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London station goes to Seattle For 'Dallas' jingles..
  • LenGroatLenGroat June 2012

    With less and less stations and choice on the 'dial' in the UK, a chance to hear and discuss a NEW custom package for the (This Is) GOLD Network. The post on Sound Cloud explains the background to it.

    IQ Beats Gold 2012 (Vocals by Famous Dallas Jingle Session Singers) by

  • mjb1124mjb1124 June 2012
    I have to say that this is an improvement over the last package. Still not JAM quality, mind you, but the tracks do have some life to them this time.
  • simon_t123simon_t123 June 2012
    ahh I like these :) and the former package ... I think it's the Dallas vocals that do it for me (and the package) ... here's a demo of the former package from 2010 ...

    GOLD 2010 Demo (IQ Beats) by flamingoodmedia
  • these are fine. nice job
  • ratnobratnob June 2012

    these are fine. nice job

    Bob's use of 'fine' and 'nice' sums up how I feel. As jingles, they work. They just lack a bit do pizazz, of excitement, perhaps.
  • Not bad at all. I think any package with the Dallas vocals works fine, regardless of jingle company....
  • yes. however, what did the buyer want? for example; i never could understand why anybody would order pams without the ultimate energy level, but they did.
    why order the package without hot ballstothewall reverb, but they did.
    its what they wanted.
    pizaaz is like the fizz on a coke vs. the flatness of a pepsi. i like cokes. a lot of people like pepsi though. just how it is.

    so these cuts are nice.

    everything can always be better.
  • JAM+%2F+PAMSJAM / PAMS June 2012
    For the benefit of newer readers...

    You all keep using the phrase "Dallas vocals" as if it refers to one particular vocal group that is always the same. As I've explained before, each singer is an independent freelancer, and each jingle producer puts together sessions based on the singers they want to work with. So, for example, a 7-voice group at JAM does not consist of the same people as a 7-voice group elsewhere. There will probably be some overlap, but the writing, producing and personnel can be significantly different.

    The fact that 3 singers from Dallas agreed to get on a plane and sing in Seattle for a few days does not necessarily make them "Dallas vocals". It makes them "vocals performed by some of the Dallas singers."

    What you are really talking about, maybe, is the Dallas vocal STYLE. But even that keeps changing and is a function of who is doing the writing and singing. The whole notion that "everyone uses the same singers, and everyone sounds the same" is an old misconception that drives me crazy. It may have been true about a few companies 35 years ago, when groups did tend to go from place to place intact. But it certainly hasn't been the case for a long time.

    Bottom line: There is no way to get "JAM vocals" other than by coming to JAM. You can substitute any other company's name for JAM in that sentence and it will still be true.
  • recipe my lad, recipe.
    i have a friend in l.a. that thought his "ben & jerrys" was made in vermont and trucked 3000 miles to his grocery cooler. i know; foolish.
    i dont know how many times i had to explain it was made from cow juice squeezed on the west coast. not in vermont. yet, he still wanted to believe there were 2 clowns in some old vermont barn making ice cream by hand just for him.
    fact is, b&j is owned by a multi-national that cares about the bottom line, not how content elsie is, in a slick modern stainless steel plant. 'made under license', on the west coast.
    so be it.
    as for dallas singers? they are a group that have worked together over and over here there and everywhere. they know eachother and they know what to expect from eachother. they click and blend well, and i guess you could put them in the b&j plant and they would still click together and turn out a fine product.
    its the recipe......
  • tcarmantcarman June 2012
    I have to disagree, Bob, and agree with Jon on this one. Even if you take the same seven singers and have them at JAM in the morning and TM in the afternoon, you're going to get a different sound. Will the "voices" be the same... Yes AND No. The charts are not going to have been written the same or in many cases, the same style. While the singers may have worked together and know what to "expect" from each other, the end product is going to be different based on how they are balanced, recorded and mixed. This includes not only the difference in the singers, but the processing (eq, reverb and so on) also.

