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The curse: the erm, um or ehm...

By Art Grainger
Posted 7 June 2015, 3.17am edt

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So ehm.... I was tuned into a .....ehm .... community radio station's breakfast show and .... ehm .... the presenter was .....ehm .... otherwise quite good but ........ehm ........ every link he did seemed to .... ehm ..... go on ....... ehm ..... for much longer than it needed to ........ . Ehm, I mean ..... ehm, every other word was .... ehm, no matter what he did.

Ehm ..... when he was ..... ehm ...... introducing songs, he would ..... ehm ..... crash the vocals because he ..... ehm ..... took a few moments longer to ...... ehm ..... give us the name of the ...... ehm ...... artist and the ...... ehm .... song title. Other features ...... ehm ..... also suffered from random ehms.

Ehm ..... surely ..... someone responsible in programming would ...... ehm ....... give the presenter a bit of advice to ...... ehm ........ make him realise .......... ehm ....... his quality of presentation is ...... ehm ....... let down by this ..... ehm ....... one simple thing. Ir also makes for ...... ehm ..... uncomfortable listening ........ and after a few minutes of listening I ...... ehm ...... tuned into something else, where the presenters were much more professional and were able to hold entire sentences together for the duration of their links.

Comments

1 year, 11 months ago

I don't really get the point here, other than slagging off a (presumably) unpaid volunteer on a community radio station.

If you don't like what's going out, vote with your dial, but there's no need for this. In case it's escaped your notice, an awful lot of community radio stations are running on empty at present and there probably isn't anyone professional around giving programming advice. That's a problem with the system, not with the individual presenter or station.

1 year, 11 months ago

OK Alice - I thought that the point of radio is to attract listeners, whether that be on the BBC or on community or hospital radio stations.

I don't know the person that's presenting or what their circumstances or (whether they are paid or not) - but when I tune into any kind of radio station, I expect to be able to listen comfortably, without cringing or feeling annoyed or embarrassed.

I appreciate that there are a lot of radio enthusiasts, forumites and anoraks who tend to have a higher tolerance for amateur presenters and the idiosyncrasies they may have when presenting a program. Unfortunately, the general public do not. They have their own in-built quality threshold, for which having a presenter constantly stumbling, mumbling, pausing, stalling, umming, erring and so on during every link would (fairly quickly) cause annoyance and frustration to the listener and they will tune elsewhere. If you end up with few or no listeners, then there's not much point of having a radio station on air at that time.

The alternative is to get the presenter, who is otherwise quite capable, to improve their style.

As for community radio stations "running on empty," that is quite unfortunate, of course - but it still does not excuse what comes out of the speaker on people's radios. To suggest that there isn't anyone around to give advice would suggest that the stations are not managed. Someone will be responsible for programming - otherwise how on earth would anything get on air?

1 year, 11 months ago

A wee suggestion for presenters on community radio is sketch a plan & gather at least a modest amount of information to help fill out the programme slot. Arrange a phone-in contact & chat about interesting topics, relevant to the radio station's receiving area.
I did work as a volunteer for five years on what was called UCA Radio at University Campus Ayr. The station output was primarily for students with additional off peak programming from UCA Radio's community section.
UCA Radio's manager back then was a forward thinking & helpful media guru called Marcus Bowman. Marcus would arrange a community meeting around four times a year to discuss/resolve station issues & agree forward planning, based on volunteers' input.
A community station needs good management support to produce interesting & entertaining output.
UCA Radio has become UWS Radio, based at University West Of Scotland in Ayr & thanks to Doctor Bowman, the student station was one of the first small fry broadcasters to be carried on a local DAB multiplex back in year 2002...

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

I think you can allow a tiny bit of "erm" in a link considering they're on the whole not professional presenters with any broadcasting experience in mainstream radio on community radio.

Personally I think it's those type of stations which try to emulate a "Smashie and Nicey" format on CR which is more damaging than a presenter who umm's a bit when he brings in his collection of folk or country music in an off-peak slot.

1 year, 11 months ago

A tiny bit ..... yes, no problem. A lot of it during a sentence is just poor presentation.

Think about a job interview. If you have people with very similar levels of experience, skill-sets, qualifications and so on, would you rather employ someone who can communicate very well and hold a sentence together ....... or ....ehm ...... would you ..... ehm ........ give the job to ........ ehm ........ the person who ........ ehm ......... is as good as ...... ehm ....... the other person ........ but ...... ehm ......... comes across as ........ ehm ....... a poor ...... ehm ..... comminicator?

I'm sure Ian H would want to contribute to this thread.

It's not just ehming and erring radio presenters that can be a turn off. How about .....basically ..... football players who ...... basically .......appear on TV and .... basically ..... go through the interview and ....... basically ....... try to answer the questions basically?

How about Nicola Benedetti? She may be one of Scotland's finest violinists but her North Ayrshire dialect and her excessive use of the word 'like' gets in the way of her interviews.

1 year, 11 months ago

Art, If this issue is upsetting you so much, it may be a good idea to contact the relevant radio station & give the manager/staff a few pointers to improve the service.
Voluntary organisations tend to appreciate constructive feedback along with a proposal to fix any problems raised...

1 year, 11 months ago

I don't get it, Art.

You don't like listening to voluntary community radio stations because they're not slick and professional and the presenters say 'erm' and hesitate a bit.

But you don't like listening to Global or Bauer because the presenters are too slick, and don't do much other than back announce songs and mention the station name.

What radio programming do you enjoy?

1 year, 11 months ago

Alice - stop making assumptions.

I never said I don't like listening to volunteer community a radio. Where did you get that from? Stop making up things about what I said, especially when I never actually said it.

When I made the point that I tuned into something else where the presenters were much more professional and able to hold entire sentences together for the duration of their links, it was actually on ANOTHER VOLUNTARY COMMUNITY RADIO station. Shame on YOU for making the assumption that it wasn't a community station and was something else.

The presenter who was saying "erm" and hesitating wasn't doing it "a bit," he was actually doing it quite a lot, much more than most people (especially members of the public - not radio anoraks or radio forumites) would find tolerable, unless we should assume that people who present like that should only be appealing to other radio people and that the public don't matter.

By the way I do like listening to Bauer, some of my favourite programs that I tune into each week are on some of their stations, which goes against yet another assumption you have made based on something I haven't actually said and you seem to have fabricated.

Since you asked what programming I do enjoy, I like to listen to programs with content (not the radio equivalent to empty toy boxes - like many Global stations), where the presenters are engaging, have plenty of interesting things to talk about, are entertaining and quite good at their job - and have not demoted themselves to doing no more than back announcing songs and being station ident parrots. I also spend most of my time listening to Radio 5, Radio 2, Radio Scotland, Original 106 in Aberdeen and quite a few programs on community radio stations.

I should also point out that I have been active over the past 18 years or so in trying to set up community radio stations. In that time I have helped to launch the broadcasting careers of quite a few people that I actually trained to be presenters and broadcasters. One of them ended up being a presenter on Real Radio (which had a lot more listeners than Heart does now). Others are working for the BBC, one works on a station in Manchester and a smaller number are dotted around various small-scale ILR's. Indeed, only last week I had a message from a former volunteer at an online community station I set-up. She was training to be a journalist and newsreader. I gave her her first on-air experience as a newsreader, for which I trained her. She has since achieved her degree in journalism and is now getting work experience at the BBC.

So again, Alice - don't make assumptions about what I apparently don't like or don't listen to. Please also bear in mind than when I make such posts and am critical of people's presentation, I like to think that I do so with qualification, given my own level of success in training people and giving them their first on-air experiences.

1 year, 11 months ago

Willie - I appreciate what you're saying - but since I decided to finally settle down, my involvement in radio these days is now virtually zero, not least for the sake of enjoying marriage and having time to pursue my other interests (and I do have a lot of them).

Besides, the manager/programmer of the station ought to have enough sense to know what is good and bad on air and act accordingly with other volunteers to help them improve. I would like to think that the manager is listening to enough of their station's own output to know where the problems are and hopefully get the very best out of their team of volunteers. Ehming and erring overwhelmingly during links can be easily sorted with a bit of training and practice.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Art - do you know whether that presenter has been doing that show for many years, or is this their first shift?

i.e. are you criticising the station manager because they've not acted, or criticising the station manager because they've let some new talent on the air?

1 year, 11 months ago

Was it their first show? Or had they done many before? Did you even know? Have you tried presenting a radio show? You seem like a perfect expert!

1 year, 11 months ago

Dom - I had presented radio shows for many years (well over a decade), as well as DJ-ing (I ran my own entertainments business and also had a stake in nightclubs where I also DJ'ed occasionally), public speaking, MC-ing at fashion shows and major public events, did store promotions and so on. I have also chaired hustings events, so it is fair to say that I am quite proficient with the art of oral communication, especially when I got paid for it (and kept getting asked back, not to mention that in the past some companies and organisations also put myself and my future wife in hotels in places far from home, so as I could carry out the duty of communicating via a microphone).

James - good questions - but to an ordinary listener that's a member of the public, they won't know (or care) that it may or may not be the presenter's first show. They only care if the show (and presenter) sounds good or not. Needless to say, I didn't know either - I could only base my judgement on what was coming out of the speakers. So if a presenter sounds as bad as that, they probably shouldn't have been put on air as soon and should maybe have had a few more practice sessions and dry runs.

1 year, 11 months ago

Just to follow on, since it's been suggested that I "seem like a perfect expert," I was actually in the position, as a station manager of an RSL station in 2001, of refusing to allow someone to get on air because they weren't ready.

A young gentleman came to my training sessions leading up to the RSL. Unfortunately, whilst he was technically capable, he was a bag of nerves, even though we weren't on air. I knew that he wouldn't improve on time and I also reckoned that if I did let him on air, his nerves would get the better of him, he would make too many mistakes, feel embarrassed (knowing that the big bad world of FM would mean he would have people listening to him) and it could possibly have shattered his confidence and ambitions.

I advised him to take on board what he learned during the training sessions, keep practising in his bedroom and find a means of overcoming his nerves and those shakey hands. It may have been the best advice he got and I'm glad to report that he did exactly that.

A few years later he was working on stations in the USA and is now presenting a drivetime show on a station in Manchester.

1 year, 11 months ago

art maybe youd like to go on and do better?? we all have little faults in our speech on air i agree maybe he does need training or a in studio producer although i hate scripts and i work off the cuff im lucky enough to be confident enough, i make mistakes but the biggest mistake is not being able to deal with it and move on.
i have noticied i do have bad habbit of of saying err sometimes lol i guesss its then brain catchin up and wasnt till i videoed myself that i realised it something to work on there.

1 year, 11 months ago

Alan Freeman made a career out of it and was known as the 'King of the err & ums'.
I do agree with what Art is saying it can be frustrating to listen to someone who can't string a sentence together. But as he also says all it takes is for someone else to point it out as they may not even be aware they are doing it.

1 year, 11 months ago

I'm an unpaid community radio presenter and I often castigate myself for my ums and ers. It could be nerves or lack of preparation. I listen back to all my shows and write ideas for links down. Trying to fill airtime is a terrifying prospect for a beginner, its like doing stand up comedy - its just you and the microphone. Luckily I get to pick my own playlist so I treat the music as a friend on stage so I always have something interesting to talk about.

