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The environment in which an event takes place. It is often recorded afterwards to provide audio that can be faded in prior to and coming out of the event to ease transitions. (Also referred to as "ambi")
American Federation of Musicians
The American Federation of Musicians (AFM) is a national union of musicians that NPR works with on issues pertaining to recording performances and interviews featured on NPR's news and cultural programs.
American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is an organization that licenses the performance of published nondramatic musical works of its member artists. NPR member stations are licensed to broadcast in the ASCAP repertoire through an agreement between NPR and ASCAP.
Audible Spectrum is the range of sound that can be heard. Sounds are given an identification base on the number of times they vibrate per second, a scale referred to as Hertz (Hz). The range of audibility differs between species. Typical human hearing is considered to span from a low of about 50Hz to a high of about 16,000kHz (kiloHertz). A dog, for example, can easily hear 20khz.
Average Quarter Hour
Average Quarter Hour (AQH) is the estimated average number of persons listening to a station during any 15-minute period. This estimate, expressed in hundreds, is shown for the Metro, Total Survey Area and Designated Market Area in Arbitron radio market reports.
The range of frequencies contained in the audio being used. For example, a CD contains frequency response from 20Hz to 20kHz. A telephone contains frequencies between 100Hz and 3kHz.
A pre-recorded introduction usually including theme music and information about the upcoming show.
Audio with a lot of trebel content.
Broadcast Music, Inc
Like ASCAP, Broadcast Music, Inc (BMI) represents composers and publishers of nondramatic musical works. Through an agreement between NPR and BMI, NPR member stations are licensed to broadcast musical works in BMI's repertoire.
A segment of music heard between pieces. It is also referred to as a zipper or interlude.
A steady-pitched addition to a recording that sounds like bees. The sound is often caused by a connection not pushed in all of the way or a bad cable.
Closed Circuit Feed
Also called an "interconnection," a closed circuit feed is a feed transmitted to stations, but is not intended for local broadcast.
quiet or low-level audio
Community Service Grant
Community Service Grant or CSG is a monetary grant of federal funds provided by CPB to public radio stations for basic station operations.
Corporation for Public Broadcasting
A private, nonprofit organization established by the 1967 Public Broadcasting Act to provide an intermediary between Congress and the public radio and television stations. Congress funds the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) in a three-year advance funding cycle, and CPB distributes those funds to nonprofit television and radio organizations and independent producers according to criteria contained in the Public Broadcasting Act.
The removal of ums, uhs, stutters, and false starts.
An action or command that causes the current audio to decrease in volume whilst another audio is simultaneously increased. The final result is uninterrupted sound.
Dalet is the company that manufactures the Digital Audio Workstation (DAW).
A time period for which audiences estimates may be reported in Arbitron radio market reports.
An action or command to start a reproducer in play but with the volume turned off. At a specific time, the audio is faded in.
A piece of equipment used by a satellite downlink to receive an individual audio or data channel. Fixed or fixed tuned demodulators (demods) can receive only one channel. Limited-agility demods can receive some, but not all of the channels on a transponder (one channel at a time). Fully agile demods can receive all of the channels on a transponder (one channel at a time). A separate demodulator is required for each channel that must be received simultaneously. There is no limit on the number of demodulators that may exist at a downlink.
Designated Market Area
The Designated Market Area (DMA) is the geographic market design that defines each radio market exclusive of others. Every country or split country in the US is assigned to one DMA.
Digital Audio Broadcasting
Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) is an emerging technology for broadcasting digitally modulated radio signals that deliver compact disc-quality sound free of interference and noise to radio listeners. DAB transmits audio information as a series of digital bits in a way similar to telephone digital modems, fax machines and computers.
Digital Audio Tape Recorders
Digital Audio Tape (DAT) Recorders is a recording technology that transcribes an audio signal into binary code information. It avoids spurious noise such as the tape hiss of analog recorders.
Digital Audio Workstation
Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) is a stand alone product or host computer that uses customized software applications to process audio content for multimedia production. DAWs employ specialized digital signal processing, high quality digital converters (A/D & D/A) and flexible audio interfacing in addition to the microprocessor, keyboard, random access memory (RAM) and video monitor commonly associated with a computer.
