We’re all well aware of the DJ lifestyle: gigs, music, tech, clubs. There’s plenty of resource out there for DJs to get their first residency, or create a mixtape. We at DJWORX offer the best resource for keeping up to date with the hottest DJ gear, of course. But there’s another part of the DJ world that doesn’t get nearly as much coverage: the radio show. With the digital revolution, it’s now even easier to find a radio show via podcast for even the most obscure of music genres or interests.
We decided to find out a little more about what it takes to run a radio show podcast by talking to Paul Dakeyene, the guy behind the 80s ElectroPop Radio Show, a retrospective look at some of the best music you’ve never heard of that defined a decade. Some of you may have come across his show before, but if you haven’t, you should really check it out! Having listened to the show (when I remember!) since the launch, it’s well produced and has some great music.
Tell us a bit about who you are.
One of the original DMC megamix/remix Producers during the mid 80s, DJ for over 25 years, remixer of over 250 records, had a Top Ten global hit with Tinman’s ’18 Strings’, travelled internationally as a Ministry of Sound Tour resident, DJ’d for U2 and Kraftwerk and written/produced TV theme music for the BBC. Also, run remix and music industry Masterclasses to FE and HE students and now present and run own radio show/podcast.
You host on Podbean. Out of all the options out there, can you tell us why you chose that service?
As with most things in life (a purchase, investment, software partner), I just did some web research and found them to be reasonable cost, reliable service and customer support seemed a priority for them. In addition, I had a rubber stamp from a fellow DJ/Producer, Les Adams who runs his own Soul-based show via Podbean, who highly recommended them also.
What’s your process for bringing out an episode? Is there any difficulty with track selection and keeping the flow compared to a DJ set?
Each show, very much like a DJ set, has a flow.. a journey as it were – To keep ongoing familiarity, each edition has a similar opening title, pretty much always kicking off with a synth-pop track with me either running through the ‘Social’ links (Twitter/Facebook etc), mentioning the actual Show number and occasionally doing a tease as to what artists and tracks are featured in the forthcoming hour or so. From thereon in, the show idents and music themes span the format genre’s “Synth Pop, Mutant Disco, New Romantic, Electro Funk Alternative & New Wave”. It’s no problem to sequence what tunes play in what order, it’s a skill built up over nearly 30 years, nurtured during the early 80s themselves, where I’d chop and change through a whole range of musical styles each night whilst still keeping my dance floor!
Do you run into any copyright or licensing issues?
Not so far – It is best however to purchase an annual LOML (Limited Online Music) licence from the PPL which covers UK focused online music services with revenue under £12,500 (however, I don’t make any money from the Show, I have no sponsors/adverts and editions are free to listen to).
How much lead time do you have for each episode?
To be honest, although I started out with every intention of making this a weekly show, real life does get in the way somewhat, and now I’ve dropped any reference to the word ‘weekly’ and just record a Show, or two, when I can. On average, I start to get tetchy if I haven’t done one when a fortnight passes..
And how long does it take you to make a show?
Prep usually takes about an hour, sometimes more time if I go to the trouble of remastering a certain piece of vinyl – I’m a stickler for great and consistent sound quality and level matching.
Tell us a bit about your hardware/software setup. What essentials do you keep in your bag to make your show?
The ’Show’ is recorded using a Denon DJ MC6000MK2 controller/mixer, which has 4 switchable input channels, so I can run 4 Serato DJ digital tracks, then flip over to a vinyl track via my Technics SL1210Mk2 or CD player perhaps. I run the microphone (an SE Electronics SE-X1) into a sub mixer however (an old trusty Tapco 6306) so I can make two separate feeds into Logic X on the Mac. By keeping the music channel recorded separately from the voice over track, I not only get independent sonic refinement to the two, but if I do a verbal or miscue cock-up, I can just pause the recording and start again (remember my show is a stand alone, recorded affair which goes into a podcast listing and a radio stream so I don’t have the unwanted pressure of a ‘live to audience’ stream to worry about).
What’s the ultimate aim of putting in the time and effort of making these podcasts?
This type of music was (along with Disco) the defining theme for my subsequent production style – the late 70s/early 80s synth based electronica added to the [then] New Wave/Alternative genre, seemed to fit hand in glove with the whole democratic approach to making music in those days. When I first thought about the format for the Show, I did some web research to see if I could find a similar show to the one I heard in my head – Apart from 80s U.S. ‘80s College radio’ type stations/shows, there was literally nothing that combined the genres I wanted, with the care and attention of a presenter who was genuinely ‘there’ during that period, DJ’ing to a dance floor and been totally absorbed in the era’s music. I wanted to ‘present’ the Show too, so it wasn’t just a list of curated digital files with advertising break messages etc – so there was some form of real involvement with the show’s output and connection to a listener. To answer this question much more simply though.. because I adore this era’s musical diversity and am doing it for the love of it – hell, I aint getting rich doing’ it!
What would you say to DJs that want to follow in your podcast footsteps?
In a nutshell, just put together a format that YOU LOVE and if you’re really lucky, no-one else is doing (at least, doing it well) and you will find a global listener base. Make sure your Show is structured, has a start, a middle and an end (remember that musical ‘journey’) and is also professionally presented and of great sound quality (and.. DON’T brick wall your recorded output – let it breathe dynamically).
Any advice for those looking to get into producing a radio show?
The same answer really as the above question.. But for radio, build up a substantial number of Shows (I had twenty recorded before I even started the Radio process) and use a company like ‘Radiojar.com’ who can help you get your stream onto the likes of (the traditional) iTunes network, iStream and very importantly, TuneIn too.
Finally, since this is a DJ technology website, what would your dream set up be?
I suppose I could get into the world of vintage channel strips for treating the microphone output, but I’m quite happy with the set up I have seeing as it’s just me using it. Actually, I could do with an assistant to remaster ALL my vinyl for the Show.. any offers?