1 year, 11 months ago

Art, it sounds like you have provided a great service to radio over the years. I am happy to see that there are still people out there who see the value of good training and quality control in radio. As someone who also got my start on community radio, I am well aware of how nerves can get the better of you. That being said, we all have our different achilles heels when it comes to presenting, be it the erms and uhms, talking too fast or poor diction. It is your duty as a presenter offering a service to the public to identify and try to curb those before you go live on air. A few mistakes here and there are acceptable and even expected, after all nobody is perfect. But if your whole show is riddled with errors perhaps you are not ready to go on air yet.
There seems to be this misconception that because of the differences in funding community radio does not have to be too professional. Quality control is important regardless of how and where we broadcast. There are a lot of brilliant community stations with the same level of resources that have highly professional staff. It is a disservice to them to allow standards to drop simply because certain people underrate the importance of community radio.
Thank you for your comments Art, it is the few people like you who will continue to strengthen community radio and radio in general through not just criticism but CONSTRUCTIVE criticism. Let us borrow a leaf and instead of tearing apart each others suggestions, think of our own contributions to better the industry

1 year, 11 months ago

One of our station's rules is "if you don't have anything to say, don't speak!" Lol.

1 year, 11 months ago

Amanda - you took the words right out of my mouth. When you previously said about "filling airtime" I was going to say exactly that. Sometimes less really is more.

Yet some presenters seem to use an astonishing amount of words just to say something simple like "there's a jumble sale in the village hall this afternoon".

1 year, 11 months ago

Anatolia - Art's disparaging use of "erms" etc in his main post didn't seem particular constructive in his criticism.

Art - Well, la de da. That still doesn't explain whether or not the presenter was on their first show or not.

I don't know what an RSL station is - is it like a community station? The best thing you can do is just try it. You'll never have experience if you don't do it, and you can practice till you're blue in the face, but nothing will prepare you for that first 'on air' show until you're actually on air. After I'd done some shows, I watched 3 new people being trained and they all had 5-10 mins each on air live, and the trainer just did this during an hour (some time between 10am-midday) when there wasn't another show going on, and otherwise the system was auto-picking music.

I mostly enjoyed my time on a community station, but once I was back in work, I did it for almost a year after that, but including the 2hrs of the show itself (which I eventually ended up recording & emailing into the studio for them to slot in, as I couldn't do it live), it took around 8hrs of my time to put everything together as there was a lot of info in there about new films, DVD and videogame releases, charts, and lots of other stuff. It wasn't just one music track after another. At the same, towards the end I was getting disillusioned by the lack of interaction between listeners and the station, and the manager's apparent reluctance to do anything about it, and the final straw came when I'd put a show together and only found out when it was too late that both the manager AND the placement student weren't in that week. So the show didn't go out at all. 8hrs work for NOTHING.

I did a couple of shows on another station, doing it the same way, but they were in another part of the country and changed things so that they were only using local talent. I then tried it online for a while, making an hour-long show as a Youtube playlist, splicing songs inbetween the sections I recorded. Looked great, but again, a lack of interaction after a while and not many people listening/viewing was disheartening. I'd do it again elsewhere if I knew there was an actual audience who'd be listening. Otherwise, it's just depressing.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

I don't know what an RSL station is

An RSL station is known as a Restricted Service Licence, which are normally for 28 days. They're used for various reasons, such as during Ramadan, by community groups applying for a CR licence or to provide a service during a live event.

1 year, 11 months ago

Aye - in 2001, RSL's were about the only means of getting on FM because community radio (in the UK) hadn't been invented yet - it didn't come until a year later and even then it was only for a small number of trial services.

Dom - I can't explain if it was the presenter's first show. Neither could the public. La-de-da! Again, I make the point that whether it was the presenter's first show or not, they clearly weren't ready to be doing it and probably should have had a bit more training and a few (more) dry runs before getting onto the big bad world of FM, to be heard in people's car radios whilst travelling around the streets of Glasgow.

It's really not a case of "just try it," more especially because these stations have licences, are on FM and have also to make some revenue to sustain themselves, through a combination of public funding, advertising and fundraising, so they need to attract enough listeners and support, which also means that they should (and need to) make fairly good quality output - not necessarily the level of the BBC or the biggest commercial stations in terms of quality - but certainly listenable quality. On this occasion, the presenter's inability to hold a sentence together without a large amount of uhms and ehms within every sentence he said would be perceived by the public as being unlistenable. It can be easily sorted with more off-air training.

As for witnessing people getting 15 minutes of training, I would rather hope that they had a lot of 15 minute sessions (or more) before they were allowed on air on FM. If they didn't and they sounded poor when on air, then that's just bad management.

1 year, 11 months ago

Art, sometimes you hit the spot, but on community radio, you frankly make so much of a fool of yourself, that it's painful.

"I thought that the point of radio is to attract listeners..."

True, to a point. Community radio has to attract an audience too, just like other stations, but that has to co-exist with other social entrerprise targets, such as training people in radio, giving them skills and confidence, and promoting things like the local music scene, or promoting good health, dependent on their key commitments which are agreed with Ofcom. Part of why you hear people who are less than 'perfect' on community radio is to build up their confidence.

I don't agree with Colonel Rosa Klebb of SPECTRE on very much, but there was one line from the film "From Russia With Love" that resonnated with me, and has been part of my life for a very long time. "Training is useful, but there is no substitute for experience". People can excel in training situations, but put them in a real life situation and they just fall apart. In my experience, there is nothing better for training people on radio, than by giving them live radio to actually do.

"I appreciate that there are a lot of radio enthusiasts, forumites and anoraks who tend to have a higher tolerance for amateur presenters and the idiosyncrasies they may have when presenting a program. Unfortunately, the general public do not."

Actually, from having spoken to our audience, we understand that actually, it tends to be the other way round. The public is more tolerant of these things than pros, ex-pros, forumites and enthusiasts. They actually like the fact that we're not perfect, we're not slick like a snake oil salesman, we're human beings with all our little imperfections, and that we don't try and hide them.

"Besides, the manager/programmer of the station ought to have enough sense to know what is good and bad on air and act accordingly with other volunteers to help them improve."

That actually assumes that the station manager or programme manager or studio manager, isn't actually working with them to do just that. Since we don't know the situation, making any assumptions of that nature is a fool's errand.

"I could only base my judgement on what was coming out of the speakers. So if a presenter sounds as bad as that, they probably shouldn't have been put on air as soon and should maybe have had a few more practice sessions and dry runs. "

But, they might have been perfect on dry runs, when of course, there's only the people in the studio listening, but going live on FM brings a whole other world of feelings and experiences that you don't feel when you're doing a dry run.

Some people can take ages to adjust to that, some just can't cope with that. You won't know that from dry runs, you'll only learn it with the experience of them going live on the radio, for an extended period of time.

1 year, 11 months ago

"there was one line from the film "From Russia With Love" that resonated with me, and has been part of my life for a very long time. "Training is useful, but there is no substitute for experience". "

When you start quoting lines from a fictional fantasy movie, I'm not sure that you are justifying your argument.

"Actually, from having spoken to our audience, we understand that actually, it tends to be the other way round. "

If by "audience" you mean the miniscule number of people who do listen and are willing to respond, then you're probably right. By general public, I mean the ones who won't simply because the output is not as good as what they're used to or expect. A few years at one particular volunteer radio station in Scotland taught me how hostile the public can be in their opinions of the output of their local (volunteer) radio station.

So the next time a young inexperienced joiner comes round to my house to do a job, then the house falls apart because he hadn't grasped what he was doing and shouldn't have been put in the position because he wasn't ready, I should bear in mind that he might have excelled during training sessions in a college.

When I was running an entertainments business, it would have been quite fatal to my business if I had given someone a job when they were not quite capable of doing it.

To allow this on community radio is doing community radio a disservice. Just because it's community radio and the people on it are volunteers should never excuse providing output that is well below the quality threshold that the public expect to hear when they tune in, more especially because the stations are publicly funded in part.

1 year, 11 months ago

The line from "From Russia With Love" is as valid as a quote from, say, Oscar Wilde, since both have been thought up by an individual. It's not like it came about by itself. You really are a dismissive individual, Art.

1 year, 11 months ago

Art Grainger;

"When you start quoting lines from a fictional fantasy movie, I'm not sure that you are justifying your argument."

And that was all you could say in response to a relevant point, was to dismiss it because it came from a work of fiction? You really don't understand what the old George Burns line means do you. "When you're telling a lie, put as much truth in it as you can." Any work of fiction, is only as good as how well grounded in real world ideas and thoughts it is. The bigger the 'buy' you have to make to suspend your disbelief, the more reality and truth there should be around it.

The world of James Bond may be a complete fiction, but it's grounded in the author's real life wartime experience, as well as in certain universal truths. If you don't want to deal with those truths, then go find another universe to live in, without creating your own fantasy bubble, oh wait, you can't because we all exist in this universe whether we want to or not, so we might as well adjust to reality, rather than trying to force reality to adjust to us.

"If by "audience" you mean the miniscule number of people who do listen and are willing to respond, then you're probably right. By general public, I mean the ones who won't simply because the output is not as good as what they're used to or expect. A few years at one particular volunteer radio station in Scotland taught me how hostile the public can be in their opinions of the output of their local (volunteer) radio station."

You know what this sounds like? It sounds like you were part of a station that hadn't got the community behind it. The community wanted the station to be one thing, and the management wanted it to be something else. That's a recipe for disaster every time.

No wonder you have such a negative opinion about community radio in general.

"So the next time a young inexperienced joiner comes round to my house to do a job, then the house falls apart because he hadn't grasped what he was doing and shouldn't have been put in the position because he wasn't ready, I should bear in mind that he might have excelled during training sessions in a college."

Apples & Oranges. A joiner doesn't get pre-performance nerves, nor is he doing a job in front of an audience of hundreds or thousands of people, which is a huge change in dynamic from doing a show when you're audience is only the teacher and maybe the few others learning with you.

"To allow this on community radio is doing community radio a disservice. Just because it's community radio and the people on it are volunteers should never excuse providing output that is well below the quality threshold that the public expect to hear when they tune in, more especially because the stations are publicly funded in part."

But if you can't test people on live shows, they will never get the confidence to actually do a live show. I've been responsible for training presenters, I know there is a whole world of difference between a dry run, and a live transmission, and if you can't build their confidence to handle live transmission, then by your own words, you would keep them off-air until they could, but you would never give them that chance, because you would keep them off the air.

Art, do try and actually think straight. How are you going to build their confidence to handle live transmission, if you don't give them any live transmission to experience, and build their confidence on?

1 year, 11 months ago

I don't think a few ums and ahhs would put me off an interesting community radio show. But the problem with much of the community radio I've listened to is that the presentation is self-indulgent and the content is thin, with no connection at all to the local community.

As an example, how about a three-hour Saturday morning community radio show consisting of nothing but James Bond soundtracks (not just the songs, but hours of incidental soundtrack music too)? Three hours! Aha! https://www.mixcloud.com/ianbeaumont14/ian-beaumonts-saturday-special-saturday-9th-may-2015/

1 year, 11 months ago

Michael, you make the same mistake a lot of people do, thinking the same narrow idea, that local should be all about local, and community should be all about the community. Community radio can also be home for other programmes that you just wouldn't hear anywhere else.

If you think it's self indulgent to play in a 3 hour show, a selection of music that just isn't heard on the radio, then stick to commercial radio's tight playlists and narrow thinking.

1 year, 11 months ago

I think it's self-indulgent to play a dozen versions of one movie theme in a three-hour show, yes.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

I've only heard a tiny part of the show Michael posted, however I think three hours based on one movie franchise is a bit too much. It could have been three different films, for example, Bond, Star Wars and Star Trek with some short and snappy facts about the music per link along with anecdotes about the movies.

With all due respect to Ian, the first link did ramble on a bit, yet if his listeners like this type of show, then good luck to him. For me personally, it's another reason why community radio counts for less than 1% of my total listening time.

1 year, 11 months ago

Well, Michael, you didn't actually hear the show, cos there were actually only 8 versions of the James Bond Theme, and 4 of those as far as I can tell, have never been played on the radio.

In fact in that show, there were 8 tracks that as far I can tell have never been played on the radio, and 5 more that may have had a few airplays but very little airplay at all.

