Thursday, October 30, 2008

Slamming the Post with the BBC

This post's just for folks who've been in radio -- or perhaps not. I've talked before about the Chris Moyles Show, heard daily on BBC Radio 1, and how effectively it uses the medium of radio (especially in conjunction with new media).

Chris Moyles and the team had a bit of fun with show's assistant producer, Matt Fincham. The previous week they had uncovered a tape of a very young Fincham calling in to a local radio program and talking about his own college radio program.

That resulted in quite a bit of teasing, but it also prompted the team (or at least the support staff) to dig even deeper and come up with some air checks of young Matt on CUR1350, Cambridge University's student-run station.

An important technique for Top 40 DJ's to have is the ability to talk over the musical introduction of a song and stop right before the vocals start. If you can do it and actually say something intelligent in the process, you've passed from skill to art. The technique's known by a variety of terms; the one I've heard it referred to is "slamming the post."

Moyles and company have a bit of fun with this concept as they get Fincham to relive his glory days and slam the post (or "hit the vocal" as they call it).

Listen carefully to the adept use of the audio clips in this segment. There's no pause, no hesitation. Whenever a clip's used to punctuate the conversation, it's always cued up, and it always runs for exactly the right amount of time. Very simple audio elements, but expertly handled for maximum impact. That's what radio should be about.

And the bit at the end where Fincham intros the song? I think most people will find it funny. But only people who have been on the other side of the microphone will fully appreciate the humor.

- Ralph

Day 135 of the WJMA Web Watch.

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