A pre-Thorgellen musical interlude.
You already know that it’s easy and fun (and free, in all senses of the word– like free hamburger or free parking or free country or freedom of speech) to get airtime on KNYO and do your own show in the store on Frankin Street in town. (Contact Bob Young via http://knyo.org and he’ll make arrangements to meet you at the storefront, show you how to use the simple equipment and put you on the schedule. It’s really that simple. That’s the way radio is supposed to be. That’s real community radio.)
But what you might not know is that, if you want to, you can do your radio show live from anywhere there’s reliable web access. Your kitchen or garage or front room or treehouse –or anyplace else in the world. Most KNYO airpeople do it that way at least part of the time. You need a computer, a mixer, a microphone, an easy-to-install audio streaming program, web access, and that’s pretty much it. We’ll advise you on what to get, and so on. Once you’re set up, you gather your show material around you, wait till it’s time, then click one click and you’re on the air on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg CA. When your show is over, click another click and you’re off the air, and the transmitter goes back to automation that fills the time until the next live airperson begins his or her show.
Up until last night, at least as far as I knew, you also needed a separate computer or tablet or phone or CD deck to play music on your show, if you’re doing a music show (the store has CD decks and a telephone call-in interface already there for you to use, and a cable ready to accept the sound from your tablet or other player). Last night I was reading, putting this year’s Thorgellen show together (that’s always Friday, the day after Thanksgiving) (it’s an ancient festival of feasting and fire and pet sacrifice and hallucinogenic mushrooms to honor the Great God Thor and placate his wrath) (the real Thor, not the easygoing Marvel franchise Thor), and a way occurred to me to use my computer’s internal sound parts to play recorded music and art into the mixer that’s plugged into the same computer that also does the streaming through the web to the transmitter and records the show for posterity. I wondered if my 2007(?) Compaq desk lump at Juanita’s would do it all smoothly and just work, and I tried it out, and it worked great.
Here’s the recorded result of the test. I’ll leave it up for a little while to give you a chance to hear it. Music you’ll recognize: /Refugee/ from the album Chipmunk Punk, /Walk Like An Egyptian/ from the same Chipmunks but slowed down so you hear the actual voices, and Malvina Reynolds, and Mark Knopfler, and Terrence McKenna speaking and Alex Jones sobbing and ranting on the subject of DMT machine elves, the CIA and the Bilderburgers), and Mouth Music, and some more, not in that order, of course. Here’s another way to hear the same set, thanks to Hank Sims of Lost Coast Outpost, that you might like better for its instant-gratification play button and lack of confusing flashing ads.
So, let’s see, a desktop or laptop computer, any microphone and stand you’re comfortable with, a cheap USB sound mixer (I recommend something in the Behringer Xenyx USB line, for its built-in volume limiting) (I use a Q802USB; you can get one new for about $80 now), and there’s your entire tiny professional broadcast booth right there. All you add is you and your commitment to real radio. And also you can use the same setup for podcasting or just recording your own instrument or your band and get pretty good results. There’s a lot of free or cheap recording software available for that.