48 tracks, most of which were familiar or semi familiar, but 13 of which would not be familiar to people.

I know of another show on community radio which did a 90 minute show, with nothing but different versions of the exact same song. Very familiar versions sat alongside versions that most listeners had never heard before. I guess you'd call that self indulgent too. Mine are spread out over 3 hours, mixed in with other tracks. But if you call that self-indulgent, rather than being a completionist, then you're bound to call 90 minutes of multiple versions of the same song, self indulgent.

Honestly, to people like you, if it doesn't sound like commercial radio, then it shouldn't be on the air. How about having a tiny amount room in your mind, to accept that some people who have a different opinion about radio, should be allowed to actually have a station that caters to them?

1 year, 11 months ago

Martin Philip;

That link was 78 seconds. It wasn't exactly rambling. I've done far longer links than that.

1 year, 11 months ago

Martin Philip;

Also, the Bond franchise is 23 films long, soon to be 24. If 3 hours and 48 tracks is too much to do that many films justice, then may I ask what you would consider to be just right, cos doing it in 2 hours felt like too little time.

1 year, 11 months ago

Do it as a weekly feature. Give away some DVDs. Tie it into the local premiere of the next Bond film.

Just don't have a 3 hour block of 48 random James Bond tracks.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

No wonder you have such a negative opinion about community radio in general.

If I might suggest, Ian, it's possibly because he's listened to it.

As have I. It is almost entirely self-indulgent, amateur, nonsense with little or no regard for the audience who might be listening.

1 year, 11 months ago

To the small number of people who have suggested that it was a "few" umhs" and "ehms" need I remind you (again) that it wasn't a few. It was quite a lot. I'd go as far to say that the "ehms" made up fr quite a considerable fraction of the amount of words spoken in each sentence.

Unfortunately, I couldn't record the output that I heard because I was driving at the time. Attempts for me to do so and set it up would be just as dangerous as driving and eating at the same time, whilst using chopsticks.

1 year, 11 months ago

Michael Cook;

"Do it as a weekly feature. Give away some DVDs. Tie it into the local premiere of the next Bond film."

That's already in the futures file, though buying the DVDs to give away is not an option right now. Individual shows don't have budgets for give-aways, as much as I would like there to be a budget for those things, and neither does the station.

"Just don't have a 3 hour block of 48 random James Bond tracks. "

You haven't listened, cos it's not random, by a long chalk.

1 year, 11 months ago

Hmm! Should I take the opinions of someone seriously when they present a three hour show of James Bond themes?

1 year, 11 months ago

Art Grainger;

"Hmm! Should I take the opinions of someone seriously when they present a three hour show of James Bond themes?"

One swallow does not make a summer. Perhaps if you actually listened to a larger sample size, you might find more that you like.

I'm doing a Saturday Special next month on music that was originally recorded on wax cylinders and shellac 78 rpm discs. You think that might be more appealing?

1 year, 11 months ago

James Cridland;

"It is almost entirely self-indulgent, amateur, nonsense with little or no regard for the audience who might be listening."

And what would you prefer? The zero-personality style that is modern commercial radio, with sanitised playlists, controlled by computers, with presentation that is so fake it should be declared illegal under the Trades Descriptions Act? That's what a lot of commercial radio has become these days, and I consider myself lucky that I can listen to Pirate FM & Radio Plymouth, who are a couple of exceptions to the rule, that whilst they still have computer controlled playlists, actually have personalities presenting, and sound a little more human than Heart(less) does.

I guess you don't like the idea of authored radio programming then.

1 year, 11 months ago

No!

I'm listening now Ian. There are some good ideas in radio, even community radio - but 3 HOURS of James Bond themes is not one of them.

By the way - your microphone quality is very, very poor. Your presentation is fine but the quality of what you're saying is let down by that technicality in itself. I would not tune into a station for very long if the quality of output via the presenter's mike was that poor.

1 year, 11 months ago

Art;

Yep, aware of the microphone issue, the programme was recorded in my own studio, and the mic was old, but I'm upgrading equipment at the moment, and hopefully the next edition will sound a lot better microphone wise.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Ian wittered:

I guess you don't like the idea of authored radio programming then.

I don't know what gives you that idea. No, I like radio programming that remembers there is a listener at the other end, and programming that isn't done solely as a piece of self-indulgent toss. Which is most community radio I've ever heard. Including your dreadful programmes.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

That link was 78 seconds. It wasn't exactly rambling. I've done far longer links than that.

Far too long for a personality link. If you had an events read, I could understand.

If I was a general listener and heard the Bond theme out of a sweeper, I would have expected it to be a bed. This could have been a way of introducing the theme of that show instead of the 78 second link with no bed underneath.

1 year, 11 months ago

James;

"I don't know what gives you that idea. "

Simple. When someone doesn't like authored programming, they describe it as 'self-indulgent'. I've heard that used to criticise countless authored radio and TV programmes.

" I like radio programming that remembers there is a listener at the other end, and programming that isn't done solely as a piece of self-indulgent toss. Which is most community radio I've ever heard. Including your dreadful programmes."

You can think my programmes are dreadful if you want, but they are not self-indulgent. I don't do this to indulge myself, I do it to indulge my listeners, they're the ones that come first, not me.

But to take your argument, how are so many commercial radio stations still in existence, when they're programming for and targetting advertisers, and not giving a damn about listeners?

1 year, 11 months ago

Martin Philip;

"Far too long for a personality link. If you had an events read, I could understand."

An events read of 75 seconds or so, wouldn't be "selling" the events they're promoting very well. Maybe 1 of them would get some "selling", but the others wouldn't. That's doing a disservice to the people who ask you to promote their events.

"If I was a general listener and heard the Bond theme out of a sweeper, I would have expected it to be a bed. This could have been a way of introducing the theme of that show instead of the 78 second link with no bed underneath."

So, you would have prefered not to have heard the music, rather than actually enjoy it? You do realise one of radio's biggest no-nos these days is talking over the music, you should respect the music and not talk all over it. You still get a bit of talk over the music these days, I do it a little bit myself, but it isn't as bad as it used to be.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

So, you would have prefered not to have heard the music, rather than actually enjoy it?

No, but I would like to know what I'm about to listen to in the first place. The Bond theme as an instrumental can be talked over.

1 year, 11 months ago

Martin Philip;

"No, but I would like to know what I'm about to listen to in the first place. The Bond theme as an instrumental can be talked over."

I think just playing the James Bond Theme from The John Barry Orchestra straight out of the gate is enough to tell people what they're about to listen to. You don't need someone talking all over it to tell you what the music can tell you.

1 year, 11 months ago

John Barry's theme tunes are great! Also there is a lot of techno, electro, jazz and classical music (to name but a few genres) with no lyrics that deserve better than to be demoted to a bed for some cheesy dj who likes the sound of his own voice!

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Also there is a lot of techno, electro, jazz and classical music (to name but a few genres) with no lyrics that deserve better than to be demoted to a bed for some cheesy dj who likes the sound of his own voice!

So many of them in community radio too. Actually since the commercial radio industry has cut down in the last few years, the cheesy Smashie and Nicey jocks have moved to CR!

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Simple. When someone doesn't like authored programming, they describe it as 'self-indulgent'.

I find it odd that you're now telling me what I like and don't like. But it's simple: I don't like programmes that sound as if they're made solely for the presenter to enjoy, rather than the audience. That's not "authored radio", whatever that is (it appears to be a phrase you've just made up).

You do realise one of radio's biggest no-nos these days is talking over the music, you should respect the music and not talk all over it.

You're talking to seasoned professionals as if they are children here. But in terms of "talking over the music", there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Spoiling someone's favourite song by insentitively doing so? That's a different matter entirely.

Talking over a song while it ends underneath you. Talking over iconic intros (Hotel California, the sax bit from Baker Street). Mindlessly repeating the station positioning statement or the time just to hit the vocals. Doing a segue that isn't at the end of a phrase of the out-going song. Setting the levels on the loudest bit of the song and not the intro. Fader-wanking to make the music loud and quiet and loud and quiet while you yabber on about something or other. All these things are the sign of someone who doesn't understand what they're doing, and isn't putting the listener first.

1 year, 11 months ago

"Authored programming" appears to be making your way chronologically through a pile of soundtrack albums while reading some bits off Wikipedia.

1 year, 11 months ago

Authored programming is basically any programme where someone doesn't just recite facts, but puts in their own opinions as well.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

"Authored programming" is in the imagination of I Beaumont Junior, from somewhere down South West.

1 year, 11 months ago

Can you point me in the direction of one opinion you offer in, say, the first hour of your James Bond show, Ian?

1 year, 11 months ago

I certainly can, Michael. The comment I made about From Russia With Love being John Barry's best musical work in the Bond franchise, that's an opinion. Also, the references to the changes to the theme tune and the legal issues with Thunderball, as being things that went wrong in that film, that was opinion too.

Later on in the show, I make reference to Moonraker as being the start of the dog days of the Roger Moore era, that whole piece was opinion, plus the praise I gave to the Living Daylights movie soundtrack.

1 year, 11 months ago

The comment I made about From Russia With Love being John Barry's best musical work in the Bond franchise, that's an opinion.

OK, so every time some Heart DJ says "We're playing the great new song from Rhianna next," that's "authored programming." Got it.

Also, the references to the changes to the theme tune and the legal issues with Thunderball, as being things that went wrong in that film, that was opinion too.

Listing things that went wrong then saying they went wrong isn't opinion. It's about as opinionated as saying it's going to rain all day and labelling it "bad weather."

1 year, 11 months ago

Rain ain't necessarily bad, especially not for farmers and gardeners. Also, if somebody says a track is great and they don't actually believe that, then that's a pretty stupid thing to do.

But you guys are all experts, so I don't really need to explain all this, do I?...

1 year, 11 months ago

I'm no expert. It's just my opinion. This is an "authored" post.

1 year, 11 months ago

Meanwhile, from cloud cuckoo land to the real world................

Ian, your 3 HOUR show playing nothing but music from James Bond films would probably have had a handful of listeners, at best, most (if not all) of whom would have stayed tuned for much less than 3 hours.

A few dozen listeners tuned in for the entire duration would be exceedingly optimistic.

A few hundred listeners tuned in for three hours would not have happened.

A few thousand listeners tuned in for three hours to you playing songs (mostly unrecognisable ones) from James Bond films, on a community FM radio station, would not have happened either.

It is also extremely unlikely that Source FM would have gained an extra listener as a result of your 3 HOUR "authored" program of James Bond music, with atrocious microphone quality and no listener engagement - and no apparent reference to the community or anything happening within it.

If you believe anything to the opposite of what I have said here, then you are very clearly out of touch with reality and completely delusional. If I had been managing that radio station, I would not have allowed you to take up 3 HOURS of a schedule on a Saturday, no matter how "special" you might think it is, for you to play James Bond music to yourself and an extremely small number of people (at best) who might listen. I would, however, have given you the freedom to put it in as a feature - or maybe for an hour long episode of a slot that could be given to showtime and movie music - but 3 HOURS is really self-indulgent nonsense, as James rightly points out.

Your 3 hour program was pointless and meaningless, no matter how "authored" you think it was. It had very little or no value to community radio and to its listeners.

Stop playing with yourself.

If you really support community radio and Source FM, you would stop that stupidity and stop wasting time in your precious life by making such self indulgent crap, even if you are doing at home with a poor quality studio and microphone set up that it is not worthy of airtime on the FM spectrum.

How dare you treat the listeners of the community that Source FM serves with so little respect that you actually believe that putting out something of so poor audio quality is what they deserve to listen to, as well as 3 hours of something that almost no-one would be interested in, to fill up a schedule that could be given to something more worthwhile.

1 year, 11 months ago

Oh, listen to you, so high and mighty, so full of bullcrap that you spew it forth without a cogniscent thought.

