Kevin Krall, a journalism school senior, has been keen on learning the ins-and-outs of audio and digital media production throughout his undergraduate career. In spring 2019, he joined KUNV 91.5 FM, UNLV’s public radio station, and has since played an integral role in the station’s day-to-day functions.
Krall was already a self-taught producer for digital media like YouTube and Twitch, but at KUNV, he has become well versed in audio producing, directing, editing, script-writing, and voice-over work.
While many of KUNV’s staff must work from home in cooperation with social distancing practices, Krall has been holding down the fort in the studio several days a week to ensure that KUNV’s programs continue to operate smoothly. Additionally, Krall works as a voiceover artist, narrating online educational materials for the UNLV School of Social Work.
Dave Nourse, KUNV operations manager, taught Krall in his audio production class and worked with him throughout his time at KUNV.
“One of the things that is most impressive about Kevin, especially in times when we're dealing with challenges and a lot of unrest and anxiety, is that he has always been willing to step up and say, ‘How can I help?’” Nourse said. “He wants to learn and experience as much as he can, and that's a real testament to not only his personality, but his willingness to say, 'I want to be here in order to help both the university and the community.'”
As a graduating senior, Krall has accepted the circumstances brought on by COVID-19. Rather than lamenting the loss of graduation and a more conventional end of college experience, he is looking ahead and finding new ways to serve the community.
What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned in working at KUNV and in journalism school?
I've been given a lot of room to grow in a professional capacity to where I feel like I'm capable of executing professional-level productions. I think I can handle on-air board operations. If somebody comes through with podcasts, I can get them into a space, record them, talk to them, edit it, and give them a product they're happy with in the end. So it's absolutely been the polishing and firming up of technical skills of the craft itself. It’s made me a lot wiser in the decisions I make as a content producer.
What have you learned about yourself?
Over my four years on campus I’ve learned a lot about what I enjoy doing—voice acting and audio engineering — and I’ve learned how much I’m willing to sacrifice for my job. I’m usually the one to pull odd hours and double shifts. Putting work into a better end product was always something I felt compelled to do, and that really came through in my time here.
What are some of the most memorable projects you’ve worked on at KUNV?
We've worked with the UNLV Libraries’ Oral History Research Center for a production called Latinx Voices Unveiled. The Oral History Research Center records interviews with different members of the community to get their stories. We have a lot of people who traveled here as immigrants and have families with immigrant ties, so they wanted to get to know more about the immigrant experience. They wanted to turn those discussions into a podcast, so that was one of the first things that I actually got my hands on when I joined back in February of last year.
We've taken a wide variety with our productions; we're about to start rolling an experimental arts-focused podcast, we’ve done some voice-over work for a locally developed video game, a true-crime podcast, and sports bettings podcasts, to name a few.
What motivated you to step in when the radio station started remote broadcasting?
You can send a microphone signal from your living room or from your bedroom, but to make volume level adjustments, to be able to make connections, to get people to call in through Skype — you do need someone onsite to be able to facilitate that. That's where more of the engineering and technical side of operations gets involved, and that's where I get involved.
As far as another thing with the pandemic goes, I occasionally board op for Impact, which is a nightly or weeknight news talk show that airs at 7 p.m. with Carrie Kaufman. I get that set up to make sure sound effects, drop ins, and interview clips play when they're supposed to, ideally at a volume that they're supposed to. That's been a great experience, because it's a live show with multiple people talking at once. You have to juggle a lot of moving parts, and it’s helpful having someone there who is dedicated to making sure everything runs smoothly so that the host isn't splitting her brain too much, and she's just able to focus on driving the show and having a good interview.
What has working with the team at KUNV meant to you?
Well, as far as the on-air staff are concerned, I really respect their commitment to giving the community a sense of normalcy, and a sense of a safe place that they can go to. I had a conversation with the morning host Kim Alison about her sense of public responsibility. She's an entertainer. She wants to make people happy, to build them up. That's just her mindset. Same thing with John Nasshan who's the afternoon host or the early evening host, Kim Linzy. They want to make sure that they're not bringing people down. They want to be positive influences, and they're using this as an opportunity to do good and to be good, even though they don't have to be. I think that's very admirable.
As for Dave Nourse — frankly he is mom, dad, and the person who keeps the lights on in this place. Everybody comes to him with a variety of technical issues, a number of content issues. He’s spinning so many plates that it's frankly ridiculous. Almost nothing gets him down. Even through all this, when he's doing like online classes, he's been bubbly and energetic. Everybody's taking this thing stride and they're not giving into any sense of negativity, and that's something I keep in mind to try and replicate.
What will you miss about UNLV?
I'm definitely going to miss the feeling of being here. I got used to walking around the campus. It's a chill environment. It really is an oasis on this side of the city, and it's a nice commute. I just like being here.