Bill McQuay
Bill McQuay

Bill McQuay

Contributor

Bill McQuay is an audio producer with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. For fifteen years McQuay 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 McQuay began his long time collaboration with NPR science correspondent Christopher Joyce, a creative relationship that continues today.

McQuay led NPR's early surround-sound recording effort and was its first technical director. Many of these surround-sound recordings were featured in Radio Expeditions Presents, a public event sponsored by NPR and its member stations throughout the country. In 2007, McQuay, along with a team from NPR and the National Geographic Society, presented a 'Concert of Animal Sounds' in the Forbidden City Concert Hall Beijing, China featuring the surround sound recordings from Radio Expeditions. McQuay was also the mastering engineer for NPR Classics CD's.

In addition to his recent work with Christopher Joyce heard on Morning Edition, McQuay has recently collaborated with NPR Senior Interactive Designer Wes Lindamood to create a series of 'made for headphone listening' soundscapes available on NPR's Sound Cloud.

McQuay's work with NPR has received a variety of awards including a Grammy for the NPR recording of the Benjamin Britten War Requiem in 2000, a 2001 Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Journalism award with the Radio Expeditions reporting and editing team, and a 2002 individual artist award from the Maryland State Arts Council. In 2016 McQuay shared in the Communication Award from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine for the NPR series Close Listening: Decoding Nature Through Sound.

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Story Archive

A white-throated round-eared bat (Tonatia silvicola) catches — and munches — a katydid on Barro Colorado Island in Panama. Katydids are "the potato chips of the rain forest," scientists say. Christian Ziegler/ Minden Pictures/Getty Images hide caption

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Christian Ziegler/ Minden Pictures/Getty Images

Sound Matters: Sex And Death In The Rain Forest

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Moraine Park is a grassy valley inside Rocky Mountain National Park. Wes Lindamood/NPR hide caption

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Wes Lindamood/NPR

Beyond Sightseeing: You'll Love The Sound Of America's Best Parks

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Hanna Barczyk for NPR

How Sound Reveals The Invisible Within Us

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How Sound Shaped The Evolution Of Your Brain

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Squirrels closely mimic bird warning calls and help spread the alarm through the forest that hawks, owls or other predators are nearby. iStockphoto hide caption

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Squirrels Mimic Bird Alarms To Foil The Enemy

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Male treehoppers make their abdomens thrum like tuning forks to transmit very particular vibrating signals that travel down their legs and along leaf stems to other bugs — male and female. Courtesy of Robert Oelman hide caption

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Courtesy of Robert Oelman

Good Vibrations Key To Insect Communication

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African forest elephants stampede in the Central African Republic jungle. Courtesy of Cornell Lab or Ornithology hide caption

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Courtesy of Cornell Lab or Ornithology

To Decode Elephant Conversation, You Must Feel The Jungle Rumble

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Humpback whales and tanker in Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary in Massachusetts Bay. Green Fire Productions/Flickr hide caption

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Green Fire Productions/Flickr

Listening To Whale Migration Reveals A Sea Of Noise Pollution, Too

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Humpback whale and calf, off the Revillagigedo Islands, Mexico. Reinhard Dirscherl/Look-foto/Corbis hide caption

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Reinhard Dirscherl/Look-foto/Corbis

It Took A Musician's Ear To Decode The Complex Song In Whale Calls

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Close Listening: How Sound Reveals The Invisible

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Kalron and his team have set up video cameras that transmit real-time images of the bai via satellite. Courtesy of Maisha Consulting hide caption

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Courtesy of Maisha Consulting

Former Commando Turns Conservationist To Save Elephants Of Dzanga Bai

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A female forest elephant charges, in Dzanga-Sangha Special Reserve in the Central African Republic. Michael K. Nichols/National Geographic/Getty Images hide caption

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Civil War Invades An Elephant Sanctuary: One Researcher's Escape

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Mortality and the Gift of the Moment

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The Mountain Home of a Warrior God

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