James Follett's

BBC 7 Report


I recorded 'Men, Martians and Machines' at BBC 7 on Tuesday 24th June 2003. It's a three hour programme that traces the history of Earthsearch, with generous chunks of my earlier radio plays, including one that I'd never heard.

BBC 7 is like a self-contained ILR station within Broadcasting House. They've got their own small production studio with a producer's box and a hot seat box. For recording, the producer plugs a SCSI drive into a networked system and records straight onto the hard disk at 44k/16bit using software very similar to CoolEdit to produce a monster .WAV file. Editing is a doddle. For each fluff, all I had to do was leave a pause so that the .WAV file would flatline, and read the paragraph again. Even so, it was a nerve-wracking yet enjoyable two-hours. For belt and braces reasons, a DAT recording is also made.

All BBC 7's programmes for each day are transferred onto a stack of SCSI hard disks and the whole output is controlled from a work station with a giant plasma screen showing a database so that everyone in the office can see what is going out at the moment. It runs under Windows! BBC 7 are in the process of building up their own CD archive library.

Part of BBC7's archives

Part of BBC 7's archives


BBC7 database

BBC 7 Database

Mary Kalemkerian, the controller of BBC7

Mary Kalemkerian, The controller of BBC 7



In view of BBC7's propensity to fall over now and then, usually at night when no one is around, I represented the item in pic to the controller. Actually, it's a decent toolkit from Lidls.


Note pictures, text by James Follett

[Thanks to James, David Williams]


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