When television came out many were sure that it was the death of radio. When the internet emerged and started to include multimedia, radio was considered by some to be a dying breed. When streaming services such as Spotify, Youtube Red and Apple Music came around, no one could possibly still be listening to terrestrial radio, right?
The reason that local radio is still alive and thriving is not because of the song selections, limited advertisements and exclusive promotions that the streaming services have to offer. It is because audience members like listening to local talent. They enjoy the fact that the DJ is a member of their very own community and they can relate and build a relationship with the jockey.
The local DJ is an important member of the community because they provide a lot of different information to the majority of the public in any given area. They provide weather, traffic, news and event information to the masses in a friendly way that is easily received.
I spoke about this in an earlier post, but in order to create a relationship with the listener, you have to talk to them like you would any actual friend you have. Speaking in a broadcast manner does not build relationships, while a normal conversational tone speaks volumes.
When people think of a radio DJ a few things come to mind: Loud, booming voices. Wild personalities and fast talking. None of these are truly what a radio DJ should be unless that’s their personality. Today’s radio DJ is someone that the audience wants to be friends with, a relatable voice who connects with the listener one-to-one.
Here are some things to avoid as a radio DJ:
- Avoid making your voice deeper, booming or “Announcer like”
- “WHATS UP EVERYBODY” – this is bad because you want to seem like you are having a conversation with the listener
- Avoid talking about too much in a single on-air break
- “Coming up next” while said song is now playing – this is very common, but it’s not coming up next it’s “now playing”
- Avoid being wacky and using weird voices for the sake of doing it
If you want to learn more about being a good on-air dj check out this. For general information about advancement, salaries etc. check this out. If you don’t know where to start click here.
As always, like and share this post and don’t forget to follow my Twitter for updates and information!
As always I am using Adobe Audition.
Okay, you have your recorded vocals but it doesn’t quite sound how you want it to, or maybe you want it to sound bigger and better. I’m going to show you what I do to enhance all of my vocal tracks and I learned these from some production people on Youtube and at radio stations I’ve been at.
So here I am with my raw audio file
First thing I do is find any parts of the clip that are too high or too low and I raise or lower the DB accordingly to match the rest of the clip
I highlight the entire thing and click Multiband Compressor
There is even a broadcast preset under this effect but I wouldn’t just click it every time because not all voices will work with it
After that I take out all the breaths in the clip by highlighting it and going to 0DB
After that I take out the silences at the beginning, during the breaths and the end of the clip
The clip will be really loud so you should use another effect called Normalize (process)
It usually is automatically set to a good point but 60% is solid
And then you’re done and export it to a .wav or other format that isn’t too lossy. If you do not know what lossy means, read this!
If there was a single Youtube channel I would recommend it would be:
https://www.youtube.com/user/musicradiocreative – Mike Russell, Voice Actor
This guy has tons of videos that range from very specific sounds to concepts to hour long tutorials on entire promos.
As always, like, follow and share!
Production is anything from the recorded liners to advertising spots. Liners are the short audio clips that get played in between songs and talking that say things like events, what radio station you are listening to, to promotions. Advertising spots are recorded commercials, in the non profit world they are called underwriting.
All you need to produce these things are:
Once you have all these pieces of equipment set up, you can start recording!
When I record things for my station, I always start with opening Audition. It looks like this:
This is a blank starting canvas in Audition
I first record the vocal track using my mic and equipment
Then I put a music bed behind it
Add some sound effects, fades and effects and the recorded liner is good to go!
This is just a very basic liner, but trust me when I say it can get really complex. Let me know if you have any production questions and don’t forget to like, share and follow my Twitter!
Something that is heard frequently in the radio world is “I thought radio was dying” and “Who listens to the radio anymore?”. They did a study in the 70s about media consumption among Americans over 11 and the results were that 93% listened to the radio weekly. This number is the exact same today, in 2017 93% of Americans listen to the radio weekly. If you are a huge nerd and want to see a more in depth breakdown of radio listening stats, here is the Radio Advertising Bureau Fact Sheet.
What draws people to the radio? Is it a lack of Spotify and Aux cord connections or is it something a little more? From what I have gathered, people like listening to their local DJs. They enjoy the conversation that is had on air and they like a friendly voice to connect with their favorite station. As an on-air DJ you have to realize this, people are coming to you as a friend and they want to be talked to like a friend.
I have a late-night hip hop show (The Night Show) with my friend DJ Stunner. In this show we realize that we are friends of the people and only talk about what they want to hear about. A good DJ knows their audience and how to speak to them as such. During this show we talk about what is going on in the hip hop world as well as talking about things that interest a hip hop listener. Any one can go on a mic and read out some written lines but it takes a talented DJ to really connect with the audience.
Let me know if you have any area of radio that you would like to find about more about and smash that follow button on Twitter.
You can listen online at tmn.truman.edu
Picture: Me and DJ Stunner at The Night Show
College radio encompasses so many cool things about being an on-air radio DJ. The most fun part, in my opinion, is being able to relate and connect to the community. As an influencer, you decide what is important for the listener to know. This can be anything from neat events in the community to breaking news. As a DJ, you are in control of what information is distributed, it’s an important job! I love reading about the weather, community events and talking about the music that I play. Over everything, the music is still what drives a radio station. This blog’s purpose is to educate on what I do as a DJ and what my friends at the station do to maintain and improve our station. If you have any questions about radio or what it’s like working at a college station feel free to get in contact with me! Like/Share to help my audience grow.
I walked around the station and took pictures of some prominent aspects of the station. This is a compilation of photos that show what a college radio station looks like on the inside, there are many parts of radio that are not seen (heard) from the public Take a look at some familiar and unfamiliar parts of broadcasting!
The lobby area
Our second studio
Filing cabinet full of old cds
Our main booth