Introduction to Radio Production

Elements of Radio Production 1
TV&R Course #25.1
Section GJK, Code #1420
Fall 2001
Mondays 2:00 - 2:50 & Wednesdays 2:00 - 5:40
Radio Lab (302 Whitehead)

Professor: Martin Spinelli
Office: 406 Whitehead
Office hours: Monday 11:45-1:45 & Wednesday 11:45-12:45
(Also at other times by appointment. I will typically be on campus Tuesdays and can arrange to meet you then as well. Either email me or call the Department of Television & Radio at 951-5555.)


Lively ideas and confident, finely-tuned writing constitute 90 percent of a good radio program. This course is largely about the other 10 percent: the technology of radio production and knowledge of established radio forms. The official prerequisites for this course are TV/R 16.5, TV/R 20 and TV/R 16 or 28; consequently, you should have some proficiency as a broadcast writer before taking this course. Through reading radio production essays and studying examples of good radio programming, but more importantly through hands-on projects involving a range of recording and broadcast equipment, students will leave this course with the ability to produce a variety of basic radio pieces.

Students will learn:

Assignments and Grades:

Advisory #1: Assignments are due when they are due. I have no patience for excuses involving hungry dogs, dead grandmothers, delinquent siblings, acts of natural disaster, and the like. Similarly, notes from Dr. Mom will gain you no sympathy. I do NOT accept late work. If you feel you might be unable to meet a deadline you must discuss it with me during a class meeting before the assignment is due. Only then will I consider granting you an extension.

Advisory #2: Your equipment is precious. It has taken years and tens of thousands of dollars to acquire the resources that we currently enjoy in the Department of Television & Radio so please treat them with respect. I've instructed the Television Center (the people responsible for loaning equipment and scheduling access to production facilities) to allow you to borrow portable recorders for periods of up to three days. I've also asked them to keep me informed as to the state of the equipment loaned out to you; if they tell me that someone has damaged, broken or lost equipment, I reserve the right to lower that person's final grade by as much as one-and-a-half letters. By taking good care of the equipment you not only insure that you and your classmates will have the tools needed to complete future radio projects, but you will also protect your final grade.

Advisory #3: As each class meeting will build on the material presented in previous sessions, attendance is extremely important. If you miss more than two class meetings I reserve the right to lower your final grade one letter for each subsequent absence.

Your final grade will be calculated as follows:

Required reading:

Working course schedule (subject to change):

Week 1: Introduction Weeks 2-3: Portable recording equipment
Week 4: Microphones and interviewing
Week 5: Tape editing
Week 6: The mixing board
Week 7: Live, hands-on midterm
Week 8: Feature production
Week 9: The console minidisk
Week 10: Using ambient sound
Weeks 11-14: Software-based digital audio editing