Radiocorp Broadcasting Australia (Formally; Starter Free Media Group)

When everything works, it’s a real blast and we’re having fun. The starter streem was fine, though it would have been extremely loud last night. We had to turn our line levels up for compensating for the low levels at 2OOO.

As noted earlier, the snafu was at the Burwood studios, as RFBurns said, someone forgot to turn on the faders for the next show, when they finished their show at 2OOO. This meant that the content of the following program would have no inputting line level, in this case my show.

2OOO’s technician did SMS me last night that he’ll talk to the head honchoe of the station to resolve the issue. I’m just going to have to have a bunch of stand by “Pure Play” shows on hand, just in case these screw ups happen again. No point at getting angry at anyone as it won’t solve any problems, just got to be clear on what options to take when such a circumstance arises again. Just gotta take a deep breath when these things happen.

By the way, we really did do some very deep diving on Wednesday night, dug out quite a bit of stuff that’s probably never been played on Sydney radio. That show went off really well. :slight_smile:

2 Likes

How are you sending your audio to 2OOO? Tieline or similar?
It’s a pretty outdated setup if they require all audio to go through the studio panel even when in remote or automation mode. (Or at the very least have the relevant faders fixed in position - although that’s a pretty nasty solution, even though it does work).

1 Like

2OOO are simply picking up our AAC 128 stream and playing it in VLC. The technician I’ve been corresponding with hasn’t been to explicit with the more deeper nuances of what the entire audio chain comprises.

Pulling together on what both the technician and RFBurns have said, I would surmise they are pulling my AAC stream through VLC on a station PC, which is then being piped through a studio mixing board, then to the stations processing equipment (probably in their Burwood studios), through to their Artarmon transmitter.

When broadcasting live on 2OOO, I myself am pushing the AAC out through a FTTB connection, about 800 to 1200 meters from local exchange. (Sutherland / Loftus) It is a 50 down / 20 up connection which I’ve been advised is way more then adequate for what I’m putting out.

Most of the time, the stream is coming from my friends studios in Wollongong, where they have 500 down and 100 up, when we’re in internet only / pureplay mode.

I’m not sure what other options would be available to me as my on-air studio is inside a residential complex, three blocks away from the local town CBD.

As per 2OOO, they may have options, and I’m quite sure each one would have it’s expense, and being a community radio station they would be limited in their options, how good or bad those options are is pretty much up to them.

They’ve invited me out of the kindness of their will, so with the communication difficulties I experience from my Asperger’s, and the potential misunderstanding I may cause from asking too many questions (may come across as being ungrateful), I’m just taking it as it comes and goes.

If I were to be conservatively honest with the situation, it would have been preferable if they did have a 24 hour tech like the commercials, and as per your observations, more professional audio link options, but again, to reiterate, I guess this will cost more money. I don’t know how much funding they are entitled to as a community radio station, but having city wide area coverage, I thought they may have been able to pull extra funding as having such technical supports for a larger powered service like this would have been more critical.

2 Likes

That sounds like a reasonable setup. I agree the 50/20 will be more than enough for your needs, and by the sounds of it you haven’t had any problems with the signal getting out from your end.

The weak link in the system is the studio computer playing out through the panel. It would be better if they had a computer they could put direct to air for automated shifts. That would reduce their problems with presenters not leaving the fader open when they finish their shift. But that’s on 2OOO and how they’ve decided to setup their on air chain so nothing you can realistically change or even request to be changed.

Using a stream like you are is quite a good low cost solution that wouldn’t be used in a commercial scenario, but nothing wrong with it when resources are limited. The biggest limitation I see is the delay you would have, making it difficult to time in and out precisely and monitor off air. A codec solution like a Tieline would reduce this down to almost nothing, but that obviously comes at a cost to both ends on the chain. Ultimately when providing programs like you are you need to go with what the station is offering and make the most of it.

Regarding your stream, I think it’s a neat idea that your 2 studios each feed the stream directly. But how do you manage the switchover between locations? I would think it would be hard to do it completely glitch free. Maybe for a small operation that deemed less important. Most broadcasters would have one location constantly feed the stream/transmitter and have other remote studios routed through that main location, but that creates another point of failure. With both being able to feed the stream directly your better positioned to deal with one location going offline.

