31 March 2006
SETI League
PriUPS Project


Keep Your Radio Station in a Shoe Box

I've been "tasked" to write 300-400 words for a "product spotlight."  I wonder if the domestic equivalent of "tasked" is "honeydewed."  Today's blog, therefore, is an advertisement.  I am not going to waste the result of a "tasking" for purely commercial purposes.

Back when I worked in radio, we would record each day's programming on a "Soundscriber" tape.  These tape reels were large, hard to store, and sounded glitchy. Locating something you wanted to hear first required estimating how much tape was on each reel.  As unpleasant as this process was, those tapes were precious.  After all, they were our station!  Once a signal goes out over the air, without a recorded log it's gone forever.  You spend millions of dollars a year, not to mention your creativity and zeal, creating something unique and without a recording pfft*!  If somehow I had access to a modern Eventide VR615 logger back then, I would have bought it myself, brought it home, and made sure that I would personally have complete memories of those exciting days.

Well, I didn't and no longer do.  But you do and you can.  And, with any luck the station will spring for the logger so you don't have to.  Things happen on the air.  When they do, you want to be able to recreate them if necessary, or just remember them if not.  (And sometimes, sad to say, you may need to prove they did or didn't.)  Your log archives are your station and unless radio is just a job to you, they're also your life!

A dedicated, reliable, multi-channel logging recorder is more necessary than ever for the usual reasons:  No, he didn't say that.  Yes, we did run that spot at 08:32.  Hey - check out that new sponsor on our competitor's morning show.  Choose a logger with full-bandwidth capability (did we mention the VR615?), and you can even rebroadcast old programs when they are suddenly news again.  Choose a logger that can deliver audio over your local network and everyone at the station can excerpt your (or your competitor's) programming without assistance.  Choose a logger that can deliver audio over the internet and "live monitor" your station (or any connected local station) anywhere in the world.  Choose a dedicated, rack-mount logger that is designed to integrate into the broadcast engineering environment so you don't have yet another PC to administrate in your spare time. (Yes - I'm certain we mentioned the VR615.) 

But most importantly, choose a logger that conveniently makes sequential and permanent archives on inexpensive, flat, easily-stackable media.  Your future self will thank you, and when you are asked if you've ever had amnesia, you can point to your shoebox instead of saying "I don't remember."

*Yes, it's in the dictionary!

Richard Factor