Walking with microphones

Broadcaster Philip Williams has finished the first stage of a 5,000 mile journey along the coast of Britain for charity, during which he is recording his experiences and the people he meets on a solid state microphone recorder, writes Kevin Hilton.
Publish date:

Broadcaster Philip Williams has finished the first stage of a 5,000 mile journey along the coast of Britain for charity, during which he is recording his experiences and the people he meets on a solid state microphone recorder, writes Kevin Hilton. Williams is hoping to raise £100,000 for the Alzheimer's Society. His round-Britain walk began in Brighton on 20 February and by the end of July had reached the southwest coast of Scotland. He is interviewing people along the way using a Yellowtec iXm solid state recorder for a proposed radio series and book called Characters on the Coastline. Explaining the reason for the journey, Williams says, "My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's a few years ago. The disease afflicts a surprisingly high proportion of people, particularly in advancing age, and can appear in any family. Finding a cure is a cause well worth promoting. I have already recorded discussions with a lot of interesting people and am happy to interview anyone who has a story to tell." As Williams observes, there is a wide choice of recorders on the market today and he tested several before buying the Yellowtec iXm from distribution company Preco. Describing the microphone-recorder as a "real reporter's tool" he says, "The iXm looks and feels like a normal professional mic, which helps to get interviewees into the right frame of mind. Everything is housed inside the stick. Being able to capture 48 hours of uncompressed WAV on an interchangeable 16 gigabyte SD memory card gives you a lot of confidence when you are recording on location." Williams is using three beyerdynamic heads - omnidirectional, cardioid or supercardioid - with him, which he swaps over according to what he is doing and the sound conditions on location. He also has a Rycote windshield for when the weather is blustery, which has been most of the time in Britain this summer. www.philipwilliams.uk.com


Clear-Com connects Beijing Television

Intercom specialist Clear-Com has supplied a digital matrix and wireless communications system to Beijing Television (BTV), which allows the state broadcaster to connect intercoms in its new broadcast facility and established studio centre, writes Kevin Hilton.

Rhodes considers new mix of life

Sound designer Adrian Rhodes worked at De Lane Lea for 15 years but last June made the big move to join Goldcrest Post Production. He talks to Kevin Hilton about life and work one year on, BAFTA nominations and his approach to TV drama and feature films.

Sony Award recognises Everett's radio legacy

Kenny Everett was among the most innovative and influential presenters in British radio. Kevin Hilton talks to the makers of a Sony Award winning documentary that celebrates Everett's contribution to what he always called the "wireless" and how digital technology was used to restore and emulate original analogue material.

The end for analogue broadcast consoles?

Sometimes the world changes without people realising - until the fact is pointed out to them. The announcement by Calrec Audio that it is discontinuing production of analogue consoles confirms what has been happening over the past five years, that digital has overcome all the technical and operational objections to become the mixing technology of choice. Kevin Hilton reports.

FJTV game shows get digital audio mixes

Chinese broadcaster Fujian TV (FJTV) is now using a newly installed high definition production chain at its new broadcast centre, which also houses two digital audio consoles, writes Kevin Hilton. The Solid State Logic C100 HDS desks are being used on three popular light entertainment and game shows.

Headphone level control - monitoring versus limiting

Technology has allowed higher and higher sound levels to be produced at better and better quality over the past 20 years but more recently there has been a realisation of what this can do to people's hearing. The European Commission acted on this in 2003 by issuing a Directive to harmonise noise control legislation across Europe, which led employers in broadcasting, live music and industry to consider how to protect both staff and the public. In broadcasting, limiter circuits on headphones have been a first line of defence but, as Kevin Hilton reports, a new approach is being taken for location filming.

UK OB sector out in force for Royal Wedding

Trucks from the UK's leading outside broadcast companies will be in attendance at the Royal Wedding next Friday (29th April), including the MasterSound audio mobile and new OB5 unit from SIS LIVE and Arena Television's OB14, the first scanner in Britain to have a Lawo console, writes Kevin Hilton.