Imaging is a snapshot of your station that listeners hear: Abe Udy

Radio Imaging is the glue that sticks a radio station together… but often it’s the last thing planned for in the yearly budgeting and staffing levels, when it should be one of the first. After all, the imaging is the station’s unique ‘fingerprint’, and essentially, what the sales executives are selling!

There are many components that make up radio programming including music, talk & content breaks, ads, credits, competitions, news, weather & traffic, and it’s the imaging that connects, or ‘glues’ this all together.

Some imaging producers make the mistake of thinking more is more.  More workparts, more sound effects, more beat mixing and more ‘zaps’ maketh better promos or sweepers. But this is not always the case. Sometimes the most simple voiceover with subtle processing and effects is the best solution. After all, the hero of most radio stations is the music (or talk content), and not the workpart/sound effect collection the image producer has amassed over the years!

Imaging should help tell a radio station’s story. It should be the station’s ‘image’. Funny, that! Engage listeners, make them laugh, and most of all, showcase the music. However, it doesn’t have to be predictable, and formulaic.

Recently, I was listening online to Capital FM streamed from London. The imaging was amazing! It’s almost impossible to know where a song ends and the imaging starts – and that’s just the way it should be!

Some of the slickest imaging thinks outside the square of the standard ’10 second sweeper’. Why not use a voiceover and some tasty editing to introduce a song, play that song’s hook, promo the station nice and tightly before the track’s first vocal kicks in? This is called an Integrated Intro. Here’s an example. It takes some of the responsibility away from the jocks and allows a producer and PD to tighten up a talk break, and can be really effective when coupled with live breaks.

Radio imaging is the glue that sticks a radio station together. It pays to invest it high quality, high strength glue so the station does not come unstuck!


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