Going On Location: Live Radio Broadcasts
Broadcasting a radio show from a location other than a studio is called location radio. This type of live radio broadcast is exciting and challenging for all involved, such as the radio DJ, location audio engineer, radio producer, and station manager. Everyone has to be on their toes and focused so that the radio program is broadcast clearly and professionally without any hitches. Location radio is stressful and unpredictable and you may find that you are working in a strange location under some difficult conditions.
Many live radio broadcast location shows take place during some kind of event that is covered, be it a major sports event, festival, or at a shopping mall. This usually means dealing with large crowds of people that want to talk to you and lots of noise. The location audio engineer will have a big job on his hands to make sure that the background noise does not interfere with the radio DJ presenting the show, and he will have to ensure that there are no echoes or other acoustic problems that you don’t normally need to worry about in a soundproof studio.
The radio DJ will also have to be very focused because, usually they are in a quiet, calm surrounding. On a location radio broadcast, the DJ might be faced with tons of people, in a noisy area, and may find it very hard to concentrate. Many radio DJs will only get to do a live radio broadcast after working on radio for a while.
On some location radio shows, the radio DJ and location audio engineer will be housed in a sound truck or caravan. This will offer some noise protection and barrier from crowds of people, but there can be other difficulties that you face. For example, the sound truck can become extremely hot in summer and fans or cooling systems will make too much noise. The location audio engineer will also have to deal with more noise than usually from the metallic surroundings, although most sound trucks are fitted with soundproofing materials.
Location radio is very interesting as you have more to talk about than on a usual radio program. You can talk about what you see and hear, explain to your listeners what is happening around you and make them feel as if they were there with you. This is your job as the radio DJ while on a live radio broadcast on location.
The radio producer is not always present at a live radio broadcast on location, but will rather sit in the studio with the studio sound engineer to make sure that the broadcast is going smoothly from his end. For a radio DJ it can be a big learning curve to be on your own, out of your comfort zone, and working in some harsh conditions. When you look for radio jobs, this is not one that really comes to mind right away, and you will not usually start your career in live radio broadcast doing a location show. Mastering this will soon see you get a better time slot and increase your salary. Doing live radio broadcasts on location will give you confidence, grit and more energy, all of which will help you in the studio.