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 Oh yeah, we’re analog and the transferring time of footage is outdated.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