perform best. Some announcers are best at news, some
at country and western music, some at rock n roll, and
soon. In short, you must be like a chameleon. You must
be able to conform to the many variations of style that
the average broadcast day will demand of you. You
should set high standards for voice control, diction and
pronunciation; then strive constantly to live up to those
standards. This is a never-ending, ever-learning process.
However, the satisfaction you will get from being an
effective announcer is well worth the effort.
PRODUCING A RADIO FEATURE
LEARNING OBJECTIVE: Detail the elements
needed to produce a radio feature.
In radio, you are primarily responsible for all stages
of feature production. In commercial radio, particularly
in smaller markets, the DJs of the station are responsible
for producing features. The same thing applies at NBS
detachments. Once you are assigned a production, the
entire process, from researching the subject to putting it
on tape, belongs to you.
In this section, radio feature and audio
production are used interchangeably.
Music is used to set the mood for a production. It
can create a feeling of excitement, tranquility, suspense
or sadness. The following four types of music can be
used in audio production:
If you are doing a series of spots on a particular
subject or using a particular character, theme music will
lend identification to that subject or character. Avoid
using familiar songs as themes; for example, Gonna
Fly Now from the Rocky movie series or the theme
from American Gladiators. These selections tend to
distract the listener and ultimately lessen the effect of
Background music helps set the mood of the feature
production and it increases audience appeal. A
voice-only production can be very boring, especially if
it is just one voice. For example, a few strains of
dramatic fanfare might heighten listener anticipation of
a story climax. Conversely, you could use light, melodic
music to support a comical subject. There is
instrumental music to fit almost any mood. It is just a
matter of listening to the selection, perceiving the
emotion or mental image it creates and matching the
appropriate mood to your subject.
When you are selecting music for background,
instrumentals are preferred over music with vocals.
Vocal songs tend to distract the listener from the
message of the production. Vocal music may be used,
but only if it contributes to the message. When vocals
are used, level balance becomes critical so that the music
does not override the message.
Background music should be unrecognizable and
match the subject. By adding the right background
music, you add to the aesthetic appeal of the feature.
Bridge music connects or bridges two ideas or
thoughts. Bridge music, also called transitional music,
was used in radio theater to change the scene. A short
instrumental fanfare can signal a change in topics or,
a new scene can be introduced with a short musical
theme that suggests a particular location.
Fill music is often called pad music and is usually
an unrecognizable instrumental song. If your feature
production is required to be a certain length, you can use
fill music to eat up time at the end. This also allows the
person airing the production an opportunity to transition
to the next program element gracefully with less chance
of lapsing into dead air.
SELECTING SOUND EFFECTS
The use of sound and sound effects works much the
same way as music. The purpose of sound effects is to
enhance the spoken word.
Creative use of sound can help develop a vivid
picture in the mind of the listener. The success of an
audio production often depends on the mental picture
conjured up by different sound effects. Good examples
are the spots produced for the Radio Ad Bureau
promoting radio advertising. By using sound effects, the
producer created a visual picture in the listeners mind
by doing such things as draining Lake Michigan, filling