Production

Reporting from home: how NPR correspondents do it

Legions of journalists are now working from home. But NPR international correspondents have been doing it for years, even decades. Heed their advice.

How to decide what to cut (or not) in an interview

It’s no secret that pre-taped interviews on public radio are edited, sometimes considerably. What’s OK to take out? And when is it better to leave something in?

A brief intro to Seamus

Password: seamusRulz2019

How to mix: 8 steps to master the art of mixing audio stories

This step-by-step guide shows a straightforward method for mixing audio stories, podcasts and more.

The producer’s handbook to mixing audio stories

Whether you’re making a podcast or audio documentary, this in-depth guide will help you improve the quality of your mixes.

Casting, coaching and cutting: A producer’s guide to ‘unmoderated conversations’

Conversations between nonjournalists combine the thrill of eavesdropping with the intimacy of the kitchen table — but they can be hard to pull off. We have some tips.

What’s in your bag, Josh Rogosin?

Josh engineers the Tiny Desk Concerts. His kit for recording stripped down, remote music sessions provides lessons in being prepared while staying nimble.

A beginner’s guide to spatial audio in 360-degree video

A team at NPR is experimenting with immersive video and audio — and has tips on recording, editing, building a rig and more.

What’s 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

What’s in your bag, Corey Schreppel?

Corey Schreppel has been an audio engineer for the last 15 years — these are his go-to tools.

Get great sound every time with this field recording checklist

You return from a long day reporting in the field — only to realize you didn’t record ambience. Rats! This post will help ensure that you get the sound you need to tell great stories.

NPR’s Facebook Live guide

We’ve learned a few things along the way that we think you might find helpful.

Audio production FAQ: Headphones, levels, mics and more

Our readers have lots of questions about audio production. Find answers here about headphones, levels, microphones and more.

What’s in your bag, Amanda Aronczyk?

What WNYC’s Amanda Aronczyk took with her to cover the presidential inauguration and women’s march in Washington, D.C.

The ear training guide for audio producers

This post will help you identify problematic audio, prevent the most common issues and recognize when it’s time to call for help.

Do you have the ears of an audio producer?

Being an audio editing wizard is not enough to tell great stories. You also need to have highly “trained ears.”

Put your audio to the test: Know when to use it or lose it

There are many ways audio can go wrong. Can you still use it in your story? This basic criteria will you decide.

What’s in your bag, Leigh Paterson?

What this reporter takes to report in Wyoming and Colorado, “besides a big ugly coat.”

Which mic do they use? (Mics part 2)

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

Be prepared: How a production workflow can help you avert disaster

This document guides you through questions that will prepare your project for a smooth workflow.

Which mic should I use? (Mics Part 1)

“Which mic?” is one of the most common questions about field recording — and making a decision can be confusing.

Six ways to run a listening session

Helping people listen critically to stories requires more than simply pushing “play.”

Audio truth killers: an approach to collecting better sound

The technical production of sound influences the editorial message in a piece.

6 NPR stories that breathe life into neighborhood scenes

Transcend scene-setting clichés. Here is a sampling of ways NPR journalists have done just that.

The fundamentals of field reporting with NPR’s Howard Berkes

Wind. Hotel rooms. Riding a luge sled. Prepare yourself for recording in the field under all kinds of conditions.

Rock and roll mixing tricks for journalists

Journalists can employ techniques music engineers use to quality-check and deliver final mixes.

Don’t let a ‘media error’ ruin your day

Loss of your best-interview-ever recording due to a “media error” message from your recorder can be devastating. So avoid it!

Before the first question: How to prepare for an audio interview

Follow this checklist and increase your likelihood of interview success!

Where can I find tape of …? Sources for archival audio

Not everything is on YouTube or easily surfaced through Googling. An NPR researcher tells you where else to look.

A guide for gathering vox for NPR — and doing it quickly

This is a printable and shareable guide to vox-gathering for NPR.

Active sound: How to find it, record it and use it

Active sound makes an audio story sparkle. It is sound that isn’t stuck in the background. It’s up-front. It shows character and action. Here’s how to capture it.

NPR’s Korva Coleman: Newscasts without panic

The NPR anchor’s guidance works for any public radio newscaster, in big markets and small. 

Pitching to NPR? Our bureau chiefs share their process

From pitch to production: Here’s a look at how NPR bureau chiefs take stories through the process.

15 principles of show booking

If a good radio show is like a good dinner party, the a booker is manager of the guest list.

‘Butt cut what?’ A glossary of audio production terms and definitions

This is the technical lingo you need to know as an audio producer (or someone who talks to audio producers).

How to use sound to make a news spot pop

Robert Garcia, executive producer of NPR’s Newscast Unit, shares examples of stand-out news spots and why they work.

Dissecting a good radio story

See an actual script, complete with margin comments, from NPR host Ailsa Chang.

A day in the life of ‘All Things Considered’

Back in 2012, ‘All Things Considered’ host Melissa Block and producer Melissa Gray made this story about their own show.

Colorado Public Radio: How to find the perfect audio moment

If you really want to describe something in a compelling way, you’ll need more than great sound — a surprising, defining moment.

Read this before you record ambience in the field

When it comes time to record ambience in the field, it’s important to capture different perspectives. Here are five approaches.