I produce all my radio programmes and podcasts, desk driving where needed (usually set up with ViLor), planning all content, researching & booking all guests, creative angles, interactive features, sketches; you name it, I’ve made it.
This also includes mixing, mastering & editing all the audio for pre-recorded features and programmes while keeping to tight deadlines & timing constraints, mainly using Logic Pro X and Audacity along with my own home studio gear & DAW. Linked with video editing software when required for social promos and other content.
I am also proficient with the BBC software suite including programmes/systems like dira! Startrack, Highlander & Scheduler, OpenMedia, Sable, iBroadcast & Desktop Jukebox.
If you’d like to hire me for production services, please visit Bookings/Contact and get in touch.
Before & After
Presenting & producing the new Upload for BBC Oxford, I wanted to encourage listeners to submit their creative content – the show was entirely based around this premise – and especially show how the recording or production quality of submitted content didn’t need to be an obstacle.
For this reason, I sometimes chose audio material that wasn’t ready on its own terms for broadcast and collaborated with the Uploader to create something new. I got in touch with these uploaders to explain my approach, and they were very enthusiastic – then extremely pleased with the results and airtime!
This led to social media sharing and a good chunk of radio that not only aired user-submitted content, but helped create a sense of community and opportunity – and fun! – which was vital to the programme’s early success.
Here are a couple of examples demonstrating the ‘before and after’ of such submitted clips. First the raw audio that was uploaded, then a clip showing what I created with the material:
When I launched BBC Oxford’s first new evening show on Wednesday evenings in May, one of the key things I had to do was create an engaged listener community. As a brand new slot likely to draw in a new and curious audience, it was very important to make them feel involved from the outset.
Interaction was key to this, but as BBC Oxford had previously broadcast an evening share programme after 7pm, the station didn’t know what sort of engagement level I could reasonably expect.
My solution to this was to simulate an interactive atmosphere with features and competitions that wouldn’t necessitate actual listener interaction to be a success. I created ‘Spiffing or Riffing’ and ‘Robo Showdown’ for this purpose.
Spiffing or Riffing featured a studio guest who told a funny or bizarre short story, set to a carefully chosen backing track, and it was my job to guess whether it was true or false – ‘aided’ by any listener interaction we received. Because the focal point was the story itself and whether it was actually true or false, we involved any listeners in the outcome regardless of their engagement with the feature. This feature took off and saw lots of interaction, evolving into a key element of my interviews with local and national comedians, who could really make the most of a ‘funny story’ segment:
Robo Showdown pitted me against a robot quizmaster in a pantomime-esque battle deciding which species would rule the future. In reality, this was a way I could get a pub-quiz style segment on the air without even needing a studio guest, while inviting listeners to play along and share their guesses. I asked my wife or a friend to come up with 5 quiz questions on a topic (often related to a guest on the show or a topical theme), feed them through a free text-to-speech generator which outputted wav files, then send them over to me with generic titles. My broadcast assistant double-checked the questions for editorial compliance, then I loaded them in for airplay. This way, the first time I heard each question was live on the air – genuinely making it a quiz between myself and the robot quizmaster.
It went down very well as part of the programme, and developed into a pseudo-interview feature where I could invite an expert studio or phone guest to assist me – such as an Oxford University professor of earth studies, a member of Wimbledon, or indeed, radio legend Tony Blackburn! This way we could get the robot to be cheeky with them, and draw out some more interesting content/info in a non-interview format. I brought this variant with me during a 2-week stint covering BBC Oxford’s drivetime show. Here’s a clip of Tony Blackburn taking on the robot over the early years of BBC Radio 1:
You can also read about my ‘softer’ production skillset including guest bookings, content planning & day-to-day feature development (e.g. on-air calligraphy, live restaurant reviews, playing along with a live ‘slow folk’ session) on the project page covering my BBC Oxford arts & culture show ‘Time Out with Laurie Bailey‘.
I’m available to work independently or as part of a team, in a freelance capacity, so get in touch and make an enquiry if you’d like to hire me for a project.
Collaborating with creative teams is always a major highlight, and many of my best features have been developed with input from broadcast assistants and other producers.
Examples of available production services include:
- Pre-Production. Professional advice on content, structure, sound, identity and style for audio productions.
- Editing. To fit timings, content goals or quality thresholds.
- Post-Production. EQ, noise reduction, mastering, voice-overs and advice on branding, publishing and marketing.