Digital Broadcast Satellite
Digital Broadcast Satellite (DBS) is high powered broadcast satellite service mainly intended for delivery of video programming directly to the home. DBS-R refers to direct broadcast satellite radio wherein DBS is used for broadcast of audio programming. Direct-to-home (DTH) is a more contemporary generic describing both of these services.
Distortion is a harsh, fuzzy or crackling addition to the audio that occurs when the volume of the audio being played back or recorded is too loud for the device or recording medium.
The process of delivering programming to public radio stations. This is accomplished by a combination of a nationwide telephone network accompanied by tape duplication and mailing. Since 1979 the majority of public radio distribution has been by satellite.
An earth terminal capable of receiving signals from the public radio satellite. Every participating station in the public radio satellite system has a downlink. Some also have uplinks.
To review and approve a piece with the reporter; to physically cut audio tape remove unwanted material or assemble elements.
The components of a piece.
Changing the sound of audio by adding (amplifying) or reducing (attenuating) specific frequencies in the audible spectrum.
The action or command that causes the audio to decrease in volume.
The action or command that causes the audio to increase in volume.
The geographic area where the signal from a particular satellite can be received. The footprint of the satellite NPR uses covers all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
A phrase describing recording activity outside of NPR, generally performed in the field - either interviews or ambience.
A steady low tone generated either acoustically or electrically.
Integrated Switched Digital Network (ISDN)
Full bandwidth transmission of audio over existing telephone lines. This technology requires special equipment at both the sending and receiving locations.
A connector that has a plug pushed into it.
A command to a technician to push "stop" on a machine.
A telephone interview conducted through NPR but not from inside NPR. The reporter calls the studio from the field and is put through the console; the guest is contacted by the technician and also put through the board, and the interview is recorded.
The volume at which audio is delivered.
Library ID Number
The number assigned to a program for cataloging purposes. The number is simply the date the program was first fed. For example, the program ID# for All Things Considered on Thursday, September 27, 1990 is 900927 (YYMMDD, where Y=year, MM=month, and DD=date).
A high level audio signal.
Listener Hour (LH) is a measure of total listening to a program. Arithmetically, it is the program's average quarter hours times its weekly hours on the air. Another way to calculate listener hours is: to multiply the program's cume by the average time spent listening.
A list of programs that have already aired. A schedule shows things as they are intended to happen; a log shows things as they actually happen.
Metro Survey Area
Metro Survey Area (METRO) is a geographic area where the population is specified by a central city together with the surrounding country or countries in which it is located. The primary reporting area for local radio used by Arbitron.
A low level audio signal.
A metal box with multiple outputs of a single audio source.
National Telecommunication and Information Administration
The National Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the NTIA advises the President on communications and information policy and operates the Public Telecommunications Facilities Program.
Nonfederal Financial Support
Nonfederal Financial Support (NFFS) is revenue generated by a radio station, excluding all federal funding and grants. This monetary figure usually includes listener contributions, underwriting grants, community support and support from institutional, regional or state licensees.
NPR Satellite Services
The unit of NPR Distribution that markets excess capacity on the public radio satellite system to non-public radio users. The revenue earned from this activity helps reduce the operating costs of the system for public radio.
The source of the audio is not in good proximity to the microphone. For example, the sound is distant and muffled.
A preview of the upcoming show.
Persons Using Radio (PUR)
Persons Using Radio or PUR is an Arbitron measurement of the total number of persons using radio at any given time.
The sum of the parts of a report.
A term for when a reporter who has just completed a piece introduces the next piece.
Low frequency distortion caused by powerful "p" and "b" sounds that overload the microphone.
A statement, downbeat, or moment of importance or relevance in the interview, music, or ambience that is timed so that it comes into prominence just as the important moment begins.
A feed of a program that precedes the program's release date (date that stations may begin using the program on-air).
Clarity; treble, or high-frequency content of audio.
Public Telecommunication Facilities Program
The Public Telecommunication Facilities Program (PTFP) is a grant-making program of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). It is the main source of funding for broadcast equipment purchased by public TV and radio stations.
Radio Frequency Interference
Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) is unwanted stray radio communications, or electromagnetic fields that cause hummm.
