Radio Imaging 101: 5 Basic Tips To Achieve Best Sounding Imaging

As the dial becomes more crowded and more stations are vying for attention, it’s more important than ever to have the best sounding imaging. Here are five quick tips to keep in mind when starting out.

ALTERNATE VOICES
The simple effect of alternating between male and female voices within a promo or ID is a great way to achieve contrast easily. Mix up the voices, even if sometimes it’s just for one word within a sentence.

USING DROPS
If you are going to use drops in promos or IDs, be careful not to use the same cliché movie lines that have already been beaten to death. How many more times can we hear Arnold Schwarzenegger saying “I’ll be back”, the guys from Wayne’s World saying “Shwing” or Meg Ryan’s “Yes” and moans from the movie When Harry Met Sally? Do some hunting of your own to find new and interesting drops that’s are less common, but still ultimately effective. I think the less common drops grab the way more attention than the mainstream ones that we have already heard a billion times. You’ll become the station with those cool and unique drops.

DRAG ON PROMO FEATURES
If you are promoting a special recurring feature, keep in mind that it will be heard a lot, and if it’s too long, it can become a little annoying in a short amount of time. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t make something cool, but make a shorter edited version as well and alternate them to avoid listener burnout.

CLASHING DECAYS
A lot of imaging work parts can have a tonal musical quality that trail out, which might sound awful with the cross fade of the next element, song or commercial. To avoid this, fade the decay out tastefully before the next sound begins, or do a butt splice edit with a quick breaker element, and have the voice over at the end (if there is one), be in the cold. This is always a cool effect, and it adds contrast and dynamics, especially to IDs that start out with a lot of production.

DO A LITTLE EDITING OF SOUNDS
Sure the sounds are always very useful out of the box, but don’t be afraid to experiment and do a little editing of your own. Chop some sounds up and mix them up with each other in order to achieve a different vibe. Maybe the end of one sounder works better with another. You’ll be surprised with what a couple of quick snips can do to give you a tighter sounding production.

Joe D’Agostin is one of America’s most in demand Station Producers/Imagers. During his career he’s worked on branding assignments for the likes of American Top 40, Coca Cola Real Mix and many other top shows.

Recently he launched his own production company called D’Agostin Productions, a company which specializes in creating memorable packages for stations and clients worldwide. Visit D’Agostin Productions today.

Joe is also responsible for creating the freshest and most usable buy out Production Library Sound Freqz which is now available at Blue Revolution. This article is originally written for Blue Revolutions Monthly E-Zine, visit www.bluerevolution.com to sign up. No part of this article can be rewritten, republished or re-posted without consent from Joe D’Agostin, Blue Revolution

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