AUDIOCRAFT, “Tools of Radio”

I must admit. When i joined radio in 1987, i only learned a few about broadcasting and about radio per se except for its technical side where i had been trained in school.

I honed my skills in radio broadcasting through self-study and work experience. I further dipped my fingers in radio when i took my master studies in UP-OU and more about digital radio production during my Digital Radio Journalism course at the Konrad Adenauer Asian Center For Journalism in AdMU.

Fortunately, for my students at the University of San Jose Recoletos in Cebu City they shared my vast knowledge i gained for years. Here is one lesson that i also liked–AUDIOCRAFT.


*Ironically, the audio clips here have no sounds because of the Slideshare’s inability to play sound.

SLIDE 1

I appropriately named this presentation as Audiocraft, “Tools of Radio” because the items inside are all collaborative in producing an excellent piece of audio production.

SLIDE 2

Watching your favorite news program without any sound coming out from the TV set could caused you to be upset. It would surely crave you for its sound.

SLIDE 3

That feeling proves that without sound, picture is incomplete. Sound is “half the picture”. Sound completes the ideas presented along with the picture.

SLIDE 4

No one wants talking in front of the rostrum but you can’t be heard by the audience.

SLIDE 5

(playback with sounds already)

SLIDE 6, 7, 8

Audiocraft is not only the combination of different sounds but it’s the management of different sound elements. It deals with inter-relatedness of voice, music and sound effects. A montage voiced report is an example of how sounds are managed to picture a story.

SLIDE 9

Voice, Music, and Sound Effects are elements of Audiocraft.

SLIDE 10

While Voice is created by the human’s vocal chord, not every person is created equal when it comes to voice. The human voice can be mimic but not completely copied. Our voice is unique to each and every person.

In broadcasting, there’s a newscaster’s voice: baritone for men while lyric tone for women. Most male newscasters are baritone. GMA’s Mike Enriquez, to name a few, is an exception. The late Angelo Castro of ABS-CBN was a good baritone-voiced anchor. The likes of Korina Sanchez, Mel Tiangco, Claire Celdran, and other female anchors have the sweet and melodic voice. The veteran news anchor Tina Palma, on the other hand, doesn’t fall in this category.

SLIDE 11, 12

Voice comes with proper pacing and delivery to achieve impact. Most of the time, it is done according to the type of script you are voicing or narrating. To deliver the lines correctly, you have to familiarize with the script. Read it aloud and mark the lines where you are supposed to pause to change idea or catch your breath.

SLIDE 13

Pronunciation and Enunciation provide the clarity of speech. Announcers who commonly mispronounce words are oftentimes perceived less credible. Be familiar with the words and do a pronunciation guide in the script. Enunciation refers to the ability of the newscaster to phonate or produce or not to produce the sound of the individual letter.

SLIDE 14, 15

Emoting simply means actually feeling what you are reading or talking about. In other words, let your voice create the “picture” in your listener’s mind.

Underline the word/s that needs to be stressed. Stress or degree of emphasis on a word can enhance the meaning of what you are talking about.

SLIDE 16

Modulation is what makes a stage performer and a radio announcer differ from one another. A stage performer is taught to project his voice all the way to the back of the hall while the announcer is trained to focus his voice only to the microphone.

A relatively low pitched voice sounds more credible than a high pitched one. So, a news anchor in radio or TV doesn’t need to shout. He is not inside a hall. He is facing a microphone that is used to enhance his voice and let everyone hear him like he’s talking to them in person.

SLIDE 17

Microphone technique is a way to effectively use the tool. I’ve discussed thoroughly about the Microphone– its type, characteristics, pick-up patterns, and technique in my previous post.

SLIDE 18-22

Music, as an element of Audiocraft influences the mood and experience of the audience. It can be used as background or as a music bed and as a jingle.

SLIDE 23-28

The use of sound effect completes audiocraft. It completes the picture that one creates in his mind while listening. It can move us as an action sound. Teleport us to a scene when it is used as a setting sound. And it makes us feel of certain conditions when it symbolizes a scene or condition.

