August 31, 2005

My World Studio

The world is a studio. This my thought today.

My station's drive host does his show from Birmingham, through VNC file transfer.

The recent entry about Don Lafontaine and link to an interview with him, explained to me how ISDN allows him to be anywhere, live. We use this to access Niu FM's corporate voice (who is in Wellington) among other things.

The next thing is of course Skype type apps. Google has just launched their Google Talk, and I will either begin using this or Skype soon to run a podcast that has guest hosts, and interviewees live via this app. Considering I already have a Gmail address, the job is already half done.

My only pickle, is that Google Talk uses the same javascript, or whatever platform it uses which is used on the Gmail website (once logged in). It takes longer to load, but good once you're inside. Google Talk is like that, and Im not fond of:

a) staring at my screen waiting for something to happen, and
b) clicking away - only for Google Talk to hang my computer.

(not responding) I hate that!

Rio Gold

I was looking around for information on the Duran Duran remix project, but got nowhere. Instead I stumbled on a page with a copious amount of information and insider stuff on the Rio album.

Duran Duran re-entered AIR studios in London to embark on their second LP, eventually titled Rio. Recorded during January and February of 1982, the LP was released in May of that year to great success everywhere but the US. As many of you have noticed, the Rio album is somewhat different depending on whether you are listening to the vinyl version or CD. In fact there are several variations.

August 26, 2005

My Band My Band

Truth be told in that D12 track. "These chicks dont even know the name of my band". To be honest, I only knew of Tim Farriss before Michael Hutchence died. The rest of INXS were a blur.

NOW, thanks to INXS Rockstar, I now know the band. It's really a pathetic excuse of an opportunity to get to know the rest of INXS considering quite honestly they are my favourite band of all time. I know every lyric, they were the music of my youth and I can rattle off Mediate at any time.

Extended yourself an arm, and shake hands with INXS - the band members are blogging.

Now, who is the lead singer again?

August 23, 2005

Ministry of Economic Development - Business Update

From the MED Business Update Website:

Activity in low power FM broadcasting is increasing around major population centres.

This results in more attention by Radio Spectrum Management (RSM) to these transmitters to ensure they comply with the Low Power FM General User Radio Licence (LPFM GURL).

Recent cases have included:
Hamilton: A transmitter with unintended emissions in a land mobile band and a transmitter installed in a high rise building without the building owner’s knowledge or consent. In the latter case, the transmitter was concealed on top of a cabinet in a lift machinery room. The programme was fed via an internet link from an unknown source. The building manager turned the transmitter off and removed the equipment (the size of a computer video card).

Palmerston North: Permitted use auditing in the UHF TV band led to the discovery of a Low Power TV broadcaster. Checks indicated that there was an issue with the broadcasting use as the GURL shows the band in use for audio video senders only.

No problems in Auckland. Things seem like they're working for the LPFM Society.

August 22, 2005

The 'other' Don

An ongoing joke between my house engineer and I, is Don La Fontaine (Watch video #4 - 5 Men In A Limo!). Can you imagine living this guys life? ...or having a multiband processor attached to YOUR voicebox somehow, making you sound like a complete fuckwit at the supermarket?? ... Even his breaths are as audible as his speech. [Don La Fontaine -wikipedia]

CAN (ah) I (ah) HAVE (ah) FIVE HUNNNNRED GRAMS (zuh) OF (ah) LUNCHEON (ah)?

It's compression, or processing that helps make this guy sound like the "voice of god".

It's a quirky piece of hardware is on every radio stations checklist. Girls will have nail polish remover, guys with their aftershave. Radio has multiband processing. Its one of those things that is essential in the radio industry. TV, production houses, recording studios and video suites all have them also but for radio, it's one of those 'cool requirements'.

High-end stuff like Optimod and Omnia dominate most high powered radio rack rooms. For LPFM, those are wet dreams.
Most LPFM stations tend to get by with a cheap Compressor/Limiter, just a Limiter, or DSP based processing. Wether you're a big guy or a little guy, technical or not - its worth knowing at some level, why multiband processors are there. Yes, a requirement of license, but also shaping the sound of your station.

Never noticed it? The technical director of your station would be grinning right about now. Painstaking hour after hour of listening to sonics through the beast has paid off. Now, if you are more aware of these things - like "why does the music seem to get louder when I dont talk, and when I do, it goes down again until Ive finished?" AGC is the simple answer to that question. A more detailed answer includes the terms threshold, ratio, release, clipping, compression, gating, sidechain... on and on.

If you want to know why, and can tolerate some technical gobble - read up here. It's an excellent article which also talks about 2-way radio, but has all the right information which explains the answer, and will give you a small insight as to how much work really is required to make your station sound the way it does (good or bad).

Happy Monday(ah)

August 17, 2005

LPFM Players

There is discussion about commercial players using LPFM frequencies for them to extend their reach. Now im not saying any that its TRN, CanWest, Rhema, Iwi or any other independants that are, or are not doing this.. and if its a good or bad idea.

Food for thought:

Point 1.

If a commercial operator, lets go in theory and say an independent like IXX. They start a second station that is on low power only. Is this a bad idea? Is this misuse of the lpfm airwaves?

Further to that, what happens if the new low power station gains more traction and potential than the full powered station? What if an internal decision is made to swap the stations over, so the lpfm station is now on the full power license and the original full power station is restricted to lpfm broadcasting?

If it were a sound financial decision where a gain would be made by doing this, then using the lpfm spectrum is a great ground for testing your stations listenership in a concentrated zone, even networking it into other regions in NZ if there is a ripe audience there.