    As for recipe (I always like that term, since I moderate a recipe format on the internet)... you can have all of the ingredients for a fine cake, but unless you know exactly how to put them all together (blending, the right sequence, correct pan prep, oven temp, and other little nuances) they are all still just ingredients. It's the recipe that makes the difference. There are many different combinations and techniques that can be used... and each will yield a different result.
  • BarrasBarras June 2012
    It sounds like I`m trying to do a “Tony Blair” here and be the agreeing diplomat :) as I`m torn between agreeing with Jon, Tracy and Bob. IMHO logic dictates that the “same seven singers” singing at JAM, TM or a studio in London, LA etc…whichever studio they`re singing in would create the same vocal sound, however, Tracy mentioned eq, reverb etc…the different producion techniques will make the vocal sound different. You could even analyse this further and take into account the “human” element too, what I mean is, psychologically the singers might react differently to whoever is producing them and to get the “true” JAM sound, Jon Wolfert is there during the session…I must confess I got it wrong the other day over on the JAM Jingle Airchecks thread, I thought a shout @ WWIK (Fun 98.9) was by JAM but it`s by another jingle company.
  • Ben Freedman anyone?

    Re "Gold" - if the clients wants tracks from one company but the vocal talent/style from another, then I think you have to ask yourself why - in this particular case I think it says more about Dallas than it does about Seattle.

    I could hear the wonderful Steve Haas on the 2010 package - what a top singer/guy he is

    Well done IQ Beats, the latest Gold cuts sound great!
  • LenGroatLenGroat June 2012
    This discussion has got in-depth, which I feel is GOOD. We all ‘hear’ jingles differently so I’m sure we can agree/disagree as gentlemen (and lady!) but also all learn more about the SUBTELTIES of jingle singing. I did not give my view when I started on this post but let me comment on a few of yours:

    Bob Green

    “they know each other and they know what to expect from each other. they click and blend well, and I guess you could put them in the b&j plant and they would still click together and turn out a fine product.”

    Over 5 years I sat through about 30 days of vocal and mixing sessions in Dallas, and there in not one ‘jingle anorak’ amongst the singers I saw (and I saw a lot) it’s a JOB. The singers merely sing what is on the parts in front of them; 100% professionally, but ONLY as dictated by the parts writer, ‘group leader’, and engineer (and occasionally ‘station rep’ if they are there is one). Therefore, from one company to the next there IS a LOT of room for variations in vocals between sessions of the same (or similar groups of) singers.

    In many cases there are 2 or 3 of the ‘girls’ who MIGHT do ‘lead’ but to get ‘the’ sound of the original you need THE one who did it, likewise with the ‘boys’.

    For many ‘radio execs’ who go to Dallas sessions a lot of this is LOST on them, they were not ‘anoraks’, it was a ‘jolly’, they had a great time and went home with great jingles because the people of the jingle company ‘heard’ most of the stuff that needed ‘catching before it was too late’.


    “The fact that 3 singers from Dallas agreed to get on a plane and sing in Seattle for a few days does not necessarily make them "Dallas vocals". It makes them "vocals performed by some of the Dallas singers."

    I don’t know if the 3 Dallas singers were augmented by any local Seattle singers, but even if they were the fact is the sound on the GOLD cuts is ‘thin’ (though still professional). Also, I’ve never heard of any ‘Dallas style’ group jingle having less than 4 singers (Breakthrough) and for me FM type material needs 5, AM 5 or 7. The product is more of a ‘Dallas pastiche’, particularly with the thinly written backing tracks.


    “Even if you take the same seven singers and have them at JAM in the morning and TM in the afternoon, you're going to get a different sound. Will the "voices" be the same... Yes AND No”

    You hit the nail on the head TC. For the material I bought in the last year from JAM, and then TM, some of the singers are the same, but on one cut I had a superb female solo, purely sung, by the same singer who later did exaggerated vibrato on a cut at the other studio.

    If you are buying a PAMS cut from the 60s the way the parts are written/ sung has to be ‘as it was back then’, which is very different to the way 80s or 90s cuts from JAM were written/sung. And the TM vocal sound is very different again…. for my recent 'Chicago' song I asked that it be 'looser', in 70s style, JUST like the original.


