Many air personalities use music beds in various ways, but most shows do so without a strategic plan or knowing exactly how to. Using music beds can be a great benefit to enhance air talent or can be distraction that gets in the way of personality.
Why use music beds? Do personalities really need them? It’s a myth that a music bed will add pace or energy to a break. In fact, a music bed throughout a break often is annoying when it competes with what is being said.
However, it can help momentum and build excitement in transitions as long as it doesn’t become a crutch that replaces sharp, concise content.
All production should be used to make content more interesting. There’s nothing wrong with using music beds, as long as it has a purpose.
When choosing production pieces, pick music that fits the topic or sets a tone. Beds should always support content.
The average radio DJ usually plays generic music beds. Instead, use all produced elements to support the content.
Use beds to help paint a picture and shine a spotlight on personality. Music beds should help you entertain.
For instance, if there’s a story about something that happened on an airplane, using “Danger Zone” from Top Gun may make sense to set the stage.
Many times, music beds have no connection to the content. They’re just in the background, playing behind the talent. Sometimes they’re so loud, they actually are distracting. It’s almost as if they compete with a break.