Since 1978, SLB Radio Productions, Inc. (SLB) has created award-winning public radio programming combining music, interviews, telephone talk and live performances from youth and adults. We distribute our programming to seven Radio stations, two cable television stations, five Internet radio stations and aggregation services (e.g., Tune In, Simple Radio) and our very own website at slbradio.org. We also provide workshops dedicated to self-expression and journalism to approximately 2,000 teens annually.
After being housed within a traditional FM station for twenty five years, we made a decision to build our personal suite of studios to aid our radio programming and workshops. After many years of planning, these studios came to life in 2004 when we co-located our operations to the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh as part of its $20 million expansion.
With considerable industry, foundation and listener support, we are fortunate to possess created the studios of our own dreams in order that we can create high-quality radio and workshops. Our equipment includes audio consoles from Logitek Audio and Studer, microphones from AKG, Heil and Sennheiser, telephony equipment from Telos Systems, and other gear from your world’s leading broadcast equipment makers. This includes SAM Broadcaster Pro and SAM Broadcaster Cloud from Spacial Audio. After careful evaluation ultimately causing their selection in 2004, these Spacial Audio systems came up with backbone in our library, playout and automation systems. Most importantly, they have got stood the test of your time, growing in features and functionality which have kept these systems in the head of the class despite numerous modifications in digital audio, streaming technology and recordkeeping requirements.
SLB has a library of over 60,000 mp3 and wav tracks, all stored on a network server. A Radio Automation Software is the fact SAM Broadcaster accesses these files by way of a database (installed as part of setting SAM up) rather than directly. The database contains title, artist, album, play history, playlist categories as well as other track-specific information along with the road to the specific audio file. Because of this, SAM Broadcaster permits us to search our library with instant results because the search is based on this data (vs. the audio files themselves, which use up over 60 GB). This feature alone – in the core of SAM Broadcaster and SAM Broadcaster Cloud since their very beginnings – is actually amazing and is a concept I explain over and over to fellow broadcasters which can be wowed from this fundamental principle. It allows us to create playlists, find requests, update metadata, add track-specific notes, review spin counts, print logs and perform hundreds of other tasks on the fly. And, of course, we could also play music…beautifully and perfectly simply by loading a SAM Broadcaster track right into a SAM Broadcaster Player in much exactly the same way as you would load a real mp3 file into Windows Media Player or iTunes – except with regards to SAM Broadcaster, all of it happens instantly with complete user control.
We maintain six SAM Broadcaster licenses, each installed on a PC and every configured to work with exactly the same music database to simplify our work flow. As a result, I will use SAM Broadcaster to create and save playlists at my desk with assurance that they may be accessible and playable when my studio shift begins. In regards time for reports to ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and SoundExchange, I can export data from any in our PCs to get the data we require.
The beauty of SAM Broadcaster and SAM Broadcaster Cloud extends beyond this underlying principle. One of many features we appreciate and utilize daily.
While SAM Broadcaster may be configured to operate without an external mixer, SLB operates using standard broadcast consoles to blend multiple audio sources. As such, a vital part of Sam Broadcaster is the way it interfaces with standard broadcast equipment. Fortunately, this is easy! When we’re operating live, SAM Broadcaster is configured as a high-end playout system featuring its Playback Decks outputting to faders on our mixer (two stereo channels are supported) where it is actually coupled with microphones, phone hybrids, and other sources originating from beyond SAM. The production of our mixer will then be fed to SAM’s encoders for delivery to radio stations, aggregation services and direct listeners. These modes can be customized to meet virtually any requirement. In case xavxpb wish to feature automated programming, we are able to change SAM settings to carry on to experience through our mixer or right to the stream. Using the advent of SAM Broadcaster Cloud – we are able to enable the cloud-based system to take over on the touch of the mouse – seamlessly and perfectly. SAM Broadcaster Cloud is worth its own article and is a powerhouse, whether used alone or in conjunction with SAM Broadcaster to create great-sounding automation that can be managed with precision.
Small space allows me to merely touch on the features and integrity of these products. Similar to anything new, you might need to learn principles and methods which can be in the beginning unfamiliar. Fortunately, there is an outstanding community forum, detailed documentation as well as a ticketed help system which includes never allow us to down when we’ve needed it. After 12 years and tremendous modifications in our operations and technology – including an occasional examine competing products – we carry on and depend on Spacial Audio as not merely the very best product for people, but also the product we consistently recommend to our own colleagues.