Today, Saturday 13 February, is World Radio Day.…

“At the global level, radio remains the most widely consumed medium.”

Maybe later I’ll tell some stories.
Today is World Radio Day, and earlier today I said I might tell some stories later. Well, it’s later, so I’ll tell just a few tiny stories.
It begins in the 1980s, ’cos I’m getting old. I started at community station 5UV, now Radio Adelaide. Over a couple of years I learned how to do pretty much everything. I produced and presented a lot of different things, but started with classical music.
Something I can link to immediately is my interview with David Attenborough from 1984. I probably have a recording on cassette (!) but here’s the transcript.

“Leaving room for elephants: a chat with David Attenborough”…
I’ll tell two quick stories about some of the impromptu outside broadcasts I did there. I’ve always liked getting radio out of the studio and into other environments. I like sound being *from* somewhere, not the anonymous void of the studio.
One was when I was producer of the Saturday afternoon chat show when it was being presented by Tony McCarthy, who later joined what’s now called ABC Adelaide. At the time, 5UV’s studios were in a windowless dungeon at the University of Adelaide.
“It’s lovely outside,” Tony said when he arrived.

“Well let’s do the program outside then,” I replied.

In the hour before going to air, I ran some cables out. Only three. One for mic, one for monitoring, one for intercom. Sorted.
People overthink microphone placement. I was taught by Rick Palmer* who was once an audio director for Channel Nine way, way back. In semi-retirement he was 5UV’s chief technician.

* Photo just found online.
One of his lessons was to keep everything as simple as possible. Look at the situation and start with one microphone. Where will you put it? OK, now where’s the weakness? Choose a mic and fix that problem. And so on. Important in TV if the mics have to be out of shot.
A chat show is just a group of people sitting and chatting. So stick chairs in a circle and hang an omnidirectional mic down into the middle. Sorted.

If one person is louder than the others, move their chair out a bit.

The show went really well, and if I remember correctly we made it go even better by stealing some wine from station manager @KeithConlon’s office fridge.

Hi Keith! *waves* Happy World Radio Day!
@KeithConlon Keith taught me lots and lots of things too. One I remember to this day is: “The best ad libs were written down first.” Shoosh, don’t tell people that one.
The other impromptu outside broadcast was triggered by a failure. Like most AM stations, 5UV’s transmitter was located in a swamp rather than on a tall hill. I don’t have time to explain why. Anyway, a trench digger cut the cable to the transmitter. Pre-microwave days, kinda.
My on-air shift was next, the drive-time show. So to keep the station on air, Rick Palmer grabbed me and a little equipment, and we drove out to Dry Creek and into the swamp to plug directly into the transmitter itself.
We had a small 4-channel mixer, one mic (Electro-Voice 635A since you asked) and a long cable, a cart machine for the idents and promos, a turntable and a box of records, and a Nagra IV-S reel-to-reel tape machine (pictured) to play back the pre-recorded bits.
It was a clear evening, so we just set everything up outside the transmitter hut (which was hot and stuffy) on the upturned milk crates we’d thrown the equipment into. This was in the days before mobile phones so we had zero contact with the outside world.

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More from @stilgherrian

14 Feb
The other day the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor (INSLM) Annual Report for 2019-2020 was released.

This thread contains a few highlights. Not a comprehensive summary, just some stuff for me personally. Image
Obviously a big thing was the review of the TOLA Act (the encryption legislation). Here’s @ashabeeeee’s report on that.…

And here’s the report itself.…
As an aside, last month I did a summary of where all this is up to as we start the new parliamentary year: “Australia’s tangle of electronic surveillance laws needs unravelling”…
Read 14 tweets
14 Feb
Mon plan: 1024 train to Sydney; administrivia en route; quick errand; 1300 lunch with a co-conspirator; 1617 (TBC) return train; reading en route; quiet night. An easy day, but I’ve got a busier few days ahead.
Further alleged plans may be found in the Weekly Wrap, of course.
The show is on the road.
Read 4 tweets
13 Feb
Sun plan: Faff about for most of the day, plus a few minor chores; confirm plans; organise a final push for The 9pm Autumn Series 2021; Weekly Wrap.

If the energy surges, I may even write a small submission to a government inquiry.
This is the inquiry in question. @jpwarren did a detailed thread the other day, but I can’t find it right now. The key problem, however, is that the Bill would give the eSafety Commissioner incredibly broad powers to take down internet content to vaguely protect the kiddies.
Here is that thread by @jpwarren I was talking about.
Read 4 tweets
13 Feb
When it came time to do a weather forecast, I had no idea what it was. So I plugged the mic onto a 50m cable and walked out to where I had a view of the sky in all directions. I told the listeners I’d grown up on a farm so here’s what I reckon. I was pretty close, it turned out.
Meanwhile, a listener figured out where we must be, made a thermos of tea and grabbed a packet of biscuits, and drove out into the swamp to bring us a cuppa. She’d figured that our tower must be the one with the station wagon parked next to it, and obviously she was right.
Anyway, it only took a few hours for Telecom Australia to repair the cable, and I seem to remember it wasn’t too dark by the time we finished. With no mobile phone, I think we had to say it was fixed by saying it on air. “And now back to the studio” then moving the patch cable.
Read 9 tweets
13 Feb
“Grammarly does more than catch errors..” Yes, it annoys the shit out of you with outrageously repetitive advertising.
Four Grammarly adverts in nine minutes is a crime against humanity.
Lol the fourth Grammarly advert was accompanied by a pop-up. This is abusive behaviour.
Read 4 tweets
13 Feb
“KPMG’s UK chair, Bill Michael, has resigned after telling staff to ‘stop moaning’ during a virtual meeting about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, where he also called unconscious bias ‘crap’.”…
“The 52yo Australian, who told staff to ‘stop playing the victim card’ and described the concept of unconscious bias as being ‘complete and utter crap for years’, apologised and said the scandal over his comments had made his position at the accounting giant ‘untenable’.”
He sounds nice.

Also, it’s the “scandal” that made his position untenable, not the comments. Yes of course, Bill. Arsehole.
Read 5 tweets

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