Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Inaugural Victory Park Quick Hits

Got to hear some of The Musers and The Hardline.  Check out AP's knowledgeable comments a couple of posts back for some good inside stuff.  I'm pressed for time today, but here goes:

(1)  We've had some fun with real real audio the past couple of days with all the problems, so maybe the abysmal preparation for this move is worth it in a kind of pathetic way.  But this move was announced in November of 2010.  You can build an entire radio station in that interval.  I'm sure broadcasting and all that goes with it (making new machinery work, transferring information from one system to another) is complex and, since the move has to be instantaneous, there are bound to be disconnects.  And they're moving multiple stations into the suite.  But Cumulus is a big bad broadcasting boy with lots of resources and professionals at its beck and call.  It's inexcusable to have a transition that sounds like it was managed by Jerry Jones.

Having said that, the actual sound problems were probably noticeable only if you were really listening for them.  I'm kind of a radio junque, so I was.  I would guess that a lot of listeners, especially on 1310, didn't hear much different about the physical sound of the station.

Damaged in the move
(2)  Speaking of Jerry Jones:  This move could be a bad one for one Mr. Gordon Keith.  Part of what makes his impressions so effective is that they are delivered over a phone line, where some of the Gordon-ness of his voice is masked.  His Fake Jerry of yesterday (repeated at 6:40 this morning) was delivered over a much cleaner line, and it suffered.

(3)  Agree with AP that some of the mics were very hot.  I noticed it especially with Danny, but Corby's was EQ'd pretty hot as well.  Danny's EQ was so different that it almost sounded like he was on a different show.  The sibilants were very hissy; it sounded like the whole Hardline had developed a lisp.  I'm sure this isn't the case, but it sounded like everyone was too close to the mic.

(4)  This might not be audible to a casual listener, but I was in the Conestoga with the Philco on high gain during The Hardline, so I could concentrate pretty well on the sound.  And I thought:  Man, Mike's new high-gain mic is not kind to his voice; for the first time, he really sounded old to me, with that edge of whisperiness to it that more elderly gentlemen tend to get.  And kind of a wateriness to the vowel sounds.

But then I heard Corby, and his voice had that slight water in it as well.  And I realized that what I was hearing is that kind of bad digital translation sound of the kind that you hear in much worse form on TeeBox remotes.  Just the slightest rattle in the voice, as though the system weren't sampling the voice signal cleanly.  (I'm making up these terms -- I'm sure sound engineers can tell me what's actually going on, and I think we have some Confessors with some expertise in this area.)  It isn't obvious and you kind of have to be listening closely, but it was there.  More obvious with Mike, whose voice sounded noticeably different in the new studio.


Anyway, as I say, not a big deal.  There are going to be some problems and our heroes are dealing with them in a mostly-amusing way.  (I did not hear Dan McDowell's performance yesterday, although (the incomparable) AP reports that he was in need of a remedy for cramps and bloating.)   On top of that, Gordon's hiccup extravaganza during Muse this morning was the icing on The Ticket's birthday cake.

See you at Guy's Night Out on Thursday.


birq said...

I only listened to BaD for a short time, but from what I heard, Dan was in rare form yesterday. He was a sports piranha, going relentlessly at everyone on the show. He was attacking in a tongue-in-cheek-ish manner, but not really. It was really pretty annoying and disturbing after about 30 seconds.

As for the move, I've been a part of major data center moves a couple times in the past, and I imagine moving a radio station wouldn't be too different. If they were able to broadcast at 95% on the day they targeted to be up and running, then it was pretty successful. By the end of the day, IMO, it sounded completely normal to the casual observer. I think "abysmal preparation" would have resulted in a considerably worse situation, probably with the shows emanating from Maple instead of Victory.

The only choice I'd question is to wait to move the stream hardware. Since I don't know the background, I'll resist the urge to speculate. There might not have been a choice in the matter for all we know.

Anonymous said...

I like Dan's willingness to travel down roads that others are either too uncomfortable or unwilling to do. He'll "go there" as they say. He's the one that will put the brakes on, for example, the "let's put aside 'Joe-Pa's' sins of commission and omission and just remember the good" meme that's being touted since his death. And by the by, Rhyner's "don't think I'm endorsing it but I can see why he acted the way he did - he's from the 'greatest generation' ignorance" line yesterday was asinine. What, pedophilia is new thing? Paterno, who not only ran the entire program, who was the most powerful person at the university, who was the university, and who was also one of the most powerful men in that part of Pennsylvania...well, he just wasn't equipped to handle such a thing. Okay, maybe. It's not for me to judge the man, but I have a hard time believing it. Back to Dan... I also like Dan's appreciation of 70s soft rock. I also think he reads into the heart of situations better than anyone on The Ticket. Now the bad. Dan is too pissy and prissy. He's far too touchy, which is most often the case where passive and at times not so passive aggressive people are concerned. Yes, Dan is passive aggressive. It's troubling the way he seems incapable of letting someone have a different opinion than his without trying to sink said person. Finally, and this speaks to my first negative point, he whines a lot. I like the good Dan. But the bad Dan is quite the turnoff.

normalguyguide said...

