DJ Training Part 1: Basics of Programming
Welcome to the new KDHX Facilities
Thanks to the time and efforts of our volunteers for over 30 years, and the generous support of our listeners, we have moved into this state of the art facility called the Larry J Weir Center for Independent Media. Our donors and supporters have made this facility our new home, and deserve the best content that we can provide. So lets enjoy, nurture and protect the community investment in us with more great programming!
Regarding General Care for our Facility:
Eating and drinking is NOT permitted in the Air 1, Air 2, or Prod 1 studios.
- Please keep all food and drink in the reception and show prep areas, even while you're on air doing your program or working in the production rooms.
- Please keep in mind that the rule of thumb in caring for our facility is just like the National Park Service: LEAVE NO TRACE. Knowing that someone else will have to take out your garbage, please take with you any trash that you brought in. This is particularly important with food stuff and recycling.
- Please use the cleaning products available in the reception area drawers and below the sink in the kitchenette to wipe down surfaces and clean up any mess you make.
- Please do not wipe down the surface of our studios' mixing consoles, as these have special procedural cleaning handled by staff to avoid dust particles clogging the faders.
- The vacuum cleaner is stored in plain view near the mailboxes, so please feel free use it anytime you see the floor needing a bit of tidying.
The LJW parking lot has very specific purposes - 3 spots dedicated for on-air DJs while doing their show, and the remainder is reserved for full time staff. Volunteers, performers, guests, podcasters, non-air shift DJs, patrons of the Cafe are not permitted to park in the lot immediately next to the KDHX / LJW building. There are no exceptions to this policy, so please comply or risk being towed.
If your time volunteering here is just an hour or 2, the cost of the metered parking is slight (less than a few dollars), and is only in effect until 7pm. We recommend using public transportation, biking, walking, or if you must drive to the district, a few blocks nearby are without meters - Samuel Shepard Ave, Josephine Baker Blvd, and Delmar all have free parking spaces available.
New Board Operator Orientation
The principle functions of the Mixing Console, central to each broadcast studio, are to send or "bus" audio signals from sources (Mics, CD players, Turntables, etc) to desired outputs, called Programs.
In Air 1, our primary broadcast studio:
- Program 1 feeds our FM transmitter
- Program 2 feeds our HD and online stream signals
- Program 3 feeds a digital connection from AIR 1 used in The Stage.
- Program 4 is un-used.
Discuss these basic console functions and concepts in depth:
- Input paths - sources and alternates
- Output paths - "Program" busses, and source assignments
- Levels and Meters
- Get in orange (over noise floor), but avoid red and blue (creates distortion).
- Ideal level is averaging -20 db.
- First meter is always Program 1, second is selectable.
- When selected, cue overrides meter 2, and helps to determine pre-fader level
- Monitoring (see diagram below for clarification)
- Control room speaker volume control and source selector.
- Headphones - cue overrides when selected on any channel (as long as the AUTO CUE button at right is illuminated).
- Cue speaker volume control.
- Studio selector and "Talk To..." will go un-used - the intercoms mounted in the rack will allow this comm to other rooms
Sources & Devices - standard settings and functions
- Proper addressing technique - as close as an inch or two, and at a slight angle, never beyond 45 degrees.
- Light rings on each indicate which mic is on.
- A mic being on kills overhead speakers to avoid feedback
- Must wear headphones to monitor presence and balance with other sounds.
- Standing encourages better breath and diaphragm control, higher energy and less distracting mid-sentence breathing.
CDs and CDR - playback vs. record
- On/off console button starts and pauses.
- Eject locks on playback
- Single next play mode and remain setting for display are recommended.
CD Troubleshooting Notes:
- - Please, no paper-labeled or thicker than standard audio or data CDs - it gunks up the system and causes gear/device fail.
- - If eject becomes a problem, call for staff assistance. Do NOT use any hard plastic or metal tools to remove a stuck CD.
- - Adjusting AutoTrack: Press menu button, turn knob to display REC? and press knob, turn knob to display A_TRACK?, press knob, turn to display ON/OFF and press knob
- - Other functions: Repeat, Auto Ready, Auto Cue, & Pitch - just press their labeled button to turn off if the display shows them as on.
- - Pitch can be adjusted on the CD player, but should be returned to standard after use. The Denon CD players require a CD in them to alter at all. To enable/disable, use the pitch button, and to adjust % change, hold shift and turn knob at right.
WFP = World Feed Panel, for external input device
- 1/8" cables are provided.
- Device level set no higher than 90% full. Check using cue on appropriate WFP channel prior to airing.
- Board orientation (L/R) is correct - ignore channel #.
- Avoid airing mp3s. Always use lossless compression. Least advisable quality is 256kbps - 32
Cassette - available in all 3 air studios, and automated transfer to CD available in the lobby listening station
Legacy media - arrange Vinyl, DAT, R2R and minidisc transfers by reserving studio time and support via the production department - - email firstname.lastname@example.org
FCC violation clean-up - assistance and training is available via the Media and Production departments - email email@example.com for support
Monitoring and Cue'ing
Please review this image of the monitoring controls on our NetWave mixing console.
Board Op's Order of Operations
- Assess remaining time -> Is there a tag? Is the next item white? = 2 spots this break.
- Prepare or cue the next item, pre-set the level -> Tip: Use the fader as a guide to next item and always undershoot the set level - coming up from low vs. down from too high.
- Trigger timed with feel as segue - by the time the previous content falls to halfway point in level.
- Adjust level and await average/full amplitude before moving on.
- Answer phone, stretch, have some water ... -> tip: release the caller with adequate prep time - no less than 30 seconds.
Review and Practice
Some standard tasks worth practicing:
- - Segue and announce using bumper and bed music.
- - Review and practice Board Operators Order of Operations.
- - Guest mic and headphone guidance.
- - Prohibited speech, the FCC/our license and you.
- - Wide Orbit re-cue after fail
- - Cue button operation / headphone override reminder.
Please plan to either stay behind today and/or schedule an appointment with staff to come and record a segments of your show in an "Evergreen" (not time sensitive) fashion. This will help give you a true sense of how the gear and environment feels in Air studios 1,2 and Prod 1, and the recording will serve as both a good tool for you to review and for us to load into Wide Orbit for use in the event that you are running late for your show.
Always use courtesy when entering and leaving the air rooms:
- - Prepare to leave by gathering belongings and moving to the outer DJ prep area by the :45.
- - If you have guests, confer and brief them in the DJ prep area prior to the show.
- - Check in when you arrive at 15 minutes prior to your shift and call the air line to alert the previous DJ/Host if you are cutting it closer than that.