Source Radio – The Story So Far…

So, I have always planned on joining Source TV and Source Radio this year. Making up the smallest particle of a fraction of my professional experience (2 hours a week), Source Radio has given me the opportunity to have my own radio show, slotted between 8:00pm until 10:00pm on a Saturday. Usually, this is a good slot. My only competition is The X Factor – a TV show I thought people had more sense than to watch. I was wrong.

My show, currently titled ‘Adam’s Alternative Show’ (to differentiate from ‘The Alternative Show’ which is on Thursdays) had one primary aim – to broadcast a wide range of underground music from the alternative scene. I had no other ideas – generally, I thought the music would speak for itself. After all, the songs on the playlist are tunes people probably haven’t heard. This show was about music, through and through. As long as I had good taste, surely it could not go wrong.

Originally, I was set to do duo show with my friend Shaun, but during training, we were told that such presenters usually end up falling out over who dominates the music genres on the airwaves. Thus, Shaun decided it would be best to separate. I was indifferent, bagging this slot at this time. Shaun was less lucky – he bagged 10:00pm until midnight on Sunday. This, in total means that there are three main alternative shows on Source Radio – all orientated around the weekend. These two will be my primary competitors in the enterprise.

Having to carry the entire two hour show on my own was a bit nerve-wracking to start with. I am the only DJ in the studio on Saturdays, which goes in my benefit in so much that I can effectively start and finish whenever – there’s no one before or after me, so I don’t have to stick to any tight schedule. On the downside, if anything goes wrong, I am zero out of technical help. I took some videos of myself presenting (see below), so that I could possibly find ways to improve my presenting style. Generally, I thought the music was pretty good, but the absence of having a co-presenter or any audience interaction was evident right from the start.

After the show, I was several points better off – first of all, I need to write down the playlist on paper. The playlist is saved on my iPod, but once the first song was played, I couldn’t view the playlist again, so I had to largely improvise my vocals, only seeing what the next song really was about five seconds before it started to play. Luckily, I’d written down some material for the more interesting songs, so that I knew to talk about Paramore’s Tour, Limp Bizkit using the Mission Impossible theme tune, Pantera’s epic guitar solo and so on.

I feel that all I did was introduce songs and tell the audience what they were called. The trivia was not enough to carry the show on or make it interesting. Audience interaction and / or guests and co-presenters are very important, and I will be lucking to find such next week, now that I am more familiarized with the mixing desk. Speaking of the mixing desk, the computers actually shut down half way through the show. I didn’t know whether the microphones were shut down during this period, but I went ahead and used them anyway. Luckily, only the carts were affected by the computers shutting down, meaning my show was relatively unaffected. It was a good call on my part.

I cam across several spates of confusion, but considering I made it to the end of the show successfully, all the problems I came across I managed to solve by myself. One problem I did notice was that because my entire playlist came from my iPod, I had to start to play songs before turning the fader up to play the song on air (to avoid the ‘clicking’ sound of pressing ‘play’ on the iPod). This cut off some of the first seconds of some songs, meaning if I choose to continue this way, I will need to develop a sleight of hand to pull off the trick.

Next week I will also incorporate the internet into my playlist, and possibly fade songs between the two streams. Whichever way you look at it, the carts available to me and the songs within will probably not be what I am looking to broadcast in my show. I have a focus on unsigned and unknown bands to start with! This means that every show will revolve around my iPod and the internet, and will very rarely go to the Myriad playlists. This, however, may mean broadcasting required advertisements will become difficult (I didn’t have any on the first show, yet I did unwittingly advertise Rock Sound Magazine during one of my improvised speeches!)

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