You make assumptions about things you know nothing about, and make an ass of yourself doing it. Perhaps you should listen to my programmes more often, rather than one in isolation. I hope those words weren't really as sour as they sounded, because if you did hear a few more of my shows, you might find yourself having to eat those words. I have plenty of recordings I can upload to prove my point, but somehow I don't think you're interested.

Pointless & meaningless? This whole thread has been pretty much pointless, because no matter what anybody says, your frankly derogatory opinions of community radio, show absolutely no understanding of what community radio is there to be, and it's not meant to be a clone of commercial radio.

1 year, 11 months ago

STOP GETTING BOND WRONG.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

your frankly derogatory opinions of community radio, show absolutely no understanding of what community radio is there to be, and it's not meant to be a clone of commercial radio

It is, however, meant to be listenable.

1 year, 11 months ago

We're gonna need a BIIIIIIIG bag of popcorn...

1 year, 11 months ago

Some people at local level did think outside the box on community radio output. South Lanarkshire has a talking local newspaper radio service called Hamilton Sound with retired or semi-retired readers offering a service for the visually impaired. A good idea!
Glasgow has Celtic Music Radio all the year round and includes its flagship programming from the Celtic Connections Winter Festival.
Where I think community radio can become unstuck is its pretension of becoming some sort of ILR station of yesteryear, an aspiration which is hard to achieve without adequate funding and resource.
However, there are a few exceptions including Irvine Beat FM.
I was out with some friends in late summer last year and travelled over to Irvine for a bar supper at the Harbour Inn.
At the bar, I mentioned Irvine Beat FM to some of the customers and I was taken aback with the feedback of what could be described as a bunch of real listeners. Real because the folk I chatted too did not know the exact location of the Irvine Beat FM radio studios.
So, like old ILR, community radio can possibly work well for mainstream output with a liquorice allsort schedule, pleasing listeners of all age groups. The question has got to be asked, what is Irvine Beat FM doing that other "Uh Oh Em Err" community channels are not doing? Checking their training base could be a good starting point!

1 year, 11 months ago

Thank you Ian for your contributions to the thread that I created. Your comments are interesting ... as always.

Meanwhile, to everyone else who is reading this, the snapshot that I took of Ian's show that he presented to himself reminded me of other occasions that I have come across other radio shows on community and volunteer radio stations, which have been recorded by people at home in mickey mouse studio set-ups (as Ian's appears to be), for which the quality has been not just a little bit below par but very, very far below the level that listeners deserve to receive when they tune into the station of their choice.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of people like that, including Ian it seems, who don't seem to have enough common sense (or intellect) to realise that to spend so much time producing and recording something of such poor quality, they rare doing the station they are on a disservice and they are also treating the listeners (that's members of the public - not the imaginary person in the bedroom studio that the presenters are playing for) with little regard.

Sadly, as Ian has admitted, he was "aware of the microphone issue" and was getting it sorted out - but not before he had decided to record at least one show with such an atrocious set-up. He certainly wasn't embarrassed or bothered - probably because he didn't want to put the listener first and instead spent three hours of his own time at home having a whale of a time talking to himself, via a microphone that gives near telephone-like quality.

Whilst Ian has suggested that we should listen to more of his programs more often and not take it in isolation, unfortunately snapshots, using a pair of ears and a brain that immediately determines what is good or bad, don't work like that.

From listening for fifteen minutes, I can only assess what I hear and assume that far from being a poor exception to what Ian produces (at home), this is probably a very typical example of the poor quality of program that Ian makes and wants it put on air on a platform that is part-funded by UK taxpayers - even at the risk of absolutely nobody listening (either due to the poor audio quality or the very leftfield program concept that would be exceedingly unlikely to attract even a miniscule amount of listeners).

As I said, Ian is not alone. I have come across other examples of attrociously poor shows that have been made for community radio, yet the people who make them seem to believe that they are really good at what they make (when the opposite is true) or that since it is only community radio and they're not getting paid, the quality doesn't matter too much - and the listeners are a secondary thought (at best).

I remember hearing a show that as recorded by someone at home. The concept was that he would play an hour of his favourite album tracks and it would go out on air at whatever slot was available on the station. Like Ian, he too had a a toy-town bedroom studio, which seemed to include very cheap CD players. Throughout the hour, not one single track played in its entirety. All tracks skipped and jumped and some were cut short because they refused to play any longer, with that dreaded CD-like repeated skip, with the presenter fading the track and apologising. He should have been more sorry that he recorded the whole hour, then sent it to the station expecting it to be aired and expecting the listener to listen to it. How exceedingly amateur. Ian's "Saturday Special" was in the same league as that example.

Fortunately there are still a lot of people who make very good quality programs, recorded at home, which are played out on community and volunteer stations across the UK. Then again, those are the people who are not outrightly entertaining themselves first and are actually taking the listener into account from the moment they hit the record button. Unfortunately, the others, like Ian, are giving community radio and even good, professional, home-studio presenters and producers a bit of a poor deal through association.

When I tune into a radio station, of any kind, I expect to hear reasonable quality and standards. It doesn't have to be gold-plated like the BBC or even half-baked like a local cheaps-as-chips commercial radio set-up. I do not expect it to be, nor will I bear it to be, something that is technically so poor as to make it unlistenable. Also, just like the public, I have limited tolerance of presenters who are so amateur and not quite capable of making a listenable show. On a positive note, I would say that 95% (or more) of community radio output is good enough for me to want to tune in and stay tuned. Another 3 or 4 % could be improved upon. The remainder simply should not be on air because it's doing nothing more than wasting taxpayers money on allowing delusional individuals into creating something that is neither good or relevant to the community radio project or the communities that they serve.

1 year, 11 months ago

Art, you're talking so much rubbish. you could fill up your local landfill site single handedly.

If the community didn't like the programmes I was producing, then please tell me why they would choose to interact with my show today, and request music to be played? Why would they write comments like "love the show", if I was, as you say. broadcasting to myself?

You talk as though you're some high and mighty expert, with absolute certainty in what you say, except that like Neville Chamberlin, all you have is your certainty, your omnitience. You don't have facts, or even interaction from listeners, to back up anything you say.

And please, don't tell me that you haven't had to put up with a less than ideal situation, because of lack of funding, or some other reason. You seem think people won't put up with less than perfect audio quality, yet merely the very fact that people have for years put up with poor quality phone lines, and even medium wave broadcasts, which are far worse in quality terms than the mic I was working with, and also the fact that the audio quality on some internet videolink contributions to TV news channels worldwide, is far worse than that mic was, yet they are deemed acceptable by broadcasters these days.

People will forgive something that's less than perfect, if they think the content is strong enough. But you, won't forgive anything or anybody that is less than perfect, even though 100% of the human population of this planet, is less than perfect.

Your ideas are cloud cuckoo land, your attitude wouldn't sit well in our station, and as Alexander O'Neal sang, all you wanna do is criticise.

Perhaps if you actually had anything constructive to say, instead of destructive, I might pay more attention to you. Until then, 'Neville Chamberlin', you might want to actually stay silent for a while, you might actually learn something, if your omnitience, and your ego, would actually let you.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

"omnitience" appears to be just as made-up as "authored radio".

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

I'll give this thread some praise, it's more entertaining than three hours of Bond on Radio Local in Cornwall.

1 year, 11 months ago

It's "omniscience", as Alexander O'Neal would spell it.

1 year, 11 months ago

Ian, people put up with telephone quality down telephones. Not many people would put up with telephone quality radio presenters on an FM radio station via their FM radios, when everything else going out is at FM quality standard. Expectation.

Likewise medium wave quality on medium wave radios, although each RAJAR is proving how popular music radio on medium wave is in 2015, compared to FM and digital alternatives.

As for low-grade video quality on television, you are referring to the occasional Skype input and even news reporters reporting from places that barely have electricity. I can guarantee that the British TV viewers absolutely would not want to watch, say, Eastenders or the X-Factor in anything less than the standard definition that they are used to via their TV's.

If the rest of the output on the FM station is of (or quite close to) FM quality Ian, surely you should be trying to get to that level, to help make your output sound less amateur and not setting the station back.

1 year, 11 months ago

Art Grainger;

"Ian, people put up with telephone quality down telephones."

ROTFLMAO!!!

Is that the best you can do, or are you just not even trying anymore? I guess you've never heard longform telephone interviews on BBC local radio, and the phone ins on stations like 5 Live, LBC and TalkSport. The public already puts up with less than perfect quality in segments far longer than a standard link, so your argument already has more holes than swiss cheese, and it's not getting any more solid...

There are thousands of podcasts out there, produced on nothing more than a consumer grade microphone and a computer. And some of these podcasts are very popular.

"As for low-grade video quality on television, you are referring to the occasional Skype input and even news reporters reporting from places that barely have electricity. I can guarantee that the British TV viewers absolutely would not want to watch, say, Eastenders or the X-Factor in anything less than the standard definition that they are used to via their TV's."

You can try to, but YouTube will shoot that argument even more full of holes. Millions of people are watching content on YouTube, and some of the content that is incredibly popular on there is 360p or 480p, which is less than SD, and shot on low grade webcams with built in mics that aren't anywhere near broadcast standard.

"If the rest of the output on the FM station is of (or quite close to) FM quality Ian, surely you should be trying to get to that level, to help make your output sound less amateur and not setting the station back."

What makes you think that I don't want to get to that level, because I certainly do want to get there.

However, technical quality isn't the most important determinant in deciding whether something is amateur-sounding or professional-sounding. Better technical quality helps, and is not unimportant, but ultimately, how the content is presented, and produced, is more important than the technical quality.

Well produced, well presented content, that is a little off technically, will be more likely to be enjoyed than shoddily produced & presented content, that is technically perfect.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Well produced, well presented content

Ah. Oh, well.

1 year, 11 months ago

I despair.

So Ian, your trying to suggest a contradiction in my point about people putting up with telephone quality down telephones, by giving examples of when telephones are used (and taken over the air) for telephone interviews ..... at telephone quality? As a listener, I wouldn't expect an interviewee talking via a telephone to be at anything more than telephone quality - but to have a presenter in a studio in front of a microphone - my expectations of the audio quality of that would be much higher.

As for your argument about YouTube and footage made via mobile phones and so on, I would not expect the same kind of quality via my television when I'm watching an actual television broadcast channel. I can't imagine that many poeple would watch Coronation Street on ITV if the picture quality was similar to the lowest grade YouTube video and the video was at 5 Hz as opposed to 50Hz.

1 year, 11 months ago

Art, I am sympathetic to the thrust of your argument. I am a great believer that all radio stations should aspire to basic standards in the way that newspapers do. So I no more expect to find basic syntax errors in my local freesheet than I do in a UK national. My argument was-and still is- that, yes, broadcasters should work-and be made to work-to the hightest standards possible. i really have no opinion on a show consisting of James Bond music except to say that it sounds like something Simon Bates might have done on Classic FM on Christmas Day.

However, I have to accept reality as I find it. And the reality is that while there has been a collapse in paid radio jobs there has been an explosion in volunteer gigs, mainly thanks to community radio........many of whom were granted their licences on the basis of offering a live programming and speech commitment that would have made John Myers jump off a cliff it were a commercial proposition. I will also tell you for free that these new DAB trials are causing some concern as in some cases it involves new stations that are liable to further thin the volunteer pool.

The fact these stations AREN'T commercial operations and part grant funded does not alter the reality of having to 'staff up' the station during daytime hours with people who are available-during the daytime- and happy to do it for free. If they don't meet the 'live hours' bit of the licence then they are 'in breach' of their licence. There is always someone waiting to complain to OFCOM, as you know (that sentence being intended as a joke rather than a dig).

There is little carrot or stick. Little carrot of a 'radio career' and pretty much no stick. I mean, if there were budding presenters hungry for the breakfast show you um-ey ah-ey presenter does it might be different.

