|Caution: Some of these are off-server sites. Owners might move the files or remove them from public access at any time.|
|A word on expectations:
Materials listed here hypertext documents. Conceivably you could
browse from one document to another, and to another - without end.
Browsing isn't studying, of course. So your task will be to
decide how far into cyberspace you should follow these required links.
Too far, it gets too technical or too voluminous; not far enough, and it's
superficial and inadequate for test preparation.
Rule of thumb #1: you are responsible for documents within a website's linked directory, but not for documents you can link to from that directory. So, if you went to "CB radio antenna" on Howstuffworks.com, you'd be responsible for only one page. If you went to "Amplifiers" on the same site, you'd find a Table of Contents with 4 pages of tutorial, plus a page of links and a page of advertising. You'd be responsible for the 4 pages of tutorial.
Rule of thumb #2: If you're not confident of your understanding, ask. Others probably are in the same boat.
Rule of thumb #3: Do not print the web documents ! As you study each, make some notes so you understand the basic ideas and so you later can find your way around. Then, to prepare for tests, study your notes. So, the real secret is to have good note-taking skills.
General Strategy for the Semester
What physical principles are at the bottom of these media technologies?
+What are sound and light? These are the components of nature which we deal with in radio and TV. What is electricity? (An electrical signal?) We create an electrical "mirror image" of sound (for radio) and light (for TV) + How does magnetism create electricity in a wire? How does electricity in a wire create magnetism in space? + How is it that electrical pulses in a wire can cause magnetic waves to radiate off into space? + Who were the people who first figured out these principles? When and how?
What's an audio mixer? How does it work?
What devices are used upstream? Microphones, CD's, VTR's, feeds, tape machines, computers, etc. + What devices are used downstream? VU meter, equalizer, monitor, limiter, recorder, transmitter + What ancillary technology is used in radio/audio? + How is an audio system used in TV?
What's a TV switcher? How does it work?
What devices are used upstream? Cameras, servers, VTRs, network feeds, CG's, etc. + What devices are used downstream? Waveform monitor, vectorscope, recorder, transmitter. + What support systems are used in TV? Lighting, teleprompter, intercom, IFB.
What do we mean by "digital"?
Take samples of the signal at a really high rate. Assign a binary value to each sample's value. + Send/receive those values as clusters of pulses + CD's, DVD's, DAT, computers, MiniDV, DVCPro (etc.) are already digital. + Most new audio mixers and video switchers are digital. + Home TVs and car radios are analog. So radio/TV stations broadcast old-time analog signals + But not for long!! + Of course, you can already receive audio/radio and video/TV via the internet.
|Brief History & Overview||Very basic summary of early TV technologies such as the scanning disc and the CBS system of mechanical color . Omit the section that focuses on Canada.|
|What's in a TV Station?||Another very basic summary of what you'll find in a TV station|
First, let's think of the human cardiovascular system. See a graphic of it here. You know the basics: the heart pumps oxygen-rich blood out through arteries. Then the oxygen-depleted blood returns to the heart through veins. At the "heart" of the system, of course, is the heart.
|Okay, let's apply that
"heart" idea to a simplified drawing of an audio system for
radio. See a graphic here.
Now let's move to a more complete picture of the "On-air audio/radio system." See a graphic of it here.
And now let's ramp up to a video/television system. See a graphic of it here.
|How it connects together||A few more points on how these system elements all hook together with cables and routers and such.|
|Go to NEP Studios' web site. Choose Studio 52, which is the Daily Show's studio. The list of equipment won't make much sense, but click in the upper right corner for a "Systems Design Showcase" story that explains this new studio and "Studio 52 Floorplan." You should become familiar with these working areas used in studio production.|
|Here are some studio terms/concepts which you should remember from our classroom discussion of core technologies.|
|Control room||Voice of god PA||Remote - Nemo||Hollywood flat||Prompter display||Lavalier mic|
|Production control||Compix graphics||Sound lock doors||Broadway flat||Headset||Hand mic|
|Master control||Echolab switcher||Green room||Chromakey wall||Floor director||Directional mic|
|Monitor wall||Server||Hard set||Chromakey blue or green||Production assistant||Omnidirectional|
|Program monitor||Air monitor||Soft set||White balance||Producer||Mini-DV|
|Preview monitor||Tricaster switcher||Key light||Muting relay||Director||DVCPro|
|Audio booth||Garage Band||Back light||Floor monitor||Line producer||Lower third super|
|Audio mixer||Audacity||Fill light||Smart board||Field producer||Take/dissolve|
|Control console||Announce booth||Microphone snake||Teleprompter||Script||Bug|
|Director console||Cameras 1-3||I-F-B||Prompter control||House sync||Craft services|
Topic Sheets. These are short essays about selected basic topics. Technologies are based on these principles, so you need to understand them.
