The Radio Production Process – Part 2 recording in the studio and on location
Previously – The Prep Radio Production
5 – The interview will be carried out in one of two places; in studio or on location.
- The Studio recording – pros and cons
- Pro: Great sound and sound balance, whether a self drive or production studio.
- Pro: no bad room noise, wind noise, background noise, telephones ringing unexpectedly etc.
- Pro: Best place to do a round table discussion
- Pro: Your territory, the interviewee might be less comfortable – which is what you might want
- Pro: Best (only?) place for a phone interview or “down-the-line”
- Pro: Recording and archiving automatically. If radio station is using a network system, the interview is immediately available for other producers and reporters to use. If the radio station is part of a wider network of stations, arrangements can be made to use more widely.
- Con: The interviewee will be less comfortable – this is likely to be unfamiliar territory
- Con: There is a chance the interviewee will not turn up
- Con: If you are using a self drive, you might be distracted by the technology and the desk between you and the interviewee might act as a barrier.
- Con: You might run out of studio time … or be kicked out by something “urgent”
- Con: You can’t just get up and leave …
- Con: Studios are pretty dry places with not much atmosphere.
- The Location Recording – pros and cons
- Pro: A place to get atmos – radio is about sound as well as words and music.
- Pro: The interviewee is likely to feel more comfortable on their own territory
- Pro: You might want to take the interviewee to a different outside place relevant to the story
- Pro: You and describe – use words to tell what you see, feel, can touch, make your experience part of the story, empathise with others.
- Con: Wind noise! Room echo, loud background noise
- Con: Music in the background is a particular problem. You cannot edit with a song playing in the background, so be careful in places where music is playing. It is not impossible, but you might be giving yourself problems for the future.
- Con: You might get lost
- Con: You better bring spare batteries, mic, recorder — best bring as many backups as you can. Do bring all the right equipment.
If you are recording on location:
Before you go:
- Before you leave, check and recheck all your equipment; record, listen back and recheck
- Pack additional batteries and head phones – pack an additional recorder if you can
- Check you know where you are going
- If you have never been before, get info about parking etc from your interviewee.
- Bring a phone … not a TV remote control … it has happened.
When you get there:
- If you are recording in a room spend a few moments listening to the room both with and without headphones. listen to what you can hearm, then listen to what your microphone hears.
- Is there an echo that will make your interview difficult? Is there bad noise from outside that will make the recording difficult – heavy traffic, ventilation and air conditioning noise, aeroplane approach to airport. A Chiming clock is like music. It makes editing difficult. You will not want to stop an interview until a noise passes.
- Check out the furniture. Your interviewee might be more comfortable behind a desk — though! You will not want to have a desk between you. The mic will be too far away from the interviewee.
- Make sure everyone in comfortable, your mic is in a good position, extraneous noise has been minimised – not necessarily illuminated; noise is also known as atmosphere.
- Before you start, record 60 seconds of “silence” or wild-track or atmos.
- remind the interviewee why you are there,
- the areas of questioning you will begin with – you might even for a nervous interviewee tell them what the first question is,
- record a few seconds of your question and their answer (the What did you have for breakfast question),
- listen back to check all is OK,
- switch on your recorder – wearing headphones –
- and go.
Next: The Radio Production Process – Part 3 Microphone Technique Radio Production