8 years and still spinning

Late August in 2009 we started this community focus radio station. Thanks for listening!

How to make a radio show, the basics

So you want to make a show for radio, and probably for CKBJ-FM. Or maybe you’re just here from a google search. I hope it’s helpful to you too.

Hosting. The first thing to consider is that radio is theatre of the mind. You first ingredient is having the ability to paint pictures with words. If you think you can’t do that easily on your own, go find someone who can. Perhaps you host your show together. I’ll tell you a secret. It’s easier to have someone to talk to than going it alone anyway. So that’s the first thing, get good people to host. The magic starts with those people.

Production. This isn’t the technical stuff. It’s more in the administrative end really. It’s creative too. You need to plan your shows. You need to create an outline for each show. Create a list of discussion topics. In some cases, fully write out some segments that may need to read exactly. If you need guests, you need to book them and work out any details require to have them participate properly. And scheduling everything, that’s the producer’s job too. Producers can also be hosts. These aren’t necessarily separate things at all.

Engineering. There are wires man. Lots of wires and stuff. You need to be at least a little bit comfortable with computers and cables and such things. It’s not too hard to sort out these details. We can help, and we’ll have some specific guidelines that kinda have to be shown in person, but let’s go through the basics right now. Generally, it starts with a microphone for each person. Until you have some experience, it’s probably a great idea to just plan to have two people at a maximum. That level of equipment is pretty reasonable to manage, and fairly inexpensive. The type of microphone is pretty key. Almost always, you want broadcast or stage dynamic microphones. Never buy a condenser microphone. Don’t let anyone talk you into that. You’ll also want a small sound interface that plugs into a computer. And you’ll want a computer. And you’ll need a few odds n ends like cables, microphone stands, pop filters. The needed software is available for free.

Basic starter set of gear for up to 2 people:

Behringer XM8500 Dynamic Microphones x 2. (You could spend way more on microphones, believe me. But this is all you need to start). http://www.amazon.ca/Behringer-Xm8500-Dynamic-Cardioid-Microphone/dp/B0002KZAKS

A wind screen can be used a sort of pop filter. You know those black foamy things on the end of a microphone? I’m not going to link one, cuz I used an old sock balled over the end for years. Amazon has lots of colours if you really want to buy one.

A usb sound input device with microphone preamps and xlr inputs for 2 mics. http://www.amazon.ca/Focusrite-2i2-USB-Recording-Interface/dp/B005OZE9SA/

XLR male to female cable x 2. Gotta plug in those mics! http://www.amazon.ca/Pyle-Pro-PPFMXLR15-15-Feet-Female-Microphone/dp/B000165DSM/

Mic stands x 2. Don’t get one that sits on your desk. It sounds awful. http://www.amazon.ca/Blast-IMS305B-Microphone-Stand-Black/dp/B00E6MLJ1W/

You need a computer. Almost any computer will do fine. You probably have one.

Starter recording software is free. http://audacity.sf.net

Buy the above and you won’t go wrong. There are plenty of options on the specifics, but before you make a purchase, please check with us that the gear is suitable.

With all those things in place, you’re just about ready to go. We need one more thing. A place to do this! We can’t provide studio space. Out studio really only fits one person, and it’s busy being a radio station. You won’t be doing the show live, cuz hey, that’s really really hard. We need to fix all the things we mess up afterwards. So we record a show, and then later edit the show to remove all the booboos and restarts and such. Where you record needs to be reasonably quiet, and not boxy. We want a cozy room, with big bookshelves, heavy curtains, that kinda thing. Do you have one of those rooms with all kinds of stuff stored in it? PERFECT!