|Sound/acoustics||PDF document about sound|
|Faraday's Induction||PDF document about induction|
|Induction video||This video demonstrates how a moving coil in a magnetic field creates electricity - as does a microphone|
|Sound/Signal/Sound||PDF document about signals|
|Loudness and pitch||PDF document about how frequency and amplitude relate|
|Charting sound waves||How to graph waves in x/y space|
|Signal||An electrical counterpart|
|Signal-to-noise||A key ratio|
|Amplify||To increase signal strength|
|Modulate||To add one signal to another|
|Chromakey signal flow||This graphic shows the signal flow for chromakey. A camera shoots talent and the green/bluescreen; the signal goes to the switcher/Special Effects Generator. Separately, another source provides the background, such as a weather map. The switcher/SEG removes the green from the camera shot and replaces it with the weather map background. Then the composite (a "Key") goes to a character generator, which adds titles to the composite (another key); OR, the titles can be sent from the character generator to the switcher/SEG, which can create the chromakey and add titles all at the same time. The video then goes to the Master Control (or videotape recorder), where it's combined with the weather talent's audio channel and then broadcast.|
Tip: Topic Sheets cover finite chunks of information which makes them easy to study. It's easy to know when you've learned their content. Like scuba in a swimming pool.
|Electricity 101||Almost everything in audio/radio and video/TV runs on electricity. Doh.|
|What's the Electromagnetic Spectrum? This site from NASA explains.|
|Here's a terrific, short Primer on Electromagnetic Waves. Use only the first section of the chapter.|
|A downloadable 2-part introduction to "The Basics of Electricity" from Siemens. A very clear and concise summary of the basics.|
|AC/DC||AC/DC - What's the difference? From PBS's "Edison's Miracle of Light." PBS materials are extremely well done.|
|Electromagnets||Find more explanation of electromagnetism here from HowStuffWorks.|
|Links to Electromagnetism||Lots of links to electromagnetism from About Physics.|
|Molecular Expressions||Here's an "Electricity and Magnetism" index page from "Molecular Expressions." Look for "History of the Compact Disc," "How a Writable CD-R Works," and "How a Digital Digital Drive Works."|
|Tutorials||Some interactive java tutorials from "Molecular Expressions. " Look for "Charging And Discharging A Capacitor," "How A Compact Disc Works," "Faraday's Electromagnetic Induction Experiment," "Another Faraday Experiment," AC and DC generation, "How a Hard Drive Works," "A Condenser Microphone," "Tuning a Radio Receiver," "How A Speaker Works," and more. Great site.|
|Sound Waves and Music||Here you'll find five lessons about sound. Study them closely. The graphics and animations are excellent. Most of what you'll need about sound for this course is on this site.|
|Acoustics 101||Here's an acoustics primer from "Auralex." Some information deals with acoustics per se, while other sections focus on simple, practical and cheap ideas for audio studio construction.|
|Acoustics Primer||Here's an "Acoustics Primer" from Indiana University. The first 10 units are a review. I list them in case you're not clear on the fundamentals from "Sound Waves and Music." The following 6 units deal with "psychoacoustics," or how humans hear/perceive sound.|
|U of Cal||And this site from the University of California also contains very clear explanations of basic sound and audio topics. Access is controlled by the author, Peter Elsea, so it's in your interest to look at them without delay.|
|RealTraps||Sound waves in a studio can get out of control and do strange things. This site from RealTraps explains some basic ideas and how various acoustic panels/traps are used to control sound. Be sure to download and launch the Virtual Minirator, which allows you to create audio/sound tones of various frequencies.|
|About.Com||And here's a list of sites about acoustics and studio design (home-based, on the cheap) from About.com. Look at the list in the left column.|
The Handbook for Acoustic Ecology, edited by Barry Traux, comprises an excellent and extensive glossary of terms related to sound. For example, look at "beats," where you will read an explanation of how two sound waves of differing frequencies can interact to produce a third sound wave -- as well as hear an example.