1 Like

Yes, correct. I may still suggest this to the technician when the timing is right. The technical glitches between our studio and their’s have been sorted.

As you’ve correctly identified, the weakest link in the chain is the fact that I’m coming through their studio mixing board. Sticky-taping the fader to a set level, well here in 2024 would be a downright crude and dirty solution, but I guess if it could be done, it would be a temporary solution.

Yes, this is also very, very messy, but as they say, you do what you do with an oily rag. :slight_smile: We have a number of “Stock Music” beds we slip in before and after the designated show from a stock music cd set.

Just before going to air, we have one of these so called “bedding tracks” going out over the internet stream. Wile monitoring 98.5, as soon as I hear the “bedding” music over the FM broadcast, I’ll trigger the content from my side. At worse about 10 to 15 seconds is lost. Their program switch points are “mostly” predictable, so this is getting better, but still is not completely ideal.

The radio shows themselves; these are m3u playlis files, from a large lossless music and ID library. Voice tracks are recorded and added in. When the designated time comes, the m3u is dropped into the software, and that is what the listeners are hearing via our AAC 128 stream.

Hopefully when there is an informal station meeting when folk can meet face to face, this more technical “back-end” stuff can be discussed in a more relaxed fashion. With my asperger’s at one end, and some potential language barriers at the other end (management), I’m just tredding ground at this stage.

3 Likes

@anonymousbroadcaster hope you fix the microphones :slight_smile: . I like how you use the AI voice, it is a real log :slight_smile: .

1 Like

Hey all, I’ll be invading the studio tonight, show rundown is not final yet, but will be doing something with this leed lemonade chart, haven’t decided yet if I’m going to play selections, or just run through the top 20., hope you can join me after 10:00 tonight on 2OOO FM Sydney.

Leed Lemonade national top 40 singles
Week ending Sunday 3rd July 1988

40 - Eurogliders - It must be love
39 - George Michael - One more try
38 - Dan Hill - Never thought (that I could love)
37 - Nina Simone - My baby just cares for me (stereo mix)
36 - A Ha - Stay on these roads
35 - Tiffany - I saw him standing there
34 - Prince - Alphabet street (single edit)
33 - Pointer Sisters - He turned me out
32 - Eurythmics - I need a man
31 - Thomas Dolby - Airhead (single edit)
30 - Robert Plant - Tall cool one (single remix)
29 - Danny Wilde - Time runs wild
28 - Rod Stewart - Lost In you
27 - Hall and Oates - Everything your heart desires
26 - Laura Branigan - Cry wolf
25 - Sinitta - Cross my broken heart
24 - Divinyls - Hey little boy
23 - Natalie Cole - Pink Cadillac
22 - James Reyne - Motor’s too fast
21 - Bros - Drop the boy

20 - Henry Lee Summer - I wish I had a girl (single edit)
19 - Crowded House - Better be home soon
18 - Adventures - Broken land
17 - Rick Astley - Together forever / Don’t say goodbye
16 - Tracy Chapman - Fast car
15 - New Order - Blue monday 1988 (single edit)
14 - Cheap Trick - Don’t be cruel (single version)
13 - John Cougar Mellencamp - Rooty toot toot
12 - Inxs - New sensation
11 - Bruce Hornsby and the Range - The valley road
10 - Taylor Dayne - Prove your love
09 - Sabrina - Boys (summertime love)
08 - John Farnham - Age of reason / When the war is over
07 - Poison - Nothin’ but a good time
06 - Machinations - Intimacy
05 - Steve Winwood - Roll with it
04 - George Harrison - This is love
03 - Chantoozies - Wanna be up
02 - Kylie Minogue - Got to be certain
01 - Ry Cooder - Get rhythm

4 Likes

Great show last night @anonymousbroadcaster

I was working overnight at Artarmon last night, so was listening in the transmitter hall off both the transmitter modulation monitor & a radio we have in there for monitoring all radio stations.

Something I noticed which is probably no different to every show on 2OOO FM you do, but I’m normally out of reception area so don’t get to listen/hear it off air, was, the program sounded very tinny & a little distorted, did you have the volume turned right up last night on your web stream to the 2OOO FM studio?

