Thanks to a company called LFM Audio, I found the 10 best tips when using sung jingles.
Here they are!
Sung Jingles are one of the most effective ways to strengthen your brand and help listeners recognize your station. The perfect way to transition from segment to segment, jingles are an important factor in creating a slick sounding, brand conscious station, but what is the best way to use them?
1. Switch them up regularly to achieve a fresh sound. Consider purchasing a bulk lot of jingles at the start of the year and rolling out a few different ones every season. This is a great way to introduce new sung jingles as having them produced at the same time ensures a consistent yet updated sound. Have special holiday or promotion themed jingles factored in separately.
2. Avoid repetition. There’s no need to announce something that has already been stated in the preceding jingle ie: ‘This is our top five songs at five’ if the intro jingle had already mentioned it. It sounds clunky and wastes precious airtime on unneeded information, just launch straight into the content. Always follow a station call with music rather than dialogue and never speaking over the melody, listeners recognise and identify with logo jingles and the flow shouldn’t be interrupted.
3. Flexibility is key. Every show opener or Top of the Hour jingle should be split into two parts; an introductory jingle with a repeating music bed, and a closing tag to wrap it up when you’ve finished speaking. This allows you set the pace when presenting without the pressure of a set time frame, racing to finish in time. Pro tip: Have two closing tags ready to go, one fast, one slow, so you can match it to the upcoming song.
4. Variety. Make sure your jingle package provides enough diversity so you can match the right jingle to the right song or segment. You don’t want to preface a fast up tempo track with a slow sedate jingle. Have an in depth knowledge of all the jingles on file and pick them to suit the genre or key to avoid nasty clashes in tone. Modern scheduling software can be utilised to pre-select and play the correct jingles making jingle management even easier for you!
5. Use jingles to create energy. Re-energize the listener after a break by playing an up-tempo jingle followed by a fast song. It indicates a new change and is a fantastic way to swing into a music sweep.
6. Flawlessly move out of song exits. Using a jingle to exit out of a song is a beautifully simple way to transition into the next segment. If the song is a fade out just wait till a natural moment after the hook melody has finished. Time it for the moment after a 1,2,3,4 beat and ensure that the jingle is of a similar tempo. If it is a song with an abrupt end, wait a few beats before launching the jingle, listeners love their songs and want to hear them out properly.
7. And into them. When moving into the beginning of a song, do the same but in reverse. You can however play the first beat of the song on the last beat of the jingle, this creates an unbeatable flow as long as you match the jingle and song correctly. You can use your scheduling software to set pre-defined cues for every song and jingle, perfect for long music only periods or automated hours.
8. It’s all about the next song. If you are playing two songs back to back with a jingle in the middle, match the tempo to the song that plays after. Don’t play two jingles in order to match both songs, but if the tempo difference between the two songs is too great, play a medium tempo jingle to bridge the gap.
9. Define your jingles. Try to make your jingles sound just a little bit clearer, processed and better than the songs you play, this can be achieved by pushing the fader all the way up at the start of the jingle and slowly decreasing it, this can be made a lot easier by pre-processing all jingles on your editing software. In a similar vein, the jingles on stations that play a lot of classics or easy listening should be a touch faster and more modern than the songs on the playlist.
10. What is the jingles job? Different types of jingles have different functions and for best use it’s important to not mix them up. Use your scheduling system to ensure that everything is used at the right time. Short edits or shotgun ID’s can be used within a segment without fear of interrupting the flow, top of the hours should be ready to go at the whole hour and ramp ID’s for talk ups followed by a song or break.
11. Bonus tip. Don’t be afraid of using sung jingles liberally at your station, with the right package, processing and scheduling, you’ll find yourself enjoying a fantastic, professional sound that your listeners will respond to.
Thank you, LFM Audio for these tips!
One of my favorite jingle companies right now is TM Studios. Their packages are very diverse and they have a wide variety of packages to choose from. TM’S packages cover every format. Reelworld is really good, to!
Hopefully this helps allot! I think these tips will be helpful to any PD and imaging director.