estimated they are running nearly 8 million cores (2012).  That's four times more powerful than the world's fastest supercomputer.

Does all this sound familiar?  Harnessing numerous off-the-shelf computers to partial out the processing, making one giant supercomputer?  Remember SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence project?  In 1999, they launched SETI@home.  Borrowing CPU time from volunteer computers around the world, they created a virtual supercomputer.  Participants load a program on their computer that crunches small batches of data from SETI, but only when the screensaver would come on.  

SETI is still around, and you can donate your unused CPU time.  Learn more about SETI@home here.  Or participate here.  Maybe your old Dell computer will make first contact.

Neil Kesterson

Recent Projects

  • Continuing sales training modules for Lexmark International (Lexmark, Lexington, KY)
  • Radio spot for Danville (VA) Regional Home Health (Lifepoint, Brentwood, TN)
  • "Be the End" radio PSAs for the Kentucky Association of Children's Advocacy Centers (Frankfort, KY)
  • Alltech's "Celebration of Song," live from Victorian Square.  Broadcast on WKYT-TV (Alltech & AVT, Lexington, KY)
  • Dale Calvert's Multi-Level Marketing training CDs (Calvert Marketing, Georgetown, KY)
  • "Year End Success" television spot for Keeneland Association (Keeneland, Lexington, KY)
  • Ben Sollee in performance at The Livery for "The Story Sessions (Story Magazine, Lexington, KY)
  • Keeneland Gift Shop TV (Cornett-IMS, Lexington, KY)

In Production

  • "Daniel Boone and the Opening of the American West," a 2-hour documentary that traces Daniel Boone's life and his enduring impact on America's westward migration.  Find out more here.   (Witnessing History, Lexington, KY)
  • "The People in the Room: One Year With a Small Fencing Club" documentary that profiles Olympic fencing coach Amgad Khazbak, maestro of the foil and former coach of the Egyptian national team.  (Sean Anderson, Lexington, KY)
Copyright © 2014 Dynamix Productions, Inc., All rights reserved.

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