I began working at Oregon Public Radio 15 years ago and am now the sound supervisor. In essence, I work for the news department and am responsible for the final sound quality.
My job varies day by day, hour by hour. On any given day, I’ll hop from engineering something for a live broadcast, to mixing a music session for an audience in our performance space, to doing post-production mixes for a documentary series on our own channel.When stay-at-home orders were put in place in Oregon, we needed to work quickly to get our staff set up to work outside the studio.
We ordinarily have about 120 people, including talent and reporters, working in the building on any given day. In March, we had to cut down to 12, but we were still producing all of the shows we normally do, including our locally-produced “Morning Edition,” a locally-produced “All Things Considered” and our flagship daily talk show called “Think Out Loud.”
On that show, newsmakers come on and discuss what’s happening in the state of Oregon and southwest Washington. The focal point of my effort when stay-at-home orders were put in place was making sure that that show stayed on the air — it gives us our highest ratings, and it’s where people tune in for information.
We’ve been using the Comrex ACCESS codec since it was first released. They have always been important to producing “Think Out Loud” because they allow us to go into parts of rural Oregon and broadcast the show from places that usually wouldn’t get a visit from a radio show like ours. We’ve gone all over the United States to do the show with ACCESS units.
Now, we’ve been using them to make sure that our hosts don’t have to come into the building. It’s been pretty huge to keep everybody remote — the fewer people here, the safer we all are.