Shawn Fox and Adam Ragusea Talk NPR’s Broadcast Sound
Adam Ragusea, host of The Pub, interviews NPR’s senior director of audio engineering Shawn Fox to ask the question NPR listeners want to know – How did you come up with what’s been described as NPR’s “secret sauce”? for Current:
Current: What is ingredient number one of the secret sauce? Is it the NPR studio microphone?
Fox: The NPR sound has so many tentacles. If we’re just focusing on the studio side, which was actually the easiest thing, it all starts with the microphone. We use a simple Neumann U87 microphone as the house-standard microphone at all of our facilities. They’re expensive, but that’s what we’ve used for years.
In the new building, we knew we had the old microphones — and microphones don’t die unless somebody really works hard at it — and we had more facilities, so we bought a few more. But it really comes down to the U87 with the bass rolled off.
Current: The bass rolled off? Could you explain what that means?
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