Internet Radio Voice Tracker setup

May 15, 2017

Internet radio Voice tracker setup.

Written by Drew Weber

05/15/2017

 

This has been a couple of months of brainstorming, testing and setup.

As always, really stoked to offer my idea/creations for others to use, and I hope internet radio stations find this very useful.

 

In Answer to your now burning FAQ: No, I am not at this time setting up an internet radio station.

 

Voice tracking is today’s way of doing live radio.

I want to show you how to setup your internet radio station completely automated, while still allowing for on air shifts. This setup allows for voice tracking on the go, where ever one wants to do a show/broadcast, with minimum equipment/knowledge for your DJ.

This can also make your station sound quite professional.

 

What your station needs.

Web server that allows user protected logins.

Dropbox.

Station Playlist Creator Pro.

Station Playlist Studio Pro.

Some Win amp DSP’s (for extra sound processing if desired)

 

What your DJ’s need.

Dropbox.

Computer with Microphone, or IPhone/iOS device.

Free Workflow iOS app.

I’ll be going over,

 

Workflow app.

Dropbox setup.

Station Playlist Creator setup.

Web server setup.

Station Playlist Studio setup.

Setting song ramp intros.

Testing final setup.

Final notes.

 

Workflow Setup:

Build the following workflow.

Show Alert (Action:

 

Title:

Text field: Click on okay to start recording a Voice track. You will have 30 seconds to speak after hitting okay, and feeling the vibration.

Text field: I got it, let’s go! Press okay to continue.

Show cancel button Switch button off.

 

Vibrate device (Action)

 

Record audio (action)

 

Audio quality Normal selected.

Start recording: Immediately button.

Finish Recording: After Time button.

Duration: 0 Minutes. 30 Seconds.

 

Vibrate device (action)

 

Show Alert (Action).

 

Title:

In order for your voice track to play in the appropriate slot, you need to number it correctly. For example, please enter, 1, at the end of the edit

box following this prompt for your first voice track, and then subsequent numbers, two, three, etc., when numbering subsequent voice tracks. Double tap

on done, at the bottom right-hand corner of your screen after typing, and then, double tap done which should be the only button on the screen to continue

saving your voice track. Text field Double tap to edit.

Click OK to name your voice track, and continue the process Text field Double tap to edit.

Show Cancel Button

Switch button off Double tap to toggle setting.

Set Name action Draggable. Double-tap and hold, wait for the sound, then drag to re-order. Double-tap to read the action description. Actions available

Drew0Ask When Run Text field Double tap to edit.

Save File action Draggable. Double-tap and hold, wait for the sound, then drag to re-order. Double-tap to read the action description. Actions available

Service

Dropbox Button

Ask Where to Save

Switch button off Double tap to toggle setting.

Destination Path

/YourStationDrewVt’s/ Text field Double tap to edit.

Overwrite If File Exists

Switch button on Double tap to toggle setting.

 

Note:

You will have to edit/create workflow for each DJ.

If DJ is using an IPod/IPad device, no vibrate actions can be in the workflow.

Share Workflow to Home screen for easy app access.

 

Dropbox Setup.

 

Setup a station VT drop box.

Setup a VT folder for each DJ within this drop box. Share each DJ folder with each individual DJ. I’d suggest this over sharing one main station VT DB with all DJ’s.

Note: This exact individual path will need to be changed in each individual workflow.

Using Windows XP?

Use Net Drive2 to use Dropbox cloud storage under Windows XP.

 

Station Playlist Creator setup.

If your new to Creator, read through the help. I know I’m a typical guy, and usually don’t read instructions, but also as a typical guy, who’s made this all work, I’m suggesting you go do this. 🙂

Note: This will dive a bit past just the VT setup and into some radio programming.

 

Open Station Playlist Creator.

Create your music categories.

 

Train wrecks are a bad thing. A Train Wreck is where the music transitions, from one energy (not genre), to another at the opposite end of the spectrum.

I have a multi-format setup, rock, CHR, country, Hip-Hop

I have the following categories created.

High energy.

Energy.

Medium.

Slow medium.

Listen to each song in your radio and put it (in folders) where it goes according to energy level.

 

Create your spot groups:

Do a similar thing with station imaging, if it hits hard, and sounds rock/CHR (for example), you don’t want it bumping up against something slow/med. You won’t have as many categories for styles of imaging, but at least two.

Then, do you have imaging for different times of the day? (morning, afternoon, evening) and weekends?

Put each in own spot group.

Station promos or adverts?

Own spot group for each.

Voice tracks: Each DJ, own spot group, (set spot type as voice intro)

Have dummy files, as many as VT’s in DJ’s show. Example: 2 hour shift, 3 tracks per hour, starting at name01 going to name06.

 

Create your Rotations:

 

What you got as far as imaging, and music categories is going to start defining how many rotations you create.

Each rotation defines an hour of programming.

You can use one rotation across an extended period of time.

Morning Example (6-10A):

You’ve got my category setup, and imaging for different times of the day. You want people to be able to wake up with coffee and energetic music.

