8:35am on the first day of October, 2015.
Brisk outside. Summer left in a hurry but there’s plenty of sunshine and no doubt after I sleep a little more I’ll get out there and ride my bike or walk the dog. It’s that kind of cold, a welcoming chill. If you’re from the upper Midwest you live in a certain rhythm in which your body expects to have to stick your hands in your pockets on an early morning walk in October. In a word, you welcome the change of the season, no shit.
So yes, I took a day off from doing the show. The reason for this isn’t clear. Yes, I wake up a little past four in the morning every show day and I work until about four in the afternoon. That’s local radio, and like the impending cold and snow, I’m used to it and in a way crave it. And yes, I’ve felt beat up for a couple weeks now and that’s never good.
Also, I’ve got a list of six or seven projects that need my attention pronto. Things like:
Now that I think about it, there’s four or five more things on this list that I don’t necessarily want to ramble on about. So there. I’m beat up and got a lotta catching up to do. So as you and I speak… actually as only I speak to you… Verlie Suggs is doing a show with North Township Trustee Frank Mrvan III on WJOB.
In the end, though, taking a day off isn’t about being a little beat up or having to catch up on paperwork. I’m used to a tough days’ work. I got my first union laborers permit when I was 15 so I could run a 90-pound jackhammer without getting jacked in the back of the head by some union guys… and I’ve stayed awake for long periods jacked up on drugs and alcohol enough times to have proved my stamina.
It’s not just that. It’s about rhythm. Doing a poignant, genuine radio show is about developing and maintaining rhythm. It’s not about insightfulness or slick production or having great news at your fingertips. It’s about bringing all of YOU every day to the show and speaking clearly and in a genuine manner, with a few off-color jokes mixed in. If you’ve got shit going on that interferes with this RHYTHM, then you should take a day off or two. You can’t work through a lack of rhythm. Actually, for me, you have to get quiet for a period to let the rhythm seep back into your soul… and then you can do genuine radio again.
I know I’m rambling. This isn’t altogether different from the radio I’ve been doing for the last couple of weeks. Unfocussed, relying on my jokes rather than on my rhythm, not preparing ahead of time… all of this and more contributes to doing just average radio.
And average radio is not genuine radio. That’s because in average radio you don’t give all of yourself, all of the rhythm of your soul, to the show. In the end, it’s a lack of respect for the beauty of local radio, which is a Catholic sin for someone who rationalizes away living a life of lagging income by telling yourself that you do something that is good and pure and beautiful – local radio – and that you’re doing something that you love, fulfilling your fate.
Mediocre radio doesn’t fit into that life philosophy.
Enough. For now, I’m re-learning Quarkxpress. It started out as a program to lay out newspapers in… and has evolved into something you can design just about anything in. And for us, we need to develop quick and unique proposals and other marketing materials for potential clients almost daily. We just don’t have the time to send the small stuff to Jean, our web design person. I want to be able to sit down and write the proposal or brochure and place it on the page and send it out all in one sitting. So I’m gonna use part of my day to watch Youtube videos to remind me how to lay things out in Quark.
I’ll also probably work on developing a way to broadcast directly on the air from my home. And for you local radio heads, here’s why.
We basically broadcast three major ways.
Right now, we broadcast systems 1 (live radio) and 3 (recorded radio) from the same computer in the main studio that you can see by driving down Indianapolis Blvd. Our computer monitor is large enough that you can almost look directly at the Simian audio play-out system that we use to do 1. Live shows and 3. Recorded shows.
In the end, the live broadcasting and the recorded broadcasting should be on different systems. That’s what I’m working on doing today – splitting the two. Basically, you buy a second instance of Simian. That allows you to work on setting up logs for your recorded shows any time you want to. Now, we can only work on “flashback” logs when there is not a live show going on. And we got a lotta live shows.
To complete this discussion… ultimately I hope to develop and run the “flashback” log from my house. I plan to send the audio from a Simian-equipped laptop into a Barix instreamer and then to the new studio, where it will be accepted by a Barix exstreamer. That flashback audio will go in to the main mixer, and then it will go into a Tieline codec, which will send the audio on the internet to a Tieline codec at the transmitter site. The audio will then go through the main board at the transmitter site and through the processing equipment and through the transmitter and up the tower.
Got it. At least one coffee-breathed radio operations guy in Topeka understands what I’m talking about. Not that he’ll ever read this, because in the end this is the “blog that nobody reads” and for some sick reason that’s something I’m really proud about.