That said, what I have found in this sector is that the people doing it want to be the best they can. People can sometimes be a bit bloody minded about their act but it never ever comes from a position of not wanting to improve.

But unless you are the likes of Insight Radio who can afford the likes of Ross Macfadyen to sit there all day casting a weathered experienced eye over things then it's very difficult indeed.

1 year, 11 months ago

I guess you've never heard longform telephone interviews on BBC local radio, and the phone ins on stations like 5 Live, LBC and TalkSport.

Couldn't have missed the point anymore than a blind man trying to catch a boulder

1 year, 11 months ago

Ian said

"I guess you've never heard longform telephone interviews on BBC local radio, and the phone ins on stations like 5 Live, LBC and TalkSport. The public already puts up with less than perfect quality in segments far longer than a standard link"

This is a fascinating argument, and whilst it's true that people accept poorer quality from guests on the other end of a phone line, there are certain expectations that the quality of the links themselves should be "broadcast quality". Clearly this is not the case here - Ian sounds as though he is calling us from 1980s Oslo, about to give us the results of the Norwegian jury.

But this is a bit of a deflection really - the technical quality of Ian's shows is poor, but the quality of the material is far, far worse. I prefer my presenters not to squawk through links, and I prefer my "humorous" (quote marks used advisedly) observations to be more subtly made, and not laboured to the point at which they must have given birth, delivered the placenta, and then been rejected by their parents and put up for adoption for being too much hard work.

Oh, and Ian - for the love of the sweet baby Jesus, please find some more ways to describe the flow of traffic besides "looking good". After one of your travel updates, I was all but ready to cause my own traffic congestion by jumping under the nearest bus.

1 year, 11 months ago

Ah but Rob, this is how it should be done apparently! Richard Park is missing a huge trick here I feel. More here... #BeaumontForHeartDaytime

1 year, 11 months ago

I'm somewhat torn with these comments.

I don't think the level of vitriol Ian is getting is going to particularly help in trying to encourage him to evolve as a presenter, however at the same time it looks like Ian is unwilling to take on any points whatsoever.

Ian - Other than new mics, is there anything you've heard here that you think, if you were to do the same show again, that you'd change with this Bond-special show?

1 year, 11 months ago

I agree. That 2ZY snoop was fairly damning given the very bold claim he made that triggered it. It feels as if we've not moved forward at all in two years.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

I'll just leave this here.

“The Stranglers, and Golden Brown, and before that you heard the Bellamy Brothers and If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me … It’s The Source FM, it’s er 24 minutes to twelve, I’m Ian Beaumont, hope you’re enjoying the music, we got – we – we got some more classic tracks coming up, we’ve got some Queen coming up in just a bit. (big breath) So, er… but er… first, I gotta play – I gotta play this again. He – he’s… he’s one of our local artists and he’s really, really good, I really like his stuff. This is Andrew Bellamy, and this track is called Ten Thousand Things.”

Look, I'm not a very good radio presenter, which is why I don't do it much any more, although @Matt, how are you doing with that Upload Radio thing?

But I am a good radio listener. I listen to the radio, and get a bit irritated when I hear substandard stuff, because I know it can be better, and I know that I can listen to some amazing stuff if I try hard enough.

And I've seen countless radio presenters with an ego the size of a house who simply refuse to listen to others who can improve their programming. When I was on the air, for two years on a relatively large station, I had one snoop session. I'd have killed for more. Not literally, Matt, you're safe.

When I listen to broadcasters who could be brilliant, but aren't, it irritates and annoys me. When I know they believe they are the best thing ever and simply refuse to listen, then it annoys me more. And whether it's Leo Laporte, Jon Gaunt or others, a presenter who lacks a strong producer to tell them how to improve (and has a willingness to listen) is a poorer presenter. And that's a great shame.

At the Next Radio conference this year, we'll have a number of amazing people speaking; not just the 'talent' and the Controllers but the producers as well. I'd love Ian to come, because I genuinely believe he'd get a lot from it: if he's willing to listen. There are still some early-bird tickets left, and I think it would be the best £99 he'd ever spend.

1 year, 11 months ago

You know what, James Martin, if that's the best you can do, then don't bother.

At least Rob Moss has given me something to work with, points duly noted. The only thing I'll say is that I don't usually do a lot of subtlety because when I've listened back to it some weeks later, there's nothing memorable about it, so in certain segments, I go over the top, rather than subtle, but I will try to be less brutal about some of the things I do.

Clive West, I actually got what Art is saying, but it's as unrealistic as what he has been talking about in another thread about a technical error that caused some swear words to be broadcast on Heart Scotland. Community radio volunteers don't always have the money to be able to spend it on broadcast quality equipment, nor do they have the luxury of being able to spend a lot of time producing shows, we all have our own lives outside of the station.

We do what we can, with what we got, and sometimes it ain't as good as we'd like it to be, but we haven't got the spare time to make it any better. So you accept the limitations of time & equipment, and you just go with what you got.

When you can afford better equipment, then you get better equipment. Until then, you make do and mend, a lot of mending.

1 year, 11 months ago

Matt Deegan;

"Other than new mics, is there anything you've heard here that you think, if you were to do the same show again, that you'd change with this Bond-special show?"

I probably wouldn't do it as three hours continuous. What I would do is spread it out over a number of one hour shows, use more material from the various books I have on the Bond franchise, and also write up my own reviews of each film at no more than a 2 minute duration for each review.

1 year, 11 months ago

I think that's a good observation.

If you were one of my presenters I'd encourage the 'more material' to become 'compelling stories'. In other words, what's the most fascinating/surprising/unknown facts you could include.

On the 'own reviews', I'd also suggest working on what the angle of those reviews are. Most people have seen the film, do you're not reviewing it to encourage people to go, therefore what about a different take? Perhaps you could pre-produce a 'Bond in 60seconds' where it describes the movie really quickly or humorously with clips or obviously bad impressions. Or a top-trumps style fact-file with all the Bond cliches.

Ideas are one thing, but I think the treatment of those ideas is also always another opportunity.

1 year, 11 months ago

James, I wish I could come, but Mondays are my show time at the Source FM, plus I help with two other shows looking after technical problems that occur during those shows.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Then you should take that day off. Seriously. What better thing to do for your career than to improve it?

1 year, 11 months ago

Career? In radio? at 42? Haha, good joke.

I didn't start doing community radio to have a career in the industry. That opportunity passed me by a long time ago, and frankly right now, I'm glad it did. Because I don't think I'd be happy working in the industry as I see it today.

I see an industry that only cares about the happy buck, and entertainment value & service value be damned, they don't care about the quality, just as long as they can get as many people as they can to listen for a short while a week, then they're doing fine.

That's not how I think commercial radio should be. That's not how I think radio should be.

Radio should be striving to be something more than a mere money making machine. Radio should be about entertaining people, it should be about making a difference in people's lives, it should be about giving them what they need to know, as well as what they want to know, it should be about all that, and surprising people occasionally with things they don't expect.

Most commercial radio these days is staid and boring, and predictable. No room to be entertaining, no room to be surprising, no room for anything other than near constant self-promotion.

Now that doesn't sound like an industry that I want to be a part of.

1 year, 11 months ago

But Next Radio's not a commercial radio conference. There are lots of clever people with lots of clever ideas about engaging audiences through social, video and experiential as well as all kinds of radio - public and community broadcasters as well as commercial.

I went last year and learned a lot, although the majority of the work I do is away from radio. You're already part of the radio industry, Ian - embrace it!

1 year, 11 months ago

Michael Cook:

"You're already part of the radio industry, Ian - embrace it!"

Community radio people aren't really made to feel part of the industry though. Whilst I am registered with the Radio Academy, the way some professionals in the industry talk about us, makes me believe that they consider us an underclass almost.

If I thought the industry actually embraced community radio, with all its differences, I'd be more likely to embrace the industry.

1 year, 11 months ago

Ian I'm 44! I would love community radio to take me places, but for me I am just enjoying it for what it is, and hoping my audience enjoy it too.

1 year, 11 months ago

Amanda, that's exactly what I'm doing. I just enjoy it for what it is, and judging by the feedback I get, the audience enjoy it too.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

In terms of Next Radio, Ian, we've had a number of community stations take part. This year there's at least one session of particular interest to community radio stations; stories of fund-raising, of education, of viral videos, and rebooting a breakfast show. And we've a Controller of a national radio station. None of which we've announced. We'd better get on with it.

the way some professionals in the industry talk about us, makes me believe that they consider us an underclass almost

Well, part of that might be the quality of what many of us hear (both technically and from a content point of view); and part of that might be that if you don't want to be part of the industry, we'll not see you as such. It takes two to tango.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Anything that can help CR evolve into something more than the perception of self-indulgence for Dave Doubledecks presenters and ex ILR jocks can only be a positive.

There are gems on CR, but it's like searching for the Dairy Milk bar in a box of roses, they're few and far between.

1 year, 11 months ago

James Cridland;

"Well, part of that might be the quality of what many of us hear (both technically and from a content point of view)"

The technical side is an issue partially because we can't make people use equipment they're not comfortable. Some presenters are perfectly happy using CDs and barely touch the playout system, even though they've been trained on it.

Any playout system we use has to be easy to use and intuitive. All the bells and whistles are lovely, but they mean nothing to most volunteers.

"and part of that might be that if you don't want to be part of the industry, we'll not see you as such. It takes two to tango."

I would love to see community radio accepted by the rest of the industry, as something that doesn't necessarily follow the crowd but can do something different, be it considered arty farty, or old fashioned, or just plain different. You've said to me before there isn't one single way to do things, but some of the things that get said sometimes seem to go against that, as though there is only one way and anything else won't do.

We are there on the FM dial, ultimately the listener decides whether they like it or not. But I see community radio's role as to be different, from commercial radio, from the BBC, provide an alternative that can't be found anywhere else.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

I'm a former Head of Programmes for a hospital radio station. I'm fully aware of the needs that volunteers have. The trick is to make sure that what comes out of the speakers sounds technically competent. As someone who never used a playout system when I was on-air, I know you don't need to use that stuff to make a good radio programme. You do, however, need to understand how great radio works.

And, sure, community radio should be different. Doesn't mean you can't learn from others, though. Here, for example, is a piece about 'how to be an authentic radio presenter'. It's a great, twelve-minute, example of why you should be there.

1 year, 11 months ago

Martin Philip;

"Anything that can help CR evolve into something more than the perception of self-indulgence for Dave Doubledecks presenters and ex ILR jocks can only be a positive."

Here's the thing though. We don't hear that from anywhere else other than forums like this one. It's not accurate, or factual, or even remotely connected to reality.

Take The Source FM for instance. I can tell you that there isn't a single ex ILR jock on our station. Now that doesn't mean we wouldn't like the benefit of their experience, but we don't have those people right now. Our station manager spent some time at KPFA in California, a few of us have been or are part of more than one station, but most don't have any previous association to broadcasting before coming to us. No experience at all.

For those of us who do have any experience with broadcasting, it's down to us to help out those who are less experienced and less confident.

Perpetuating the "Dave Doubledecks" and "Smashey & Nicey" myths about radio do not help any form of radio, and if that's how community radio is seen, then that indicates to me that the myth is more potent than the reality.

"There are gems on CR, but it's like searching for the Dairy Milk bar in a box of roses, they're few and far between."

And that's no different to any other form of media. The gems on TV, on BBC radio, on commercial radio, on podcasts, are few and far between, and to be honest, I wouldn't expect community radio to be any different.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Here's the thing though. We don't hear that from anywhere else other than forums like this one. It's not accurate, or factual, or even remotely connected to reality.

The evidence of your Bond special contradicts that statement.

