NQ4 calling – memories of a wannabe radio host

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve wanted to be on the radio.

One of the first gadgets I remember owning was a Fisher-Price tape player and recorder, with which I spent hours recording fake radio shows and “mixing” in tracks that I’d play from my dad’s HiFi system. As I got older, I wasn’t tuning into the Top 40 on Radio 1, but instead the soothing voice of Clive Bull doing late night on London’s LBC 1152 AM would accompany me as I drifted off to sleep.

LBC 97.3 - Clive Bull photocard

My love affair with speech radio has continued on and off since then, and as creating and recording audio has become easier, I continued to dabble, but without any real training. A radio experience day at a community radio station in Norfolk gave me a chance to try out what it’d be like running a show, but it seemed like hard work.

What I really wanted to do was just… talk. Talk, to myself, to listeners, to friends about anything that might interest me. I didn’t want to have to learn to drive a desk, or think too hard about when to fade in music or the technicalities of capturing a voice. But I did want to make fun, interesting and compelling content in easy to digest clips that don’t drag on.

That’s why I really enjoyed the recent Omniversity course, Radio Production for Pod and Cloud Casts. Armed with just my iPhone and my Mac, I enjoyed a hugely hands-on day with Barney (aka Doodlebug Presents) and other coursemates where we learned just how quick and easy it could be to grab people for sound clips, edit and stitch together some conversations and polish it all off in a neat little package – easily published online.

Course leader Barney has a wealth of hands-on experience producing audio for the web and other channels. His relaxed yet knowledgeable style makes this course a pleasure. Taking advantage of World Record Store day happenings just around the corner meant that we produced a fun and interesting podcast of a very topical event, so everything we did had real and immediate relevance. It was a real buzz and gave me the perfect template for other podcasts I might do, both personally and professionally.

Check out the first MadLab podcast that we did about World Record Store Day.
[vodpod id=ExternalVideo.996544&w=425&h=350&fv=]

… and a more recent piece I threw together ahead of attending Carmen as part of Opera North’s blogging event.

Thankfully, the Omniversity is running the course again on June 11. It’s an all-day thing, with lunch included in the price, so if you’ve got an interest in producing a piece of radio and “exploring the theatre of the mind”, check it out.