The Radio National floor in the ABC’s Ultimo headquarters has had a facelift.
It is more than just a coat of paint and moving a few chairs around, the changes in layout also reflect other workflow changes at the ABC’s ideas network.
In the past, the RN floor was a maze of thin corridors and closed offices. Given the nature of the specialist talks units and the need for an intimate listening environment on high quality recorders, that was understandable, but, with new technology, is no longer as necessary as it once was.
Along with changes in technology and work practices, the physical changes have facilitated a greater sense of a ‘station’ at RN. There is now a reception area (pictured above), with a range of listener comments on the wall and an open-plan office setup, which allows staff to talk and share ideas more easily.
It was not an easy road to achieve some of the changes, as we reported at the time, but the network is both physically and structurally a different place now.
File sharing and more audio workstations allow content to be previewed and edited at the desk, but there are still a range of full studios, quiet rooms and edit-booths for more complex mixes.
The RN studios have had a revamp too, with cameras and lights in each studio to allow tv and web versions of programs to be broadcast.
The studio below features an adjustable desk that can be moved around to allow group discussions, drama and bands to be recorded in solo mode in one studio, or with producers and audio engineers in the combined suite of three studios.
As well as structural changes, the RN ideas network is also doing innovative work in the online space (see our previous report) and taking a new approach to audio arts content.