The levels on the transmitter limiter looked fairly normal, both in & out, but you were regularly (all songs & even when you talked) smashing the High Frequency limiters as seen in the photo I took during the Cheap Trick song, this doesn’t happen during normal 2OOO programming nor should happen in any programming. Occasional hitting the HF limiters, yes, smashing them all the time, no.

How do you process the web stream, I’m guessing you boost the high frequencies to try to overcome the HF losses as a result of MP3 & AAC encoding?
Do you add any pre-emphasis to the audio & if so is it removed at the end of processing but before encoding & being sent out on the web stream?

I’d say you’re doing the correct thing for streaming, but then feeding that stream to be used on the FM broadcast, it’s being processed twice & the FM processor & transmitter limiter is probably fighting against the stream processing, also if you’re adding pre-emphasis on the web stream to artificially boost the HF sounds & not removing it, that’s fine for the stream, but if you run that though the FM broadcast, radio receivers can only remove 50us though de-emphasis & what you’re pushing through will be added to what the FM processor or transmitter is doing & the receiver won’t de-emphasise all of it, making it sound tinny.
e.g, normal FM transmission in Australia has 50us pre-emphasis, lets say for arguments sake, you add 75us pre-emphasis to the stream, that’s 125us pre-emphasis going into the radio receiver, but the filters in it are only set to de-emphasise 50us, so that leaves 75us still in the audio, which will make the high frequencies sound much higher/stronger than they should be.

I know the options getting your programming into the 2OOO studios are not ideal & with you not having great reception of 2OOO FM to be hearing clean audio makes things hard, but maybe play around with your stream processing a bit or even bypass it completely when feeding the show to 2OOO & see if you can make a bad situation better?

If only you could get a Tieline link to the studio & send unprocessed audio to the 2OOO FM studios & a separate processed stream out on the internet.
With both the stations & your funding limits, I’d say a Tieline is out of the question of ever happening, but a cheaper option could be using a Barix Box at each end to achieve a similar outcome, the tech at 2OOO is well accustomed to setting up & using Barix Boxes for links.

5 Likes

If the tech, manager or board are unhappy, they should be persuaded to see the positives, you’re doing them a big favour to constructively work through their problems and refine their own systems.

You also demonstrate awareness of your diagnosis, so any reasonable human, especially those within such a station where inclusiveness and tolerance should be high; they should be understanding of you.

3 Likes

A cheaper solution would be to run FLAC over Icecast. Breakaway One can do this natively, and you can then play it back in VLC etc.

1 Like

Except I don’t think you can get Breakaway One anymore Leif stopped updating it & pulled it from distribution.

1 Like

https://store.claessonedwards.com

2 Likes

last update to it is over 12 months ago though.
Wish he still did MPX Tool, that’s a fantastic piece of software for monitoring & testing for issues.

1 Like

Hey guys, sorry, been a bit MIA over the last few weeks. My friend and I have come to realise we’ve bitten off more to what we could chew and four shows per week has been quite a mission. He himself has his medical condition with dialysis, which means three days in hospital and a lot of sleep, and I, well, my day job is taking up extra hours (someone at our workplace fucked up and was fired) so we’re all putting in extra hours to cover up, and thus the time I would have like to put in to community radio has gone down exponentially.

A few times I’ve come home dead tired from ten eleven hours of work, and tried doing a radio show, only to sound I’m as tired as hell, so of late, we’ve just been putting together a heap of playlists.

We’re still loving what we’re doing, but life is just one of those strange things, it never rains, it pisses, and when you’re busy, literally between a paid job, and a volunteer radio position, obviously priorities need to take there place, and yeah, the time just disappears.

So all in all, I hope that everyone is enjoying our music selections, and when I have a bit more time on my hands again from work, I can do some more curated shows.

Haven’t been here for awhile, so surmising you’re talking about the July 1988 Leed Lemonade show. Yes, admitfully I’m pushing the levels a bit hot, basically to take into account that not everyone listening will get a perfect signal, so as you’re probably aware, like the commercial radio stations, we’re trying to get as much level out above the ambient sound that results from any interference that would be experienced.

Yes, I’m definitely aware that this is coming across the air; somewhat, but we’re trying to find the right level on being conservative enough to sound decent, but liberal enough to get above the interference level, it is a very small threshold; hopefully we’ve got it right. The more seasoned audio buffs like you and I would pick that up, but I’m quite sure the vast majority of radio listeners would be pretty blase

As for the high end, yes, the deemphasis your mentioning is an issue, and that is something more technical above my pay-grade. The extreme high end is a problem, so hard that it is like gravel to the ears.

