As the title suggests
For me I was lucky enough to do my work experience one summer at Capital Radio (as it was then) when it was at the Euston Tower.
I learned the basics including basics of scheduling when it was done pre-computerisation.
I also learned how to edit audio the (now old fashioned way). Transferring reel to reel recordings to a new reel to reel tape and then listening, marking the tape itself with a marker at the in and out point before cutting and rejoining the tape and eventually transferring the finished edit to cassette tape. My task was to make a showreel of sports coverage for presentation to a potential sponsor. I was taught how to do basic edits and mix in station imaging between the clips I used to create the final product.
I also learned the basics of studio operation from a presenters point of view. And how the evening news programme was put together and broadcast.
I was grateful to Capital for the opportunity they gave me and the skills they taught me.
Looking back things are so different and arguable a lot easier now. The presenters played records and CDs with jingles and adverts on carts. Timing was all worked out manually. Nowadays everything is in Zetta or Myriad with a constant clock showing the under/over to the TOH making it virtually impossible to miss the IRN feed for the news.
Editing audio then was so different. Recording reel to reel to a second tape so as not to damage the master before splicing and cutting things together and mixing in imaging manually. Nowadays something like that would be a few minutes job in audition. Listening to the master file in multitrack to find the bits I wanted and cutting the bits I didn’t before dragging in the imaging to separate the clips.
That work experience gave me the bug to present and produce. I would argue the modern presenter and producer who’s learned since computerisation has a much easier job than the old school ways of cutting and splicing tape. For example if you know the skills of Audition these days you’re only limited by the scope of your imagination.
Also think of the way news has become easier. Back in the day IRN broadcast the clips over their stream during the non news time. Clips were recorded and carted and then played out. Nowadays software like Burli gets their clips automatically so when the journalist says “Mark is at the scene” and cuts to audio that’s now played straight out of Burli or whatever software the station uses whereas before that audio would have had to have been recorded from the IRN feed and carted and each cart for the news bulletin loaded and played in order of the journalists script.
Things have changed a lot since I learned but I’m grateful for that opportunity I had to learn.
So how about you? How did you get started?