If there is one thing I have always regret, it has been that I should have gotten into the world of radio broadcasting and production a long time ago. However, that was until this studio. Why? Because this class has been an intense crash-course in the world of radio and collaboration in the radio world.
The demo-recording process was an intense, quick and super beneficial learning experience. This was not only due to it being our first go at working collaboratively to produce a radio show, but also due to the fact that we encountered a few hiccups along the way. Scannell (2014) identifies, “there is a danger in everything we say and do: a possibility, every time, of performative failure and unanticipated and unwelcome consequences.”. I think that our demo exposed us to some performative failures that we could face and prepared us for the possibility of hiccups when live on air.
Ironically, the demo and our previous experience with technical difficulties came in handy during our first show due to issues with the sponsorship announcements. However, our knowledge and experience with reacting and covering such errors allowed the quality of our first live to air show to not be diminished as severely. It shows not only that practice and ‘drills’ come in handy, but that as you grow and produce more radio shows, you learn to deal with unexpected problems with faster reaction times and in increasingly professional ways, to the point where it is almost unnoticeable to the listening ear.
I had never really thought about the creative and technical processes that are involved in producing a radio feature. It wasn’t until our feature production began that I realised their prominence on radio. As a frequent Hack listener, it was brought to light how often they are used to discuss topics of debate or interest in a creative and engaging way. Through the delegation of tasks in the production of the feature, I was able to gain experience putting on my ‘producer’ hat, by reaching out to potential interviewees and communicating with representatives. I also got to gather found material that would later add texture to the feature, which was something I was really excited to do. The radio features that seem to grab my attention have layers and layers of pop culture extracts or ominous sounds that directly and indirectly relate back to the content of the piece. It was an exciting process to hear the feature come together through the fabulous contributions of each team member, putting their strengths and interest to use to produce a piece that discusses the world of second-hand clothing in a way that reflected us as a group, and reflected the issue in a way that looked at various perspectives.
The most beneficial aspect of this class for me was the interviews conducted in the first half of the semester. My interview with Donna from Melbourne Period Project was enjoyable not only from a production perspective but also due to the fact I was able to learn so much about an incredible organisation. Donna’s previous experience in radio interviews and her incredible presence in the room eased my nerves and allowed me to be in the moment, thinking about what questions I really wanted to ask, using information to delve deeper into the discussion and be eased into the overall interview process. I gained experience in the technical skills required to produce an interview, learning what works and what doesn’t in terms of microphone positioning, maintaining good levels and editing to create a smoother result.
By having such an immediate connection to a professional radio station made the learning experiences much more beneficial. Rather than just rehearsing in a mock studio, we were putting our work, voices and collaborations out into the real world, on a renowned radio station. This professional aspect of it motivated me to produce the best work possible, and as a result, I have now added audio pieces to my folio that I am proud of.
This studio reminded me of the benefits of the collaborative process- its ability to allow mutual education by sharing knowledge and talents to not only improve the overall collaborative outcome but encourage each other to improve and grow along the way. I was fortunate enough to have a wonderful and supportive group who made the process of putting a show live to air, conducting an interview and creating a feature a smooth and enjoyable one. Through this studio, it was made evident how important and valuable collaboration is in the radio industry, not only to learn new skills and ensure a smooth production process but as a mechanism of support through a new and sometimes challenging journey. Good communication within my collaborative group was crucial in producing the quality of work we did, and came in handy when technical difficulties arose during air time.
Radio has been something I have been dying to get into for way too long, almost too long. But this experience in the Room With a View studio has been more than an incredible introduction to radio broadcasting, but a beneficial journey where I have been able to not only go live to air but learn how to conduct an interview for radio, put on a radio show, present a radio show and produce a feature, as well as learn from and assist my peers.
Being live to air today was the cherry on top of a really positive studio experience. I was able to fulfil a lifelong wish to host a radio show as well as doing it amongst some great people who I have been lucky enough to collaborate and grow with throughout the semester. This studio has sparked serious interest in the broadcast and music industries and has created a passion for presenting and being involved with radio. I have already signed myself up to be more involved in the radio sphere and I can’t wait to build on the skills and experiences I have had in this studio.
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