Emma Mitchell

Radio goNORTH Archive 2012 Producers' Highlights Emma Mitchell

It’s been a busy two weeks learning how to become a radio producer and as a result it’s been fun, entertaining, interesting, spontaneous at times, inspiring and it’s made me want to do more radio producing, so I must have been doing something right.

The first week was all about ingesting tonnes of information on how to be a radio producer and learning more about Cubase 5 was really useful from a radio producer as well as from a musicians point of view. It took me a little while to get to grips with the Cubase software programme, but once I worked out what all the buttons did it was enjoyable to use and exciting to hear how a feature or interview once edited properly could sound through the headphones. The Dabster productions and goNORTH team we’re very efficient at helping to structure a programme and create the sound I was looking for if I needed help with the editing on Cubase.

Hands on practical experience from the word go meant that we could get used to the recording equipment as soon as possible, this definitely helped and increased my confidence when recording interviews or live music. The tutors were very helpful when I wasn’t sure about something such as what the buttons did on the Zoom equipment.

The highlight for me in the first week was using our imagination to create our first features, the feature I came up with was the ‘Battle of The Buskers’ feature which myself and Aileen produced on the streets of Inverness and meant we had to approach buskers in the street to ask them if they would participate in the challenge, three buskers had to compete to make as much money as possible in an hour, the winner then won the opportunity to record a song at Ironworks with the goNORTH sound engineer and the trainee radio producers as the audience. We hurriedly found three buskers willing to participate, we interviewed them on what it’s like to be a busker, the results we’re really positive and I knew it would make good radio.

The second week was an epic week of trials and tribulations from making baa noises on the radio to pressing buttons at the correct time to organising live sessions to editing features to steadying my nerves to camping in a marquee in the BBC Radio Scotland gardens, it was the most influential week I’ve ever had in music. Meeting, radio producing and singing in front of the Head of BBC Radio Scotland and the goNORTH team was something I’ll never forget, then networking with well connected music industry people was very worthwhile such as film star and musician Billy Boyd, record producer Phil Ellis and Festival and events organiser Robert Hicks.

I will definitely miss creating a buzz whilst co-hosting the Highland Buzz Show with Roddy MacLean, his humour was hilarious, his editing and organisational skills we’re top notch, his smile put me at ease and we both bounced ideas off each other, so it was very easy to put a show together with him.

My favourite part of the radio show was the live music sessions and the banter I had with Roddy, we had bands such as The Whisky River Band and the lead singer who painted a great picture of what it’s like to write songs and record in the Highlands, his performance was jaw dropping, another band called Graham Brown set hearts racing in the marquee with their song ‘Thornless Rose’ and the interview confirmed it was a song of hope, on the last day James Mackenzie unexpectedly dropped by to perform his ‘Thoughts’ song which was a joy to listen to.