Industry Insight Vol. Six: Radio Production – Ruben De Ronde

Ruben De Ronde opens up about his role as a radio producer during A State Of Trance radio.

| by | Features, Interviews

Sometimes you have to look at the Industry in a different way. Instead of putting the focus on the artist, the DJ or the producer, look at the people behind the scenes who may not get the credit that they deserve. For this edition of Industry Insight, we have Ruben De Ronde, a producer and DJ, but the focus of this interview is Ruben De Ronde as the radio producer for Armin Van Buuren’s A State Of Trance radio. During Amsterdam Dance Event, they broadcasted a full fourteen hour long episode with various special guests arriving throughout the day. So Ruben talks about the daily tasks, the stress, what he gets up too and much more.

As it may not be known, how did Ruben De Ronde become a radio producer for A State Of Trance radio and what would be a typical day in the life for yourself?

How I got involved and how things are now are a world apart. I started out helping Armin ten years ago with A State Of Trance. He needed someone to help him out with selecting tracks. I would go through tons of emails, tons of promos and would get a selection out of that. How did I get involved? Basically I was asked by him.

I was always walking around festivals with promos for my label Statement Recordings, so they were looking for someone who loved music, who had a taste for music, and who was involved in music. And then throughout the years my role became bigger and bigger, from behind the scenes to co-hosting, playing events, and then I became the radio producer, I produced the whole show during ADE. Starting out just selecting promos, and then doing this, it’s crazy.

In terms of what enticed you into becoming a radio producer, it almost seems like it was a natural progression for you throughout the years?

I think we are pioneering with everything that we are doing, it’s not something you can study in terms of what we do, and you are always staying ahead of everyone else. We have the new studio here, it has become a whole different approach to the way you do radio. We do the radio show of course, with 150 radio stations broadcasting A State Of Trance. But we also do Spotify, YouTube, and the whole visual aspect as well, almost every big radio station has a TV channel as well. So that’s a whole new direction and it’s becoming bigger and bigger and bigger.

It’s a lot of pressure, but it’s a lot of fun. We have doubled the amount of listeners this year alone. We went from 50 million reach to whatever, you know, it’s fun but demanding.

When producing the radio show, obviously you have a number of tasks or objectives you need to carry out. Could you tell us a few of those tasks which you undertake?

It’s a process which keeps ongoing all the time. The show which we done for ADE, it took two months to plan and schedule. People from ALDA events who booked all the artists, the guys at Armada who looked after the press and gave us the opportunity to use The Club. But a normal show, you are always looking for new music, for example, if I’m chatting to you I would ask have you got any new music, like a premiere? It’s always an on-going process. I was speaking to the guys from Anjunabeats recently, with Gabriel & Dresden, Ilan Bluestone, releasing new albums, so I’m looking at new music for next year as well. It really is an on-going process.

With A State Of Trance radio, it is broadcast live to millions of people who tune in for the hottest Trance records. Is there any key tasks which you carry out when producing the show, especially when it is live? Fine tuning certain elements etc.

If you watch or listen to A State Of Trance, you can only see or hear me and Armin. But there is a whole team behind the scenes working, especially when we started doing the video work. Camera angles, making sure the recordings are fine, small things like making sure the guests are received in the right manor, it’s a team effort. You only see me and Armin, in the past it was just Armin, but there is about eight or nine people in the background.

If you do it live like we did over ADE, we had about forty or fifty people working together just to make sure everything went okay. There was the radio department in the UK who have links to all the radio stations, this meant we had to send the radio signal to them, and they relay it on. The guys from G Productions checked the internet to make sure our connections were strong enough, it’s a team effort, it’s not just me and Armin.

Talking about the job in general gives off the impression that it can be rather stressful. Do you find that high stress levels are a part of the job?

During ADE we had guest DJs performing for twenty minutes each, from all over the world, and we had guys like Paul Oakenfold, who needed to come from the centre of the town to our office and studio, and it was like, are they going to be here? Luckily we had the guys from ALDA events who co-ordinated all of this, making sure all of the artists come on time, and we don’t have time to sit and ask, where are these guys? It’s stressful yeah, but it’s fun.

In terms of the musical track selection, there is only a certain amount of music you can put into the radio show in the two hour slot. Can you tell us a little bit about the process of choosing tracks and how they are included within the radio show?

It is the hardest thing. In our experience right now, we come into the radio show with fifty tracks, and we only get to play thirty. This means we have to disappoint twenty producers asking is their track going to be played. And Armin decides on the fly which tracks are going to played if it fits, say if keys clash, then it won’t be played. For any producers reading this, don’t start your track with chords running, because it won’t be played. So we end up with thirty tracks from a selection of seventy, which comes from hundreds of promos. We could easily fill three or four hours. And sometimes my tracks don’t even get played, and I’m like [bleep] Armin.

Rounding off the interview then, what would be your one piece of advice for an upcoming radio producer who has identified this as their career?

Try to be different from anyone else. There are hundreds of copies of A State Of Trance, hundreds with basically the same track-list, the same music. Try to be unique. I have the my own radio show each week, The Sound Of Holland, together with listeners and I put on the webcam and let people see what I’m doing. It’s a different approach to what we do here in the studio, it’s a more computer based approach, but I try to be unique as well. Make a selection of tunes which no one else has selected, delve deeper into promo pools, and try and find that special tune no one else has found. So yeah, try to be unique.

For more information on Ruben De Ronde:
https://www.facebook.com/rubenderonde/
https://twitter.com/rubenderonde
https://soundcloud.com/rubenderonde

And watch the full A State Of Trance ADE Special here.

