CSR FM Production Log

On this section of my site I let the inside the secrets of sound assembling
at Canterbury’s community and student radio station.

October ’14 – “Editing Is Awesome!” – Illustrate Your Interviews!

Last week I presented a session on editing as part of CSR’s Youth Academy,
a project enabling college and sixth form students from Canterbury
to learn the ropes of radio.


Before letting the radio makers of the future loose on Audacity I gave them a few pointers on not just editing audio, but using sound creatively
to turn an ordinary interview into an exciting interview.

The example I used was my recent interview with Bluey from Incognito on Blam Jam where he explained how the band’s cover of “Always There
became a mainstream success.


Bluey himself, a great speaker, always interesting to listen to, but throughout the interview as a whole I felt it needed to include examples of not just his own music,
but anything that illustrates what he’s saying to add tension and excitement
where necessary.

The end result?;


It’s worth searching on Youtube for any related audio and you may be surprised at what can be found.
(Though make sure you acknowledge any sources or copyrights if uploaded online)

Bear in mind that this technique isn’t recommended for all types of interview as
it’s doubtful that a very senior figure or politician will warm to any extra audio or inappropriate sound effects punctuating their points!

But when used correctly it can provide memorable radio, with examples including the many packages played on Mary Anne Hobbs’ BBC 6 Music show
as part of the 3 Minute Epiphany where a special guest answers a question
and their answer is supplemented not just by music related to it, but clever
and surprising use of sound altogether.

And this piece from CBBC’s Hacker T Dog, proves that the concept does not always have to be taken too seriously.

Oh and one more footnote, Tim Johns from the Jeremy Vine show on BBC Radio 2,
whose own session on editing I borrowed rather heavily from for my own.

But he’s great.

And a true audio artist, which I would love to hear more of in radio.

July ’14 – Animated Audio

For a station aimed at a predominantly young audience, you have to accept
that very few of them aged 16-25 will listen to the radio out of choice for a given
length of time due to the distractions of Youtube and other online platforms.

So I set myself a challenge of creating visual trails for my
“Blam Jam” Sunday night show, learning the ropes of Adobe After Effects,
a workstation I have never used before.

Daunting? Well, yes at first.

But this is where Youtube comes up trumps yet again!

There’s tons of how-to videos and online guides which
many academics must be raging about, with all this
advice they’d charge a fortune for, being offered for free
on the internet.

The audio comes first with me choosing three tracks
I plan to play on Sunday’s show, and is edited together on Audition
(or whichever DAW suits you, even Audacity, I don’t mind really…)

Anyway, then the tough visual stuff comes in and as you’ll see below
it takes a bit of time getting used to the various presets, and lengthy
rendering periods, but it is all worth it in the end, and if you’re creative
enough, you can get deep into the visual multi-track and adjust the
effect settings to match the with the music.

Click for a closer look inside After Effects.

Click for a closer look inside After Effects.

I’m hoping to expand my animating abilities for other areas of CSR’s
programming output later in the year,
but the three big elements in creating visual radio,
come in the shape of
three P’s Persistance, Patience and Precision.


Oh, and there is a fourth as the end result is usually Positive!

Thanks for reading.


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