After we were split into our groups for the project, we immediately had a meeting to discuss which genre/station we were going to take on. Eliza and Simon took control of the vote and it was instantly made clear that they were going to be great editors for the project as a whole. As a group, we were stuck between the Soul/Funk option, the Adult Contemporary and the Easy Listening. After a group vote, it was clear that Soul/Funk would be the right decision to make. We instantly started listening to the genre to see which sort of vibe we were going to aim for. We decided that we were going to allocate the roles the next time we met.
The team met up on the next Monday to decide our roles. I wanted to take on a role that I was fairly confident with but didn’t have much experience in, so I am the studio producer for the station. I’ve been in scenarios before where I’ve wanted to change things about a show, yet haven’t had the power to do so, hence why I was happy to take on this role.
At first, we were unsure if we were developing an idea for a station and then a show within it. I would’ve preferred to be creating a show within a new station rather than a show for an existing station, purely because I believe it allows us to be more creative. However, we clarified that The Groove was going to a be a show on existing London-based soul and R&B station, Mi-Soul. Confirming the name to be The Groove and the station to be Mi-Soul allowed us to start thinking of ideas for the station.
The meeting on Monday was a good chance for the group to discuss with Simon more specifically about what music approach we were going to decide on. I’m a big fan of the format we have chosen, it fits the audience very well and maintains the station sound that we are going for.
This week has also given me a better chance to chat to our presenters, Callum and Clare about how we are going run the operation on the day of the live show. We have decided that it works easier for Callum to self-op the desk as it allows me to focus on ensuring everything else runs smoothly.
We also chatted with the ads and branding team to establish which sound we were going to aim for. We all pitched in ideas for adverts and I’ve very pleased with the outcome! Everyone has been working very well and I think this is clear with the work that is being produced.
We started off the week with a meeting which focused mainly on the music policy. We listened to plenty of tracks and decided whether or not they would fit in with our station sound. Eliza updated us with plans for the week, as well as making sure that the internal deadlines were to be met that week – there were plenty of them, however, this ensured that we were working at a good speed! I stepped into the studio with Callum and Clare for the first time to get a bit of studio practice time in. This worked well, and there appears to be a constant state of progression every day. Simon and Eliza made an extended spreadsheet of all the music to be uploaded into Myriad. I spent some time adding some of the extra information into the spreadsheet. We have all joined a Google Drive page in order to share work with each other.
The team is really pushing on with content and audio files are beginning to be uploaded onto Myriad. We looked at AutoTrack for the first time and tried scheduling some of the content using the clocks that Simon had created – everything went fairly smoothly. Many ads are in the final stages, and I helped by voicing the Travelodge and Toys R Us ads. I also went round critiquing some of the others, forcing some changes that everyone agreed with. Matthew sent an email to the group looking for clarification on what The Groove really is, which sent the group into a bit of a panic. After we realised what changes had to be made, we quickly agreed on what needed to be done. I recorded some of the idents for the show and came up with a catchy title for our travel news, Groove on the Move.
This week was a very important one in terms of preparing for the show. Simon had created clocks for each hour which we reviewed and edited where necessary. Me and Simon also started checking everything on Myriad, making sure that the levels were correct and the files had been normalized appropriately. As a team, we agreed that on Thursday we are going to do a run through of the show, stopping and starting when we needed to make changes.
From the run through, we were able to make comments on the presenting style of Callum and Clare, as well allowing them practice of talking to time, as we agreed that talking up to the vocals was very important in the show. It was the first time I’d produced a show as live in quite a while, so it was a good time for me to make my mistakes before the pilot next week. Overall, I think this run through went very well, even though we were restricted to an hour. It was a nice way to get an overview of what we have produced so far and make some changes prior to the pilot next week.
This is a very big week for The Groove – pilot week. Monday was hectic. Me and Simon started building the clock on Myriad, and choosing which songs were going to be played at which time, as well as advertisements. We also deleted a lot of the advertisements from the AudioWall and replaced them with the updated versions as they were added onto the Drive.
Me and the presenters, Callum and Clare, had a chat in the morning about how we were going to work with travel. We decided, along with Eliza, that one minute would be necessary and that we’d close the travel with the same ident that started, top and tailing it makes it sound much more professional and listeners are aware of what to expect.
Pilot day came around and I think we were ready for it. We wanted to treat it like it the assessed show and I think it did us wonders. Minus a couple of obvious mistakes, we were very happy with how the pilot went, and I was happy with my personal performance. I made one or two mistakes with the faders, but made some key decisions which affected the final output. We also hit the news at exactly, 2:30pm, 3:30pm and 4:30pm, which I think may have gone unnoticed.
In the feedback session, we discovered that we may have been wrong to be happy with how the pilot went. There was a fair amount of negative feedback, however all of which will benefit our assessed show. Adverts needed to be changed, and more of a presenter connection had to be gained from Clare and Callum. Nonetheless, we had enough time to put everything right before the assessed show.
The final week! And a hectic one leading up to the assessed show. I came in to prepare on all days leading up to the show, to listen back to the pilot and try and gain an awareness of what we need to improve on Thursday.
We had a lot of discussion regarding the news bed, the travel, links, song choices and links – and some very good decisions were made.
Wednesday was all about ensuring we were fully prepared for Thursday’s show, but we had done very well leading up to the show, meaning there wasn’t much to do but finalise the clocks and get scripts ready.
Thursday morning was all about finalising scripts, finishing the clocks, and importing all the finished ads into Myriad. This was a tedious task, knowing that we’d shortly be live, but it was one that had to be done to make sure the show would be of the best quality.
We started off well. The news started on time, and the first link was executed well. It’s very hard for the presenters to talk to time when they can’t see the Myriad computers to see how long the track has left before vocals. This improved with more communication as the show progressed.
We had our first fault when we tried to connect someone through for our first feature, the Rare Groove. We had someone on to line to talk to us and explain their song choice, however, they couldn’t hear the presenters nor the music. Things got worse when we discovered that there was a problem with the phone in Studio 5, and not just the line with the guest. We had an live interview planned with Victoria Wilson James 20 minutes later. We decided that the best way to execute the interview would be to pre-record the interview and then play it shortly after, sticking with the clock we had planned. I think this went very well, however – we received feedback after that it may have been pre-recorded.
After this, the show went very smoothly. The news was hit on time. I think the second hour of the show went better than the first. The presenters were more relaxed and I feel liked there was less pressure on the team as a whole. The Funk Factory was a success, especially with the sensational voice of our guest. Emmanuel.