Microphone positions - five in total - from closest to 'moves off' (furthest)

 POSITION 1 - closest to the microphone (as close as possible - beware of blasting and popping)

USED FOR: monologue + voice in the mind = interiorizing - the voice in the mind


POSITION 2 - intimate conversation (a step away from position no 1) CLOSE-UP

 POSITION 3 - conversation (stand far away enough from the microphone so that your outstretched fist is level with it) - MOST RADIO DRAMA DIALOGUE HAPPENS IN POSITION THREE

NOTE: SHIFT from POSITION THREE to POSITION TWO, and back again. This demands technical acting skill. It must fit with the dialogue situation - the intimate climax of a scene?, telling a secret?, wanting to move to an objective.

 POSITION 4 - across the 'room' (to 10 feet away) - opens out the dialogue to a larger space + making an approach 'through the door' to characters in POSITION 3

 POSITION 5 - 'moves off' (farthest off in the STUDIO, behind curtains, behind screen) or OB

SOUND CENTRE - FIXED SOUND CENTRE - the centre of the sound picture remains fixed in the same place + MOVING SOUND CENTRE - 'we go with'

Perspective - construction, width and depth of the sound picture

Perspective explained by film shot analogy

Top of scene (technique) - establishing sound centre - first character speaking (perspective & sound picture)

OB - recording outside the studio

I have not included details about these MICROPHONE POSITIONS further on this site. They are crucial for scripting and production. You need to consult my book.

Learn about these production details and working at the microphone, in my book -

Beck, Alan, Radio Acting, London: A & C Black (1997) ISBN 0-7136-4631-4

For an application of this - see Close-up - making some dialogue section more intimate


Next - You will find advice on EXPERIMENTAL radio drama pieces - being as creative as you can.

Then - further into this site:

Setting the scene

 Silences and the overall design




 establish presence 

 scene boundaries

  scene boundaries - more

 sound centre and   Point of listening = POL

 To index

Structuring the plot




    closure (ending)

   use a 'mystery'


 To index

Production issues in detail



  record 'umms' from all the characters to store

    scene structure

  dialogue is more than words

      SOUND BOX - production sound effects archive

 atmos and soundscapes

  double frame - triple frame


 underscoring music - fighting the dialogue

   'moving camera' technique



 'Will you turn that music down!'

18-second rule 
  drop-ins   sound pictures

 number the scenes carefully with a system  voice in the mind = interiorizing

 time-space rule or jump cut

Styles of production, directing and post-production

  Standard production

 Genre (academic) and types of plays
   story board

    chaining sentences - (characters or character and narrator)

  doubling sentences - overlapping

(narrator and protagonist) 

  economy rule 

 To index

Theoretical issues & writing-up your project

writing up your student project work (critique)


 symbol system 
  language based =  logocentric  

 What is radio theory for?

 Theory - what is it?








This site is 'Radio Drama - directing, acting, technical, learning & teaching, researching, styles, genres'. See INDEX to navigate also.  Complete curriculum of scripts, techniques (acting & directing & post-production & genre styles), advice, sound files - effects and atmoses (with no copyright and so free to use), detailed script commentaries, etc.


Academic material on this site is Creative Commons License Alan Beck is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.

Learn about radio drama on this site along with my book - Beck, Alan, Radio Acting, London: A & C Black ISBN 0-7136-4631-4 Available on Amazon. CLICK HERE.

To the WELCOME PAGE for Alan Beck's sites. See more of Alan Beck's work.


Any opinions expressed in this site are the personal opinions of the owner of the site. IF YOU HAVE COMMENTS, PLEASE EMAIL TO : radio@savoyhill.co.uk

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