When an event as tragic as the Manchester bombing takes place the world stops and watches. This is an insight into my day as a radio producer from 23rd May 2017, a day after the Manchester bombing.
I’ve held off posting this until now as it didn’t seem appropriate to do that so close to the event, or the ones which followed it in the UK which also saw loss of life. I would also note that this isn’t a post to glorify what has happened or the show, but hopefully a useful guide for programme makers and those interested in the media of what happens in a production house when something so tragic like this happens.
Usually I spend a few hours editing audio, writing in and out lines; throw aheads, trails and pointers for online listen agains, promos and music reference points.
Today we had a technical malfunction in the office with all our computers, and it makes you realise just how much we rely on technology working.
I get asked a lot about what it is I actually do for a living as a radio producer, especially by family members who believe that I sit around drinking tea and deciding which records to play on the radio… (To be fair, I do get to do that sometimes), so I thought it’s about time I wrote about some of the aspects of my job and what exactly it is I get up to (while of course drinking tea).
The best description I can give anyone is that I am a gatekeeper of the airwaves, standing proudly in front of a giant door.
Remember all those years ago, when you were a wee child, and told time and time again that practice makes perfect?
Well, guess what? It’s true. (seriously)
Whether you’re a radio presenter reading this blog, a budding producer or doing something not even related to radio. Practice really does make perfect.
One of the greatest presenters I ever watched was David ‘Diddy’ Hamilton. Why? Because of what he did between songs. The reason why he was so successful is down to the fact that he wasn’t dancing around the studio or updating his latest social media status with what he had just eaten. He was rehearsing his next link…constantly. And I’m not talking about randomly reading through it once. He was saying the words out loud 3 or 4 times over. It’s what made him, and at this point I’d like to quote MC Hammer, “Magic on the mic”.
As for producing, it’s not quite as simple as that. Sometimes it’s about trial and error, finding out what works, adapting it, and then improving it to make it your own. But again, you’ll only get this by practicing. Whether it’s trying to mix 2 pieces of music together cut some speech, whatever. It’s all about practicing, learning, and not making the same mistake twice.
So then. To conclude. Practice. (Please).