    “psychologically the singers might react differently to whoever is producing them and to get the “true” JAM sound, Jon Wolfert is there during the session”

    It’s hard not to ‘personalise’ this and yes I agree Jon’s company, and his ‘presence’, does (to me) raise the ‘bar’ several notches. If I may use the word ‘disciplined’, it describes what I saw at JAM; the singers are ‘worked’ very hard, as the VOCALS are always the ‘lead’ in what you actually hear; they are not drowned out by tons of echo, ‘yeah yeahs’, or mixed down into the track as some companies now have to do to make their product. I also challenge anyone to ‘hear’ the name of the breakfast dj on that cut – it’s in the wrong position, sung too fast and not CLEAR at all!

    My personal view on this package:

    Jingles for a station playing 60s and 70s music should be of the STYLE played with it back then; these are too short, a lyrical ‘desert’, and all say the SAME thing.

    GOLD’s audience figures are very low, (23rd in London by ‘reach’/ 1.2% ‘share’)

    It needs a LOT more than these jingles offer to make it sound ‘fun’, ‘exciting’ and ‘a station you want to go back to..’ 'Gold radio' is about.... personality....

    In case anyone accuses me of being biased, I point out the (not so subtle) dig from IQBeats on the press-release:

    “we appreciate that stations have choices. There are hundreds of ‘back in the day’ packages sitting on the shelves just ready to be resung as quickly as you can say..well..Gold!”

    Reversing that logic, with little heritage, IQBeats don’t HAVE any suitable (what they call) ‘back in the day packages’. And to hear what THEY contributed to this package, imagine the cuts without the ‘Dallas singers’, and you are left with VERY little; some drums, ok brass, and jingles that are so short not much can happen + they have none of the FX or ‘ear catching audio tricks’ one gets from (companies such as ) JAM.

    Plus ~ most importantly ~ they HAD to get SOME ‘Dallas singers’ in to actually make them.
  • mjb1124mjb1124 June 2012

    Re "Gold" - if the clients wants tracks from one company but the vocal talent/style from another, then I think you have to ask yourself why - in this particular case I think it says more about Dallas than it does about Seattle.

    If anything, it speaks to the negative attitude that the UK radio industry has towards the Dallas companies, moreso than to the actual quality of their product. I don't fault IQ Beats for trying, as I think these jingles are above-average quality and pull off the "Dallas" sound fairly convincingly. But it's still nothing that JAM, TM, or Radioscape (possibly among others) couldn't have done better - or for that matter, that they DIDN'T do better with their "back in the day packages". And they can still pull it off - just listen to WDRC-FM right now, and you'll hear some recently-created JAM jingles that have pretty much the same musical and vocal style, but I think they sound smoother, with better arrangements and a certain extra spark that's slightly lacking in these Gold cuts. Your mileage may vary, of course.

    Jingles for a station playing 60s and 70s music should be of the STYLE played with it back then; these are too short, a lyrical ‘desert’, and all say the SAME thing.

    Well, for better or worse, short and simple slogan cuts are what's in right now - even with classic hits stations that use authentic Dallas jingles. So IQ Beats just delivered what the client wanted. But again, I think the actual Dallas companies could have done better.
  • perhaps price was an issue too?

    but all in all, i have no problems with them at all, like em in fact.
    the buyer can haul out an old cut or 2 or 3 if necessary and use these an 'fresh paint' window dressing
  • RichardRichard June 2012
    I would just like to add my tuppence worth. I liked the previous package Gold 2 and I suppose for a top up Gold 3 isn't too bad, but Len is correct in saying they do lack lyrics, depth and sparkle. Listening to the station as I do the overall sound is slick and the jingles and VO's by Randell Lee Rose fit well, but as we know with all things Global there is too much repetition and a lack of On Air personality, so maybe that's why they work? I enjoy 60's and 70's music so really all there is to listen to is Gold. Yes Smooth and Magic are similar but as a jingle anorak these two stations just don't do it for me with there Whitney type jingles that don't even come close to the music played. In an ideal world I wish we could go back a few years and have GEM, Capital Gold and Super Gold etc. where personality, fun jingles and a wider playlist ruled. But for now we have Gold and in comparison with other stations jingles, they are nearly there, with a reminder of what station imaging used to be like, miles better than the other two mentioned and even better that those on Radio 2. Sadly they are not JAM or TM but in a radio dessert they will do.
  • LenGroatLenGroat June 2012

    I suspect ONE of your 'wishes' may be 'coming' true VERY soon :-)
  • danjamesukdanjamesuk June 2012
    I think these new cuts sound great, with nice, richly-textured vocals. But you'd expect great vocals with charts drawn up by Steve Haas, who directed and sang with the 5 (not 3) part vocal group too. Remember that IQ Beats were COMMISSIONED to produce this package. They could've said no, but instead had the balls to rise to the challenge.

