Production equipments for starting radio station business
Broadly speaking, there are two kinds of equipments required for running a radio station
1. Production equipments
2. Broadcasting/Transmission equipments.
We discuss the Production equipments in this post. Broadcasting/Transmission equipments will be discussed in a separate post.
Production equipments for starting a radio station
The primary production equipments consists of compressor, tape decks,CD
players,mixers and microphone . These days, the functions of compressor, tape decks, CD players and mixers has been effectively replaced by software
programs. Most of the professional radio station are now switching to Personal computers to broadcast their audio.
So you can replace these equipments with a Personal Computer saving considerably on your cost without compromising on the quality. Thus your audio equipment requirement effectively boils down to -
- A personal Computer
- Software and
- An extremely good quality microphone.
Personal Computer - Choose any two latest personal computers with a high speed processors and sufficient storage capacity. One computer is to be used as the main audio table equipment and the second one is to be used as a backup computer to keep your programs running in case of breakdown of the main PC and to do all other broadcast preparations.
Software Programs to be used in production studio of a radio station
Audio mixing & editing software - To begin with, you will need a good mixing software. This replaces the large music mixing console that was so common in earlier FM radio stations. The market is flooded with mixing software programs. And there is nothing that I will recommend. What may be a good software today might become out dated tomorrow. Any software that offers unlimited multi track mixing capabilities, allows for creating my own mixes and remixes, generates good quality output, is backed by proper after sales service and offers the possibility of extending features by adding plug ins, is fine with me. There are loads of free mixing software available out
there but it is not advisable to be using a free software for a professional setup.
Audio Compression Software – The primary function of a audio compression software is to control the volume of different soundtracks and to provide a stable output. This is also required to ensure that audio is broad casted within the limited broadcasting abilities and other technical parameters of the transmitter without any transmission modification or losses.
Music recording software - This software is used to record music, voice and other audio signals. Also allows for adding effects like echo, amplification, noise reduction etc.
Other Software (non mandatory)
Telephone line recording software – This allows you to record multiple incoming telephone calls, edit them, sequence them and then add to the broadcasting program.
Commercial break management software – This software is used to automatically trigger commercial breaks using certain predefined parameters.
Sweepers, Promos, Text to Voice software – There are thousands of
other utility add ons that you can try to give extra effect to your programs.
The three mandatory software mentioned above need to be good and therefore you must buy them.
For others you can explore from amongst a large number of free software or even buy them subject to your budget.
Most of the software companies allow for demos. Check out at least 10 different software, compare their features and prices and choose one that suits you.
Microphone – You will have to buy a good microphone, preferably with a wind screen to kill annoying noises. New microphones come with an inbuilt noise-free boom so that needn’t buy an extra wind screen. Do not opt for a cheap microphone under any case. The microphones should record more of direct sound and a minimal of room sounds. Check out for microphones which are specially designed for vocal recording in studios.
You can explore the various options for this installation and obtain quotes from various equipment vendors.
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