while the evening schedules went some way towards attracting a younger audience. .\'ot all of the Bllt "s efforts w ere appreciated 7 \t'lt mime. the ‘ltl-minute replacement for (mini [firming Scot/and. brought in an enormous number of complaints about its format of mixing news with music. lt reverted to solid news current affairs a few months later.

.‘yleanwile. many of the emerging community stations will find themselves forced to compete with the established commercial stations of that area. 'l‘he true effects ofthe recent merger between Radio Clyde and Radio Forth are yet to be seen. but (‘ly'de’s chief executive .lames (iordon has no doubts as to w ho has the upper hand.

“The strength of local radio is built on local appealf says Gordon. 'and it would be folly to interfere with that. If anything. we would now hope to strengthen local identity. I think people are kidding themselves as to how many stations can survive.


because radio stations don't just grow on trees. If someone wants to start up a new station. they're welcome to do so. What I object to them doing is pretending to be independent. when in fact they‘re getting money from local goy'ernment.‘

’l‘he merger has brought about the formation of a new company called Radio (‘ly'de Holdings. which will haye an unprecedented number of fingers in the Scottish radio broadcasting pie. 'l’he company has control. not only of Forth and (’lyde. but also 'l‘ay. Borders and NorthSound. Forth has a 22 per cent stake in Moray Firth Radio. while (‘lyde has struck up a deal to manage l.ord Hanson's Melody station in London. The merger was foreshadowed by a partnership that recently put forward a bid for a non-pop music national commercial franchise. Although around 4t) applications have been made and despite the fact that the licence will be awarded to the highest bidder. there is now a strong possibility that this national network may be based in Scotland.

Feedback fun

In the rush to buy personal cassette players. people often forget about the radio component. Philip Parr tunes in to ten ofthe best.

While the popularity of Walkman cassette players has prompted Dolby to run through the technological alphabet. their radio counterparts hay e stood still. The only real advance in the last decade is that virtually all \‘y'alkman radios haye adopted FM alongside AM.

(‘arl Dyson in lidinburgh‘s \Vay erley (fentre suggests that the radio part of your \Valkman will be roughly the same no matter which model you buy. .-\s the range goes from bill to oy er tQZtltl that statement is more than a little disconcerting for the potential buyer. .-\ny increase in radio quality is a bi—pi‘oduct of sophisticated deyices such as graphic equalizers and ‘mega-bass’ designed really to enhance the cassette performance.


I SONY ICFSW-TE £149 .\'o small price. especially when you consider that it doesn‘t boast a cassette. but this has iust about eyei'y‘thing that a portable radio can haye FM and AM of course. but also short and long wayc. 'l‘en pre—set stations. digital tuning. a different tone setting for news and music and a telescopic aerial make for the best


When is a bolng not a being? When it's a BBC sound effect. Were you to delve deeper into the subject, you mlghtvlslt the Sound Archives at Broadcasting House and plough through the fifty or so bolngs of varying lengths and timbre meticulously recorded on CD.

Oulte apart from providing all kinds of radio programmes with sound effects, the Archive has one of the biggest collections of radio recordings lnthe world. Some of these were made before the days of broadcasting. A rousing speech by Florence Nightingale in 1890, forexample, and the voices of Tennyson, Browning and Irving were all originally recorded on wax cylinder and played on ancient

Florence Nightingale in the can

gramophones. Altogether the Archive holds halfa million recordingsto which 3000 extra hours of material are added every year. Nine selectors chose the programmes which are to be preserved for posterity. Don‘t even think about what life has recently been like forthe poorwoman in charge of Middle

East-related material she's in charge otnovelstoo.

Sound effects are made on a systematic basis: studio managers on six-month contracts compile CDs of birdsong or footsteps— in different kinds of shoes and on different surfaces which are then added to the collection of some 23,000 separate sounds. At the moment somebody is compiling a selection of different restaurant atmospheres. Other effects are done on the spot; cups and saucers and false doors and windows are kept In some studios. But don't go looking forthe sound of someone falling into a bowl of custard at the Sound Archives—they keep custard. blancmange and doubtless millions of raspberry noises down the corridor at Light Entertainment. Notthe kind of place to stumble into on April Fool's Day. (Miranda France)

74'l'he list I: \‘larch ~ 4 .\piil l‘Nl

possible reception.

I SONY lCFSW-20 £54.99 .r\gain no cassette. but an eminently more sensible price. .'\l| that is lacking is digital tuning and long \y ay e. Probably the best buy for those going abroad and wanting a taste of home courtesy from the \\ orld Seiy ice.

I AIWAHS-TZZUA £44.50 \odigital tuner. w hieh is a disady antage as the signal is not always properly locked onto. btit separate bass and treble controls help this machine to be a great buy l'hc tiinei w as singled out ltV iii/1t“ lli-l'i as one of the best.

N My“

"C‘ ()1

1 s-

I AIWA HSJ-505 £179 .\ iiia::niliceiit machine. but then it should be for that price. It records. has ten pre»sets but still cannot manage to incorporate longwaye.

I PANASONIC ROV158£50 Your standard F.\l .\.\1 radio cassette combo but l’anasonic seems to hay e the normal state of things iey'ei‘sed. ll'fitil Hill-i poiii s set irn on the cassette. btit praises the radios duality aboye all others in the price range.

IAIWA HST-100A £24.99lDix0n‘s sale) No iiills but there‘s nothing of similartiuality for less money.

I SAISHU P390“ E40 l his is ama/ing lhc i‘S‘lth records. has l‘tlllt in speal eis and an

Value for money

extending aerial t astipposed to the more usual practice of using the headphone cableasan :iei'iall liypect to pay twice is much loi similar features lion: a l‘iggei name. ISONYWM-BF57 £99 lopioyethc point. Sony's chunky llllh‘ number does Very little more than the Saisho. It has a useful stereo iiioni itch which. torthcsniallpiiccol lot‘lcitingstcreii. giyesyastly lmpl‘tiy'etl let‘cl‘llitlt it also l'ecttl'tls with high quality from the radio.

I], 5% 1 cos is)

ISONY WM-F2078 and WM-BF58 £119 8: £65 l'wo Sports \Valkiiians. the first with a digital tuner and tip to 14 pre—sets. the second with manual tuner. Both haye waterproof casing and showerproof headphonesand come in a charming bright yellow, I I SONY SRF-GU £24.75 lost a radio and consequently \ei‘y small because it has dispensed With the cassette. l‘hree position lllcg’i liv'lt‘s to boost tip the tl'l 'lity