Country Radio is one of the most listened to formats. It combines heartfelt melodies with kick-ass music, and it fits the listeners musical tastes constantly. But it is always evolving. So, how do you image a station to sound like the music you play, when the music is constantly changing? There are two ways that a Creative Services Director can image a country station, and it always depends on how you approach the format, and what your market is like. The first is the “Traditional” style. This is very much like the sound of 80’s and 90’s country music. It blends with the music that was played before the electric guitar was making riffs on every country song in your playlist. A few tips to imaging this way are: 1. Keep effects low, people want to hear music! 2. Find a voiceover artist that can convey the traditional country sound. (Don’t use a well-known CHR voice with filters and other effects for this kind of production!) 3. Focus on the music you play, not contests and other elements on your station. (But don’t forget those elements.) Those tips are basic, and essential to producing imaging that will compliment your stations traditional sound. The second style is the CHR style. This is a hot country sound that blends Rascal Flatts with the sounds of Z100. This can be a tricky way to brand your country station, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are 3 basic tips to creating this sound: 1. Be very HOT sounding. Trying to image a country station with the CHR sound is not hard, but tricky. Imaging you are Kiss FM, or Z100, but you play Carrie instead of Britney. Don’t go crazy with effects, but use it to accentuate your stations mission. 2. Find a voice that can play the role of the country station with the hot sound. John Willyard is absolutely perfect for this. You can also use talent such as Ann Dewig, Dave Foxx, and my personal favorite, Pat Garrett. These voice talent can make your country station the one to listen to in your market! 3. Don’t lose yourself! To clarify, remember that you are a COUNTRY STATION! Even if your imaging sounds hot, remember the music you play, and the listeners you are presenting to. These are some tips that I hope will make you sound better, or maybe hold back somewhat, to make your station sound it’s best!
Gavan Bruderer Cell: (801) 624-9236