Ah…the joys of radio… (production, that is)

If you don’t have a studio and you want to record your own voice for a radio program – and you live in a popular area of Dakar – this is how you go about it.

Wait until after midnight. It will be reasonably quiet, by then

Have your texts ready.

Close all windows.

Put everything that can possibly absorb sound (furniture, lots of clothes) into the place where you will record. In my case, that’s the bedroom because it has an extra door I can close.

Dive under the bedsheets for extra sound isolation. Take your recording equipment with you.

Start recording your text…hang on a minute, what’s that? A jet taking off from the nearby airport – which never closes. Press the “stop” button. Wait for plane to be gone, this is a noise you can’t shut out.

Quiet again. Start recording your text…sorry, what am I hearing? Some kid in the next flat has decided to fiddle around with some kind of electronic gadget. Beep beep. Windows don’t stop that. Wait until he stops. I now officially hate electronic gadgets.

Quiet again. No, not quiet. There are crickets. Very sharp metallic sound. Loud, too. Oh – and the gadget’s back too. And there’s another jet taking off. All I need now is for someone to start playing Youssou N’Dour’s latest bestseller. Just switch on the telly, he’s there all the time.

Wait. Someone’s just done that. Tell you what, I’ll get a drink, go to sleep, wait some more…

Very early in the morning. All quiet. The only thing I can hear is the Atlantic roaring nearby. But the windows, the door and the bedsheets keep that noise out.


Script ready? Check.

Microphone working? Check.

Sound levels? (…another damn plane, doesn’t matter, not recording now…) Check.

Alright then. Breathe in. Start reading text.


That’s not me, that’s a call to prayer – but it’s bloody 4am!! Why is he doing this NOW?? It’s not due until, what, 5:30 or something. Ah, but religion here is like the airport: it never shuts down.

(You may be happy to know that at around 5am I got the texts done. Just in time for prayer, that’s right. And if someone reading this has a nice quiet studio that I can use – contact me. I’ll even pay.)

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One Response to “Ah…the joys of radio… (production, that is)”

  1. Aveseh Says:

    …my Bedroom is a better studio! lol

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