If you have all those things in place, or need help with one of them, give us a call. We’ll run through what you need. We’ll go over your show outlines to make sure they cover all the bases. What you’ll do now is record a few shows at once. Not necessarily the same day, but let’s say over a weekend. We’ll ask you to submit 6 shows at a time. We want them in a bundle like that for scheduling and promotional reasons. The last thing we want to do is promote a show you don’t get to us on time. We’ll start with a bundle of six, because as you go, you may find you want to change the format around a little. You’ll have a chance to back to the first one and adjust it to the new format. Or maybe you’ll want to go back and fix something. Do them in a batch, and that whole batch will sound better.

Expired CDs!

OK, they didn’t really expire. We just said that on our April 1st news broadcast where we advised you could recycle them with CKBJ-FM. CDs made before 1990 will all still work of course. But the advice remains the same!

It’s quite possible you have a lot of CDs you never play hanging around. You can give them new life by donating them to Town Radio Beausejour, CKBJ-FM. Music can get expensive over here, and anything you donated would be received with appreciation. And the bonus is, we’ll be playing music you actually like. It used to be *your* music after all.

If you’d like to donate some CDs, call our answering machine at 204-268-3956 and leave a message on how to pick them up or to contact you. Or you can email info at townradio.ca (replace the at with the @ of course).

The 268

Named for our most common phone prefix, The 268 features performers from the Beausejour area. This half hour show airs on CKBJ-FM, 93.9 at 11 am Sunday morning, and 8pm Wednesday evening. If you know a local artist that isn’t being played on Town Radio Beausejour, be sure to have them send in their music and be featured on The 268.

Happy Birthday CKBJ-FM

This day almost slipped by without my noticing. Deb handed me a Jimmy Buffet CD and said Happy Birthday.  Town Radio Beausejour is 2 years old. Times flies!

Scott Woods interview

If you like fiddle and old tyme country music, you’ll want to be at the Brokenhead Community Hall to see Scott Woods and his band perform their All Aboard show.  You can get tickets for this great event at Beausejour Music on 3rd Street South.

Here is an interview I did with Scott when he came by the studio. Enjoy.

scott woods interview

More info about Scott and his show can be found at Scott’s website, scottwoods.ca

Thanks Gerald

You may have heard the news that Gerald Hawranik will be moving on from elected office and will not seek re-election as our MLA this October. He will continue to serve as our MLA for Lac du Bonnet Constituency until his term ends in October. Gerald Hawranik made the difficult decision to put his family first in his life, and looks forward to spending more time with them.

Gerald Hawranik was first elected to the Manitoba Legislature in a by-election in 2002, was re-elected in 2003 and again in 2007 and has served previously on the council in Beausejour. In his time at the Manitoba Legislature, Hawranik has served in a number of critic portfolios, including Aboriginal and Northern Affairs, Advanced Education & Literacy, Justice and Finance.  He has also played a key role in the Manitoba PC Caucus as House Leader.

Town Radio Beausejour would like to take this opportunity to thank Gerald for his many years of public service to our community, and to wish him well in his future endeavours.

Norman Voss on his Beausejour song

Here is the interview I did with Norman Voss, and John & Gail at Beausejour Music about the song he wrote and recorded titled Beausejour. Can you guess what it’s about? 🙂 I don’t have the actual song linked, but you can tune in to 93.9 FM to hear it. So when Norm introduces it at the end, that’s where the interview ends.

Norm Voss Interview for his song titled Beausejour

I’m on TV!

Watch Shaw TV channel 9 on Friday Wednesday (Feb. 2nd) for a segment on Town Radio Beausejour and yours truly. Their Open Road show has segments in rotation that repeats, and we’re one of them.  It’s a great chance to see what happens behind the mic. If you don’t have shaw tv cable service, you can watch online here.

Article in The Review

I’d like to say thanks to Mark from The Review for his nice article on Town Radio. One important oops in it though, the station frequency is 93.9 FM, not 98.3.

One thing the article discussed is how I’d like to get a committee formed with community members that can help guide the station’s programming and fund-raising efforts. If you’re interested, feel free to call 268-3956, or email us here.

Also, about the picture. Please note the camera ads a couple hundred pounds *ahem*.