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The reddit school of college radio: reader tips for an aspiring deejay

redditI was reading the posts and comments over at the reddit radio page and came across this interesting request for advice:

“Just applied to be a DJ at my university’s radio station. What is something I absolutely need to know about being a DJ? (”

A lot of interesting and thoughtful responses ensued. Not sure if I agree or disagree with them, but they’re all worth considering.

From DallasSF:

“Always keep your audience in mind. Don’t just get on the mic and mouth off.” Also: “Listen to yourself repeatedly. By that, I mean record your shows and listen back. You’ll get used to your voice and hear where you need to improve. . . . “

From bdof:

“Talk to the audience as if it were a single person. Ex: ‘You’ instead of ‘y’all’. Radio doesn’t take ‘breaks’ like TV does. If you’re playing a cart, don’t refer to it as an interruption in the show. Say something like, ‘First is a song, then we’ll have a cart, then another song.’ Radio never stops. . . . “

From richxxiii, a list of annoyances to avoid. Here are some:

“* Avoid ‘upspeak’ (ending every sentence on an upnote like it’s a question).
* If you’re DJing using a Mac laptop, turn off the little farty noise it makes when you adjust the volume on air. . .
* Don’t apologize or explain about any mistakes made. It just wastes time and draws way too much attention to it. The listener has no idea what you intended to do. . . . ”

. . . the list concludes with “Don’t bump your nose on the microphone.”

From radiobrat78:

“No ‘BIG RADIO GUY’ voice. Just talk. that’s all, have a one-sided conversation with your audience. . . . “

From puckpuckpuck:

“One thing I’ve learned is never talk about the past, always talk about what’s ahead. Everything else in this thread is really good information. Especially have fun and keeping your audience in mind.”

From roccodimarco a caveat that most radio station managers don’t regard a college radio slot as significant employment experience, so get some interning at pro-stations under your belt:

“I will be the first to tell you I’m not a great dj, and I still have A LOT to learn, but if your looking for advice, intern as much as you can. If you are just doing college radio for fun, then just relax and have fun! Remember, you are there to compliment the music. Listeners tend to drop off if a jock talks for more than a minute.”

From djstephaniebell:

“first thing I do with all my kids is make them do a show with their headphones turned up and on the counter but not on their head. people new to radio fall in love with the sound of their own voices in their headphones because of processing, etc. it makes them talk too much and too loud. just speak into the mic like you’d speak to someone in a store or an elevator. its a microphone, it can hear you.”

There are plenty of other comments. Lots of interesting pasta for thought here. Agree? Disagree? Anything the reddit radio mavens left out?

PS: RadioReddit is awesome. And Radio Survivor has its own reddit page.



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