Speaking from experience, this has a great deal to do with why George FM is such a successful brand today. It started on LPFM, and migrated
to full power because (a) it found a frequency, and (b) knew there was an audience waiting. This is also why Base FM has great potential. No doubt these guys have other ideas on new formats and will probably want to try out.

This so far doesnt really seem to be a bad thing.

Point 2.

Community pioneers in lpfm like the Flea, Mountainside and IZZ have an entirely different agenda. The format is already developed and based around a lpfm model. Local area broadcasting. Community Radio. Not a "brand" as part of growing a private money making network. Its about one station, one area, one focus.

There is a hell of a lot of merit in community broadcasting. You end up having individual people complimenting you on the station, not once in a blue moon, but every damned day. They appreciate the local issues getting airtime (like dobbing in the addresses of tinny houses near you), local school plays get an interview, promoting a town and country day, and having local business spending with you rather than Classic Hits or More.

Its pure gold radio broadcasting and the big guys can't get in, because they are simply not able to localise such things for these communities, every hour of every day. Its unique to lpfm, and the reason why you won't find these great little stations streaming on the net or on a Sky radio channel.

Is their main concern about: big minded operators using lpfm spectrum to develop potential brands - tying up spectrum which affects areas where there is no gain to their ideas? Is this something they want on MPFM rather than LPFM?, or the other way?

I for one enjoy the radio game. Its about trying new things, developing talent and creating challenges along the way. If your intention is for financial gain to help you pay a mortgage, fine. If you want to run a bedroom jukebox with contact details once every three hours, cool.

Its almost like having to re-elect the purpose of LPFM.

August 16, 2005

Ill Informed or Well Informed?

Spotted this today - the leaders of the major parties have blogs, in the lead up to the 2005 NZ Election.

Missing David Lange already. How quickly a light fades... I gotta get in touch with some folk.

August 9, 2005

Boycott CokeTunes

Coke Tunes arrives in NZ
Yeah, CokeTunes is here.

But I'm still going to buy albums and singles, import them if necessary. Keep people employed at Real Groovy.

I will never stoop to paying for WMA encoded files. I will never give Bill Gates the luxury of spying into my musical tastes and putting me into a consumer group, controlling what I can and cannot do with my freedom.

I will also never fund an organisation that partners with another power hungry corporation who violate human rights by kidnapping, torturing and murderering their own Union Workers.

What a mask the Coca Cola Empire wears in CokeTunes - so you can happily go about your bizarre existence, unaware of the monster you are funding. What a DARK and UGLY sith breed they are.

The Coca Cola Microsoft Death Star/Fridge will be attacked by freedom fighting rebels, and the rebels will win.

In Colombia, for example, union workers who bottle Coca Cola products have been kidnapped, tortured and murdered. The largest Coca Cola union in Colombia has asked for an international campaign against Coke to stop the violence against workers, which has included a half-dozen murders at one plant alone in the mid-1990’s. Reports of these crimes sparked a historic lawsuit against the Coca Cola Company and their Colombian bottler by the International Labor Rights Fund and the United Steelworkers of America on behalf of the Colombian union. [read more]

What surprises me is that Bomber (editor of Rip It Up) has not made any noise about Satellite Media (producers of Rip It Up magazine) facilitating the grants generated by CokeFridge (from November), to NZ musicians. I hope he's been made aware of this.

The Music of Today

Like a kid in a candy store, I've been cosuming plenty of my bandwidth allowance of late listening to new, rare, remixed, demos, bootlegged, mashed, acoustic and cover tracks.

Between the differing versions of Wonderwall to 8 minute versions of what I usually hear 3 minutes of, the underside of the music industry sure has some merit. Thank goodness for the internet in this regard, as I find it hard to enjoy the concept of bFM or Fleet FM.

I'm a commercial radio listener and can only 'dig' stuff I can sing along to. I've gotta be in the right headspace to open up and enjoy something new, although that headspace is quite often open. Especially on a pleasant day like today.

It is with great pleasure I share this website with you. Good on you if you have already found this one:, and Im sure you will forward me a few more url's to keep me happy. I have also posted a few favourites on the sidebar. Go have a look + listen.

August 4, 2005

Deep Down

How about that Pointer Sisters 'Pinball Number Count'??

Saw it on C4 last night on SoundLab.

I remember as a kid, whenever it came on the telly, my attention was diverted from the transformers or knight rider RC car to the telly. What number would it be this time? Where would the pinball go this time? It was such a rush - I still remember it clearly...

Wanna listen? Go here (click 'listen')

August 1, 2005

Two Tickets to Paradise

Judging by the thumping bassline from Retro Hit Radio 88.1 - Rob Base & DJ Eazy Rock is shaking my house vibrating the garage door at the moment.. Retro Rocks, fuck does it what.

Further to that, I'm thoroughly digging flying a freaking car around Grand Theft Auto on XBox, modded 'up the hizzy' of course, picking up hillbilly girlfriends in the desert and doing insane jumps off skyscrapers with a five-star wanted rating, that has police choppers and tanks chasing me down with heat seeking missiles, wrecking the vehicle to the point of explosion, and in no great surprise - hanging the Xbox. Go Microsoft.

I'm planning a Creative Meeting soon inside a Link Bus in Aucklands inner (hmm), maybe more genius like Super Maori Fulla will eventuate?. Boy the Eggs Benny n Bacon this morning at Atomic with a cup of their finest grind from their finest waitresses were supreme.

I've tried to keep my posts on this blog free from; diary entry type posts, current girlfriend dreams, work achievements and my internal jukebox, but for some reason they are all contained within. Shit...