By John Pellegrini
Quite possibly the most difficult aspect of any Imaging Director’s job is coming up with the imaging itself. Let’s face it, if it weren’t for the #*$&@ work, we’d have a lot of fun, wouldn’t we? Coming up with kick-ass sweeper ideas is easy if you’re not being expected to make them on a regular basis. That’s what makes it work and less fun. What if there were a service that offered fully pre-produced IDs and sweepers that kick ass over virtually everything you could think of, and all you had to do was add in your station’s call letters? If your formats encompass Active Rock, Alternative, Rhythmic CHR, Rock CHR, Hot AC, Dance, or any of their derivatives, Extreme Noise just might be the answer to your dream.
Extreme Noise offers image and ID sweepers, news sweepers, work parts, and a music library that will blow the doors off any station that gets it. First off and foremost you get imaging ID sweepers from BBC Radio One. If you’ve had a chance to hear the Radio One ID sweepers, you’ll know what kind of insanity awaits here. These are fully produced sweeper music beds with drops and sound effects, between 5 to 20 seconds in length. All you have to do is add in your station call letters and load them into the studio. Talk about a time saving ass kicker!
For the review, I received 3 discs of these sweepers, and I immediately wanted to go back to the rock station I used to work for and add them into the studio. The barter package starts with 25 ID sweepers from Radio One and an additional 20 sweepers on CD, and by the time the year is out, you have 100 imaging ID sweepers. Even if you were to rotate the first 45 sweepers you received, twenty four hours a day, it would take at least four months before your station’s most hardcore listeners heard each one of them often enough to recognize them. Plus most of these ideas are weird enough that they would inspire most creative Imaging Directors to come up with extras on their own, which is what a good imaging library should help to do. For example, how about a nifty impression of Sean Connery asking Moneypenny to pull his finger? Or a Pythonesque “looney” type claiming to be William Shakespeare? Loads of drops of people shouting out strange things for you to associate your station ID. Your listeners will be calling the request lines to find out where the stuff came from.
I also received a CD copy of some of the Groove Addict’s beds, which are music or dance tracks with sound effects and drops mixed in, with open beds inside for imaging statements or whatever you want to lay in them. These are all around 20 to 40 seconds in length and can be used as bumpers, deejay voice over beds, or segue breakers—again, highly creative stuff that will also inspire you to new ideas for your own production.
One of the toughest challenges for rock, dance, and high-energy music stations must be how to deal with the news breaks in the drive times. Well, what do you do? Run music under the newsperson? Sound effects? Extreme Noise offers you the BBC Radio One Annihilator News, the entire Radio One news package, which has 14 main news themes and 66 mixouts including beds, sound effects, and voice drops. Your newsperson won’t know what hit them, but you’re guaranteed to have a more interesting newsbreak when you start using these. All of the beds and mixouts are at least a full :60 with plenty of looping points for longer extensions, so that they can be custom tailored to exact newscast lengths.
I didn’t get a sampling of the Gravity Music Beds, which is the production music library that’s included with the Extreme Noise package. Nor did I get the Mindbenders package, which Mann-Group says is a series of 7 multi-format CDs of sweepers, stingers and stagers with yearly updates. But if the CDs I listened to are any indication of what you’re in for, these are well worth looking into. Again, Imaging Directors at CHR, Hot AC, Rhythmic CHR, Dance, Alternative, Rock, Active Rock, or any format that want some major intensity will be able to hit the ground running at full speed with these. Any time a library can help to take the guesswork or indecision out of the sweeper assembling process, it makes them worth having.
Extreme Noise, along with everything else MannGroup offers, is available on barter basis, and they do exclusive market deals on the Extreme Noise package with each station that signs up for it. Although they don’t have a Web site, you can call them in Los Angeles at (323) 512-0144 or fax them at (323) 512-0146 for complete information. Ed Mann, the President of MannGroup also said you can email him personally if you wish, at