Radio Research Consortium
The Radio Research Consortium (RRC) acts as a broker, on behalf of its member stations to purchase, interpret, and analyze Arbitron audience data.
Receive and Transmit
Receive and Transmit (R/T) refers to a satellite earth terminal that has both uplink and downlink capabilities.
Receive-only (R/O) refers to any satellite earth terminal with only downlink capabilities.
The repetition of a show previously recorded live to accommodate for different time zones.
The ambient sound in a room caused by the hum of machinery (air conditioner, motors in another room, typewriters, cash registers) conversation; footsteps; and constant background noise.
Information on the nature of pieces within a show, including the reporters' names, and the order and time that they appear in the program. Rundowns are used for on-air promotion, aligning programs with local broadcast reports, and promotion. Rundowns are created by producers and staff.
Satellite Digital Audio Radio Service
Satellite Digital Audio Radio Service (SDARS) is a satellite-delivered digital radio service that will broadcast audio programming directly to home or mobile (auto or portable) radio receives. XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Radio Inc. are the two licensed proponents of SDARS in the United States. WorldSpace Corporation is proposing a similar service for use countries outside in the United States.
Satellite Operating System
Satellite Operating Support System (SOSS) refers to the integrated collection of equipment, computer software and data that makes operation of the public radio satellite system possible for distributors and interconnected stations. The SOSS consists of the DACS, Audio Recording Automation (ARA), Uplink Remote Control (URC) and Distribution's scheduling and billing subsystem.
Screen Actors Guild American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA)
A trade union for reporters, editors, producers, on-air talent and program hosts. The Screen Actors Guild American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) represents NPR on-air production and editorial employees in contract negotiations (normally held every three years). If hired in a capacity covered by a SAG-AFTRA contract, the employee must join SAG-AFTRA. NPR technicians and engineers are not in SAG-AFTRA.
Sharp, exaggerated "ess" sounds caused by natural speaking tone or by adding too much treble equalization.
A research firm involved in the measurement of product usage and media usage.
A manufacturer of the Digital Audio Workstation (DAW).
A recording of ambience which is played while another tape containing different audio is simultaneously played, giving the illusion the prominent audio took place in the environment of the ambience.
A short (less than 5 seconds) segment of music to separate pieces.
Sound on the web that is played in realtime or near realtime. Support for streaming sound may require a plug-in player or come with the browser.
System Technical Center
The System Technical Center (STC) is the coordination and monitoring facility for the public radio distribution system. Located at NPR's headquarters, the STC is responsible for supervising all satellite channels of the public radio system and all public radio uplink program traffic, delivery of data services provided over the Downlink Services Channel, and opening the Washington uplink.
Background "white noise", or a sound like rain - always present on analog recordings, but usually masked by high level of audio recorded tape. If there is insufficient audio level, the volume of the reproduction must be increased, thereby revealing this "tape hiss" that was previously inaudible.
Structuring of a piece so that interest is maximized. For example, the airing of opposing opinions back to back.
The narration, of reporter's component of a "piece."
A satellite earth terminal capable of transmitting signals to the satellite as well as receiving from it. Also known as an origination terminal or O/T, or receive/transmit terminal (R/T terminal). See also Download.
Uplink Remote Control
Uplink Remote Control (URC) is a system for controlling remote uplinks from the System Technical Center (STC) in Washington. URC allows STC to turn an uplink on and off, tune modulators, switch audio sources, and start tape machines as well as receive current hardware status and special cues from the uplink equipment.
Vals is system for understanding consumers that categorize consumers into eight major groups, the members of which generally think and act alike: Actualizers, Fulfilleds, Achievers, Experiencers, Believers, Strivers, Makers, and Strugglers. The majority of public radio listeners are comprised of Actualizers and Fulfilleds. Actualizers are defined as successful, sophisticated active, take-charge people. Purchases often reflect cultivated tastes for relatively upscale, niche-oriented products. Fulfilleds are defined as mature, satisfied, comfortable, and reflective. They favor durability, functionality, and value in products.
A term used to describe the ability to use the Web to deliver live or delayed text, images, and sound broadcasts.
A portion of an NPR news magazine (usually 29 seconds) when music is played so that stations have the opportunity to announce information, including station identification, local news, weather or traffic.