|WFMJ-TVs broadcast contour map||Interlace scan ... animated||Test Pattern ... graphic|
|Lines resolution ... graphic||AM/FM Modulation ... graphic||Frequency Modulation ... graphic|
|Sample VHF TV Antenna ... graphic||Antennae on the WTC prior 9/11 ... graphic||Antennae on the Empire State Building ... graphic|
|Harris' Flyaway "Radio Station in a Box" ... brochure|
--------------------------- START OF PART 2 OF 3, Spring 2012 -------------------------------
|Audio Signal Flow||Here's the basic signal flow explanation of a (Mackie) mixer.|
|Audio Mixer||Here's a guided tour of an audio mixer, generic.|
|Video Signal Flow||Here's another signal flow diagram for video. You should look at "Studio System (Analog Composite Video)" and "Studio System (Analog Audio Studio)"|
|Transistor video||Here's a video demonstrating what a transistor is and how it uses a very weak signal to control or modulate a very strong one, thereby producing amplification|
|Simple Radio Station||Here's how to set up a simple home radio station.|
|Flow Graphic||Here's the graphic of Mackie signal flow.|
|We use a variety of devices to convert energy from one state to another. These devices are known as transducers. They create the weakest of signal, which flows into a nearby concentrator (amplifier) and then downstream toward the mixer.|
|The most common upstream transducer is a microphone. Microphones are sensitive to shock waves in air. When they sense a shock wave, they produce a pulse of electrical current. The stream of electrical current, pulsing in a way that corresponds to the shock waves, is known as the signal flow.|
|Microphone graphics||A dynamic mike, a condenser mike and a ribbon mike. Also a loudspeaker (the reverse of a dynamic mike!)|
|Brief Guide to Microphones||From Audio-Technica offers a clear foundation, including a discussion of signal flow.|
|Microphones - Coutant||This site will introduce you to the various types of microphones used in broadcasting and in recording studios. Remember, they're upstream transducers! It is a small sample (only 20 or so), and includes a few of the older models of RCA ribbon microphones such as the 44B and 77DX. Many of these classics still exist, and continue to provide superb audio quality. You can even take a tour of the Neumann factory. Pay particular attention to mike types, frequency response, and polar patterns. This information is provided with each microphone and also, generically, as a link ("Types of Elements") at the very bottom of the first page ("RCA Type 44-BX") of the microphone tour.|
|Microphones for TV||Notice here the photo of a parabolic microphone, which actually is a normal dynamic (cardioid) microphone on a parabolic reflector mount.|
|Phonograph stylus||The diamond-tipped "needle" bounces in the record's groove. The needle's connected to a wire coil in the cartridge, placed near a permanent magnet. Each time the needle moves, current flows. The very low output (signal strength) requires an amplifier to be near the tone arm, usually under the turntable base.|
|Magnetic record head||The audio tape is a plastic ribbon many feet in length. Standard reel-to-reel tape speed is 7-1/2 inches per second. The audio recording on the tape exists as many, many little areas of magnetism. As the tape is drawn past the head, each area of magnetism creates electrical flow in the tape head. These signal impulses are sent directly to an amplifier.|
|Computer disk drive||Uses a tiny, tiny magnetic record/playback head similar to what's in a tape recorder. The disk itself is coated with very fine metallic dust. Because the disk spins, the record/playback head can be made to move along an extremely thin spiral track from the center of the disk to the outermost rim. As the head passes over spots on the track that are magnetized, electrical impulses are created in the head. These are sent to an amplifier in the disk drive.|
|Loudspeaker||A loudspeaker, or simply speaker, is an electromechanical transducer which converts an electrical signal into sound. From Wikipedia|
|Microphones||From About.com - pretty good review.|
|Arrakis Digilink-Free||Arrakis provides both air/production mixers ("boards") and studio automation software. The Digilink-Free is a free download which you can study or use. Click on the dropdown menu for "Products," then "Xtreme Solution," and then explore the features. A video is available in the dropdown menu. Then return to the main page and click on the dropdown menu for "Consoles." Explore these consoles ... especially the REV-12P|
