Tuesday, June 24, 2008

RadioActive - more on radio!

Forgive the horrible pun. Blame Joe. But we have been quite active here.

So I'm sitting here in some sort of "control" room (I can't remember what it's called) at KPBS. The performance studio is across from me so I can see it through a little window - that's where Dwayne and his co-host Maureen record Morning Edition at 4 a.m. every day. It's quite a posh place to be blogging.

I just finished putting all of my sound together for my feature on Adobe Audition (which is pretty amazing I must say), so now all I have left to do for my feature is help Tim, the engineer, incorporate all of my "natsound." Connor and I are going to do this tomorrow morning with Dwayne.

Natsound is "natural sound" which radio reporters use to add flavor to news stories. My favorite example of natsound I've heard on NPR was when a reporter recorded chickens being raised in a city apartment, making chicken-y noises.

While I was at the international mariachi conference last week with education reporter Ana Tintocalis, I recorded WAY TOO MUCH natsound. The place was teeming with it - folkloric dancing, violins, harps, armonias (little guitars), trumpets, Spanish instruction from teachers, crowded hallways...a reporter's dream. A little bit less than a dream, however, when you're stuck listening to all three hours of it and trying to pick out the best 10 second bites for your 3:30 minute feature.

All Connor and I have left to do today is the fun stuff - deciding how we want to introduce ourselves, recording our teasers, and recording our thank-yous and outros.

Connor's been quite distracted by the fact that NFL players have been stopping by the station all day long. I would say that it's annoying, but my Death Cab encounter (a.k.a. spasm) was quite an exercise in starstruck-dom as well.

The hardest part about all this has been learning how to write for radio. I'm a print addict. I love my school's newspaper, and I had an amazing journalism teacher. But THIS excerpt from my feature script is like nothing I've EVER written for The Nexus:

Sweetwater is one of a few districts to offer such a program. Many teens like Joseph say they like mariachi because it's a part of their heritage. He even likes it better than hip hop or rock.

It sounds so weird when you read it, but it's actually almost a mouthful if you say it out loud. Dwayne has been helping me grasp this concept. Overall, that has been the hardest part to adjust to. Wearing heels every day and pronouncing names like Sergio Caratachea come at a close second, however.


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