The story of a man who became obsessed with hosting his own radio station and…
Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain
My first attempt to build the hardware came out of necessity, and since I was broke I had to use what I had lying about. I connected the mic to the board and assigned the channel. I then ran a RCA to 1/8″ stereo cable from the board to the MIC input on the soundcard of the laptop. In Mixxx, I configured the inputs to listen to the MIC port while also using the soundcard’s main bus for the music and port that out to the ShoutCast server at a set bitrate. After a few dolting hours of tweaking, breaking shit, and re-doing things I was listening to my radio station on my phone! Maniacal laughter ensued as I listened to my own voice come over my phone just 20 seconds after I spoke the words.
The Original Hardware
- Asus Gamer Republic Laptop running Ubuntu Linux
- Mackie 1202-VLZ 12 channel mixer
- An old Sure microphone plugged in to channel 1 input
The microphone provides me the ability to include my voice into the stream, and over-dub while the music plays. MIXXX provides a ‘Ducking’ feature, which automatically dampens the music and lowers it while I am talking, which is an excellent feature I later learned about Mixxx during live broadcasting.
The Original Software (All Linux)
- Mixxx software for managing the mp3 files, playlists and AUTODJ – which I lovingly call “Jarvis”.
- Kid3 tag editor to edit the mp3 metadata (Artist/Title)
- Picard software (by MusicBrainz) replaced the Kid3 tag editor, which automates the entire process of updating the mp3 metadata, ensuring accuracy of Artist and title information as well as managing my ever-growing mp3 library, currently over 15,000 files!
The Asus laptop was later replaced with an HP Inspiron Desktop pc, which was donated by a good friend, Karen Crosley of Millersville, TN. The HP desktop has but 4GB of ram, and I’m hoping to bump that up soon to allow for a better running machine. In addition, SSD drives will be installed to replace the clinkie SATA hard drives that I’m using now.
The Mixx software has a built-in feature to connect to my ShoutCast server and send the stream.
The Live Broadcasts
I host a broadcast live every Friday night from 9pm to 1am, playing whatever format I fancy for that evening. Some nights I just randomly select songs from a genre and run with it. I like to do a little research on the Artist, and give the listeners some background, insight and other Wikipedia based stuff to make things interesting and increase knowledge about stuff I never knew before about artists, and their work. Everyone is welcome to tune in anytime, but you have to listen in on Friday nights to hear the live broadcast program.
Feel free to listen in anytime! Visit Hawkwynd Radio