    This is a modern-day imaging company with a vast portfolio of styles and sounds, from rock/guitar/urban/synth-led cuts with modern vocals, to full-on orchestral arrangements and authentic-sounding gold and country music packages with more traditional vocal groups. I'd say that's pretty impressive, and they're possibly the most versatile of the current crop of imaging companies since JAM. Oops. Controversial.
  • Looking for work Dan ?
  • danjamesukdanjamesuk June 2012
    No Chalks, I'm not looking for work, I already have a great job thanks. Yes, I have produced demos for IQ Beats and have never approached them (I've also never made a secret of this fact). I've always had a fondness for IQ Beats' imaging, even before being 'hired' by them. I'm simply reporting the facts and my honest, personal opinion.
  • ouch, ouch. does this mean every pointless laudatory for a bland jam cut also will suffersevere scrutinizing?
  • simon_t123simon_t123 June 2012
    Gold 2 was better than Gold 3 having listened a few times now ... with Gold 3 it might be my audio setup but the vocals are almost drowned out by bass or reverb or some kind of FX, I know the packages sound great on AM and in the car just from listening in, I suspect on grounds of cost vs listening figures that Gold 3 is a smaller affair than Gold 2, it's a top up, not really a full package, unsure if Gold are running both however ?

    The vocals are ok for the station, there's effort been made, the tracks as Len has pointed out are ... a bit of a head scratcher really, as I think IQbeats are saying this is a great example of a modern made oldies package, which is almost a contradiction, the production of the Gold tracks is too modern, the instrumentation etc, it gives more of a current feel that does not sit right with me at least ... it reminds me of the Capital Gold Music4 package which had tracks which to me me, we're not in the main sounding 'gold' by design. I've no beans with IQbeats, I love their 'Heart' work & I do like these 'Gold' packages and a great deal of what they've done on the whole, they have the disadvantage where they don't have a back catalogue of tracks that would really work for an oldies station, in the way that JAM do for example, and personally I feel as we've only one UK based gold network that authenticity from the era should come through in the imaging, the way PAMS cuts work for various stations, JAM or TM may well of had the cuts to fit the bill on this occasion ...
  • danjamesukdanjamesuk June 2012
    Thought it would have been of INTEREST to people knowing that Steve Haas was the vocal arranger on this and Gold 2, and that it's a 5-part group (as some people think it was a 3 voice group). When I heard of his involvement, I thought it was great that one of the 'new kids on the block' (relatively) wanted to work with someone with his experience.

    I like IQ Beats. I also like JAM; after all, Jon and his team sparked my interest in jingles many moons ago. Indeed, some of the best JAM re-sings ever were heard on Trent FM, commissioned by Len.

    Simply voicing a positive opinion for IQ Beats doesn't warrant a cynical "looking for work Dan?". Although, knowing how the printed word can be misinterpreted, perhaps this wasn't Chalks' intention.

    First time I've posted on JM for about a year. Thought these little behind-the-scenes nuggets may have sparked some interest, that's all!
  • LenGroatLenGroat June 2012
    I think Simon has summed this up well: the vocal quality IS there, or as Dan commented:

    "I think these new cuts sound great, with nice, richly-textured vocals"

    But.... the sound is 'thin' for an OLDIES service, when the original style would have often been 7 voice, with a BASS voice. to 'go with the music' of the station.

    It is mainly the tracks that let it down; just using brass to create a 'retro' style does not work becauae PAMS had an endless variety of instruments (and fx) on all their 'classic packages' from the 'gold' era.

    Overall, I feel whoever did the 'brief' made a mistake. These are jingles for an oldies station SO... why make them in the 'new' style? They are too short, too little lyric, NO 'fun element', or instrumental variety for a 'gold' station's listeners who would EXPECT to hear more of all of these elements.

