Q:In the show's unheard cuts, I often hear how someone needs to change tape. Do you actually use analogue tape and if so, why? What are the advantages versus simply using digital?
You just made me smile thinking about the purity of reel-to-reel recording. I’m too young (yes, even at 41) and to new to public radio (7 years) to have been able to work with tape, but I sure would love the chance. But not on deadline!
Your question is a good one though because the unedited interviews you’re referring to are an anomaly. Most of Krista’s interviews are done in studio via an ISDN line, a high-quality telephone line, with the guest in another studio hundreds or thousands of miles away.
But, when we conduct a conversation face-to-face in the same physical space, we like to capitalize on the opportunity so we’ll often live stream video of the interview and also capture it with a couple of Sony Z1s, which only use MiniDV tapes. Then we amateurs do some post-production using Final Cut. Oh yeah, we’re analog and the transferring time of footage is outdated. So, we are looking into shooting with digital SLRs now: shoot directly to media cards, transfer for post easily on the Mac, and also allow us to shoot in some less-than-optimal environments.
As to the audio, we record everything digitally to a hard drive, split-tracking it (often mixing it with a Mackie board) to a ProTools interface on a Mac laptop.
~answered by Trent Gilliss, senior editor