An old friend of mine has been boasting about her fabulous new radio studio - built by her son! Manuela Saragosa posted these images on Linked In - well done, junior…
The studio pictured at the top of this post is similar to what Manuela would present Business Daily from normally - but that’s been largely out of bounds for months now.
Dead jealous, I circulated a photo of my temporary studio location, on the roof of my hotel, in response…
Fellow BBC World Service presenter, Rob Young told me of the day he was on his way to Broadcasting House in London, before being told not to bother. It was near the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown in Britain. He’s mostly been working from home ever since.
Within 24 hours, last March, all the BBC’s plentiful Outside Broadcast equipment had been despatched to all the most senior on-air anchors - which still left a horde of important broadcasters without the means to host their shows from home.
Some enterprising folks have been making a fortune out of making people look and sound good, from home. One former BBC engineer set himself up in business to make remote working equipment especially for radio journalists. The internet sends your data through multiple paths to get to its destination : audio can get out of sequence as a result. Kevin Leach solved that problem.
I frequently have a more primitive approach when recording.
Take a look at these snaps and tell me what you think I’ve built here…
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..that’s right, it’s a radio studio. Lots of padding to baffle any echos - a duvet, a mattress. Look for the toilet roll : which makes an excellent mic stand!
It does get awfully hot in there. But I’ve no choice on the road, filing for programmes, or recording voice overs.
Sometimes it’s good fun - like building forts in your bedroom when you’re a youngster. Sometimes it’s just a sweaty nuisance - especially if you’re waiting for a chicken, dog, gibbon, scooter or noisy neighbours to stop making a row!
I’d taken along a huge suitcase housing a satellite phone, to cover a fractious AGM. There would have been no time to assemble the dish, mic and audio mixer - as the CEO was forced to beat a hasty retreat from angry shareholders!
Now, even sound-proofing is not as important as it used to be.
For recorded material, I can simply run my audio through an app on my laptop, which will remove echo - a miracle - and tweak the EQ.
Sounds good to me!