Perpetuating the "Dave Doubledecks" and "Smashey & Nicey" myths about radio do not help any form of radio, and if that's how community radio is seen, then that indicates to me that the myth is more potent than the reality.

They're not myths. These guys who either couldn't make it as a presenter on small scale commercial radio or ex ILR jocks stuck in 1975 are working in CR. While it's not the case that every single volunteer presenter is someone who wanted to work in radio, there is evidence of piss-poor produced radio on CR which doesn't help the image it has, especially on those who for some reason decide to emulate ILR from the 1980s without the budget and resources to do it.

And that's no different to any other form of media. The gems on TV, on BBC radio, on commercial radio, on podcasts, are few and far between, and to be honest, I wouldn't expect community radio to be any different.

I can listen to Heart, Smooth, Absolute, Magic to name a few and leave it on in the background when I'm working. The same can't be said for some CR stations.

I would add that the three main London CR's, Reprezent, Rinse and Resonance do a great job at providing niche format radio and providing a real service for the underserved audience in the capital. They don't need to spin Bond themes to fill three hours.

1 year, 11 months ago

Martin Philip:

"The evidence of your Bond special contradicts that statement. "

No it doesn't. The only place I hear these criticisms used is here. I don't hear regular people use these terms or criticisms. I don't even hear it from other people in community radio.

"They're not myths. These guys who either couldn't make it as a presenter on small scale commercial radio or ex ILR jocks stuck in 1975 are working in CR. While it's not the case that every single volunteer presenter is someone who wanted to work in radio, there is evidence of piss-poor produced radio on CR which doesn't help the image it has, especially on those who for some reason decide to emulate ILR from the 1980s without the budget and resources to do it."

Okay, I have to seriously question what is going through your head as you hear what you claim to be the old Steve Wright In The Afternoon comedy skit brought to life (a character I used to hear when I was listening to Radio 1), or any of the other derogatory ideas that you have put forward, and whilst you will claim they are factual, it is clear by what is written in your post, that intend these as derogatory terms, because frankly, it sounds like you're using these terms to criticise people whose programming you may not enjoy, and these terms probably don't even fit really.

Hell, if you truly want to look for an example of a 'Dave Doubledecks', look no further than Toby Anstis on the Heart Network. He permanently sounds over-enthusiastic about everything, every time I hear him. I don't hear anybody on community radio who sounds as over-enthusiastic as he does. But even he doesn't come that close to the comedy skit character.

Also "couldn't make it as a presenter on small scale commercial radio.", first of all, that's frankly insulting to people who were on commercial radio who lost their job due to the station being sold, and second, it's pretty clear that whilst you would like community radio to be more like commercial radio, you'd rather they didn't have the chance to learn from people who have actually done it.

"I can listen to Heart, Smooth, Absolute, Magic to name a few and leave it on in the background when I'm working."

Yeah, about that... if they ain't grabbing your attention every whit and while with something of interest to you, then the fact that they are your audio wallpaper ain't a good thing. And I know of other people, not in radio, who feel the same way.

Yes, it should be something that you can listen to whilst doing something else, that doesn't mean it shouldn't grab your attention from time to time.

"I would add that the three main London CR's, Reprezent, Rinse and Resonance do a great job at providing niche format radio and providing a real service for the underserved audience in the capital. They don't need to spin Bond themes to fill three hours."

Yes, but they are serving niche audiences in a large area. The Source FM serves a broader audience (mostly 35 and upwards according to our own research) in a comparatively smaller area. It's like comparing apples to oranges.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Hell, if you truly want to look for an example of a 'Dave Doubledecks', look no further than Toby Anstis on the Heart Network. He permanently sounds over-enthusiastic about everything, every time I hear him.

I listened to a large chunk of Toby Anstis not so long ago. He appeared to be personable, friendly, good with callers, great at selling the music, and was a good listen.

What's becoming very clear, Ian, is that you don't listen. Neither to your own output, nor others' opinions on it. You don't listen when people want to help; nor when people offer constructive criticism. Not listening is the biggest fault with any radio presenter; because if they don't listen, they don't improve. Try listening one day.

1 year, 11 months ago

James Cridland;

"What's becoming very clear, Ian, is that you don't listen. Neither to your own output, nor others' opinions on it."

Err, perhaps you failed to notice this from earlier in the thread...

"At least Rob Moss has given me something to work with, points duly noted. The only thing I'll say is that I don't usually do a lot of subtlety because when I've listened back to it some weeks later, there's nothing memorable about it, so in certain segments, I go over the top, rather than subtle, but I will try to be less brutal about some of the things I do."

But I don't listen to people who give me destructive criticism, nor do I listen to people who rely on tired old cliched ideas about what bad radio sounds like, like the perpetuation of the Dave Doubledecks myth. That sort of criticism does nobody any good, and doesn't help make anybody better.

1 year, 11 months ago

Here's a group exercise: this link (all three-plus minutes of it) is from Ian's most recent show. What do we think? Are we being unfair to Ian?

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Wow. We're going to need a big bag of popcorn.

1 year, 11 months ago

I'm at work so can't listen to it at the moment.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Here's a group exercise: this link (all three-plus minutes of it) is from Ian's most recent show. What do we think? Are we being unfair to Ian?

Nothing in there that relates on a local or national level to his audience. The over exaggerated shouty bits are what I did as a child who'd pretend to be a presenter with a tape recorder with a built in mic.

The actual concept for the feature isn't bad, but at over 3.30, it's far too long and rambly.

1 year, 11 months ago

John Reith would have been proud of all you radio folk on this thread for I personally have been educated, informed & entertained.
I think good radio like good television does not come cheap. The jury is still out on low budget local television which in my view is not brilliant!
I tend to listen to Celtic Music Radio & Irvine Beat FM under the community umbrella, but thanks to this thread, I have started to listen to other Scottish CR(s) beginning with Bute Island FM.
My only plea to some CR is please don't stream stereo below 64kbps, MP3 because the sound is both unattractive and a turn off to your programmes. This affects 3TFM in North Ayrshire of which I will email my concern before this week is out.
Again, community radio like many a town or village community association are not brilliant outfits, but still worthwhile and worth assisting to help improve their service....

1 year, 11 months ago

Here's a group exercise: this link (all three-plus minutes of it) is from Ian's most recent show. What do we think? Are we being unfair to Ian?

Far too long and needs to be planned and thought out better.
I don't know if it was the mic but I found some of it difficult to understand in places.
Didn't engage me as a listener and quite frankly half way through I really didn't care.
If your going to compare one person to another at least know their name.
But by going on previous posts Ian will probably think it's the best piece of radio he's ever done

1 year, 11 months ago

Ok, I'll bite.

Let's forget about the technical quality. I agree with you that people will sit through distortion if the content is compelling enough.

Let's ignore the voice quality. I believe you have been unwell and that appears to have affected your diction. When your mouth is better there are some vocal tecniques you can learn to improve things like your soft "r" (think Jonathan Ross) and tendency to pronounce "th" sounds as "v" (vat's interesting).

"Hall of Shame" could be a good idea, but I can't be 100% sure because you don't explain effectively what it is. The overly aliterative introduction could be a fun explanation and introduction but it comes too early in the sequence. So when we hear it, it's not clear enough that you're embarking on an OTT strapline - it just sounds verbose. How about changing it round : feature title, then strapline? And how about getting voiced by someone else with some production, to bookmark the feature??

In fact, not setting up what you're talking about happens quite a lot in this extract.

A "twofer"? I didn't immediately know what that was. "The INS"? Don't know what that is ( it's clear you're reading this bit out. ) Try instead to memorise the gist of what you want to say, then explain it as if you're telling a friend.

Close the borders to Canada because of Mexican immigration? I don't understand what point Ann Coulter is trying to make here or if this is the mistake she's made that you're saying puts her in the hall of shame. The stuff about wheelchairs? I've listened to it three times and I don't understand what she's saying or what your take on it is, beyond disapproval.

In fact, for a single feature, this is really hard to follow. You use a lot of American jargon and media references like "inductee" or when you talk about so-and-so's Iowa talk show, which sound strange coming from your accent.

You use some common English language phrases incorrectly too. "She literally inducted herself..." No, she didn't. "As funny as a damp squib." Er, no. Mixed metaphor.

But let's forget all that too.

Because there's one big unanswered question with this 3 minutes of radio, which Clives alludes to above.

Who the hell cares?

I mean, I am enough of a media/current affairs geek to know who Ann Coulter and I don't care. Controversial US commentator says controversial thing. So what?

But 99% of your Falmouth community radio audience will have absoluely  no idea who Ann Coulter is, so their interest is going to be even lower than mine.

(And although you explain her as a kind of American Katie Hopkins the way you"ve structured the link, with that information at the end, means that your audience have no real idea what or who you're talking about.)

I know you're a fan of the kind of polemical commentary tit-for-tat US tv that people like Keith Olbermann and Bill O'Reilly do, but you seem to have no regard to the fact that you're doing their kind of subjects in their kind of style on UK community radio.

In fact, I'd love to know what relevance you think that arguments about Mexican immigration have to the people of Falmouth - and why they should be at all interested. And, more importantly, I'd love you to think if there is anything you could said to make it relevant to them. And if there isn't, why is this feature on the air on a community radio station in west Conwall??

It's this kind of thing that people mean when they talk about self-indulgence. This is all about choosing a subject of interest to you, and nothing about thinking of something to appeal to the audience.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Bravo, Michael. If ever there was a time when I should reinstate the 'like this post' button, it's now.

1 year, 11 months ago

Martin Philip;

"Nothing in there that relates on a local or national level to his audience."

That's not the point of the segment. The point of the segment is to highlight stupidity and absurdity, in thought and in deed, no matter where in the world it is. It's often said but it's true that we are part of a global community as well as a local community.

" The over exaggerated shouty bits..."

Whoah! Let me stop you right there. There was only one shouty bit, "Charity begins at home, Ann!", which was because I was angry about Ann's disrespect of blind and disabled people.

The over-exaggerated delivery, was deliberate. Even though the stories were serious, the absurdity of what was said in them, required the delivery tone to be over the top. Social commentary constructed not merely by words, but also by tone of voice.

"The actual concept for the feature isn't bad, but at over 3.30, it's far too long and rambly."

You weren't the only one who thought that, enter Clive West...

"Far too long..."

And I don't disagree at all. It should have been about 2 minutes all told, it ended up being over 3 minutes.

Staying with Clive West...

"I don't know if it was the mic but I found some of it difficult to understand in places."

Well, I challenge you to do better with no natural teeth, and being unable to wear dentures.

"If your going to compare one person to another at least know their name."

You didn't realise that was deliberate. That was commentary, based upon the fact that she should return to the obscurity she had before the Apprentice. Her columns in the Sun and her tweets add nothing to political discourse, and do nothing for her image. They aren't even that well written really.

Again, the commentary is done on more than one level.

Not everything that sounds like a mistake, is.

By the way, whoever put that up on Soundcloud, didn't ask my permission, so I will be asking for it to be taken down.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

That's not the point of the segment. The point of the segment is to highlight stupidity and absurdity, in thought and in deed, no matter where in the world it is. It's often said but it's true that we are part of a global community as well as a local community.

While broadcasting on a 25w tx which targets a small town in rural Cornwall? Right..... The feature was too obscure.

By the way, whoever put that up on Soundcloud, didn't ask my permission, so I will be asking for it to be taken down.

Broadcasters get criticised all the time by members of the public. There's audio and video of numerous links and shows online and it's very rare that people ask for the link to be taken down. When you go on-air, you have to accept that not everything is in your power to remove to sanitise one bad link.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

By the way, whoever put that up on Soundcloud, didn't ask my permission, so I will be asking for it to be taken down.

That particular clip is a small excerpt of a work, and clearly used for educational purposes here, so UK copyright law is clear that this exploitation is wholly within the law.

