Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1
All other core modules
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Demonstrate individual competencies in digital audio recording and editing through the assembly of a pre-recorded item including interviewing on location, scripting and delivery, editing with use of music or FX and a studio/production booth recorded top and tail. The radio package should be no longer than 3 minutes. TX time and destination to be articulated by the student. Submit on CD.  50%
Semester Assessment Formulate two short pieces of radio script from research material supplied by the tutor. The first, for a pre-recorded classical music programme on a given composer for a commercial radio station. This should be 50" long. The second script is for a live daily strand on a BBC network. This should be 30" duration. Record both scripts. Submit scripts on A4 and recordings on CD.  30%
Semester Assessment Critically analyse both previous submissions, justifying the structure, language, style and delivery. (2000 words)  20%
Supplementary Assessment Resits of assignments, when necessary, will follow the same structure. 

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:

1. Use radio production technology to a required broadcast standard.
2. Utilise creative techniques currently employed in the radio industry to develop their own productions effectively.
3. Develop a capacity to self-critique their own work and that of their fellow students.


To allow students to develop basic technical radio production skills that will be built upon over the second and third semesters.

Brief description

This module will require students to acquire an appropriate level of technical expertise to facilitate the delivery of all core production components required through this scheme. It will also introduce students to writing skills needed for clarity of expression in the medium of radio.


Five practical sessions containing a mix of lectures, demonstrations and practical exercises will concentrate on the following themes:

1) Learning the principals and practice of recording on location

Indicative Session Content

The Marantz PMD 670 and the HHB Plasamic are the main types of digital portable recorders discussed and taught on this module. They all have the advantage of being able to instantly locate tracks and scan through them, with easy identification. The hard drive recorders allow recorded material to be transferred immediately onto the software package to edit. Choosing the correct microphone and the technique of using it are essential and the principals and practice will be taught e.g. when recording on a busy street, the microphone will have to be placed as close to the interviewee as possible in order to have more of them than the traffic noise. When recording in large rooms with high ceilings and bare floors allowances must be made. If there are curtains or anything else that will absorb some of the echo and reverberation, the interview should be recorded in that part of the room. Most equipment carries meters to indicate whether the sound level is within prescribed limits. If the level is too low for a sustained period of time, the transmitter will try to find some sound to boost artificially, while if levels are too high, the sound becomes distorted and difficult to understand. Equipment meters are only there as a back up as the most important meters are ones ears. When recording on location the equipment used does not have speakers. It is therefore advisable to monitor the recording through the headphones as it is recorded. Headphones or not, ones ears must be sensitive to the atmosphere in which one is working and to any extraneous sounds that could make editing the disc impossible or become acutely annoying to the listener. Ears must be kept open to unwanted sounds and interrupting an interview discreetly may be necessary with a repeat of the last question and answer.

2) Learning the principals and practice of editing

Indicative Session Content

The purpose of editing is to delete unwanted material. Whether it is to bring an eight-minute piece down to four, or cleaning up pauses or stammers or to rearrange the order. Listening to the material before editing and making notes is an integral part of the process. One should never change the meaning of what is said and one should not confuse the listener by leaving in unwanted references when a particular sentence has been edited out. The listener should never be aware of any edits. Matching natural speech rhythms is the key which means leaving in the thoughtful pause or an intake of breath. Sadie, Protools and Adobe Audition are all multi channel computer-editing programmes. All editing software programmes work by displaying the recorded sound as a visible line known as a wave form which shows the peaks and troughs of the recording. The biggest pitfall is the tendency to use ones eyes and not ones ears. Radio is about sound and because there appears to be a gap in the waveform it does not mean it should automatically be edited out. The construction of effective radio packages will also be addressed.

3) `How to use one's own voice; and `Delivering a written script;

Indicative Session Content

Finding one's own pace and style in front of the microphone will be taught on this module. Experimentation with the voice will be encouraged by varying intonation, speed of delivery, pace and tone. One can add authority to the delivery by lowering the register (women in particular). The most important factor is not to talk to a microphone but imagine talking to a friend who is sitting no more than six feet away. The listener should never be aware that the presenter is reading from a script. Reading conversationally without rattling the paper is crucial. Delivery should be measured, no matter how fast or slow. The average speaking pace is three words per

Reading List

Recommended Text
Aspinall, R. Radio Programme Production:A Manual for Training Primo search Mc Heish, R (2005) Radio Production Focal Press Primo search Please also see module handbook for further recommended texts Primo search
Recommended Background
Alled, R. and Miller, N. (1996) The Post Production Age: New Technologies, New Communities University of Luton Press Primo search Crissell, A. (1994) Understanding radio Routledge Primo search Flemming , C. (2002) The Radio Handbook Routledge Primo search McLeish, R. (1994) The Techniques of Radio Production: A Manual for Braodcasters Focal Press Primo search Wilby P. and Conroy, A. (1994) The Radio Handbook Routledge Primo search Wilby, P, Conroy, A. and Fleng C (2002) The Radio Handbook Routledge Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 7