SLIDE 29

The management of sounds (music and sound effects) follows basic directions. These directions are most often indicated in the script to guide voice talents, directors, audiomen, and effects men.

Establish or Hold– is executed when the level of the sound is at normal (at about Zero in the Volume meter). It stays at this level for certain period or for few seconds before fading out.

Fade-in, Fade-out, Fade under– is done by adjusting up and down the Volume level.

Segue– is done by an abrupt change of sound or music while both outgoing and incoming sound or music are at normal level.

Crossfade– as explained in the slide is fading out of the current music/sound and fading in of the incoming music/sound. Later, the incoming music/sound will stabilize at normal level.

SLIDE 30

Sneak In, Sneak Out– is the coming in and coming out of a sound/music as if a car is passing by an area.

Montage– is a combination of many sounds: voice, music, effects. It can depict a scene like in a war or emergency. Proper management of sound levels and mixing is needed for this.

Bridge–is done when a music or sound connotes connection between a scene to other scene like depicting a dream in a radio drama.

Stinger– is mostly used in public affairs or radio commentary programs to stress a statement. It can be voice, music or sound effects. Bombo Radyo has been using the bass drum (Bombo) inside their announcer’s booth to mark a point literally with a bang of the drum. A fart sound could be used to convey lying or telling lies. A smashing glass could be used to point an accident. The list is endless for stingers.

That’s all folks. Drop a comment or two below if you have questions or reactions to share. Thanks.

 

Lapulapu or Lapu-lapu? How to Use a Hyphen in Cebuano

The rule on the use of a hyphen and a dash in Cebuano writing is the same as in the English rule. The Akademiyang Bisaya is adopting the rule in English grammar on the use of a hyphen and is now being use in our Cebuano tabloids.

If you notice, “nalupog” is not written the way we speak the word as “nalup-og” in all write-ups in our tabloids. It’s because separating the word with a dash or a hyphen doesn’t follow the rule and it will just distort the word.

Here’s my presentation during my Cebuano Journalism class at the USJR in Cebu City.

Like other rules, there are always exception to the rule:

  • In both oral and written forms, a hyphen is necessary to separate “g” from prefixes like mag when it is directly followed by a vowel. Example: mag-abot, nag-usik-usik, pag-abot, etc.
  • There are also other Cebuano root words that need a hyphen because the one with a hyphen has different meaning with the same word without a hyphen. Example: laway (saliva) vs. law-ay (lewd)

Radio News Scripts Format

Please find below the Radio News Script formats that are commonly and widely used in radio newsrooms around the world.

There are three (3) basic news script formats for radio: Script-Only, Script Clip, and Wrap/Voiceover.

The Script-Only is an equivalent to the News Item (N.I.) format or Read-Only format for TV news script. The whole script is to be read by the news anchor without any voice clips.

On the other hand, the Script-Clip has a voice clip any where in the script where it shall be appropriate.

The Wrap/Voiceover format includes the lead paragraph which shall introduce the voiceover report (canned or live) of the reporter.

TIPS:

  • Just like the TV news script, radio news scripts should also have its SLUG as shown at the upper left corner of the script .
    (title of the newscast) Afternoon News/March 1, 2005 (date)
    (title of the story)NightClub fire/script-only (script format)
    (writer/reporter) Kenneth
  • Use one-half crosswise paper for radio script to avoid unnecessary noise created by the paper when the anchor is changing scripts.
  • As a rule, voice clips should be introduced before playing and again after it is played.
KENNETH GALANO HAS THIS REPORT FROM CITY HALL…
  =====================================
  VOICE REPORT: NIGHTCLUB FIRE/KENNETH (1:00min)
  CUE IN: They’re angry at the government over…
        CUE OUT: The fire is one of Argentina’s worst disasters.
                        Kenneth Galano reporting from City Hall.
  =====================================
  KENNETH GALANO REPORTING FROM CITY HALL…
  • Cardinal Rule in Writing for Radio:
    IT’S SPOKEN (“Write for the ear, not for the eye”)
    USE CONTRACTION (to make it more conversational)
    USE SIMPLE WORDS ( say “bad breath” than “halitosis”)
    PUNCTUATE FOR SOUNDS ( ? ! / :) )
    AVOID SOUND CLASHES (Wilma and William watched the window washers walk with Walter)
    PUT A PRONUNCIATION GUIDE (“noo-mo-nia” for Pneumonia)
    BREAKDOWN SCIENTIFIC/TECHNICAL TERMS (ex-tra-ter-ri-to-ria-li-ty)