|Enco's DAD||Enco's Digital Audio Delivery products are displayed on this page. You'll find a demo by clicking on the graphic with "Presenter" in red.|
|Signal Processing||Dynamic Processing comes under the categories of Compression, Limiting, Expansion & Gating.|
|dbx||"dbx" makes the signal processor we use in the TV studio|
|Telephone interface||Normally called "a Gentner," the interface controls incoming phone calls and allows you to put them into the audio board. Good explanations, but the links are dated.|
|Eventide||Eventide invented the digital talk show delay for radio. The "manual" (pdf) at the page bottom is user-friendly.|
|Abekas AirCleaner||The simple machine that puts a profanity delay on audio or both audio and video. Look at the brochure in the right column.|
|Audacity||How to use Audacity for simple podcasts - Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3|
|Adobe Audition||How to use Audition for audio effects - Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3|
|Radio station||Tour a radio station with Corey Deitz|
|ESE timers and clocks||Each radio and TV station must have a master clock which drives multiple slave displays. Separate timers are used for productions.|
|EAS||TFT, Inc. emergency alert system|
|WFPG tour||The studios are located at Northfield and Venice Park, NJ and the transmitters are located in the well suited meadows of Atlantic City. Studio and transmitters. Actually, this site is large and includes much technology of the 1960's and 1970's -- all analog.|
|How computers work||from Intel. The series of lessons is called, "The Journey Inside."|
|HD radio||Digital radio broadcasting|
|Faraday||Learn about Faraday, Maxwell, Hertz and Marconi at John Henkins' SparkMuseum. Good explanations plus clear photos of early radio technology. On this page you'll find links to key documents related to the emergence of broadcast technology. Start with Faraday.|
|Telegraphy||Learn about telegraphy, the Morse Code (binary), and the transatlantic cable.|
|Nikoli Tesla invented alternating current and held many early radio patents. This site from PBS offers a biography, a profile of five inventions (including "radio"), a tour of his Niagra power station, and an explanation of the fundamentals of electricity.|
You can learn about Marconi, read Titanic telegrams, and see footage from Marconi's life at MarconiCalling.com .
|Local Radio Handbook||Here's Robert Horvitz's Local Radio Handbook -- for building a radio station in your basement.|
|Pirate Radio Survival Guide||Here's the Pirate Radio Survival Guide -- another handbook for building an (illegal) radio station|
|Digital Radio||A simple site from Germany|
|BBC studios||Roger Beckwith's extensive site|
|The BBC in 1932||Broadcasting House in 1932|
Test your digital IQ from MSNBC
------------------------- START OF PART 3 OF 3, Spring 2012 -----------------------------------------
first be clear about terms. George Eastman (Kodak) developed
the first flexible photographic film in 1885. English photographer
Edward Muybridge in the United States used 24 still cameras to produced a
series of stereoscopic images of a galloping horse, arguably the first
"motion picture film." So "film" normally means
a series of visual images recorded on emulsion-based photographic film by
a photographic film camera in a series of frames. Film stock, film
cameras, and the resulting products -- films -- became the basic product
of "Hollywood." The craft and business of film in
Europe is called "cinema." Television came
along in the 1940's, and it meant the production process which uses one or
more electronic TV cameras to create live or live-to-film (later,
live-to-tape) programs. In television, the person responsible for
making sure that the images on each camera were of high quality was known
as the "video engineer," and what he or she controlled was
called "video." Film, and the film production process,
soon found a place within the television industry. Film was
used to create programs which could later be projected on TV in whole or
in part, as in the case of Twilight Zone and Bonanza programs and
Movietone newsreels. Filmed newsreels were a staple of motion
picture theaters, of course. And newsreel film crews were known
"to shoot" film. Also, television programs could be
recorded by a film camera for archive or delayed broadcast (DB).
