This morning, the host of a radio talk show was in a recording studio in Philadelphia, having a conversation with a guest who was comfortably seated in our voice booth in Santa Barbara. Both voices sounded as if they were sitting next to each other. The ISDN codecs delivered better than mp3 quality. The studio in Philadelphia introduced telephone callers to the program, who talked to our remote in-studio guest and the host in real time. The entire session was recorded in Philadelphia to be post produced into a radio broadcast and downloadable programming.
The technology involved here is nothing to get breathless about. ISDN transmission of audio has been a daily feature in prduction studios around the world for many years. It's the creative use of technology to create programming that I think will be more interesting as we move into the near future of program production.
We've reached a point where producers and creative talent can take technology itself for granted in the creative process. In the same way that I don't need to understand elecrtical generation and transmission to know that flipping a switch lights up a room, I don't need to know how I.T. works to create new ways to use it.
I often find that the languages of I.T. engineers and creative producers are not entirely compatible. We speak about the same things in different ways. To an engineer, an ISDN Codec is a specific hardware and software application. It's a defined thing. To a creative it's more like a verb. To ISDN a session is an action that allows many possible creative outcomes. But it lacks the American tendency to brand label everything.
This summer, we intend to install and prove newer digital hardware/software applications that allow almost anybody with simple recording tools and a broadband connection to do what we did this morning. You'll be able to create and produce programming for broadcast, podcast or download - including live high quality sources from almost anywhere in the world without an ISDN based codec. This will allow the producer maximum flexibility to gather high quality source materials for post production. The talent, the producer and the studio/post production engineer can all be remote from each other, and yet a program could be recorded or streamed in real time.
Just before World War II, the Columbia Broadcasting System established a world news roundup on it's national network. This is essentially what created CBS news and set the standards for broadcast journalism. By use of telephone and shortwave radio transmission, CBS delivered live news from around the world to listeners all accross America.
We no longer need the resources of a corporate broadcast network to do the same thing. Imagine an audio blog with 2 way conversation and live reports from all over the globe. It could happen.
When it does, will creatives still use ISDN as a verb? Hard to say. The IT engineers may come up with a new acronym. And creatives may decide that since anybody can do it, it's time to start branding their product.
The Production Room was founded in 1995 as one of the first full time digital commercial recording facilties on the central coast of California. We started with 4 stereo tracks, 16 mb of ram and a 250 mb hard drive. A lot has happened since then. Today we're focusing on ways to serve clients who are creating web based media content. This includes strategic planning to integrate the benefits of traditional media, web design and IT solutions into new programs produced especially for on-line consumers. Join in the conversation. Throw rocks at glass houses. Share your vision of the future. This is the most progressive time in the media arts since Johannes Gutenburg invented movable type!