mixing deck

Recently, we have been creating and producing radio shows with No Barriers Radio. You can check out the station HERE. Creator and presenter Rob Marshall (Creative Director of Nostairway Creative) has produced 12 weeks of shows. In these he shares personal musical anecdotes. He has also been interviewing friends from his career while sharing music and will be producing some more shows soon!

So, we thought we would share the elements of radio production which we think are the most important and tell you a littlest about how we work.

Equipment

We care about audio so getting equipment right is important to us. This is what you’ll need to produce radio.studio condenser microphone

  1. Studio – You need soundproofed facilities to record in. Whilst background noise can sometimes be removed in post-production it is important to make sure there isn’t too much atmospheric noise when recording so that the listening experience is a rich as possible.
  2. Microphones – You need microphones to record voice, we use different microphones depending on what we are recording. We use a large diaphragm condenser microphone with a pop shield when recording a single voice – for example when Rob is presenting. We will use lavaliere microphones when recording an interview or conversation between two or more people.
  3. Music – Obviously this is the heart of our (or any) radio show. The show is formed around the music so it is important that choices are made thoughtfully. Music adds interest, breaks up the show and creates mood and atmosphere for a show.
  4. Sound effects – These can be used for many reasons – to give a sense of location, to create realism, to create rhythm and to create engagement.
  5. Editing software – We use Logic Pro to edit our shows and other audio productions. We edit out pauses and hesitations to keep the dialogue moving. Some people add an artificial echo to a radio show. Radio show quality is lower than other audio quality, although it isn’t recorded in lower quality. There can also be a distort added in post production because this will make the radio show sound like radio quality.

Radio Pre-Production

This is an involved process. Although you may think of radio as a live media there are many steps which go into radio pre-production. First, the conceptualisation of the show and the direction it will take. Then a structure needs to be decided, for example the length of the show and the order of events.

Guests need to be scheduled in and interviews planned. Scripts may need to be written, or notes depending on how live the presenter will be. And then production can start.

Radio Production

Production is the process of recording. This is where you will use all your equipment that we spoke about before and get all of the recordings which you need to be edited together. The production process is where the presenters, musicians and talent get involved.

Radio Post-Production

Post-production is where all elements of the show are edited together ready to be sent to the station – provided the show is not live and is pre-recorded. We will edit out the bits we don’t want and make sure that the show is structured in an engaging way. We will check the show over and send it off. Then we will do publicity, via social media and different websites to make sure our listeners know when and where to go for the show.

Writing and Presenting Radio

Radio is conversational, therefore the wording needs to be accessible. This means no overcomplicated language, short sentences and directional language. You are also listening to a person who you cannot see, so the script needs to have personality and be engaging for the listener. It should speak to them directly, not to the audience as a whole so that the listener feels that they are being spoken to.

It is also important to remember that the spoken word of radio is often only heard once, people won’t rewind it. Therefore, it needs to be clear and to create a picture in the mind of the listener. If there are interviews including multiple people then refer to them by name to avoid confusing about who is talking.

The qualities which a radio producer need to have include a clear and distinct voice and the ability to talk enthusiastically with others. They need to be creative and able to conceptualise ideas quickly. They also need to be good observers and able to conclude from experience. Most of all they need to have an interest in what they are talking about.

So, there are the elements of radio production which I wanted to share with you. If you would like to get in contact with Nostairway you can do so HERE. We produce video, audio and photography in London and would love to be a part of your next project.