What you need to get on air

It doesn’t take much to see what a semi-pro or fully professional radio studio looks like – a quick Google search and the mouthwatering photos pop up like candy in a sweet store.

And while many of us may dream of such things, the beauty of radio is that we can broadcast perfectly fine shows with minimal equipment. For example, one DJ I know uses iTunes to play out his music on his station.

Radio is not like being a DJ at a live venue where beat mixing etc is expected. In broadcast radio it is perfectly normal and fine to play one song, talk a little, play a jingle, and introduce the next track.

My ‘iTunes friend’ creates a playlist for each show and slots in the music and jingles in roughly the order he wants to play them. He has a two channel mixer; one channel for all the music and the other for his SM58 microphone.

The music enters the $30 mixer from his laptop and the output of the mixer goes to a second (much older) computer that streams his broadcast to the world. His music could just as well be on a phone or tablet.

You couldn’t get more basic; but he’s on the air and listeners have no idea just how low-budget his ‘studio’ is. The music sounds great, so do the jingles, and he is entertaining, so they don’t care.

When he’s not live he uploads other people’s recorded shows to the Auto DJ system and they get played out along with periods of non-stop music.

He’s having great fun. And that is basically his goal.

Keep it simple.

Steve Hart

Steve Hart

Steve Hart is a journalist and editor based in Melbourne.

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