Putting together an online radio studio is relatively simple and inexpensive. After you’ve signed up for any of the Socastin streaming server subscription plan, having made the decision to start your very own online radio, this post would give you a full guide on the essential equipment or tools needed to get your online radio up and running. One amazing thing about these equipment is the fact that they are readily available and pocket-friendly.
Here are the basic equipment:
- MICROPHONES: Radio hosts need microphones to speak to their listeners and host interviews. You may also need a mic to voice radio imaging items. The primary work of a mic is to capture and convert sound waves into electric signals. There are three types of microphones:
You can also buy a USB mic that you can plug into your computer without the need for additional sound equipment like mixers. Professional broadcasters prefer dynamic mics with XLR connectors. Condenser mics are preferred in recording studios and mostly used by singers.
2. AUDIO MIXER: Its primary function is to combine several audio inputs into one output signal. The signal may be sent to your computer for recording or broadcasting via an AUX cable or USB. For example, if you have a 4-channel mixer, you can connect:
- One microphone;
- Extra mic for your guest;
- CD player or computer dedicated to playing music;
- Mobile phone to take calls.
The mixer allows you to control the volume level for each input. If a guest is talking loudly, you can reduce their levels. Soft-spoken guests can be turned up. Digital audio mixers may provide audio enhancements like equalization, compression, or filtering. The audio mixer also allows you to use microphones with professional cabling (not USB).
3. COMPUTER/INTERNET SERVICE: Any computer you already have should work just fine as long as it has USB ports and a headphone jack. If you plan to keep it simple and just play music tracks, then you don’t even need a microphone. But if you want to live broadcast and do things like introduce songs and discuss news and current events, you’ll definitely need one. Back to computers, which operating system are you planning to use? Windows or macOS. Well, most radio automation software, DJ programs, and encoders run on Windows. Therefore, the OS you use dictates the programs available. It's also vital to have a reliable internet connection. Slow internet causes delays in sending data to the server. Your stream will buffer. Listeners will get annoyed.
4. HEADPHONES: You’ll also want a good set of headphones so you can hear yourself and your shows, and to help you monitor to assure transitions are seamless and audio levels are properly adjusted. Common earphones would do the trick, but much better are PRO headphones, which produce high and low frequencies and everything in-between with incredible precision.
5. MICROPHONE FILTER/MUFFLER: You should also use either a pop filter or microphone muffler to protect the mic and reduce the amount of sharp air hitting it. A muffler is a round piece of foam that fits over the mic, whereas the pop filter is more like a screen that is attached in front.
6. MICROPHONE PROCESSOR: This device can also be added to clean up the signal and smooth out any remaining distortions.
Other equipment include boom arm, shock mount etc.
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