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Broadcasting equipment...

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by mark_van_j, Feb 28, 2007.

  1. mark_van_j

    mark_van_j Active Member

    So I need suggestions for some broadcasting gear for our college radio station. We are soon going to AM and will be upgrading our equipment.

    We just bought a Radiosystems RS12 broadcast board. We have a UREI compressor on the output and a basic EQ.

    We need to get new mics, as well upgrade our software. Our hired engineer swears by 421's. I think we would be better off with RE20's or SM7's, both of which are in the same price range. What do you guys think?

    We are currently playing songs off of CD's and sometimes winamp. We need a better program than winamp... What do radio stations use? I've tried searching but I can't seem to come up with anything decent...

  2. bpatram

    bpatram Guest

  3. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    421's sound great on some voices, not so great on others. They are certainly not as "neutral" and "tight" in their pick-up as an RE-20. In a less-than-great-acoustical environment, the RE-20 rules. As for the shock mount thing, there are modular popscreen options available for the RE-20, as well. This allows every member of the voice team to have their own screen and not spread germs and scum to the other talent. There's nothing worse than putting your face up to a nasty,
    overused foam windscreen....
  4. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Is your "hired engineer" someone who is going to be working at the station every day? If so, you'd be off to a bad start going against his favorite on such a basic thing. His choice does seem to be somewhat nonstandard, but its not like the 421 isn't a good mic. If he's the guy who is going to have to deal with the equipment day-to-day, I'd have to have a pretty strong reason to go against him.
  5. mark_van_j

    mark_van_j Active Member

    The engineer is a consultant who sets up radio stations for broadcast. He has an extremely long list of references for the past 40 years, from both Canada and the US.

    After discussing this with him, his argument was that with a radio station where there are alot of DJ's, the 421 will force them to use proper mic technique inherently sounding better. He said he tried both RE20's and SM7's but thinks the 421 sounds better on AM.

    Myself being the Chief engineer and Production director at the station, it's my call to decide whether to use his advice, or go against it. We have a 421, and I have access to an RE20, so I'll probably try both and see what sounds better...

    Thanks for the input!
  6. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    A valid point, I'm sure. My only experience in an AM radio station was with RE-20's, not with the 421. I just have issues with plosives with a 421, but that's why God made windscreens, right? And like BobR stated, you don't want to tick your advisor off.
  7. griz

    griz Active Member

    I always thought the RE20s made my voice sound muddy with all of the processing we used on the AM station - there was less processing in line on the FM side so the muddiness was not as apparent.

    The 421s were much clearer sounding. Inexperienced announcers had difficulty using them ... trouble with "p," "b," "t," "s," and "z" sounds....
  8. dpd

    dpd Active Member

    ex-broadcast engineer here...

    We outfitted our station (1994) with SM-7s. We replaced all of them with RE-27s in order to eliminate hum in the microphones that was being induced by CRT monitors in the studios. The RE series is effectively immune to magnetic field induced hum, where the SM-7s are not. So, if you are planning to have CRT monitors in your control rooms, I'd opt for the RE series. If you have LCD monitors, then you just pick which one sounds best for your application.

    As far as mic technique goes - I doubt if volunteers will ever learn proper mic technique; some of our paid staff never figured it out.

    Personally, I'd run away from having an EQ and compression on your audio, most especially if anyone can access the controls. You should get all your processing in one box right before your transmitter - a basic Orban or Omnia box. If you cannot afford one, keep your processing out of the hands of board operators.

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