The above quote from the late Maya Angelou summed up the importance of imaging and audio branding in radio as away from the multi-tracks, and the closeted surroundings
of a production studio, the product that’s being created will create a feeling within listeners, and the use of good imaging and jingles helps to enhance that mood.
The above image was part of a presentation by Lenja Farraguna who herself
admits that she’s muddled by multi-tracks, but has no problem identifying the positive
results of the end product.
Her energetic and inspiring session (at one point encouraging the whole audience
to stand on their chairs) emphasized that radio producers aren’t in the imaging business,
but the “feel-good business”.
From a personal perspective it was the sessions that escaped from the demonstrations of multi-tracks and effects that stood out on the second day of this audio event,
going further and asking questions as to why we’re doing it, and what challenges
will be faced in the future.
One such question posed by Ryan Drean was if video is the next “digital”.
Or to put it into other words whether video will take over from traditional audio imaging
in the same way that digital audio workstations made reel and razor editing redundant
some 20 years ago.
Whilst it wasn’t necessarily concluded that video imaging will take over
from audio imaging, many of those presenting at the event used the opportunity to show how stations have adapted the use of video, and in some cases made better
technical use of it than those in television.
After all, sound is just part of the picture.
Chris Nicoll from Capital FM, demonstrated just that with one of the Summertime Ball
launch intros, explaining how what may sound good in a production booth may not quite
cut through at Wembley Stadium if not mastered correctly.
A short snippet can even be seen here, as recorded by Steve Martin from
Earshot Creative, who has given his own detailed and informative take on the event.
Another standout presentation came from Uunco Cerfontaine from Dutch station
Sky Radio, which stood out as being a potted history of the station and
it’s on air imaging.
In this case, how the continuous music station evolved from the traditional
AC format of the 90s (Whitney Houston, Celine Dion), to the “Modern AC”
format of today by bringing uptempo artists such as Bruno Mars and Passenger
and even dance acts like Aviici into the format, showing how the “Adult Contemporary”
format is constantly changing and the jingles have to keep up with it.
The Sky Radio story, also unique in being a successful radio station in Holland
for over 25 years, in spite of having no presenters so the imaging has always
had to cut through, with Wise Buddah’s latest ID package succeeds in doing
A deeper insight into Sky Radio’s AC evolution can be read in this equally
informative blog post.
The most meaningful session came towards the end from Ryan Drean from TM Studios
and the Producers Podcast, in terms of giving a bit of perspective and explaining
that a career in imaging isn’t the be-all and end-all to your goals in radio.
A particularly cutting piece of advice to those working in commercial radio
stood out the most.
Or to put it in more polite terms, never put yourself into the position that the
imaging you pride yourself on, is worthy of a higher pay than what the
station can give to you.
On a more serious note, Drean also addressed areas relating to communication
that can be improved on in radio, such as the habit of following up on e-mails
that haven’t been replied to, and how in some cases, the said habit has lead to bigger
Overall the inaugural Imaging Days event was enjoyable, informative and dare I say
expensive. Not in terms of how much it cost to travel to Holland, but expensive in the
money spent in ProTools plugins, which is surprisingly higher going over the thousand
But above all it was great to see many professionals and imaging lovers
all in one room together sharing passion for their production, and hats off
to Anthony Timmers for putting it all together and finally realizing a dream.
If you thought of going this year, put October 5-6 2015 in your diary,
and arrange travel for Haarlemm. Definitely a worthwhile radio event for attending.