Introduction: How to Run a Radio Show at Aggie Radio
If you have attended Utah State University in the past few years, then you probably have been inside the Taggart Student Center. If you've been inside the TSC, then you may have walked by the glass window booth on the first floor. This booth is home to Aggie Radio's sound equipment and broadcasting. It is where the magical campus music of Utah State University is heard, and where student voices are crafted into entertaining radio material. For this all to happen however, the DJ who plans to broadcast their show needs to know everything on how to run and perform a show for Aggie Radio. These instructions will serve as a manual on how to run a Aggie Radio show for starting Aggie Radio DJ's.
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Step 1: Opening the Studio
The first part to starting your show on Aggie Radio is to open the door to the studio. The door is usually locked because of the expensive equipment inside, and getting access to the key can be tricky if you don't know how to.
1. First you will need to open the lock box that holds the studio key. A code is needed to open this lockbox.
2. Once you know the code, enter it and push the release tab down. This should put the lockbox out and the key will be behind it.
3. Insert the key into the lock on the booth door and turn the knob to the left.
4. Prop the door open and put the key back in the lockbox. Close it by re-entering the code and pushing it into place.
Step 2: Setting Up for Your Show
Now that you've made into into the studio you are ready to start setting up for your show. Make sure the lights are on and head straight over to the computer to start the set up. The equipment should be left on in order to keep the station broadcasting 24/7, but if it's not then notify an Aggie Radio director.
1. Refresh the computer by moving the mouse or by pressing any key. This will turn the monitor on and allow you to see and use SAM.
2. Now that SAM is active, drag and drop tracks from the library to the queue. This will set up your playlist for the show.
3. Keep in mind what bed music you would like to play when you speak, bed music can be any Aggie Radio appropriate music, but instrumental songs work the best.
4. Make sure that the queue is set to "Auto-DJ". This will cause tracks to play right after another, instead of the DJ having to add them into the track slot manually.
5. Do one last check on the equipment in the room. Make sure that the microphones and headsets are working and set up for use. Make sure that the soundboard is also on and that the main volume, control room volume and track volume are set correctly.
6. Once all of this is done, you are ready to start your show. Simply find the embedding/archiving function in SAM, (It's near the bottom of the queue list) find the file that isn't activated, right click it and select "start".
Step 3: Performing the Show
Your show has been set up and you are on the air! Keep in mind that being a host for Aggie Radio requires the DJ's to follow a few patterns for their show.
DJ's must perform a "drop" every few songs. This is where they talk to their listeners, guests, state songs being played, its what you would like to say. They should also say a tag line involving Aggie Radio. (Example: "Aggie Radio, Music for the students, by the students.")
Performing a Drop: There are two ways to perform a drop. (A) You can set the DJ Queue to manual, which will stop the music, and you can turn on the mic and talk. You can also insert bed music onto one of the tracks, providing some sound to fill the background, just make sure to turn the music down a bit while you speak. (B) A drop can be also done by using the queue on Auto DJ and inserting bed music where you would like to talk, then you talk for the duration. A good place for a drop is after two or three songs of one genre. It gives the audience a break from songs, and allows the host to use material besides music.
Legal ID's, ad's, and news segments will also automatically play at the top of the hour. These segments are required to play on our station, if you see that they did not play, then please play them.
DJ's must also ensure to let the genre of material played flow well. Your show doesn't have to be one set genre, but you can't play a hard rock song then a dubstep song, it should flow together or be spaced out throughout your show.
Step 4: Using the Microphone
For anytime you will need to speak during your show you will have to use the microphone equipment in the studio. There are three sets of microphone equipment in the studio, and to use them is as easy as the push of a button.
1. Put on the headset. It should be resting on the mic.
2. Arrange the mic so it faces you directly.
3. Turn the mic on by pressing the red "on" button.
4. Turn the mic off by pressing the yellow "mic" button.
Make sure that when you speak into the microphone you face it directly. The microphone captures sound best this way, and it will keep you from sounding distant. Also, be aware of your sound levels when speaking, these levels can be found on the mic's sound gauge at the top of the soundboard. The more the meter goes up, the louder your voice is. Watch your voice, and make sure that you/re not being too high on the meter.
Step 5: Using the Soundboard
Currently the soundboard used in the booth has limited capabilities, so there are only a few things you'll need to know when using the soundboard.
1. The various sliding dials on the soundboard are dials for the levels of various sounds being produced in the booth. The Dials above the mic buttons are for the volume levels on the mics.
2.The dials to the right of the mic buttons are the track dials and the main volume dial. DO NOT move the dial on the Track A or Track B, as the volume for these is already manipulated through SAM. The main volume dial will be used for lowering the overall volume of tracks being played. This is the dial you will need to lower when playing bed music.
3. There are a few red knobs on the right corner of the soundboard that control various volumes, but the only one you'll need to use is the control room dial, which controls the volume of the speakers in the studio.
Step 6: Speaking During Your Show
Radio is a serious form of communication, and it can be so much more than entertaining an audience. Every DJ has the ability to broadcast their voice through Aggie Radio freely, and it can be effective too if they follow a few guidelines.
1. Speak clearly and have in mind what you are trying to say, and don't ramble on. If you find yourself running out of things to say on a subject, then move on. If you have a guest or co-host, make sure that you both know the topics being covered and material being discussed. It is highly recommended for you to have a plan of what you intend to say, and notes on what you intend to discuss.
2. Watch your language on air. This cannot be stressed enough as Aggie Radio is a program to express student voice through a professional medium. Offensive language and offensive material can turn away listeners and hurt your show's image. It will also get you dismissed from participating in Aggie Radio. For a list of what not to say, consult an Aggie Radio director.
3. Keep in mind that you are representing Utah State University and Aggie Radio as a whole, so avoid bringing in third party sources not associated with the university, unless it deals with music. In other words, avoid advertising or endorsing products that are not involved with the university.
If you have any further questions about what you should be saying when the tracks aren't playing, please contact an Aggie Radio director.
Step 7: Finishing Up Your Show
When you are nearing the last few minutes of your show, let your listeners know and finish up.
1. When your show is over go back to SAM and roll over the enocoding/archiving option and click "stop". This will end the recording session and automatically save the file to the "Aggie Radio Files" folder on the computer.
2. Locate your show's file and copy it.
3. Open Dropbox, find what day folder your show is in and paste it into your show's folder. This will allow the file to be accessed by anyone within the Dropbox group.
Congratulations! You now know how to run a show on Aggie Radio. Keep in mind that these are only basic instructions, and that all the creative things you can implement into your show are solely up to you!