Stingers: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

I am in the third year of co-hosting a radio show, and every year my co-host and I work ourselves up into a frenzied state over our stingers for the show.
For the uninitiated, I will provide you with the definition of a “stinger.”

Stinger (noun): a short sound clip used to divide sections of a radio program or podcast, also known as a sounder.

Are our stingers too long? Do they even make sense? What will these ten second sound clips ultimately say about our show? Why don’t we take our show seriously? Should our last show of the year be a show in which we only play our stingers, because we will have so many by then and they will be so awesome?

The Good:
•Oddly enough, the “Porno” stinger is the favorite stinger. (The “porno” in the name refers to the creepy background music.) It’s short, sweet, and to-the-point. Not to mention, that enthusiastic “aww yeah” could never be replicated.

•The “Animal Hoarding” stinger is one of my personal favorites. It’s quick, catchy, and uses a lot of sound effects for added cheesiness and hilarity.

•Another favorite, the “Panflute” stinger is both meaningful and amusing. Though, I question the length of the panflute solo.

The Bad:
•The “Hair Cut” stinger was made during a week when both my co-host and I had received terrible haircuts. Unfortunately, it doesn’t say anything about our show in particular, other than that we like to have fun and also stay out of sight after a bad trip to the hair salon.

•Oh, the “Rap” stinger. You mean, you didn’t tune in to hear my skinny, white co-host rap?

•The “Nilbog” stinger is really an homage to Troll 2. This stinger has about as much quality as the movie, which is to say, none.

The Ugly:
•What can I say about the “Rocket Ship” stinger, other than that it is my failed attempt to make a stinger dripping with all the glory and patriotism of our radio show?

•The “Robot” stinger was originally about thirty seconds longer. While I do enjoy the idea of a robot being “out of Tostitos, out of emotions,” I don’t think this stinger ever really made any sense or translated well.

•Note to self: Just because your co-host is named Max, doesn’t mean you should make a stinger incorporating the phrase “to the max.”

Dear readers, I welcome your criticisms. What are your best practices for stingers? Teach me your (undoubtedly much better) ways.


5 responses to “Stingers: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

  1. Everytime I see the ‘Oh My Gaaaaaaaaahd’ video it gets more painful to watch.

  2. The porno one sounds odd in the beginning. I couldn’t decide if it sounded more like children or chipmunks, but I like the “awwwww yeah.” I think it’s my favorite one so far, but I think I’d leave out the words before “awww Yeah” and just go with awkward porno sounds.

  3. I should also note that this was hugely entertaining. Took a lot of concentration not to laugh out loud ^_^

  4. Question: Do college radio stations have legal exemptions from copyright regulations? Just wondering about the regulations for using audio clips from movies and other media.

  5. I think college radio stingers are, for the most part, covered under fair use. Though, I admit, it is something I should learn a lot more about.

    1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes — College radio stations are educational broadcasting labs, and are nonprofit organizations.

    2. The nature of the copyrighted work — Some, though not all, of the sounds featured in these stingers came from the station’s library of sound effects that the station has the rights to.

    3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole — Stingers typically are under 30 seconds, so DJs don’t use the entire copyrighted work. This is akin to sampling in hip-hop and other musical genres, as well.

    4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work — Neither the DJs nor the station profits from the stingers.

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