 

Rotation might look like this”

Name: Mornings

Rotation layout:

Legal imaging.

Energy music.

Energy Music.

Energy Imaging.

Medium Music.

Medium Music.

Morning Imaging.

Medium Music.

Slow Medium Music.

Softer Imaging.

Medium Music.

Medium Music.

Energy Imaging.

Energy Music.

Morning Imaging.

Energy Music.

etc.

 

Notes:

You want 1 hour and five minutes per rotation.

You see how the rotation starts at the top of the mountain, then dips in energy, all the way down, but then comes back up? This will work nicely if next hour starts at the top again.

Imaging/spots/VT’s help to break up energy level if you are changing completely.

 

Let’s say you want your listeners to have a relaxful drive time/evening.

 

Rotation Name: Evenings.

Rotation Layout:

Legal imaging.

Medium music.

Medium music.

Softer imaging.

Slow medium music.

Medium music.

Evening imaging.

Slow medium music.

Medium music.

etc.

 

Notes:

You want 1 hour and five minutes per rotation.

See how this rotation is really different in respects to energy level? It dips down, and comes back up multiple times, less categories used. Medium, and slow medium music categories aren’t hugely different so it won’t be hugely noticeable to your listeners.

You could do the same with energetic nights… Using high energy sparingly, and using energy, and medium music regularly.

 

VT Rotations.

You need a rotation per DJ/Show.

You’ve got each DJ’s VT’s already programmed in as spot groups.

Rotation might look like this:

Rotation Name: Brad midday. (10A-2P)

Rotation Layout:

Legal Imaging.

Energy Music.

Brad VT’s spot group.

Energy Music.

Energy imaging.

Medium music

Medium Music.

Brad VT’s spot group.

Etc.

Notes:

Have VT’s around the 25, 45 minute marks. (this doesn’t include VT around 3-4 minutes past the hour after the first track.) (This is 3 VT’s per hour setup)

This rotation would run throughout Brad’s time slot on days he has shifts.

 

Setup schedules.

 

So you’ve got your rotations laid out. Now it’s time to establish scheduling.

If you’ve got multiple DJ’s, on different days, you may establish a schedule for each day.

Create a new schedule.

Start out by unchecking the days you won’t need in that schedule.

Setup your rotations within the appropriate hours. (There is a list box of rotations and one for hours. Whatever rotation is selected in list box, you can tab to list of hours hit applications key and apply that rotation to an hour. Note it auto moves you to next hour when rotation applied).

 

Morning, afternoons, Voice Trackers etc. Click okay and establish schedule for next day.

No trackers on weekends?

One schedule can be established for weekend, (both days).

 

General options:

 

On the general tab, tab down, there will be a box (labeled days) with 0, this is the hours. Tab again, and box (unlabeled), this is actually the box for days, (this should be 1).

 

This will, at 11:45PM each day, create 24 hours of new playlists for the next day, starting at 12:00A. We’ll come back to this.

 

HTML VT playlist Options

You will want to enable this.

You will want this to point to a folder on your web server, or, one that copies/uploads over to your server (via Batch files) daily.

We will come back to this.

 

There are far more options in Creator, as far as repeat protection, etc. Read through the help/documentation.

 

Web Server setup:

 

You will want to setup a protected directory on your webserver, for only VT DJ’s that will link to your playlist directory and serve up the index file/updated HTML daily playlists.

note: The current SPL Creator creates html playlist pages that have combo boxes to link the DJ to the day/time of his/her shift. This does not work correctly with the setup I am suggesting ( I have verified with the software developer). Playlists are created for the upcoming, two days, (More when we get to Station Playlist Studio), but the playlist index file does not show all of the days even though the 24-48 individual hourly playlist html files exist.

You will need to, for verification/safety purposes setup a batch script to copy this index file over to the given directory on a daily basses, (as Creator may/will probably overwrite it.)

 

You will need to create an index file that might look like the following.

 

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd“>

<html xmlns=”http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml”&gt;

 

<head>

<meta content=”en-us” http-equiv=”Content-Language” />

<meta content=”text/html; charset=utf-8″ http-equiv=”Content-Type” />

<title>Internet radio station name On Air Logs: Month of: May</title>

</head>

 

<body>

 