In trying to compensate, we’ve slapped a rather conservative “frown” configuration into the software’s, EQ controller plugin. The middle top section of the frown is set to the default 0 value, with then the sliders to the left and right, respectfully the base and treble have been dropped below the 0 levels to lessen the base and treble.

However we can only do this so far, as then doing too much of a setting will effect our internet audio, and obviously at their end they have a very high “High End” EQ setting, which we can only compensate for so much before it effects our internet audience.

Again, I think there is a discussion I can have with the technical team at 2OOO FM, but I know as being an autie, I can talk, and talk, and talk, and talk, and probably have bored the shit out of someone before I’m aware of it.

I know I’m getting better with age with more life experience, but I’ll still have the occasional social fopaux. This is from the lack of intuition with the autistic mind, which means every element of a social situation has to be considered metaphorically for a lack of a better expression, in a manually thought out manner.

As anyone knows, each social engagement involves about five or six concurrent experiences, and for someone with autism, this is extremely exhausting. Though I can’t speak for all auties, I know in my case when that point of mental exhaustion has been reached, it’s often happened before I’ve realised it, and I’ve messed up , and it’s too late.

Only saying this as I had one of these moments the other day with speaking to a volunteer from People With Disabilities Australia. We were talking about some disability advocacy issues. I really put my foot in it and apologised. He was okay, and so was I, but nevertheless it was still embarrassing.

All in all the moral of the story is that if something is broadly acceptable to the majority, despite some minor issues, I’ll leave it and let it settle. 2OOO FM seem to be happy with what I’m doing, so it’s a case of not waking any sleeping dogs.

If we turn the processing off, it will effect our internet audience, and conversely having it on does compromise the audio we put out on 2OOO. It’s a catch 22. :frowning:

I may look into these Barix boxes. We are using SAM Broadcaster which is known to have some serious sound issues, but when we look at other software options, we just keep coming back to SAM for both it’s plug and play simplicity, and mostly it’s ability to “drag and drop” files into it’s playlist. It’s m3u integration is also straight forward. Unfortunately Spacial; who own the software are not receptive to any customer input, and are extremely stuck in there ways. We’re looking into the Traktor software option, but at this stage it’s a thought bubble as Traktor is extremely complicated to use with a very deep learning curve.

I can only metaphorically draw a parallel line to our addiction to SAM broadcaster being like cocaine, it’s shockingly bad in one way (no customer service), but excellent in another, and with SAM, it’s the “all in one” everything in a box solution that has us hooked. We did write off to RCS with some inquiries, but we never heard back, I take it they are corporate station software providers with a software price to boot.

4 Likes

We’ve been kicked out of our time slot. :frowning: :frowning: :frowning:

3 Likes

Yeah, I’m working overnight at Artarmon transmitter site again tonight & was busy earlier, but went up to have a listen to the show on the 2OOO Mod. monitors at about 11:15pm & something Chinese I think it was on & I thought WTF, but wondered if I had the right night or if you were sick or something & couldn’t do the show tonight?
Just sounded like whatever was on in your place was just something pre-recorded, didn’t sound live.

2 Likes

No phone calls, no communications, no emails, no nothing. We sent an sms to the station tech to ask if there was an error with the computer system, about an hour later, we were texted that we’ve been moved to a “one” hour slot during the night sometime -50 minutes into our show. I’m not a happy person. There is a lot of “aspie” stuff going on at the moment, none of it pleasant. Hopefully tomorrow morning when I’m in a more rational state, we can amicably sought a solution. Reality is, the attitude in which this was handled doesn’t bode to well, it was rather piss poor and flaming unprofessional.

5 Likes

Back on tonight, doing a 1982 special, will tell all tomorrow.

2 Likes

Anyone tuning into 2OOO FM now would go nuts, My show was due to be finished, but the computer didn’t cut me off, so there is now two shows playing at once. :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile: LMFAO.

3 Likes

We welcome the new name for the Starter Free Media Group;
Radiocorp Broadcasting Australia or Radiocorp for short.

More information to follow in the coming weeks.

2 Likes