These films were known as "kinescopes," or "kinnies."
In the mid-1980's, a small-format videotape and battery-powered TV camera hit the TV market. No longer did newsreel and news producers shoot film, they "shot tape." Use of this small equipment for news became known generally as "Electronic News Gathering,' or ENG. And use for commercial or program production became known as "EFP" or Electronic Field Production" -- and the production process followed exactly the process used to make a major motion picture. Oddly enough, short entertainment productions -- often of musical groups -- came on the scene, and they were called "videos."
The technology changed yet again in the late 1990's, as small-format camcorders became commonplace. With them, everyone "shot tape." But in the early 2000's, so-called "tapeless" camcorders took over the market, where personal video images were recorded on digital media -- from MiniDV to SDHC cards. And professionals bypassed tape completely, moving instead to flash memory sticks.
So now we "shoot video" and record it to memory stick or flash drives. And the film/cinema industry uses electronic "film cameras" such as the "Red One" or the "Genesis." These cameras record directly to solid state memory, but with near-35mm film quality.
For now, we TV types shoot video, edit video, and output edited video. We Hollywood types shoot video, edit video, and produce an edited film or movie. Hollywood types are in the cinema business. Nobody films or shoots film with a video camera.
|Video 101||Wonderful site ! An online production course (pay attention more to technology than to processes) - updated the week of March 30, 2011|
|How 3-D works||A video and a PDF about 3-D, starting with the non-TV Stereoptic and ViewMaster. Focus, perspective, occlusion, light/shade, color intensity/contrast, and relative movement are the "normal vision" cues for judging depth. 3-D adds information about convergence/divergence and stereopsis.|
|Small production switcher||A quick tour. Yes, the best way to learn how switchers work is to experience them.|
|Big production switcher||MVS-8000G from Sony. They're really big and complicated.|
|DME Wipes||This video shows a TD using a big switcher to create wipes from source to source|
|Broadcast Pix||This university training video demonstrates the Broadcast Pix switcher|
|Director||Director headsets for PBS' News Hour|
|WJZ-TV News||Behind the scenes|
|A Live Shot (remote)||An engineer shows how he sets up a live shot - a remote news feed - in this important video|
|Crazy director $%&!||This clip of an out-of-control director is LOADED with bad language. BEWARE!|
|White Balance||A necessary step with a camera -- each time lighting is changed|
|Digital TV||"Digital TV: A Cringely Crash Course" from PBS.|
|Studio Production Primer||A very basic how-to studio manual from a community television center.|
|I-Movie '11||Elementary videos showing you how to edit video with I-Movie.|
|Final Cut Pro||An introductory video for FCP, focusing on basic editing. Here's one for FCExpress.|
|Basic switching||Here's a simple TV switcher and short operating instructions.|
|Studio manual||A TV/Studio Equipment Manual from Rogers State University. Gear ... is gear.|
|Video Technology||And, if you're really into this stuff, here's ePanorama's page. It's excellent, but huge.|
|Production book||Review, mostly. Focus on Camera, Lighting, Audio, Video, and Additional Video|
|Camera||Sony studio camera. Note the PDF on how 3-D works and a related wall chart. Also watch the video here.|
|Pedestal||The Pro-Ped is an economical, lightweight pedestal for both studio and field production|
|Teleprompter||The Prompter People sell hardware and special "text reversing" software|
|Switcher||Ross family of production switchers|
|KADN-TV production demo (1985)|
|Automated TV Control||Ross Overdrive automated control room - brochure (WKBN-TV) - high end|
|"Ignite" is Grass Valley's automated control room - high end|
|Broadcast Pix's Slate 2100 automated control room with "Scripts" software|
