Radio Shorts – Tech page

You can write perform and record your play with whoever you can safely gather in your household (COVID rules permitting),  After you’ve finished the recording, please play it back to make sure you are happy with it, and, if you are, then save it as an MP3 or MP4 (audio) file with the same subject title as the play attached to it.

How do I make an MP3/4 audio file?

An MP3/4 audio file can be made using a laptop or a mobile phone. You don’t need to invest in expensive new kit. Our listening panel will be judging plays on their artistic merit as a performed piece of entertainment, so while technical excellence helps, it isn’t critical. All you do have to make sure is that your recording is clearly audible, so please make sure you do a sound check before you start your recording.

Also remember to do the following when you are recording:

  • Position your actor/s carefully so they are equidistant from the recording device.
  • Keep any sound effects, if any, very simple.
  • Beware unwanted ambient sound (script rustling, the door slamming, the dishwasher). Even a mobile phone will pick up a surprising amount of background noise.
  • Do a sound check before you start.

Where can I find out more information or download any software for audio recordings?

All the following applications are free of charge, of good enough quality, and can be used to produce the MP3 or MP4 file we need.

If you’re using a Mac, QuickTime is very easy to use for recording and produces an MPEG4 file.

If you’re using Windows, use Sound Recorder or Voice Recorder

If you want to be able to edit your recording (rather than rely on a good single take) use Audacity (also free and single source so it works on both Mac and Windows).

If you’re using a mobile phone:

All relatively up to date mobile phones have a voice recorder built in. also offers a free MP3 voice recorder for phones.

What about sound effects?

You can acquire sound effects online but you can also experiment and have fun with producing them yourself.  Crumpling paper close to a recording device can sound like someone walking on snow. Rattling a tin of coffee beans can sound like hailstones. In fact, very few sound effects are what they claim to be. If you don’t believe us, click here to find out the truth about the sound effects in 10 iconic movies.