By threatening to remove it (and being public about it) this is what Wikipedia calls The Streisand Effect, and will probably lead to people copying that audio and hosting it on their own infrastructure, thus making it harder to remove.

1 year, 11 months ago

Martin Philip;

"Broadcasters get criticised all the time by members of the public. There's audio and video of numerous links and shows online and it's very rare that people ask for the link to be taken down. When you go on-air, you have to accept that not everything is in your power to remove to sanitise one bad link."

Have you not heard of copyright infringement? I'm pretty proud of the link, even though it did go on long, but somebody else posting it on their account, without my permission, infringes my copyright, and at the end of the day, that's what matters.

1 year, 11 months ago

I'd have thought The Source own the copyright for your programme, surely?

1 year, 11 months ago

You would have thought so, but it's down to the way that every volunteer is responsible for their own output, so as an extension of that, we own the copyright on our own shows.

1 year, 11 months ago

Martin Philip;

"While broadcasting on a 25w tx which targets a small town in rural Cornwall? Right..... The feature was too obscure."

Actually the TX is 50w mixed polarisation, that's 25 watts vertical & 25 watts horizontal. There is a video on YouTube which shows our transmitter and antenna being installed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7JqfKy6vgs

Plus, we broadcast online worldwide, via UK Radioplayer, the iTunes Radio directory, Tune In & Wunder Radio. We have a significant worldwide online audience, so I try to do something for them too.

1 year, 11 months ago

Ignoring the fact that I now believe the combination of Ian, Art and James on media.info is some elaborate parody on the nature of internet discussion...

Ian, the quoting of your work, as it's been broadcast, falls under fair dealing for journalistic criticism: https://www.copyrightservice.co.uk/copyright/p27_work_of_others

1 year, 11 months ago

Matt, I don't see journalistic criticism here. I see mocking and attempted bullying because people don't like what they can't understand, so instead of actual constructive criticism, I'm getting bullied left right and centre.

So, no, it don't come under fair use. And I'm not prepared to allow my work to be used as a tool for bullying.

1 year, 11 months ago

I can't help but think that posting almost three hours of film score is a larger problem as far as copyright is concerned.

1 year, 11 months ago

James, Mixcloud sort out the royalties on all shows that get uploaded.

1 year, 11 months ago

There's a demo of me on student radio recorded in 2004, ironically a station then called Source FM, still kicking around the Internet, that got me remembered for the word "cracking" for years. There was also a Cassetteboy type edit done of it. I was powerless to get it taken down.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

I don't see journalistic criticism here. I see mocking and attempted bullying because people don't like what they can't understand, so instead of actual constructive criticism, I'm getting bullied left right and centre.
So, no, it don't come under fair use. And I'm not prepared to allow my work to be used as a tool for bullying.

I've seen critique and yes some mocking. But once again you fail to understand is that the vast majority of comments are from people who have accurately snooped both airchecks submitted to this thread.

Like you Ian, I volunteered in community radio in 2007, so can relate to presenting on small scale radio. However, there was one thing I always took on board which was to take on the chin criticism however negative it may have seemed at the time. It gave me invaluable knowledge to help me to present my shows better.

Being self-aware of my errors and taking on board advice along with hard knock critique from my peers both in CR and in the mainstream industry helped me a lot.

The 'always right' attitude doesn't help you, nor does it improve your shows.

1 year, 11 months ago

James, Mixcloud sort out the royalties on all shows that get uploaded.

Thanks Ian - I wasn't aware of that.

1 year, 11 months ago

Martin Philip;

"But once again you fail to understand is that the vast majority of comments are from people who have accurately snooped both airchecks submitted to this thread."

"Accurately snooped"??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

I've had to spoon feed every little piece of context. That doesn't suggest much accuracy in the first place. It's bloody difficult to understand something when your frame of reference has nothing to connect it to the other person's frame of reference. Apparently, that seems to be the case, because it's become clear to me in this thread that none of you share much in the way of perspective with me.

And there doesn't seem to be any room in any of your hearts for someone else to have a different perspective.

I'm not always right, but I'm not as wrong as you seem to think I am.

1 year, 11 months ago

It's bloody difficult to understand something when your frame of reference has nothing to connect it to the other person's frame of reference

Yes, that's exactly why you shouldn't do bits about right-wing American polemicists on a Cornish community radio station.

1 year, 11 months ago

Michael Cook;

"Yes, that's exactly why you shouldn't do bits about right-wing American polemicists on a Cornish community radio station."

The human condition is the same the world over. Stupidity and absurdity is a human thing, not an American or Cornish thing.

This is what I mean when I said...

"It's bloody difficult to understand something when your frame of reference has nothing to connect it to the other person's frame of reference. "

Seeing things in terms of nationality is a very limiting viewpoint. I look for things that resonnate, that can connect with our basic humanity, and it doesn't matter where in the world it comes from, because it's present in all of us.

The basic theme of that feature was intolerance. Intolerance to other 'races' (we're all one human race), and intolerance to those with disabilities. But you guys couldn't see the wood for the trees, hence why you didn't get it.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

From previous threads on here, I seem to remember that Ian is a fan of the 'Freeform' radio format where it's anything goes within reason with regards to programming the music, which appears to include a feature about a polemicist and a whole show on James Bond soundtracks.

While Freeform has it's place to an extent on community radio, it still needs structure to meet the requirements of the community station.

Ian also mentioned earlier about doing something for the online listeners. While it's nice to have them, the radio station is licensed to serve the local vicinity and they must always come first.

There are other ways of ensuring those listeners outside the TSA get referenced, such as an on-air mention.

1 year, 11 months ago

Martin Philip, I don't think you're really paying attention.

What did I just say to Michael?

"I look for things that resonnate, that can connect with our basic humanity, and it doesn't matter where in the world it comes from, because it's present in all of us. "

It also means that it doesn't matter where in the world the listener is, they will feel as if I'm talking to them about something relevant to them.

It would be so easy to fill the show with local weather, travel, events, news, etc, but ultimately, non-local listeners will feel left out, so by finding content that connects on a human level rather than a local level, you speak to everyone then, on the same level.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

It also means that it doesn't matter where in the world the listener is, they will feel as if I'm talking to them about something relevant to them.
It would be so easy to fill the show with local weather, travel, events, news, etc, but ultimately, non-local listeners will feel left out, so by finding content that connects on a human level rather than a local level, you speak to everyone then, on the same level.

And yet you're on a local community radio station which has it's own key commitments as part of providing a local service . It's perfectly fine to have the Freeform ethos in your broadcasting if you're doing it from home on a net station or a community station which allows it as part of it's key commitments. Resonance as an art station would see your show as an artform.

1 year, 11 months ago

Martin Philip;

"And yet you're on a local community radio station which has it's own key commitments as part of providing a local service . It's perfectly fine to have the Freeform ethos in your broadcasting if you're doing it from home on a net station or a community station which allows it as part of it's key commitments..."

You know you might actually sound like you know what you're talking about, IF you'd actually bothered to read the damn document.

The whole point of The Source is to provide something different and not regularly heard on local stations in our area. To provide the local service that we do, we use many different programmes and different styles to do it, in direct contrast to the likes of Pirate & Heart, which do the same basic style of programme 24/7/365.

But I've said all this before in threads, and yet you still seem to think we should copy the commercial radio style, and thus take away our distinctiveness on the radio dial.

1 year, 11 months ago

Well, I challenge you to do better with no natural teeth, and being unable to wear dentures

Is that cheap shot supposed to make me feel guilty?
Would someone who was in your area on holiday listening for the first time know that?
I was merely pointing out that some of it was a bit difficult to understand.
Whilst it's commendable that you are pushing on with a radio career and you seem to know a lot about the station you need to play to your strengths.
Plan your links, think about the direction you want them to go, imagine you are telling it to a friend & most of all accept criticism good or bad. None of us are perfect and we have all had knock backs but if you learn from the negative you'll only turn it into a positive

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

From The Source's Character of Service.

Source FM offers a voice and a forum for the Falmouth-Penryn community. The station
provides a genuinely inclusive service, targeting those members of the community who have
fewer opportunities to represent their interests and opinions.

Going by that section of the Key Commitments, Mr Beaumont has taken that quite literally.

1 year, 11 months ago

Clive West;

"I was merely pointing out that some of it was a bit difficult to understand."

You think I don't know that??? You think I can't hear that for myself??? You don't think that maybe instead of repeating myself and drawing attention to the fact that due to dental reasons I can't speak as well as I used to, I'm ploughing on and just keeping going??? Do you think you're talking to a primary school student, and not a 42 year old man, who did his first radio show back in 1990???

"Whilst it's commendable that you are pushing on with a radio career and you seem to know a lot about the station you need to play to your strengths. "

Believe it or not, I am, and believe it or not, I'm not settling for that, but pushing myself to make myself even better than I already am.

"Plan your links, think about the direction you want them to go, imagine you are telling it to a friend..."

Oh, teach grandma to suck eggs, why don't you? Again, you think I didn't do that???

I planned the 'forgetting' of Katie Hopkins name. I planned the 'sudden thought' that really wasn't. Right now, a lot of you here, are trying to do the equivalent of teaching infant school math to an A-Level Maths student.

In fact, as of right now, you're all collectively on course to knock Donald Trump off the top spot to become the next inductees into the Live & Direct Hall Of Shame, on the grounds of rank stupidity. Stop humiliating and embarrassing yourselves like this, it is painful to watch, especially because I know you guys aren't stupid, but the downright condescending attitude towards me and my shows should be an insult to your own intelligence, never mind mine.

"...& most of all accept criticism good or bad."

I will always accept respectful, constructive criticism, especially intelligent criticism. I will never accept destructive criticism, nor will I accept criticism that is based on cliches that were never true in the first place, nor on unproven or worse, disproven ideas.

1 year, 11 months ago

Martin Philip;

"Going by that section of the Key Commitments, Mr Beaumont has taken that quite literally."

So does the rest of the station.

We have a show all about issues of Cornish nationalism, we have a show that deals with issues in the LGBT commubnity, we have two people in wheelchairs who present shows, we have had a blind man present on the station before, we used to have a programme that dealt with women's issues, including female genital mutilation. Our raison d'etre, is to do programmes that you won't hear anywhere else on the radio dial.

Do you understand now?

1 year, 11 months ago

Hello Ian. I remember hearing some of your stuff about 15 years ago. It was terrible. I listened to your show the other day and 15 years of experience have changed nothing. You're still terrible at radio. That's fine. There are stations for people who are terrible at radio, evidently. Despite what you say about accepting "respectful, constructive, intelligent criticism", you are also terrible at taking criticism of any kind. Nothing anybody says can shake your misplaced conviction that you are right. Unfortunately, your blustering, self-justifying replies in this thread are making you a laughing stock and helping to destroy what little reputation you have. Please go away and think long and hard about what you do both on radio and on forums.

1 year, 11 months ago

Ian said...

Have you not heard of copyright infringement?

You didn't seem too bothered about copyright infringement when you were the self-proclaimed Mayor of Ident City. Nor when you were using dialogue bites from movies and TV programmes as part of City Media Productions.

Anyone who is as clued-up on broadcasting as you claim to be would know perfectly well that the clip of your show (which I was able to hear thanks to James preserving it online) falls squarely under fair dealing for the purposes of criticism or review. The law doesn't specify the tone of that criticism or review.

If you don't like it, tough. Learn from it, and improve.

1 year, 11 months ago

Do you think you're talking to a primary school student, and not a 42 year old man, who did his first radio show back in 1990???

Knowing how old you are or when you first started is of no consequence you'll get the same advice from any good programme controller.

I planned the 'forgetting' of Katie Hopkins name.

This is interesting because I have played that particular piece to a number of colleagues, without telling them before hand what I was going to ask them, and they all say the same thing that it did not sound 'deliberate' and her name had just slipped your mind.
But I'm sure you'll just reiterate that they and myself are all wrong.