|Broadcast Pix's automated (VOX) TV switching|
|Broadcast Pix 500 integrated switchers|
|Newtek products; demo video - value priced; the TCXD300 demo|
|FlyPak Mobile HD||TV Pro Gear provides top-level equipment systems for remote/outdoor uses. You can read the splash page, then look for the video immediately under the photo. After that, explore the menu items UNDER the "Request a Proposal" button. Finally, you may explore the dropdown menu items across the page top.|
|VTR||Panasonic DVC Pro 50|
|Grass Valley||Grass Valley products including the Kayenne (Intro and Ch 1) and K2 Dyno media server|
|News Editor||Avid and Deko for news editing|
|Compix Graphics||A value-priced graphics generator, using Windows. Go to company page to see the "box."|
|Digital Juice||Digital Juice makes animated backgrounds and a plethora of production support elements. Cheap.|
|Minicam||Sony XDCam HD with optical recording|
|Nonlinear editor||Final Cut Pro for video; Pro Tools and Sound Forge for audio|
|Robotic camera||Automated camera motion control, from Vinten. Look at video channel on YouTube.|
|Steadicam||Explore site. Look for Ultra 2 at bottom and explore.|
|Light dimmer console||Strand|
|WFMZ tour - Sunrise Show||Director/TD "combo"|
|Director audio||"Funny tape" of director calls ("R")|
|17 - Cameras||32 - Back, Fill Light|
|8 - How the Process Works||18 - Color Balancing||37-45 - Audio- review|
9 - World Standards
|20 - Viewfinders||46 - Video Recording Media|
10 - Lenses
|21 - Prompters||47 - Consumer formats|
|11 - Distance, Perspective||26 - Graphics/ Virtual Reality||48 - Professional formats|
|12 - F-stops||27 - Hard/Soft Light||49 - Videotape Operations|
|13 - Filters||28 - Color Temperature||56 - Linear/Nonlinear editing|
|14 - Lenses||29 - Control of Intensity||57 - Time Code|
|15 - Color||30 - Instruments||60 - Switchers/ Effects|
|16 - Video Quality||31 - Key Light||65 - Microwave Links|
|Video on a waveform monitor||Western Kentcky TV Rates||Waveform & Vectorscope #1, #2|
|All Mobile Video||Provides "end-to-end video and audio solutions" for entertainment, sports, and news events -- from Manhattan sound stages to mobile production and editing trucks|
|Crosscreek Productions||An Alabama-based company who rents production trucks (see photos)|
|Steiner Studios||On a 15-acre site at the historic Brooklyn Navy Yard, the 285,000- square-foot Steiner Studios provides New York City with Hollywood-style (and scale) production and support.|
|New York Network||NYN's new all-digital broadcast center|
|Revision3 Studios||A hot San Francisco web TV content creator -- studio tour|
|CNN||CNN's NYC street-level studio|
|Silvercup Studios||"New York City's largest full-service Film & Television production facility"|
|Saturday Night Live||SNL's current TV control room|
|ENG truck||And a digital ENG truck from Baltimore, MD|
|SureShot||Locally, SureShot is a leading provider of uplink technology|
|First Call Uplink||First Call Uplink also is a major provider of satellite services|
|Production truck||A small, quick setup remote production truck from Columbia College in Chicago|
|Production truck||A medium-sized production truck from Matrix Mobile in California|
|Production trucks||A large inventory of large production trucks and services from NEPINC.|
|Satellite||Fundamentals of Satellite Communication|
|Studio rental||Need to rent a TV studio? Here's WGTE's (Toledo)|
|Riding the Bandwagon||Riding the Technology Bandwagon - from University of Missouri at St. Louis|
|Digital audio formats||Blu-Ray DVDs||Boom microphones|
|Video editing; DVD burning||How to Video Podcast||Headphones|
|Satellite radio||Digital Video Cameras||Using depth of field|
|High-Def survival guide||High Definition specifications||Using field audio mixers|
|Personal Video Recorders||3-Point Lighting||Camcorder audio|
|TV aspect ratios||Operating a studio camera (VERY basic)||Virtual reality sets - Adobe Ultra|
|LCD and Plasma TVs||Setting White Balance|
Odds and ends (not required):