That’s all folks.

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Principles of Broadcasting

One of the subjects in mass communication which i am very familiar with is the “Introduction to Broadcast Media” (MC-3 @ the USJR). Broadcasting runs in my blood being with in the industry since 1987. Being heavily involved in the news production on daily basis, i acquired huge stock knowledge about broadcasting in both theories and practical uses.

Whenever MC-3 is offered in the first semester at the University of San Jose-Recoletos where i had a five-year teaching stint, i always see to it i can explain the technical terms in layman’s words. My technical training has put me on the advantage to explain well about the matter. I told my class that they should know the technical side of broadcasting to fully understand it.

Here’s my presentation to the class on the principles of broadcasting:

Television Camera Shots and Direction Cues

The slide presentation below is one of my lessons in Television Production Management and Directions under the Introduction to Broadcast Media for the mass communication students at the University of San Jose Recoletos in Cebu City. In this presentation, i discussed about the different camera shots and direction cues for program directors and floor directors. The video on the slide can’t be played due to the limitation of my Slide Share account. Nevertheless, i put a short discussion on every slide after the presentation.

SLIDE 2
It shows the different shots according to the Proportion of the Object, meaning the size of the subject with respect to the frame. If the object is small and the background and foreground are big because the shot is wide, it means it’s a Long/Wide shot.

SLIDE 3
It lists the various Camera Shots Categories.

SLIDE 4
It shows the different shots of a person according to proportion.

SLIDE 5
It gives a concrete example or actual camera shots according to the proportion of the object.

SLIDE 6
It talks about the Number of People in the Frame, from Single Shot to Crowd shot.

SLIDE 7 (Movement of the Camera)
Zoom In/Out
—  (Video can’t be played)  It refers to the movement of the shots from long shot to close-up shot or vice-versa by adjusting the zoom lens of the camera. It is the camera’s component that moves while the subject is stationary.

SLIDE 8  (Movement of the Camera) 
Panoramic/Panning Shot — The shot moves sideways, from left to right or vice-versa while the subject is stationary with the camera is at a fixed point. This shot is use when correlating a subject to another subject within the vicinity. A panning shot should not be used to show how big an area. Use Long Shot or Group Shot instead.

SLIDE 9  (Movement of the Camera)
Swish Pan — This is done by panning the camera fast from one subject to another to show correlation. It’s usually applied in sports coverage and other action shots.

SLIDE 10  (Movement of the Camera)
Tilt Up/Down
 – You should not call it Pan Down/Up since the latter is the camera movement sideways of the subject. It refers to the movement of the camera from up to down or vice-versa of the subject. When you take a shot from head to toe–that’s Tilt Down.

SLIDE 11  (Movement of the Camera)
Dolly In/Out Shot — The camera moves forward towards the subject or moves away from the subject. This can be done when the camera is mounted on a tripod with a dolly (base support of the tripod).

SLIDE 12  (Movement of the Camera)
Running/Trucking — When the camera moves sideways while the subject is stationary by bringing the camera to either side, left or right of the subject.

SLIDE 13  (Movement of the Camera)
Following
 It is used when the camera follows the movement of the subject. It involves dollying and trucking.

SLIDE 14  (Movement of the Camera)
Walking
 – The cameraman is walking while taking the shots on a subject so that different scenes are captured from the beginning of the shot until it stops.

