Yesterday, I took the chance to catch up with my friend Bjarke, who is the imaging director of Radio100 in Copenhagen. It’s a station I visited last time I was here – and I worked with the Programme Director Nik Goodman back when I was running the production team of the original Capital FM Network.
They’ve just launched an updated logo and refreshed on air sound – including a new station voice and new jingles – all composed and produced in-house. I was listening last night – and it has a really clean sound.
Here’s a quick video from Bjarke to show the thoughts behind the new sound – and an example of how it sounds on air.
I read today that Alan Fawkes, one of the co-founders of Alfasound Tapetrix jingle company in the late 1970s, has died.
I guess I can partly credit my interest in radio and then later in radio production to the jingles I used to hear coming out of my cheap AM radio as a 10 year old in Chichester for Radio Victory. (Tracked down via jinglemad.com)
Produced by Alfasound, these were no modern day classics – even with the soft filter of nostalgia. But at the time, these guys were pretty cutting-edge, producing the radio jingles for huge heritage commercial and BBC local stations across the UK. Hell, they even produced the jingles for my hospital radio station. Indeed, at the time, I probably spent way too many hours listening to their jingle demos – and the latter ones from JAM productions – wondering if one day I’d ever get to work on one of those stations. Little did I know that many years later, I’d be comissioning the jingle packages for Capital FM and the Capital FM network from companies such as Groove Addicts or Wise Buddah. I guess these guys helped inspire me in some way…
I once met Alan Fawkes and his colleague Steve England. I drove up to Manchester with a friend for the day to visit the studios, have an look around, and sit in on a recording session From memory it was a package for BBC Radio Bristol – I remember Alan playing his tambourine. It seemed very British – certainly of a time. But these guys created the sound of much of British radio for over a decade.
And so another page of UK radio history turns and another figure sails away.
I was really glad to see this – since I had the pleasure of working with these guys back in December 2002 and February 2003 on a massive jingle package for the old Capital FM Network. They are a fantastic team of people who have been doing what they do for decades. From memory, I think they tend to do far more work for commercials now than radio stuff, but this is a really interesting example of how they work.
Making radio jingles is done in so many different ways. You don’t necessarily need massive studios and huge bands in a studio to create a big sound. But they are in L.A.- and in L.A. – you do things BIG. And it’s all about the client as well – a huge sun terrace with catered lunch – food and drink on tap and a fantastic vibe to fire off too.
The studios at Groove Addicts are massive. In fact, when they were built, the building had a small plane hanging from the inside of the roof. So they built the studios, breakout area and all the facilities around it. It’s pretty cool to be playing a game of pool in between sessions with this plane overhead. And the staff are pretty freindly too (though not quite sure why I’m smiling so much..).
Seeing the video got me a little nostalgic for that package we worked on back in 2002 – it was a huge effort really. The demos came about pretty quickly in the November of 2002 and we had it all on air in the spring of 2003. At the time, I was working with our production consultant Jean-Michel Meschin of Soniic Design in France. He now mainly cuts radio ads for French movies – but still works on radio imaging too. In fact – there are still some elements of his influence on air in the production of Fun Radio in France where he was one time production director.
And the highlight was probably working with these guys – the composer/musician etc Phil-X who composed the rockier stuff (including the Top of Hour)- and the engineer Gerhard Joost. In fact – Phil had a band who we saw live at the House of Blues when we were over there – and this was one of their songs. OTT or what?