from training.npr.org: http://training.npr.org/blog/whats-in-your-bag-gregory-warner/
For this month’s What’s In Your Bag we reached out to Gregory Warner, host of the new NPR podcast Rough Translation. His work has taken him across Pakistan and Afghanistan, and now he is based in New York City after a long stint as NPR’s East Africa correspondent. He carries all of the essential gear
Corey Schreppel is an audio engineer and Technical Director at Minnesota Public Radio|American Public Media (MPR|APM). He has mixed episodes for In the Dark from APM Reports, recorded in the field with Performance Today, and often records in-studio music sessions for The Current. Corey is known at MPR for his ability to use technology to
You return from a long day reporting in the field — only to realize you didn’t record ambience. You’re in the middle of a reporting trip and you’ve forgotten extra batteries for your recorder. You’re not happy with the scene sounds you’re capturing. For audio producers, these frustrating problems are all too common. We want to
Since we jumped into Facebook Live, NPR has created more than 1,375 videos. We’ve broadcast from 23 states and 19 countries. And we’ve learned a few things along the way that we think you might find helpful. What is Facebook Live? Anyone can broadcast live videos on Facebook — from iPhone selfies to HD, multi-camera
Our readers have many questions about audio production and we want to help you find the answers. Consider this a living document — we’ll continue to update it with answers from NPR Training and other experts in the public media community. Have a question we haven’t answered? You can drop us a line via
Amanda Aronczyk of WNYC’s Only Human recently covered the presidential inauguration and women’s march in Washington, D.C. She had to prepare for a unique set of challenges: rain and cold temperatures, restricted mobility and potentially long stretches with no access to power. Below, we peek inside her kit. This gear bag is a fraud. Sort of.
This post will help you identify problematic audio, prevent the most common problems and recognize when it’s time to call for help.
The producers, reporters and engineers who create the audio stories we love make a lot of magic happen behind the scenes. In seamlessly stitching together discrete pieces of audio, they can craft rich scenes that transport listeners. Asking the experts NPR Training’s Rob Byers and two NPR audio engineers took audio production questions during a reddit AMA.
This post is for audio producers and journalists who work with news or documentary-style storytelling. This guide will help you make judgment calls about the usability of audio. There are many ways audio can go wrong: a press conference recording with a buzz, hard-to-understand phone tape or lots of “p-pops” — this list goes on. Sometimes those technical problems
The tools we carry around on a daily basis can say a lot about what we do, how and where we work — even our personalities. What’s in your bag? is a new regular series about the tools used by people in public media. We all use the basics, but the way we personalize our kits is where
Liz Jones (@KUOWLiz), a reporter with KUOW, contacted us with an idea after the Which Mic Should I Use? post published. She recommended we get the input of various reporters in the field to hear about what mics they are using and why. Good idea! Here’s what a few public radio reporters told us they
Producers are busy people. We juggle multiple projects: we’re in the middle of Project A when Project B ends and Project C gets started. We often don’t take the time to fully prepare new projects before we start them, especially when it comes to creating the production workflow! We then discover, sometimes well into the
Most audio producers and reporters heading into the field will have the basics: a handheld recorder of some kind, a pair of headphones, and one or two microphones. But which mic should you use? This is one of the most common questions about field recording and the decision can be confusing. We usually make the
If you work in audio journalism and storytelling, you know that “listening is our gold standard,” to quote former NPR editor Sara Sarasohn. We all have opinions about what we hear and need perspective on what we create. We all aspire to do great work, but we can’t do it alone. A listening session is one
What is an Audio Truth Killer? Is the sound in your piece supporting (or subduing) the message your piece is conveying to your listeners? Kevin Wait, former Production Specialist on the NPR Training team, hosted NPR’s “Audio Truth Killers” webinar and explores how the technical production of sound influences the editorial message in a piece. View the webinar below and/or scroll
This post was first published on the website Storybench. For scenes to succeed in any medium, they have to engage your senses. You smell the diesel fumes, feel the breeze on your cheeks, hear the anger in the collective voice of a crowd of protesters. These appeals to the senses are important, but often secondary
Correspondent Howard Berkes joined the NPR staff in 1981. He has covered space shuttle disasters, mine safety violations, the Unabomber and neo-Nazi groups, the rural American West, and many Olympics, just to name a few of his many subjects. His reporting has taken him all over the world. STEP ONE: Prepare Tap local knowledge. Consult local public media
The techniques music engineers use to quality-check and deliver final mixes are not limited to music production. Journalists can use them, too. Here are tips to heighten your listening awareness and improve the technical quality of your audio stories. Variety is the spice of life Studio engineers need their mixes to sound great on all playback devices so they
Loss of your best-interview-ever recording due to a “media error” message from your recorder can be devastating. Compact Flash cards, SDHC cards, and Memory Sticks rarely fail; however, your treatment of these media cards can have a dramatic effect on your sound-gathering success. Most audio loss due to media error can be avoided by practicing these habits.
