Community Media/FAQs/Community radio technical

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Question from Roz in Jamaica to Farrel King:

Thanks. I'm not generally technologically able, but I think I understand a bit of what you explained. I'll share our current live broadcast set-up and perhaps you could tell me if there's a better (sound quality and cost effectiveness) way to do this.

We take a mixing board, telephone hyrid and, speakers and two mobile phones to the location and connect by simply running the mobile through the board and hybrid and we use a cordless mic. We monitor through a transistor radio if we're in a location that can pick up the station or if not we use a wireless laptop for the live stream. Is there a better way? Our colleagues at JET FM do not yet have a live broadcast system. How can this work for us?

1. Outdoor Broadcasting There are a number of different configurations you could have to achieve live link ups with remote sites. The studio will require a telephone hybrid, and a digital hybrid is recommended. Roaming reporters and active listeners can then dial into the station and their calls fed directly to a mixer for broadcasting. If additional quality is needed, the roaming reporters can also use a remote audio interface which would allow them the advantage of feeding pre-recorded sounds, interviews or a live microphone through their mobile phone.
Studio Hybrids
AutoHybrid This is an analog hybrid from JK Audio used to connect a standard POTS telephone to the studio mixer, visit their website to learn more.
Innkeeper LTD This is the basic digital hybrid from JK Audio. While costing more than double the price of the hybrid version above, digital hybrids minimise the amount of interference from 'crossover'. Visit the JK Audio website to learn more.
Innkeeper 1x Building on the Innkeeper LTD above, the Innkeeper 1x adds several filters to improve the audio quality.Visit the JK Audio website to learn more.
Schematics Hybrids don't come very cheap, maybe you can build one yourself! Check out this site for a list of schematics and other useful information for building your own hybrid circuits.
Remote Audio Interfaces
Bluepack The Bluepack allows live roaming interviews from the streets via a bluetooth enabled mobile phone. JK Audio have a range of hybrid solutions, the RemoteMix 4 might also be of interest for remote broadcasts, visit their website to learn more.
FlipJack FJ-500 The FlipJack FJ-500 is a phone interface and mixer all in one.
Bluebox A simple POTS codec.
AudioTX POTS Software Codec.
2. Audio Logging
Open Source Software
Drupal station module Once configured, the drupal station module will automatically stream and archive scheduled programs, making them available as podcasts via the web.
CKDU CKDU streaming server and logger.
Rotter A simple linux based command-line solution that could run on a dedicated server with a direct connection to the studio.
Darklog Darklog.
Proprietary Software
Audio logger pro
Abyssmedia Audio Logger
VRS recorder
Active analogger pro
Arbor LogDepot Audio
Griffin Shark2 USB FM Tuner The Griffin Shark2 is a USB based AM/FM tuner which can record AM/FM/Web broadcasts with the provided software available for WIN/MAC. ~4000Rs
DLI USB interface This solution from DLI will record from both XLR and telephone inputs and is designed to sit between the stations console and dedicated log server/computer. ~20000Rs
DLI Logger This 4-channel recorder will archive to its own inbuilt hard drive and then provides automatic backup to CD-R. ~60000Rs
Sonifex Net-Log Hard-drive logger with XLR. WIN only.
Omnicron Total Recall

Often these hardware based solutions are similar to voice logging systems that operate in call centres.