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The challenges of recording on location

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Denise Glass | 06:00 UK time, Saturday, 17 April 2010

I've just recently joined the Out of Doors team and one of the first difficulties that plagued my thoughts was how to hold a microphone and recording device while climbing, snowboarding, biking etc. These can be difficult, dangerous activities and I kind of wanted both hands free!

So, when swimming in the Tay (in January!) I got round this by wading in upto my thighs then handing the microphone to someone else. Luckily I yelped so loudly that you could've heard me a mile away - so the mic had no difficulty picking me up.

And when I went mountain biking I wore a fleecy jacket with a handy inside pocket for my recording device. I then bought a travel wallet which I tied round my neck for holding the microphone.

But this week I was taking part in quite an intense outdoor fitness class in Edinburgh. So I couldn't rely on my trusty fleece - it'd be too hot. And when I tried my travel wallet it swung and bounced about, so that was no good either.

What followed was quite embarrassing as I ran up and down our office stairs and around our car park garden trying various microphone/recording device/headphone combinations.

One tip I'd received from our senior producer was that you can put the recorder and/or microphone down your top (this works better for women than men!). That seemed to work quite well - as you can see from our video.

However, when I went to the exercise class it was a different story! The point of the class was to use the man-made and natural features around Edinburgh as gym equipment. I encountered the first problem a couple of minutes into the class as we jumped on and off the Covenanters' Memorial in the Grassmarket. It's a circular memorial about 2ft high and there were several occasions when lightning fast reactions came into play as I grabbed the recorder as it came loose.

Running around frantically, doing press-ups on bollards and crawling up stairs is also not good for keeping your wires in order. There were several times during our 'rest' moments as I jogged on the spot trying to untangle microphone and headphone wires that had got mixed up in unimaginable ways.

But I'm sure as time goes on I'll come up with creative solutions to my microphone/headphone problems and I'll be sure to share them so future reporters don't run (literally) into the same problems I did.

Find out more, and listen online, to this week's episode of Out of Doors.



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