I had a brief tour of the new Severn FM community radio studio last week and was impressed by all the work done there and how professional the setup is. Aside from the main studio room, where the broadcasting goes out, there is a seperate training room and other areas which could be used for future expansion. It’s broadcasting on 87.9 FM till 29th December but always from the website.
Caro, the Programming Director for South Gloucester Media CIC (AKA Severn FM) showed me round and I also met Andy Clarke (the boss) and Alan (DJ). Baz Kirby (Marketing Director) was also there testing out the alarm system and involved with the morning show (on his birthday – very commendable dedication!).
So, Baz asked me if I wanted to get involved and i’ve been getting used to the idea for a while. It could be a good opportunity to get back into DJing, but in a different environment to the clubs and student union which I was used to at Uni. The main idea is to play Drum and Bass, but if I do get properly involved, I would want to mix in a few different genres related to general underground music.
Every hour is split into 3 lots of 18 minutes, each seperated by 2 minutes of adverts. So this could be a good way of breaking down the music. Roughly 5 tracks per 18 and 7 tracks for a mix.
So, some ideas for the show would be;
1st 18: general tracks (recent music)
2nd 18: ‘classic quarter’ (quarter of an hour of classic tracks)
3rd 18: matt mix
The three parts could just be doubled if the show was 2 hours long.The original idea was a drum and bass (D&B) show but I would also add in breakbeats (breaks) as well to put out some variation, with both styles working well together.
The mix part could be recorded at home on my Technics and then just played from the studio. This would work better as there is only one turntable there and my equipment is setup for vinyl, not digital.
This is the only real issue involved – I need a way of moving the vinyl recording (analogue) to the digital format for use in the studio. There are many ways of doing it but one way could be to hook up my iMac to the mixer and use a bit of sotware to record then edit the mix. Narrowing down the options could be hard but I know i’ll be using either free software or very cheap stuff. I’ll also need to record off each of the records which would take some time to do. Another way is to try and download the tracks I want to play from the net, but there may be a cost for this.
Either way, i’ve recently done two 1.5 hour home mixes on the new Technics, after getting a replacement monitor speaker and wiring up the left cartridge properly! The first 11 track mix was slightly ropey, but good for the last few tracks. The 2nd mix was better and some good track selections plus some practice moving from a hih tempo to a low one, then back up. The real learning part of the mixing is using the Technics, as opposed to my old (starter level) Direct Drive decks. The Technics are more responsive and hold the music more level but are heavy to the touch, meaning a firmer control is needed.