Dave's Radio Adventure

In Fall of 2001 I decided to try out being on the radio. Why? Something fun to try that I doubt I'll have the chance after leaving college. So I went to the fall WUVT organizational meeting, the "Orgy", to see what's up. Had plenty of people there interested and all the staff. Got to hear about what people do for the station. Had a signup sheet. Put down name, phone, email, and when you could have a show. A week or so later they have a new DJ meeting. Go there and listen to procedures and FCC rules & regs. Sign up for a quick intro session to the equipment. Go hear about knobs and channels and so on. You are now a DJ.

Show I got was 7-9PM Wednesday. Good time slot for me. I got a friend, Scott Harper, to sign up to be a partner in crime.

The way WUVT works is that DJs start out on AM before moving up to FM. This is a GoodThing. Really need a bit of practice before many people can hear you. Now to the sad part. WUVTs AM transmitters have been off or dead for something like 6 years. So the current setup is that the campus TV station, VTTV, broadcasts the signal. Sometimes they have other shows or classes broadcast. Otherwise they will broadcast AM DJs if they are there. Or lastly the FM DJs. So it's quite possible that no one will hear you on the AM side. Oh well.

First show was a bit rough. Had to figure out the equipment, select music, play it, and talk abit. Well... apparently I'm too dumb to figure out the tape recorder in the studio or I'd have this mess for people to listen to. AM policy is that you have a whole bunch of newish CDs that are in current rotation. They are classified as heavy, medium, and light CDs. You have to play 3 heavy, 2 medium, and 1 light song per hour. This isn't so bad. Finding these few tracks off of a bunch CDs isn't that hard. And rest of time you can play whatever you want. Mission of the station is to, basically, introduce listeners to music they would otherwise not hear. And to encourage album sales of lesser known artists. So they from upon MTV artists and so on. Again, not a problem. There is a ton of great music that MTV and regular radio stations will never ever play.

Other fun stuff you have to do is station ID top of every hour. And public service announcements (PSAs) on 15 and 45 of the hour. And you get to log every song you play. Used to keep track of songs for CMJ stats or something. I don't quite understand the point of keeping stats on music from selections that DJs are forced to play. I guess it weeds out good new music from bad.

Two shows under my belt at this point and I still don't know how to record it, know anyone on campus that can record it with a vcr, or due to half working ancient equipment, know if one of the cd players is even broadcasting. Fun fun fun!

October 10, 2001: Today's show I figured out one problem. The CD1 level has to be at ~80% to get the VU meter to match CD2 level at ~30%. Duh. So I suppose half the time the broadcast volume was next to nil for last 2 shows and first part of this one. Oh well. Show went much better when we figured out the sequipment, plan ahead a track or two, and try to somewhat match music styles. Random stuff left and right is kind of silly. Or at least not my style. Still no recordings... maybe get that figured out next week.

(fast forward to January) Fall semester ended. Finished up doing AM shows I guess. Over school breaks they have different schedules. Basically the station looking to fill up at least 12 hours a day to comply with some FCC regulation. I think. Ended up doing FM shows over both Thanksgiving week and winter holiday (aka Christmas) breaks. Actually, my schedule was kind of up in the air so I just tagged along and join the spots Scott had signed up for. Kind of fun stuff. Good excuse to play some music you like and listen to the new CDs the station gets.

Spring break 2002: More break scheduling spots. Scott once again signed up for stuff. I had sort of planned to be away during break but was there for most of it. Couple daytime shows. I did a bunch of searching for requested songs. Easier on Scott that way I guess. Had one nice show with mostly heavy metal. Lots of classic tunes. Could even fit in a couple tracks with a curse word or two since it a late show. Just kind of called up and asked if anyone showed up to do a midnight show. No one did so hopped over and did one. Saturday night also did a long show from midnight to around 4AM. I took the helm for this one. Got tired of reading PSAs and talking at all around 2:30AM. So just hitting buttons and flipping CDs at that point. Bunch of Saturday night sort of repetative beat music. Plenty of good stuff. Pulled out some of the stations new vinyl too. Made a few attempts to actually mix between records or CD to record. Didn't work out too great. Maybe no one was listening at that point. heh.

Maybe do some more of this over the summer.

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Copyright © 2003 David I. Lehn