You have characters. Check. You have a sense of what you want to record for ambient sound and active tape (the close-up sound of people doing things). Check. You’ve researched the topic and the people in the story. And, you’ve got a rough outline of how you think the story might be told. Check. Check.
As radio storytellers, we know the power recorded sound has to transport listeners to a specific time and place. The popularity of YouTube has made it easy to locate a vast amount of historic audio-visual content from speeches and interviews, to musical performances and television commercials. But not everything is on YouTube or easily surfaced
This is printable and shareable guide to vox-gathering for NPR. You can use it as your own tip sheet or send it out to a producer who has been assigned to get vox. What do I ask? One uniform question – or series of questions. The vox question should be made clear in your assignment.
This guidance comes from an NPR seminar by Robert Smith and Jeff Rogers in March 2002. It is just as relevant today. Many of the ideas and advice were provided by Terry Fitzpatrick, Howard Berkes, Jonathan Kern, Sora Newman, and the APRN Focus News Workshop. Active sound makes a report sparkle. It is sound that isn’t
Korva Coleman has been an NPR newscast anchor for 25 years. She originally compiled these recommendations for PRNDI’s 2015 conference in Salt Lake City. They are intended for any public radio newscaster, in big markets and small. 1. Prepare yourself before you get to work What news do you listen to? What websites and newspapers do
On NPR’s National Desk, four bureau chiefs edit news stories from around the country. They are Andrea DeLeon (Northeast), Russell Lewis (South), Ken Barcus (Midwest), and Jason DeRose (West). This is their outline of the process for pitching a story for a news magazine such as All Things Considered or Morning Edition – and getting the
1. You are the keeper of the guest list. NPR founding mother Susan Stamberg once compared a good radio show to a good dinner party. In both scenarios the host’s role is to lead his or her guests in an engaging conversation. As a booker, you manage the invite list to that party. It’s your
Let’s say you are producing an audio story, and you’re asked to dip the ambi under the track, butt cut the next two acts, and then sweep up and maintain the ambi. If that sentence is confusing, this glossary is for you. Terms for producing and mixing audio go back to the days of cutting real tape with
Robert Garcia is Executive Producer of NPR’s Newscast Unit. Here, he shares examples of stand-out news spots, and why they work. Deceptively simple A very simple Memorial Day remembrance story. Seemingly. Craig Windham masterfully weaves in the music and atmospherics from the Arlington Cemetery ceremony with clips from the President’s speech and beautiful, crisp
This piece by NPR’s Ailsa Chang took a completely wonky Congressional concept… and made it interesting. Check out the marginalia to see some of Ailsa’s tricks. The script is 2 pages long.
Back in 2012, over the course of one day, All Things Considered host Melissa Block and producer Melissa Gray made this story about their own show. While the cast of characters has changed a bit and the ATC meeting now happens at 9:30am (10:00am was always pushing it, for a 4:00pm show!), this is the best
Cindy Carpien, a former NPR producer, is now an independent radio trainer. She works throughout the public radio system. Radio journalists love sound to create a sense of place in a scene – squeaky doors opening and closing, cash registers, train whistles, car honking, bird chirping. But if you really want to describe something in a
Cindy Carpien, a former NPR producer, is now an independent radio trainer. She works throughout the public radio system. Ambience: the sonic environment in which an event takes place. Also referred to as ambi. When it comes time to record ambience in the field, it’s important to capture different perspectives. It helps to think about these