Pulling Audio for Show Prep

Article 4 min
Staff Sergeant Chris Duckworth shows how to pull audio from a number of sources to build a better show prep. This American Forces Network (AFN) Radio Refresher covers audio integration, pre-production assets, making use of your online subscriptions, repackaging in-studio audio, repackaging multimedia products for on-air and finding your own audio. 

Your audience tunes in to hear your personality and your unique perspective on what's happening in your community. Even with a one-person show, you don't have to be the only voice on air. There's a wealth of audio sources you can use to enrich your show. From pre-produced content to in-studio recordings, more variety in your show makes for a more interesting product for your listener. 

Audio Integration

AFN has contracts with a number of radio content sites that generate content for you to use. Sites like Wise Brother produce daily clips you can download with the latest entertainment buzz, wacky news, daily history and sports updates. They also build:

  • Daily sweepers and liners
  • Fresh show openers
  • Artist interview clips

All of these can be brought into your prep to plan for a more developed show. 

Pre-Production Assets

Make a habit to check these subscription sites when you start your show prep. If a celebrity has made some hilarious comments or there's a new viral video, it's much more effective to discuss on air if you can play the audio so your audience can hear what you're discussing instead of you just telling them about it. It brings them into your show. 

Using Online Subscriptions

When developing bits, let the professionals do the work for you. You can create a Tech Tuesday, Sports Roundup or Throwback Thursday bit with an already-produced element. Take Wise Brother's Today in Tech History bits. This one is about the product UPCs.


Today in tech history, June 26th, 1974, a universal product code, otherwise known as a UPC, was used to ring up a purchase for the first time at a supermarket in Troy, Ohio.

Load it into your audio system. You can play the intro over the fade of a song, then talk after about food specials or the bulk ordering system at your local commissary.


Today in tech history, a universal product code, otherwise known as a UPC was used to ring up a purchase for the first time at a supermarket in Troy, Ohio. First item scanned was a 10-pack of Juicy Fruit gum. This has been Today in Tech History. Find out all you need to know about UPCs at your local commissary.

Not every pre-produced product on these sites is appropriate to air on AFN. Be sure to listen to them and only use products that are within our on-air standards. These sites also produce sweepers, drops, kickers, liners, show openers and sound libraries that can be used to develop personalized show elements. 

PRO TIP: Check out Personalizing Show Elements for more ideas on how to use them! 

Repackaging In-Studio Audio

You already capture interview audio from your guests. If you have a really good sound bite, cut it up for a quick on-air play to augment the content you're pushing. If your commander is asking for stronger participation in honor guard events:

  1. pull that audio from their interview,
  2. cut it into a short clip
  3. and play it on air during your live show. 

You also have a wealth of audio from your video team or production department you can use to promote command initiatives and drive listeners to see the full product on your Facebook page. 

Finding Your Own Audio

You walk around every day with a digital media suite in your pocket. If you run into a commander or a community influencer who has information or initiatives to push:

  1. pop your phone out,
  2. record a sound bite
  3. and package it for on-air use. 

Good prep makes a tight show. Get creative, try new things and, most importantly, have fun. Have a great show.

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