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This Week in Radio Tech HD
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This Week in Radio Tech HD

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“TWiRT” is your go to show if you want to get behind the scenes on what makes broadcasting possible. The show addresses common issues as well as explaining past experiences from a wide array of hosts who each come from a different background in radio technology. This show is a must for any tech geek or for anyone who is interested in what goes on behind the boards and wires.
64 Episodes
Driving to meet Jeff Heins at MyBridge Radio Network, I couldn’t believe it; the building at the studio address had no STL tower, but another building just ½ block farther had a big STL tower, full of antennas. Despite feeding seven full-power FM transmitters and ten FM translators, MyBridge Radio uses no traditional STL microwave links. Every audio link, whether contribution, distribution, or in-house mixing and routing, is entire in the AoIP domain. (The other building with the traditional STL tower is "Broadcast House" - a multi-station commercial radio cluster.) Jeff Heins joins us along with Mark Voris, Chief Engineer at Spirit Catholic Radio.
Traveling to mountaintop transmitter sites allows for some "road thinking". Shane Toven is analyzing listeners' habits and loyalties, and joins us with thoughts and advice about OTA transmission and streaming to smart speakers. Plus, Chris and Shane discuss the engineer’s role in broadcasters’ efforts to make their content easily findable on digital platforms. And, what can go wrong at transmitter sites that may only get one engineering visit each year.
From Scott Shannon and Z100, New York, to the most critical recording and audio in popular music, Frank Foti is relentless in pursuit of clean audio that stands above the crowd. Chris Tobin and Kirk Harnack welcome Frank in discussing the audio processing that helped Z100 go from “worst to first” and has lifted thousands of radio stations to commanding positions on the radio dial.
Can fine studio mics, designed decades ago, be improved? John Peluso says, “Yes!!” John owns Peluso Microphone Lab. He and his family build world-class microphones, designed to equal or better the performance of classic recording studio mics. They’ve also developed new mic designs for special purposes. John Peluso and Chris Newitt join us on TWiRT!
Bill Suffa has been a part of some top-shelf engineering consulting firms, and served as a business consultant to several household names in broadcasting. Now Bill is consulting in a variety of business sectors. At the same time he’s encouraging engineers of different disciplines to go into their own businesses. It’s an interesting perspective from this Professional Engineer with an MBA.
Some radio engineers were shocked this week when told they couldn’t buy StudioHub® adapters any more. Many - if not most - new radio studios depend on adapting RJ-45 jacks to XLR, ¼” TRS, or even RCA connectors. Will engineers everywhere need to take up soldering once again? Mike Dosch’s Angry Audio company is poised to prevent such a catastrophe.
Audio over IP is commonplace now, but fifteen years ago it was barely known in broadcasting. Jorge Garza is the Director of Technology at Univision Radio in McAllen, Texas. In 2004 Jorge took a look at Axia’s Livewire AoIP and said, “That’s what we’re going to do.” Now, 15 years later, Jorge is glad he made the first step into AoIP, and most of Univision’s other radio stations have done the same.
Radio broadcasters in so-called “PPM Markets” are faced with managing two signals for each station. One is the audio program that listeners hear; the other is the watermark signal heard by Personal People Meters (PPM)™. Broadcasters concerned with counting their listeners (all of them in a PPM market) must treat their watermark signal with similar care to their on-air audio. In this episode, Dr. Barry Blesser explains the science of audio watermarking. Then Paul Kriegler describes the Best Practices for making sure your watermark signal is consistently detected in the field.
Some broadcast engineers stumble into the profession. Mark Persons’ engineering career seemed like destiny from an early age. While Mark was recently awarded the SBE Engineer of the Year, his early childhood set him on this path. From climbing to the ceiling at 4 years old, to teaching electronics in the Army, to repairing helicopter avionics in Viet Nam, to building a stellar reputation for quality radio engineering work and custom products, Mark Persons’ advice is worth hearing and using.
From budget cuts to aging equipment, along with fresh ideas and the latest technology - Rich Parker is keeping the member stations of Coast Alaska on-the-air and serving their communities. Rich updates us on some of his recent technical challenges, as well as stories on troubleshooting under time and money pressure in America’s 49th state.
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