From the editor: Gary Beebe regularly shares some hints and kinks for broadcast engineers online and your editor thought his contribution would be a useful addition to the SBE Chapter 16 Waveguide. Drop a note to the email@example.com if you like this or have some suggestions for other contributions.
You know when you have the wrong stuff… nothing works as expected. Why doesn’t somebody publish a list of the things to watch for when shopping for broadcast studio gear? Especially for podcasting and internet radio.
OK, I will.
Here are a few “rules”, along with mentions of popular products in each category. There is almost always a range to choose from; I have listed the items with a long track record of reliability in each category.
- Use a dynamic mic, not condensor. Electrovoice RE20
- Use an enclosed headphone. Sony 7506
- Use a mixer with separate controls for headphone volume and room monitor volume. Allen and Heath ZED10
- Mixer’s USB playback must be able to connect through a mixer input. Allen and Heath ZED10
- A separate USB interface must have a built-in headphone amp. Shure X2U
- Use a mic processor to control levels and reduce room noise. DBX 286S
- Don’t play mp3 (or any compressed format) if you can avoid it.
- Use a digital hybrid for phone callers, not a coupler. Telos Hx1
That’s probably enough for today… oh, yeah.. READ THE MANUALS !
I grew up in a neighborhood with at least 3 radio stations within easy bicycling distance from home. I would routinely stop by the KLUB, KCPX, and KSXX studios, and watch the activity through the picture windows. Eventually, I got invited inside. Once I entered “the inner sanctum” of this mysterious world, I was hooked.
If anything was happening in town, or around the world, the news would come to the radio stations first, then to the listeners. I wanted to be involved in this important information link.
I have spent over 40 years in-and-around broadcasting and pro audio, making sure that the information gets to the listeners reliably and clearly. It’s kind of become a habit by now. I like it. I think I’ll stick around for a while.
I have built, maintained, and repaired the machinery of radio and communications for a long time. It’s sometimes challenging to get all the gear to play nice together, but that’s part of the fun. The technology keeps moving forward, and keeping up with the newest techniques is a constant challenge.