Today we got put into our groups and after a long hour or so of debating, we reached a unanimous decision to use Rock ‘n’ Roll as our genre and to host the show on Gold. I volunteered to be editor as I felt like I have the appropriate skills for the position as well as the fact I wanted to trial the role for possible career options.
Today we began the session with a branding meeting where we discussed the overall sound of the show, how the idents would sound and what elements we would need to get it to sound as great as possible. Alex Irons suggested we call our show ‘The Diner’ as it suited the era and genre of music we were going to play on the show.
Ozzy and I agreed on an American accent VO for the idents as it fits with ‘The Diner’ theme quite well and sets a tone for the show. Adam found a variety of SFX that we could use to make the jingles and idents sound as atmospheric as possible and together we agreed Roll Over Beethoven by Chuck Berry would work well as the instrumental in the jingles. We each took turns in the studio testing out American accents to use for the jingles and idents.
I created a section on the Station Sounds page where I listed the sfx that we had and wrote a list of possible phrases and liners that could be voiced for our imaging.
Alex and I began planning how the OB will run; with Alex finding suitable decorations and themes for our OB Studio setup.
I also had a chat with Ozzy and Profidencial about how we can make the logo look really vibrant by designing it to look like a neon light sign for a real diner.
I have created a Google Spreadsheet ‘to do list’ where I’ve broken down each team’s jobs into smaller tasks with different deadline dates to work with so that we make sure we are running as efficiently as possible. I aim to have a couple of run throughs organised and done the week before the pilot so that we can have a debrief and fine tune any elements that may need to be done differently.
Due to the fact Gold only has one presenter, I spoke with both Profidencial and Claire about how we could emulate the station sound with two presenters. I felt that as Claire has a stronger connection to the music genre, she would be a slightly better fit for the presenter role as she would be able to talk about each track and the listeners would be able to connect with her and engage with her excitement. However, this created a problem as Profidencial felt a little pushed out of her role which is understandable.
On this day, Callum and I travelled to Putney Bridge to meet with a voiceover artist and had a run through of what we were after. He agreed to help us with an advert and some idents.
Today I had a chat with the team about how we wanted the overall show to sound and raised possible ideas as to where to put the OB and interview in the running order.
I found a website called UClock.it which is a software which allows you to create clocks and colour code each time segment. I used this to programme our clocks for both hours.
From this, I created the first draft of our running order.
I also had a chat with Profidencial about the social media logo which she created with a graphics website and I helped her to create a Facebook page which unfortunately blocked her own account which meant we had to create another.
We decided on two features in the first hour;
- An Aretha Franklin tribute where we would play 3 of her most iconic tracks with some links in between about her life and her impact on the music industry.
- Movie Quiz where we would play 3 tracks and the audience would have to try and guess which movie it was from.
To work around the presenter problem, after talking it through with Tom and Claire, I decided that Profidencial could be our ‘Diner Waitress’ who reads the menu at the top of each hour. This would mean that Prof still gets a presenter role but also has time to run the socials for the rest of the show. I had a chat with her about this idea and she confirmed she was happy with it.
Today we decided to change the movie quiz from an ordinary feature into a competition so that there is a bit more audience engagement.
I also had a chat with Harri about our OB guest Marky Dawson regarding the instrument he was going to play and roughly how many songs we thought would work. We agreed on 3 songs and Harri said that he’s good at freestyling if we need him to go on a bit longer. Harri also suggested using cardboard vinyls to hang up being Marky to make the OB room look more creative.
Today we practiced using the studios for the OB. We ran into some issues as studio 4 couldn’t hear studio 6 and vice versa with the live studio not being able to hear anybody. We tried various options to fix the issue, however we ended up asking Connor to help us set up a tieline for the day so that we could hear each other whilst I emailed the problems to Tom for Tim to fix over the course of the next week.
Once we could hear each other we were able to figure out how the studios worked during the OB.
I also asked the team if they could each produce an advert each so as to make Callum and Alex’s jobs easier as there were 15 scripted in total. I decided to record and produce mine that day and picked the Eurostar advert to voice. I chose a French song to go underneath my speech to provide an upbeat, European feel to the ad and once this was done i uploaded this to the drive.
After this I listened to Callum’s Coldplay advert and suggested that he crossfade between the songs as the cuts sounded quite sharp.
At the end of this day we sat as a group and discussed a social media plan for Profidencial to write up and follow on the day.
Ozzy gave me a call to discuss the kind of jingle and ident music we wanted for the news and other station imaging. I listened to the variety of options he’d uploaded to Google Drive and suggested using the end of the extended dramatic news jingle.
