Pre-fade Listen

… A site about radio.

From a broadcaster’s point of view, a lot of time and creative energy is expended in making radio – all for listeners who probably ignore the utterances which then disappear into the ether. (Try asking someone what they heard on the breakfast radio show news bulletin at eight this morning and they’ll struggle to recall all but the top stories).

However some listeners have been paying attention: for the past 100 years some great radio has provoked extraordinary reactions. I’m Martin Cooper – both a broadcaster and a listener. This site thinks about radio – and how we’ve been listening to it. Mostly the good bits…

The pre-fade listen switch on the studio mixing desk allows the on-air presenter to make sure that his or her next audio item will play out at exactly the right sound level.

Too loud and the listener will complain; too quiet and the listener will be fiddling with the volume knob – and in all certainty quickly re-tune to a decent station that plays music and speech which sits nicely in the background audio landscape of their lives.

In the on-air studio, good radio broadcasting is all about looking to the next audio event in a live show – and being prepared to play it out at just the right level. For the listener it’s about having a steady professional sound coming out of the radio.

On a BBC radio mixing desk the speech always peaks at six and the music at five on the PPMs. I’ll explain more about that elsewhere.

Read on – by either clicking here: Articles or click the Archives link (towards the top right of this page if you’re using a PC or laptop; just below here if you’re on your mobile device of some description).