    And as has been noted, it's a small, inexpensive top-up, so they are not really spending much on what is a quasi-national service that closed down dozens of perfectly good local AMs, reducing listener choice. To suceed, and get even a few Radio 2 listeners the station needs to be MUCH more imaginative AND spend more money on jingles!
  • danjamesukdanjamesuk June 2012
    Not sure these are made in a 'new' style... traditional vocal sound with drums, guitar, bass, brass and percussion. The only synth elements are Moog-style, as you'd hear in many a 1970s package.

    I get your point about PAMS, and they fit perfectly on the original set of gold stations playing hits from the 50s, 60s and 70s. However, the gold format itself has evolved, ditching the 50s and including the 80s. In the case of the Gold network, it's a much more upbeat station nowadays, therefore a late 70s-influenced sound is a much better fit. That's not to say Gold has got younger, it just means it's GROWN UP with its audience. Which is absolutely necessary otherwise 'graveyard shift' would take on a whole new meaning. The fact that Gold is entertaining a growing audience also suggests they're doing something right; it's a station that makes me feel good (precisely why I've always loved radio), even though I refuse to admit I'm too young to be part of its' demographic. Perhaps I should also grow up!
  • mjb1124mjb1124 June 2012

    I think these new cuts sound great, with nice, richly-textured vocals. But you'd expect great vocals with charts drawn up by Steve Haas, who directed and sang with the 5 (not 3) part vocal group too. Remember that IQ Beats were COMMISSIONED to produce this package. They could've said no, but instead had the balls to rise to the challenge.

    I don't disagree with this - it's a pretty decent effort by IQ Beats to recreate the Dallas sound with strong vocals, and I give them credit for trying. And I do agree that they seem to have a good amount of versatility - definitely more so than that other, more popular Seattle company. I guess my "beef" is that at the end of the day, it's still an imitation, and I can't quite see why Gold would opt for an imitation when there's still "nothing like the real thing". I doubt that these customs were cheaper than getting some WABC/WLS/Z100/KIIS/CBS-FM/etc. cuts resung, and those would have worked just as well with the music while adding that extra "sparkle".

    But hey - I, for one, welcome a hearty debate.
  • wixy1360wixy1360 June 2012
    I would suspect that a certain "former resident of Kirkcaldy" would probably tell himself that the entire UK radio industry would consider him a laughing stock if he ever dared to say he would go to JAM (or perhaps even TM) in the 2010's for any jingle package for his foreign-owners' Group of stations that have near-destroyed the UK's former ILR "heritage" stations system.

    He has to retain "face" to keep up his reputation/ego, and be seen going to the current "hip" producers of the day (he did just that in the 80s and 90s too), even if he might ever be proved to misjudge things (fairs fair, no-one is perfect all the time). The fact that there is "Dallas influence" at all in this commission is itself perhaps a sign of "mellowing with age"?.
  • LenGroatLenGroat June 2012
    Funny you should say that Iain !

  • wixy1360wixy1360 June 2012
    LOL! Don't know if "Jackie" eventually coped with the pronounciation of "Auld Reekie FM" (thats the fair city of Edinburgh for the uninitiated...) but Cheryl at JAM did Scots Gaelic "sgian-dubhs" just fine for me on a Best Show cut!
  • LenGroatLenGroat June 2012
    And things get even MORE interesting....? As today in the feature 'Real to Heart, Smooth to Gold?' we learn quite a few more (non-heritage) station names may 'bite the ILR dust...'

    As well as a few managers and presenters, some jingle company people may also not be very happy at the moment ?

    Time to switch careers people?
  • wixy1360wixy1360 June 2012
    One day we'll wake up to find that "ILR" will have gone the way of "ITV" - one big merged merger of consolodated amalgamations plus a couple of other smaller bits to make it look like there's still some "choice".

    "BBC + 2 commercial" for each area was touted by Ofcom a while back - soon be "BBC + X".

    And I don't think Global can expect Clear Channel to buy them up when they've finished scooping up all the other "meaningful" UK radio groups - CC went in to Chapter 11 Bankrupty Protection (just as other USA broadcasting conglomerates have done).