Industry Insight Vol. 6 - Ruben De Ronde

Ruben De Ronde.

Sometimes you have to look at the Industry in a different way. Instead of putting the focus on the artist, the DJ or the producer, look at the people behind the scenes who may not get the credit that they deserve. For this edition of Industry Insight, we have Ruben De Ronde, a producer and DJ, but the focus of this interview is Ruben De Ronde as the radio producer for Armin Van Buuren’s A State Of Trance radio. During Amsterdam Dance Event, they broadcasted a full fourteen hour long episode with various special guests arriving throughout the day. So Ruben talks about the daily tasks, the stress, what he gets up too and much more.

As it may not be known, how did Ruben De Ronde become a radio producer for A State Of Trance radio and what would be a typical day in the life for yourself?

How I got involved and how things are now are a world apart. I started out helping Armin ten years ago with A State Of Trance. He needed someone to help him out with selecting tracks. I would go through tons of emails, tons of promos and would get a selection out of that. How did I get involved? Basically I was asked by him.

I was always walking around festivals with promos for my label Statement Recordings, so they were looking for someone who loved music, who had a taste for music, and who was involved in music. And then throughout the years my role became bigger and bigger, from behind the scenes to co-hosting, playing events, and then I became the radio producer, I produced the whole show during ADE. Starting out just selecting promos, and then doing this, it’s crazy.

Ruben De Ronde.

In terms of what enticed you into becoming a radio producer, it almost seems like it was a natural progression for you throughout the years?

I think we are pioneering with everything that we are doing, it’s not something you can study in terms of what we do, and you are always staying ahead of everyone else. We have the new studio here, it has become a whole different approach to the way you do radio. We do the radio show of course, with 150 radio stations broadcasting A State Of Trance. But we also do Spotify, YouTube, and the whole visual aspect as well, almost every big radio station has a TV channel as well. So that’s a whole new direction and it’s becoming bigger and bigger and bigger.

It’s a lot of pressure, but it’s a lot of fun. We have doubled the amount of listeners this year alone. We went from 50 million reach to whatever, you know, it’s fun but demanding.

When producing the radio show, obviously you have a number of tasks or objectives you need to carry out. Could you tell us a few of those tasks which you undertake?

Ruben De Ronde.

It’s a process which keeps ongoing all the time. The show which we done for ADE, it took two months to plan and schedule. People from ALDA events who booked all the artists, the guys at Armada who looked after the press and gave us the opportunity to use The Club. But a normal show, you are always looking for new music, for example, if I’m chatting to you I would ask have you got any new music, like a premiere? It’s always an on-going process. I was speaking to the guys from Anjunabeats recently, with Gabriel & Dresden, Ilan Bluestone, releasing new albums, so I’m looking at new music for next year as well. It really is an on-going process.

Ruben De Ronde.

With A State Of Trance radio, it is broadcast live to millions of people who tune in for the hottest Trance records. Is there any key tasks which you carry out when producing the show, especially when it is live? Fine tuning certain elements etc.

If you watch or listen to A State Of Trance, you can only see or hear me and Armin. But there is a whole team behind the scenes working, especially when we started doing the video work. Camera angles, making sure the recordings are fine, small things like making sure the guests are received in the right manor, it’s a team effort. You only see me and Armin, in the past it was just Armin, but there is about eight or nine people in the background.

Ruben De Ronde.

If you do it live like we did over ADE, we had about forty or fifty people working together just to make sure everything went okay. There was the radio department in the UK who have links to all the radio stations, this meant we had to send the radio signal to them, and they relay it on. The guys from G Productions checked the internet to make sure our connections were strong enough, it’s a team effort, it’s not just me and Armin.

Talking about the job in general gives off the impression that it can be rather stressful. Do you find that high stress levels are a part of the job?

Ruben De Ronde.

During ADE we had guest DJs performing for twenty minutes each, from all over the world, and we had guys like Paul Oakenfold, who needed to come from the centre of the town to our office and studio, and it was like, are they going to be here? Luckily we had the guys from ALDA events who co-ordinated all of this, making sure all of the artists come on time, and we don’t have time to sit and ask, where are these guys? It’s stressful yeah, but it’s fun.

In terms of the musical track selection, there is only a certain amount of music you can put into the radio show in the two hour slot. Can you tell us a little bit about the process of choosing tracks and how they are included within the radio show?

It is the hardest thing. In our experience right now, we come into the radio show with fifty tracks, and we only get to play thirty. This means we have to disappoint twenty producers asking is their track going to be played. And Armin decides on the fly which tracks are going to played if it fits, say if keys clash, then it won’t be played. For any producers reading this, don’t start your track with chords running, because it won’t be played. So we end up with thirty tracks from a selection of seventy, which comes from hundreds of promos. We could easily fill three or four hours. And sometimes my tracks don’t even get played, and I’m like [bleep] Armin.

Rounding off the interview then, what would be your one piece of advice for an upcoming radio producer who has identified this as their career?

Ruben De Ronde.

Try to be different from anyone else. There are hundreds of copies of A State Of Trance, hundreds with basically the same track-list, the same music. Try to be unique. I have the my own radio show each week, The Sound Of Holland, together with listeners and I put on the webcam and let people see what I’m doing. It’s a different approach to what we do here in the studio, it’s a more computer based approach, but I try to be unique as well. Make a selection of tunes which no one else has selected, delve deeper into promo pools, and try and find that special tune no one else has found. So yeah, try to be unique.

For more information on Ruben De Ronde:
https://www.facebook.com/rubenderonde/
https://twitter.com/rubenderonde
https://soundcloud.com/rubenderonde

And watch the full A State Of Trance ADE Special here.

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