One of the opening idents used a bacon sizzling sfx and another of a coin being inserted into a jukebox in the background to add a bit of ‘diner’ atmosphere as we had to discussed when created the Station Sound document in the first week of production. However the levels on these were a bit low and I felt like they got lost in the ident and asked if he could adjust it.
Profidencial asked me for help with the socials as she felt like she didn’t know which direction she had to go in for them; what to post and when. I created a document which listed the various options for Profidencial across the two hours for he to choose which she thought was best fitted for each part of the show.
As a group we came to an agreement that Aretha Franklin didn’t really fit the rock ‘n’ roll theme of our show and so I decided we should swap it for a different feature which used relevant music. Charity had read an article describing the weird foods that Elvis Presley used to enjoy and suggested we get Claire to try them live on air. I thought this was an amazing idea as we could incorporate some good Elvis tracks into the playlist which would suit our show a lot better than the Motown and soul songs we had otherwise scheduled. Once I cleared it with Claire, I then adjusted the running order.
Today was our first pilot show. I discussed with Harri and Charity exactly how many songs of the A, B and C lists that were needed for the show and between them they chose the songs they thought would work. I listened back to Callum’s redone Coldplay advert and the music sounded well mixed down and his voice sounded more relaxed. I also listened to Profidencial’s M&S advert and upon opening it on audition realised that the music was coming from the left channel with the speech coming from the right, Callum was able to fix this and boost the levels on the vocals.
Charity had sourced and produced an advert for an Amazon Alexa device which sounded really high in quality, with a clear voiceover and clean mixes between the music and the speech.
I asked if we could have the rest of the adverts finished by the following Monday as I didn’t want to leave anything to the last minute and wanted time for us to make changes should it be necessary.
Our pilot ran really well on this day, we didn’t have an OB artist but were able to practice with a CD. The playlist unfortunately wasn’t on myriad but I asked for that to be completed by Monday as well to give us time to practice with it. We started 10 minutes later than we should have due to a problem with the microphones however once we solved the issue we were able to start straight away and ended to time.
Today I had scheduled a run through of the show with the team so that we could get some practice in ahead of our last pilot on Thursday and therefore iron out any of the problems we had ahead of time. However our presenter let us know she couldn’t make it, meaning we couldn’t do it. However we did use this time to go through all of the work he had done up until this point and clarified that it was the way we wanted it. Charity and Ozzy uploaded and colour coded the idents and ads, whilst Harri uploaded the songs to myriad.
Today we had our last pilot before the assessed show. The difficulty we found today was that the songs were on myriad but hadn’t been put into a clock which meant we had no log for Claire and Callum to use in the studio. This then meant that they had to drag and drop each song and advert into the carts which is why some mistakes were made. We agreed it would make it easier to make a log after the show or in the morning so that we have it ready for us.
Our OB artist for this pilot was a bass player named Andy Dawson and we found that in the OB we were running slightly under time as we had scheduled too much of the hour for it. This meant that Adam, who was presenting the OB felt under pressure to fill time.
The feedback we received was to alter the structure of the OB and interview so that the listener isn’t being pulled away from each studio for too much time. I decided to put them closer together with a small interview interlinked with tracks followed by a few minutes of live music from the artist on the day. Harri and I also figured that the Elvis feature had under run in these pilots so decided to reduce that by 3 minutes.
Today was the assessed show. In the morning, Charity and I prepared the food for the Elvis feature which involved frying bacon to use the fat for a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich; as well as coating pickles in batter and deep frying them. I used the bacon to make sandwiches for the team as a boost of morale before our final show of the module.
Once we got into class, I helped Profidencial with the Facebook page by making it accessible to the public and suggested we go to the university canteen to take a picture of the Elvis food on a real plate to make it fit with ‘the diner’ theme on our socials.
I then sat with Harri to adjust the running order by giving the timings for each how and changing the structure of the OB. I asked to have Elvis songs bracketing the feature to fill out time and emphasise the topic of the Order Up feature. I asked Harri and Charity to print out a list of the songs we hadn’t already used so that if we ran under time we could drag one or two into the cart and fill out the hour.
We started to time and had a successful run despite having problems with talk back. This technical issue meant that while we were doing our Elvis food challenge with Claire, none of us in the studio realised that the music bed was playing too loudly for the listener to hear what was being said. We found a way around this by using our whatsapp chat or talking over the studio phone.
Towards the end of the first hour, I realised we were running under time so asked if we could put a short 2 minute song in to fill the time but then realised it meant we would end up being 30 seconds over, so Claire and I agreed on removing an advert and we ended up going to the news bang on the second hour which was amazing. Unfortunately we ran under at the end of the second hour as I was under the impression we had to have our third news bulletin finished by 14:00 as Tom had been strict on the two hour mark in our very first pilot, however overall I felt like our assessed show ran really smoothly and I’m extremely proud of the outcome.