    Global are following the exact same path ("apeing it" even) as CC, Cumulus, etc and using the exact same business techniques and also technical means to "smart program" the life (and people) out of their stations into a computerised rump of bland meaningless cash-generation (or indeed, debt-management - paying the interest on whats owed is proving hard enough for all these over-acquisitive conglomerates). Still, CEOs and Board Members have to get their Bonus for "great performance" no matter what they actually do to the companies they supposedly are looking after.
    The Law of Diminishing Returns is spiralling downwards for UK "commercial" radio now too.

    Would be nice though if NRJ got whatever eventually remains - would at least get some bl&&dy good French jingles!
  • ahhhyes, ranting thats near and dear to my heart.. funny isnt it. you'd expect this crap was limited to the u.s. yet? seems its anywhere english is spoken.
    you know; there ought to be a law. i guess, here at least, there was...until deep pockets bought off the political hacks that approve this crap, for the public good no less, and allowed mass consumption of broadcast properties by bankers.

    i had a dear friend, now passed on, that owned a class D station here. it was a 1kw daytimer. something everybody in the biz called a piece of crap property. am, daylight only hours, piss for power, and yet, my friend was always #1 in every book. his 1kw crapper whipped the ass of the 50kwFM powerhouse 3 miles away. every time the ratings came out he was #1 with a solid lock. how? simple! he kept it local. he signed on with in depth LOCAL news, and took a 5 min hit from the net for national updates. he had LOCAL telephone talk shows (the first in the state, i might add, doing this), and he was always there on remote for every fund raiser or promotion. his worthless little shitbox am was always #1 because it (he) cared about full community service. they had a news mobil van, they played music from the remotes, took requests, and turned out a huge mass everywhere they went. very personality driven.

    this is not being done by any group owner. when pressed to justify their abuse of process the same excuse is used. "that would cost to much". huh??? wtf?? youve pushed the spot rate to 5 times its worth (a good reason why nobody buys time lately), you have no air staff, just that $500 IBM running the dish feed, so wheres the overhead? wheres your cost? and now that youve managed to give the public nothing; they all got ipods! and youre going broke...not soon enough!
  • wixy1360wixy1360 June 2012
    Very eruditely put Bob!

    Although the USA "Mom & Pop" station kind of setup is/has been almost impossible in the UK due to how the private sector radio licencing system was initially setup and has "evolved" (sic), your story is a good reminder of "what COULD have been" in the UK, and to what some of the independent stations in the 1970s/80s DID try to do to be part of their audiences' lives (just ask Len G) rather than just the computer-fed only-the-advertiser-now-matters "jukeboxes" we increasingly have here now.

    "seems its anywhere english is spoken"

    Ironically, the debates about the state of today's radio discussed in the UK on e.g. a certain big forum are identical to those on the New York one - each side of the pond doesn't realise that the same thing is happening elsewhere - and in both places those who despair for their once-proud industry are similarly often "shouted down" by the "mantra-speak" of conglomerate-company "supporters" who, as you say, only see the money and the B-S they get fed by their corporate management and care nothing for the "art" of good radio. (There ARE exceptions though ... some of the "good guys" do appear on JM!)
  • my friend, a heavy smoker his entire life, did quit. just to late. he suffered 3 strokes. it became necessary for the family to sell their "worthless" little pea-shooter.
    they thought they had found the perfect single owner to buy it. the transaction was completed to shortly discover it was a straw buyer and the group owner with the #3 50kw fm powerhouse in the market managed to scoop up total market ownership within 2 years. (something that is not allowed by law here, monopoly, yet was seemingly overlooked).
    the am daytimer has its very own computer now, and dish. all dreck-all the time. its now an 'unlisted' property in all ratings. no listenership either. these people boast that they have 7 stations in town. theres a fringe low power fm and a college fm left. i guess the thinking is might is right?
    we cant wait for this cluster to bankrupt soon enough. and it will. they all do.
  • pvrakkingpvrakking June 2012
    I think the jingles do Gold justice. I ti nice to hear sung jingles in stead of just punch lines with noises in between. Also if I listen to it as a whole, the music, jingles and DJ's form a unity. In the current radio scene with personality radio and side kicks this is such a relieve.
    My favorite station in the UK when I am there on holiday, I do not even mind the MW-sound, as long as the quality of the program is good.

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