Oh, teach grandma to suck eggs, why don't you?

I have no intention of teaching any members of your family how to remove liquid from an egg or any other fluid from a farmyard animal.
I expect you'd tell me I wasn't doing it right anyway.

It seems most of this vitriol you have is leveled towards those who have tried to offer you some advice, or according to you bullying, people who have taken the time to listen to your work and suggest how you could try different ways to make it flow. You can take it on board or not no one is forcing it on you but this is a very small industry word soon gets around and 'making it big' is becoming more difficult.
The last thing you want to be seen doing is alienating people you may want to someday impress

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

We have a show all about issues of Cornish nationalism, we have a show that deals with issues in the LGBT commubnity, we have two people in wheelchairs who present shows, we have had a blind man present on the station before, we used to have a programme that dealt with women's issues, including female genital mutilation. Our raison d'etre, is to do programmes that you won't hear anywhere else on the radio dial.

All topics I'd expect a local community radio station to address. US politics, not so much.

1 year, 11 months ago

Wow, this discussion moves so fast, there is a risk of typing a comment and finding the agenda has moved on already, but let me give it a try.

I get the feeling that Ian is a master of creating a justification for something after the fact to counter criticism. I chortled at the suggestion that a feature throwing mud at some American political commentator was an acknowledgement of the vast international audience his programme commands online.

I suspect however he is confused at the significance of the availability of his programme. I have an internet radio in my kitchen. For the benefit of my wife, it its default stream is that of Gala Radio in Kiev and we eat our breakfast hearing the latest hit records in Ukraine and the news and weather reports for that city. Now just because I have the ability to listen to the station half way across the world I am in no sense expecting them to break off for comment on the tax policies of the British government or Andy Murray's Wimbledon prospects. Because they are not broadcasting to me, even though I can hear them. That is a very important distinction that you have to understand.

As for the Hall of Shame feature itself. A concept as old as the hills, that of the presenter breaking off to play polemicist and single out a public figure for a critique. It can be done with humour or wit, or played with anger. Back in the 1990s I worked alongside a man who had at the core of his afternoon show the "sad muppet of the day" nomination, it was his big feature and he worked up to it on a regular basis. Nothing wrong with that. Personally I wouldn't do it today, it is now rather old hat and plays to the outdated notion that the radio presenter is somehow the voice of authority and the king of all he surveys. That actually turns people off, and in an era when every person with a social media account has a platform for These Things I Believe, the man on the radio is no longer in a position of semi-unique privilege.

Still, Ian chooses to do it as part of what he calls "authored radio" which is fine, and if his manager gives him the freedom to populate his show with it, then good luck to him. However I'd suggest that it would play better to the target audience if the subjects of your ire were rather closer to home, the things the audience in the South West might care about more immediately. Maybe the local councillor to doesn't see repairing the drain covers in the park as a priority, or even perhaps the person in your neighbourhood who won't stop their dogs pooing on your front path. Both are matters that are 'real', accessible and relevant to the ordinary listener and won't require you to counter criticism with complaints that people have "failed to understand the context" or whatever the most recent justification was.

I'm James, and that was my 5p worth of These Things I Believe. Here's Bachman Turner Overdrive.

1 year, 11 months ago

Hi there, long time lurker, first time poster.

Is the Ian Beaumont who is posting here the same guy in this video?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBO5BtqhMoc

1 year, 11 months ago

Folks, this is my thread and I shall try and get it back in order.

Ian - I don't think there is a single person on this thread who is convinced that you are absolutely NOT capable of doing a good radio show, especially me. Most of those things that can tip a person's show from sounding good to bad tend to be tiny niggly things that, if addressed and sorted, can make a huge difference to the output.

Now, I have not criticised your links, nor your diction or even how excitable you were on that link that you did around your Hall Of Shame because I think that those can be tackled in time. So far I've been more concerned about the quality of what you're making at home, purely on the technical side ........ and in particular that microphone set up which is really setting your show back.

So can I ask, politely, what your studio set-up is ...... even right down to all the equipment (makes and models would be handy) that you are using? Do you use soundproofing?

I used to have a home studio as well, which was actually used to record radio shows for several radio stations and even do production work for features of a breakfast show on a small-scale ILR station in Lanarkshire - and I was using bubble-wrap for soundproofing on the walls.

1 year, 11 months ago

My studio set up is like this. An old 'Realistic' mixer that I bought years ago in Tandy (that shows the age doesn't it?). The mic is a Goodmans (don't know the model number) mic, which connects to the mixer via 6.3mm jack. Left and right outputs of the mixer go into the laptop via 3.5mm jack. I also have a couple of portable CD players that connect to the mixer as well, but they go mostly unused now.

These days, I record the voice bits separately, and mix the music into the recording via Audacity, cos everything's digital now.

I have no soundproofing, and hadn't thought of using bubble wrap, will give that a try.

1 year, 11 months ago

Hi Pete,

Yep, same guy. I'd better get some more popcorn.

1 year, 11 months ago

You know, looking at these comments, it seems like you'd only believe me if I said something that agreed with your pre-concieved notions, whether they were true or not.

So Clive, all the various people you've played the link to, think I had actually forgotten Katie's name. That gives me a lot of pride. It means the prep I put into it, paid off. Usually I script that sequence, though I didn't script it that time, because I didn't want it to sound like I was reading it all off a script that time, I wanted it to sound a little more off the cuff, because of the "forgetting Katie Hopkins" & the "sudden thought". They wouldn't 'sell' to the listeners if it sounded like I was reading these things off a script, the listeners wouldn't believe it if it sounded like I was reading those.

The other point I want to address is James Masterson's. I take the time to try and give people here an insight into what goes on in my head, and then you say...

"I get the feeling that Ian is a master of creating a justification for something after the fact to counter criticism."

Jeez, what a cynical thought, and I know I can be a cynical bastard at times, but all that comment makes me feel is very sorry for you. Such coldness is not a healthy place, I do know that from bitter experience.

But, you did redeem yourself by raising an excellent point.

"Personally I wouldn't do it today, it is now rather old hat and plays to the outdated notion that the radio presenter is somehow the voice of authority and the king of all he surveys. That actually turns people off, and in an era when every person with a social media account has a platform for These Things I Believe, the man on the radio is no longer in a position of semi-unique privilege."

I can certainly understand why some may think it plays to that notion, and certainly some presenters in the past may have given that impression, and yes, that would be a turn off.

But as you rightly said, this is...

"...an era when every person with a social media account has a platform for These Things I Believe..."

...and whilst social media often preaches to those who are already converted to their pet cause, no matter how relevant or irrelevant it is, radio has to be broader. So, even though the inductee was an American writer, the main issue in her current book, "Adios, America", is a UKIP favourite as well, immigration, and maybe I should have played that up a bit. We can be wise after the event.

But also, in a sense, the feature plays a bit like those "These Things I Believe" posts that you mentioned, so should appeal to the social media savvy audience.

"However I'd suggest that it would play better to the target audience if the subjects of your ire were rather closer to home..."

The only problem I see with that, is that it would end up being either Katie Hopkins or Nigel Farage or some member of the Tory government every week, and there are far worse things said elsewhere.

In order to be inducted, the person has to say or do something completely indefensible. There has to be absolutely nothing redeeming about what was said or done. That's the standard that I apply.

I have done long form interviews on local issues and other matters of local relevance before, and I will again, but this feature, I choose to not limit it by locality.

1 year, 11 months ago

A decent home studio isn't that expensive to do these days. The single best thing you could do is get a condenser mic and a mixer that offers Phantom power. One of the entry level models of Behrinnger's Xenyx line of mixers, plus a C3 mic - you'd also need an XLR cable and two phono to jack converter plugs - would leave you change from a ton.

I myself have a Behringer C3 mic, a Citronic M8-DSP desk (a clone of a Behringer model, which has broadcast-like niceties like faders rather than rotary dials, a secondary output bus and high pass filters plus compression on the mic channels. Cost me 140 quid new.) plus a Behringer Composer Pro and Sonic Exciter (A kind of Lidl version of the Aphex 204).

Not that you'd want to but you could happily broadcast a radio show from there and it would not sound particularly inferior to the untrained ear. Infact, I've actually presented live programmes on an expat FM station in Spain from there in addition to my voice tracking work for them.

1 year, 11 months ago

Thank you Ian. On seeing the equipment that you've got, the weakest link in all of that is the Goodman's microphone. These things are more toys than actual microphones, best used for people having karaoke sessions at home for a house party over a loudspeaker.

Your Realistic desk I would imagine is fine, although by now I would suspect that some of your faders will be getting dirty (do you get a hissing sound when you fade them up and down?). Even so, there's probably a good bit of life in the old dog yet. If you need to change your mixer, as James has hinted, Behringer mixing desks are very adequate for home studios, not least because they are small and pack a lot of mixer whilst using little real estate on a table-top.

As for that microphone - bearing in mind the gear you've already got, you could do yourself a lot of favours by getting a Shure SM58, which should work well with the disco-DJ mixer you have. The SM58 is not a broadcast quality microphone but it is used the world over by singers, MC's and DJ's .... and has also been used in the occasional radio studio. It's an industry standard mike that you often see in video clips of comedians on stage or singers performing live. The good thing about it is that despite its quality, it costs around £90. A few other good things is that it takes a lot of effort to make it distort, it can handle feedback situations very well and for people whose diction means that they over pronounce their P's, the microphone is anti-pop. You could also invest in a small wind-shield that can clip over the mic for slightly better sound as well. It also means that if you do live public events, you've got yourself a reasonably good mixer and a very good mic for the job. You seem to be a shouty person at times, so you need the SM58. My SM58's have earned me a lot of gigs and money over the years.

As for sound proofing - bubble-wrap has been proven to work quite well if you have a small room - and it's very cheap. Otherwise just buy soundproofing foam and glue-spray if you're not bothered about permanently altering the room. The smaller sound-proofing guards that surround the microphone can work as well and offer a bit of it in the immediate area of the microphone.

I would also consider upgrading your XLR cables and jacks to higher grade ones. Simple upgrades can make a considerable difference to the sound. Alternatively, since you're using a PC for voice inserts, try using an XLR-USB lead, for direct plug in to your PC from he microphone .... see if that works. There are also mixing desks with USB outputs, including Behringers .... and they can cost as little as £50.

If you want studio quality mics, as James has said, a condenser mic is great but you pay for what you get. I'd be concerned about the microphone's ability to handle P's and shouty people. That old rule of thumb is that the higher the price, the better the quality - usually - but it needs to have a proper interface, which is a mixer that can handle it and has phantom power.

1 year, 11 months ago

Ian, you might also benefit from a microphone processor. I've just had a brief look at a few on eBay, for very little money. These units can enhance the sound of a good mic and also offer limiting.......whereby if you do raise your voice, you won't exceed the units output, thus avoiding any over-modulation.

The Behringer MIC800 is a good entry level unit and can be bought for around £60 or less. Anything more complex than this unit may take sometime to set up correctly.

1 year, 11 months ago

Actually, if you get one of those bad boys you won't need to change your desk, although I strongly advise you do.

Alternatively, you could invest in a Behringer Composer compressor, which you could use the expander/gate on in order to cut out background noise. You'll find these in many radio studios up and down the land, particularly smaller stations where they're used as mic processors, or pre-compressors in racks to protect the STL and provide a bit of compression before it gets to the main processor. You'll find these going faily cheaply on eBay.

1 year, 11 months ago

Also, as much as I love the Shure SM58 for singing, disco and other live work, they're not cut out for broadcast use. That's not to say it won't sound good, but it won't sound as good as a condenser. The Behringer C3 can be picked up for under £40 and mine has served me extremely well since I bought it seven years ago.

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