SLIDE 15  (Movement of the Camera)
Crane
 – It’s when a camera is mounted on a crane and operated by a cameraman down below using a remote controller. The shots vary from low angle to bird’s eye view.

SLIDE 16  (Movement of the Subject with Respect to the Frame)
Run-Through
— Here, the camera is on steady position while the subject moves in unto the frame running. The frame initially appears empty and suddenly the subject appears running unto the frame.

SLIDE 17 (Movement of the Subject with Respect to the Frame)
Walk-Through
 – The subject walks in unto the frame.

SLIDE 18 (Movement of the Subject with Respect to the Frame)
Fall-Through
 – The subject is falling from above unto the frame. One example as shown in the slide is the Fita commercial where a portion of a car fell into the ground.

SLIDE 19 (Position of the Camera with Respect to the Subject)
Low-Angle
 – This is when the camera is positioned on the ground or below the subject. It creates a “giant-effect” on the subject.

SLIDE 20 (Position of the Camera with Respect to the Subject)
High-Angle — It is the opposite of the Low-Angle and it creates a “dwarfism effect” since the subject appears small on its plane.

SLIDE 21 (Position of the Camera with Respect to the Subject)
Aerial
 – Most of the time, this can be achieved by taking a shot aboard a plane or chopper or air balloon where an aerial view of the subject is possible.

SLIDE 22 (Function in the Cinematic Sequence)
Establishing
 – Any shots can be used to establish or identify a place of an event. In a concert, for example, a long shot or crowd shot can identify how big the concert is. You can make the facade of a building to establish where the event is taking place.

SLIDE 23 (Function in the Cinematic Sequence)
Master– In an interview, the close-up shot of the interviewee makes the master shot. In a speech, the close-up shot of the speaker is the master shot. In a basketball event, the long shot from the upper box is the master shot. In short, Master Shot is always what the camera is recording.

SLIDE 24 (Function in the Cinematic Sequence)
Reverse
– In an interview, the shot of the reporter while conducting the interview is the reverse shot. In basketball, reverse shot (from the other side of the court) is always labelled as such to avoid confusion among the viewers as to the point-of-view.

SLIDE 25 (Function in the Cinematic Sequence)
Reaction
– As the name says, it is a reaction. It’s not a Reaction Shot when a cameraman shoots a pretty lady talking to someone beside her while someone is speaking in a conference.  Remember, a Reaction Shot has a relation with your Master Shot (the speaker). The Reaction Shot should have been someone listening intently to the speech.

SLIDE 26 (Function in the Cinematic Sequence)
Insert — Those are close-up shots showing details of a document, photo, etc. This usually comes after a long shot showing the subject. For example, a person is holding a document in the previous frames. The insert shot that follows should show the details on the document.

SLIDE 27 (Function in the Cinematic Sequence)
Point-of-View — as i mentioned in Slide 24, when covering a basketball game all the cameras should be placed in one side of the court (SLIDE 28). Otherwise, the viewers will be confused on the direction of each team if the video will display the shots from the opposite sides of the playing court. The same with biking as shown in the slide: Camera 1 shows the biker moving towards right direction while Camera 2(positioned at the opposite side of the road) shows the same biker moving towards left direction.

SLIDE 29 (Function in the Cinematic Sequence)
Cut-Away 
– Any shots can be used as Cut-Away for the sole purpose of masking the jump cut in the sequence of video clips. This is usually done when joining two video clips of an interview that shows sudden jerking or omitted portion of the clips. Most cut-aways are Reverse Shot or Insert Shot or a video of what is being discussed.

SLIDE 30 (Function in the Cinematic Sequence)
Lead-In
– It shows the direction of the subject in the frame. This is done by applying the Rule-of-Thirds during a shot where one side of the subject is left with a space to show the direction. The image on the right of the slide shows no space in front of the car and it is confusing the direction of the car.

The rest of the slides in this presentation can already be comprehend by means of its labels. So, i would leave this post up to this point. Just leave your questions or comments in the box below if you have issues or something to clarify. :)