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August 29, 2023

Episode 488 – Field Audio Producer Bill McQuay, BMI May Be Acquired, And Music Gear Glut

Bill McQuay - Episode 488

My guest today is Bill McQuay, who’s an  independent audio producer, NPR contributor, National Geographic Explorer and founder of Eco Location Sound.

Before starting Eco Location Sound, Bill was Supervising Audio Engineer for the Library of Natural Sound at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and an audio producer for the Lab’s Multi-media group. Prior to joining the Lab of Ornithology, Bill was an NPR sound engineer and technical director for NPR programs including: Morning Edition, Weekend Saturday and Sunday, Performance Today and NPR’s Radio Expeditions. Radio Expeditions is where he began his long time collaboration with NPR science correspondent Christopher Joyce, a creative relationship that continues today.

Bill led NPR’s early surround-sound recording effort and was its first technical director. He was also the mastering engineer for NPR Classics CD’s. He has also worked on many other 360 degree interactive projects.

Along the way Bill has won the National Academy of Sciences award for the years best science reporting, a Grammy for the NPR recording of the Benjamin Britten War Requiem, The Alfred I Dupont-Columbia University Journalism award, and Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council.

During the interview we spoke about telling stories with sound, going around the world to capture audio, helping scientists use sound to understand the world, his setup for recording spatial audio, how sound is determining if insects are disappearing or not, and much more.

I spoke with Bill via Zoom from his office in Ithaca New York.

On the intro I’ll take a look at BMI being acquired by a private equity fund, and a look at the glut of new musical instruments and audio gear on market today.

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