One of the first buildings I noticed upon arrival at Thompson Rivers University was seeing right across the street from where I am housed is the home of campus radio station CFBX (note the synchrnocity of their cable frequency). I spotted it even more when I got set up in my [barely used] office space next door in House 9.
That photo above was one I took when I was experimenting with Wikishoot, and interesting component to Wikimedia Commons that identifies places nearby that lack photos in the commons. CFBX was the closest one. Boom.
I thought about knocking on the door, but I am a wee bit shy (see Maha… “imposter syndrome”), and also got caught up in stuff.
Step in serendipity. In a meeting with the Open Learning instructional design group, one of them mentioned her husband did a show at the station, and set up an email intro. When I explained my interest, in terms of using radio to teach storytelling, he suggested I contact the station manager for a general tour.
That was a perfect link.
Yesterday, I finally made it over, and got to meet Brant Zwicker, the station manager, who showed me around, and allowed me to record our conversation.
He’s a music/radio guy to the core, he runs his own syndicated blues radio show At the Crossroads. I talked some about ds106 radio; I often expect radio people to be like “why would you do that?” but he was intrigued. We have a tentative plan where when I return in January I might go over when he’s doing a live show, so I can do a live web radio broadcast at the same time. I got Brian Lamb and I signed up for their next DJ training series.
Brant also offered to perhaps visit or let a group come over when we are in the audio portion of The You Show.
You can listen to our conversation and walk through with the photos I took yesterday.
The schedule, analog style, is not all that different from the Airtime interface of ds06radio.
In the crowded basement “stacks” is the music archive, some 20,000 discs (and some vinyl). Red stickers indicate Canadian music. There is a whole structured scheme of color sticker metadata
Each disc has an ID number for the database, starting with X1- which Grant showed me was an album called “Beauty” from Ani’s Whisper:
Also in the basement is the “Server” room, on a table next to a turntable and amplifier setup. The black PC is their Shoutcast streaming server
Storage is cramped; Brant pointed out the kitchen is stacked with vinyl:
We went to their secondary studio, which is more like a bit of museum of older equipment- boards and giant reel to reel tape decks
We then went into the main studio and chatted a bit with the DJ on deck and I got to see the perfect fade in for his show, and also his prep for doing the public service announcements
The whole operation is coordinated and of course, professional. Playlists are all logged in their computer system, broadcast copies are archived for the required period, there is a well defined shuffling for the playlists and the show formats.
I wont be around long enough to do the full DJ training (but Brian should do it!). I was really excited to connect with Brant and get a peek inside the station. On Air?
Top / Featured image credits: It’s mine! cc licensed (BY-SA) flickr photo by cogdogblog: http://flickr.com/photos/cogdog/15109377554