I worked in radio for a while and worked in TV for ten years. You'd be amazed at the level of technology in those places. I think a lot of people assume these studios are hubs of the highest of high-tech equipment - but, in a lot of cases, it's the exact opposite. When I was in radio, in 2000-2001, we still used DOS computers and had just stopped using reels and carts. When we made the HD switch a few years back in TV, the move was anything but smooth. There was a weird mix of new technology and old technology - and it led to more than a few nightmare broadcast situations. And that didn't involve picking up the entire station and moving it down the highway.

Not making excuses for the Ticket engineers, because it does seem like there should have been more preparation than this (especially with the stream hardware). But the hiccups (technical, not Gordon's) don't surprise me.

Scott said...

As to all the EQ and compression settings... I suspect they have a new board. From a Live Sound perspective, you can't just transfer settings, you can guess... but getting it dialed in takes time. Ditto on routing signals.

In fact, I thought they have done reasonably well, except for the streaming device. I have done streaming, it is not terribly difficult.

Now, the hiss in the background for Norm's remote is troubling. But, those issues are difficult to fix mid show. Best to push through lest you screw it up... OR, as I just heard on the stream as I type, the Sweet Jack ad (for the 10th time today) interrupted Norm in mid thought. I am quite sure there was much more.

Oh well, I nominate The Ticket for the E-brake...

East Texas P1 said...

I thought Muse in the News was possibly the worst piece of audio I have ever heard. Gordon was so, so playing it up and Jr. and George were laughing like junior high boys.

Pathetic is all it was, IMHO.

birq said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
birq said...

I thought this morning's Muse was The Ticket in a nutshell: It was the guys doing what came naturally, without trying to hide any of the warts. Good or bad, they don't try to hide what's going on behind the curtain. I agree that Gordo can take things too far, but that's really his forte anyway, isn't it?

birq said...

Did anyone else catch George's "life-altering story" this morning? Of course it's already available at the Unticket: http://www.theunticket.com/life-altering-story-for-george-dunham/

George is good, and this segment really showed it. He was audibly choked up and flustered. He stumbled a bit, but I thought it was a shining moment for him, the show and the station. Junior and Gordo added a lot to the discussion, and the whole thing really got to me. Very well done, Musers.

Anonymous said...

Is anybody else having trouble using wunderradio since the move? I can't get any streaming on my iPhone?

ap said...

The stream has been doing remarkably well today (crosses fingers) - it hasn't cut out once since 5:30AM. It was rebooted about three or four times yesterday, however.

Shaggy said...

I read of someone else having problems with winder radio. I highly, HIGHLY recommend TuneIn Radio Pro.

My only complaint is that since they switched to a 48 kbps format, it takes forever to connect over 3G. Almost no delay with wifi, but it takes almost 90 seconds with 3G.

The Plainsman said...

@birq: I caught up with that segment on The (Incomparable) UnTicket.

You gotta love The Ticket, and George, too. I suppose other hosts on other shows, including non-sports shows, could have related a similarly moving experience, but George's humanity and regular-guy persona made it seem like a friend telling you the story over a brew.

Was anyone just the littlest bit uneasy about the 8:40 bit where Junior and Gordon talked about the changes they were going to make in their lives? George didn't seem to have a problem with it, so I guess I don't. But I found it a little curious.

If you see a Conestoga in the parking lot at Guys' Night Out, stop by and say howdy.

East Texas P1 said...


I did not like the 8:40 bit at all. I don't know why George let them take a big crap on the incredibly moving segment about the young teen who passed.

Check your e-mail for some comments concerning signal strength.

birq said...

I didn't mind it. We're having fun here, no?

ap said...

I think it was a necessary segue to restore the 'emotional balance' of the hosts and listeners alike... sort of like the palette-cleansing sorbet in between courses of a tasting menu, or the pickled ginger that comes with your sushi -- not something you'd consume on its own, but it's a necessary and welcome spacer.

[failed analogy alert]

Shaggy said...

Norm constant burping on air during the roundtables tonight was unbelievable.

ap said...

@Shaggy - Those were drops...Grubes had the enco working overtime during that segment.