Community Radio Project

2022-08-28

I have lately been exploring solutions for producing a consistent audio stream at the proper level at all times without causing distortion and varying levels on all the music. It has been a struggle and I have produced a lot of music that has been normalized using ffmpeg on Linux. However this has not been working all that well as we still seem to be over modulating the transmitter at times despite the "software processing" using the ffmpeg filter "loudnorm" I suppose I need to look into that further to see if there is an effective way to handle this using ffmpeg alone.
However I also obtained a hardware compressor / limiter instead. If this can eliminates the need to normalize a lot of mp3 files that will be a major advantage. I now have a DBX 266XL Stereo Compressor/Limiter coming soon, it is used and only cost US $100 including shipping so I am hoping to resolve this problem with an "easy and painless"fix.

Mu eyesight is failing rapidly.

2022-07-30 I added a new rack-mounted mixer (ART MX822) to the community radio station project replacing a small 4-channel passive mixer with an 8-channel powered unit. I also replaced the studio microphone with an inexpensive broadcast microphone on a boom with a wind shield and a pop shield. It was under $100 and is wired. The product also included an XLR M-F cable. The studio microphone is a condenser version and is powered bu the new mixer using the mixer's "phantom power" capability.

So far I have been able to connect (1) desktop computer, (1) Integrated Amplifier with USB and SD Card recorder/player (memory stick or an SD card), (1) microphone for live broadcast. I do not need anything else to be attached to the mixer at the moment but there are now a lot of free channels available if needed. Using Linux with the broadcast allows an incredible range of possibilities for content, guest interviews with skype or zoom capability, re-streaming archived news broadcast (or live broadcasts) and so on and so forth as the possibilities are almost infinite for any audio content.

I may be adding a second sound card to the linux machine with another 4 audio outputs. To be honest though I am more interested in a minimalist configuration and there are currently enough capabilities without depending on a computer for the live broadcast and with the usb and sd card player it is easy to prepare unattended broadcasts with content and recorded audio clips in the broadcast queue.

Someday soon I will make a few pictures of the rack of equipment plus the antenna for the community radio station. It is running at 50W now but after some planned upgrades will be using a new transmitter soon at 150W when a new antenna is raised that can handle that much power. used to be a ham (general class in my teens) but I let my ticket lapse because … well am not going into that now… so my involvement in this project has been fun.

See also FM Transmitter Antenna (100W)