We started the first weeks of class with a class team exercise where we had to plan a radio station launch. Following this we started to discuss ideas for what we could do for our popup station. We split into groups and started to come up with ideas we could pitch, my group ended up pitching a love station which we wanted to call ‘Love sick’. After some further group discussions, we settled on doing a station all about culture. We then had the task of delegating roles, prior to this class discussion me and Charity had spoken about how we both wanted to do a music role and we both decided that the ‘heads of music’ should be split between two people; one person who will research and curate a playlist based around our music policy and another to do the PRS, load all of the music, ads and idents within myriad and generate logs for the shows within the system. When raising our hands for the music role we decided Charity would be the Head of Music and I would be the deputy, meaning I’d be responsible for PRS, loading music, ads and Idents, sourcing songs and levelling them out as well as generating the logs. Within this week of production, we decided on our categories for the music which would later adjust after piloting the music a few times.
On one of the following production weeks Charity was ill which meant I had to get a sense of what type of music we would play and come up with a loose music policy me and make a few playlists to get an idea of what type of music we wanted to play. I shared these with Charity, so she knew the feedback and suggestions that I’d asked members of the team. I also made a very rough clock, however we encountered problems of communication when producer wasn’t telling me how their shows would be structured so the clock wasn’t as accurate as we wanted for this time in production. We also honed down on our music policy, we came up with many different music policies, but we wanted to get it right. After going back in forth in a private slack chat, I presented the music policy of: ‘Playing contemporary hit multi-genre, upbeat music which matches the themes and topics of each week’s shows. A rotation of international music will include genres such as, Latin, KPOP, Afro beats, Reggae, Arabian pop, J-POP, Country, euro pop and Indian.’ We presented this to the class and it made sense to everyone and they were happy with this music policy.
If I were to do these weeks again I would have focused on more of getting the music policy right and would of improved on communication with the other teams to get clocks done a lot sooner which would of helped me further down the line when creating logs within Myriad. At this point and time, I was anxious about getting the logs in correctly and each bit of audio and songs were fine for broadcast for the pilot.
PILOT WEEK 1:
The first pilot week went okay, at this point I had sourced the songs from an imaging producer in the industry who has an ‘ilikemusic’ account log in. I came the week before to attempt to sort out the logs and clocks within myriad. This is something I found quite difficult as I had never done it through this software before however I managed to generate a log which would be the template for the following the weeks. I also loaded in a lot of songs and added in intro markers and exit segue markers which would help the presenters and the flow of the show when being segued. I started to label everything with the help of Adam as there were lots to go through we started to add the country to the songs within myriad but later left this as it was easier for the music producer to put this within the running order as the presenters wouldn’t see the myriad screen. I came in that morning, loaded all the imaging that had been done as well as ads that were done prior that weekend. This week were able to see some errors with the music and whittled down are categories down to: Current, 2010’s, 2000’s, Classics, and unknowns’.
PILOT WEEK 2:
Leading up to pilot week 2 I again sourced all the songs we needed and loaded in any extra idents and ads. This week there was miscommunication between me and Charity as when I got there in the morning to load everything there only seemed to be half a playlist. This was because Charity was using part of last week’s playlist as well however this wasn’t fully relayed to me. However, this did outline how important our two roles are as we spent most of this pilot still adding in songs to the final hour which obviously wasn’t ideal. Me and Charity later spoke about this issue and we decided that from now on all music would be done prior to Monday and that I would load these on the weekends so that we have time to buffer any issues that may arise the morning of.
SHOW 1 – ENTERTAINMENT WEEK:
This week was a lot slicker when it came to communication between me and Charity, the playlist was done prior and I was able to load everything in on the weekend. I got in early on Monday to generate the log which I eventually had to do manually as I was having troubles with myriad. I went through with Sara to check the order of the songs to make sure the log matched the running order.
This week we ran into an issue of there being explicit song. This was because it was not marked explicit when Charity was making the playlist and something I didn’t catch when downloading the tracks. During the show myself and Charity got cracking with the PRS from the pilot weeks and the show that was going on at the time.
SHOW 2 – LOVE WEEK
This week I followed the same process of the previous week, I loaded the tracks in early on the weekend and generated the logs the following the Monday and added in any extra audio which was made over the weekend. Overall this show went well and I continued to write up the PRS during this show as well.
SHOW 3 – FOOD WEEK
As usual I loaded the songs in prior to the shows and any audio needed as per usual and continue to work on PRS throughout the exaction of the shows. One thing to mention as well before all the shows me and Sara would sit down and make sure the log pretty much matched the running order this also helped with her getting intro times to add to the running order. I felt like this week again went really well despite the added tension of this unfortunately being our final live show.
SHOW 4 – HYPERFETICAL SHOW
Due to the Coronavirus we had to plan for the show as if we were actually going to do it but obviously we wouldn’t. Charity made the playlist as usual and then I finished off any outstanding PRS that was required for the songs. I put songs for that week on the playlist into two Spotify playlists which would act as me ‘loading the songs’ in.
As soon as my role was established I knew that I wanted to be very hands on with the music in terms scheduling. I would of liked to of been more involved in the curation but that is something we agreed wouldn’t be a part of my role when we started. Looking back on the project I believe I applied my knowledge and know how well in terms of helping out other members of our group with show planning as well as my own role, especially when it came to the PRS. Doing the PRS and sourcing all the music for each week really enjoyable. I learnt allow about all the different types of international music we were playing, and it was really insightful to see who was behind these tracks. This is something I have done many times before professionally and I am used to finding the PRS information for songs so this was the perfect fit for me.
Initially I wanted to generate the logs via Myriads ‘Auto Track’ software which generates the logs. Although I managed to make a log which acted as our template for the shows. I didn’t manage to generate each week how it was supposed to be done with Auto Track as I was having difficulties getting it to work and getting my head around it as its piece of software I wasn’t familiar with. I wanted to learn how to this properly but didn’t have enough time if I were to do this project again that’s something I would of defiantly like to of gotten my head around. However, with manually scheduling each week this worked out in our favour because the music was being handpicks and it allowed us to have even more control over the logs and playout.
One important thing we all learnt whilst doing this was how key communication was, after a few slip ups in miscommunication which effected our pilot weeks I’m glad myself and Charity managed to find a groove and works flow which worked really well. In terms of the rest of the class it was vital that people told me when things were uploaded to the drive, many didn’t tell me to incredibly last minute and some asked after the shows had aired where their bits were which I wasn’t even aware they had uploaded to the drive for me to load in. I got Ginny to write in the notes about how important it was to tell me things were ready and not for me just to assume. Luckily after a few weeks this got better and by the end people told me when things were done and ready to be uploaded or things that had been tweaked. From my experience in radio communication is vital and this is something not just myself, but the rest of class has learned within this whole project.
Overall, I’m really happy with how I executed my role and it was been a positive experience and I got to a small part of radio which I love to do which is programming/programme director/music oriented.