<p>Internet Radio station Playlist On Air Logs</p>

<p>starting at 5PM</p>

<p>Doubletap or enter “Next Hour” button to advance.</p>

<p>Month of: May</p>

<p><a href=”050117.html”>1st</a></p>

<p><a href=”050217.html”>2nd</a></p>

<p><a href=”050317.html”>3rd</a></p>

<p><a href=”050417.html”>4th'</a></p>

<p><a href=”050517.html”>5th</a></p>

<p><a href=”050617.html”>6th</a></p>

<p><a href=”050717.html”>7th</a></p>

<p><a href=”050817.html”>8th</a></p>

<p><a href=”050917.html”>9th</a></p>

<p><a href=”051017.html”>10th</a></p>

<p><a href=”051117.html”>11th</a></p>

<p><a href=”051217.html”>12th</a></p>

<p><a href=”051317.html”>13th</a></p>

<p><a href=”051417.html”>14th</a></p>

<p><a href=”051517.html”>15th</a></p>

<p><a href=”051617.html”>16th</a></p>

<p><a href=”051717.html”>17th</a></p>

<p><a href=”051817.html”>18th</a></p>

<p><a href=”051917.html”>19th</a></p>

<p><a href=”052017.html”>20th</a></p>

<p><a href=”052117.html”>21st</a></p>

<p><a href=”052217.html”>22nd</a></p>

<p><a href=”052317.html”>23rd</a></p>

<p><a href=”052417.html”>24th</a></p>

<p><a href=”052517.html”>25th</a></p>

<p><a href=”052617.html”>26th</a></p>

<p><a href=”052717.html”>27th</a></p>

<p><a href=”052817.html”>28th</a></p>

<p><a href=”052917.html”>29th</a></p>

<p><a href=”053017.html”>30th</a></p>

<p><a href=”053117.html”>31st</a></p>

 

</body>

 

</html>

 

Note: This index file, will allow the DJ to click on the day he/she needs to track. Even though the above is for the entire month of May, and playlists for the entire month of May do not yet exist, these are the exact links to all of the days in May, with hours starting at 5PM. You will obviously need to change these paths to fit the day/months/hours of your radio schedule. Simple find/replace can make this go super quick for different months once you have first month established.

 

Also setup a protected directory on the server with 30 second song intro clips from each song in your radios music library. This way Voice trackers can listen to intros and understand there energy talk level.

You can batch create these clips in Gold wave.

 

Open Gold wave:

go to file/batch processing.

On the process tab,

add edit:

set marker selection.

start marker 30.00.

after beginning combo box.

Finish marker: 0.

Before end combo box.

Click add button.

Choose Cut.

Click add button.

Click close.

Convert tab:

Add files/folders.

Choose file format to convert to. Note: This will need to open on DJ’s device.

Folder tab:

Choose directory that will be copied to webserver.

Click begin/start button.

 

In Station Playlist Creator, HTML VT playlist Options:

Have something like the following for header html.

<p><a href=”http://www.yourstation.com/trackclips/”>Listen to track clips</a></p>

 

Station Playlist Studio setup.

On Event times tab:

Auto create playlists: enter 24.

This will launch creator and create a days’ worth of playlists in advanced. So, at 11:45, 15 minutes before the next day, when Creator launches to create the next day? It will create 2 days’ worth of playlists, for Voice Trackers. It will do the same thing tomorrow night, always creating a day in advance.

 

#NuggetOfTruth…

You want your station sounding hot?

This method is going to squeeze dynamics quite a bit, but all your tracks and VT’s should sound very much the same level, without bass punching other EQ bands down. Given the right system this is going to really make the bass hit low, but not overtake.

Basically… it’s a processed sound, but it doesn’t sound super processed. #MyOpinion, Better than terrestrial radio.

 

Google/purchase Win amp DSP’s mentioned below.

Input tab:

file input tab:

Crossfader cue at -33

Crossfader Segway at -23

Crossfader DB -10

Crossfader edit: 1.0

Crossfader edit: 4.0

 

Output tab:

Main player: set volume at 15% add octimax DSP to main Player Use the FM Magic2 preset.

Voice track player, set volume at 100%.

Next slider 25% (This will fade the main player down slightly though it won’t be noticeable)

Mixer:

Have these DSP’s in this chain order.

Dafx studio (DSP).

Use 20bandEQ. Cut bands 63HZ, 250HZ, each by 10% This will bring out the lows without boosting them to overpower.

 

Audio Proc Lite (DSP).

Use FM Stereo preset. Third slider, (tab in), take up to 80%

 

Round Bass (DSP) at the end of the chain.

 

This setup sounds fairly good at 56KBPS AAC+ or higher.

 

Setting Song Ramp Intros:

You will need to set a song ramp intro, right before the vocal in every song in your radio’s library. Accomplish this in the Station Playlist Track Tool. Go to track, application key menu, open in track tool, hit enter in list view on song, right before vocal, hit “i” intro will be saved, and track tool will fade out currently playing song.

 

Testing Final Setup:

Now that everything is setup, Test Website secret Playlist directory. Make sure it asks for user/PW, and brings up your index file.

Verify that two days of playlists are created at 11:45PM.

Test out station track clips directory.

Also make sure it’s PW protected.

Send out workflow apps, and have one of your DJ/trackers test VT a shift. Listen during shift time and make sure VT’s go out to air.

 

Final notes:

 

Why 30 seconds per voice track?

This will make every DJ learn to say what they want to say, and get out the way.

What if my tracker tracks from his/her computer?

Make sure they keep lengths consistent. 30 seconds or whatever your max should be stuck too.

Also file format is important (make sure overwriting files)

What if I delete DJ VT’s after the show?

Playlists created for the next shift won’t have VT file path/names setup.

What if a VT is 15 seconds (less than 30)?

It’s fine Studio will figure it out, Though it’s best to keep it close to 30 seconds.

Do my trackers have to track a day in advance?

No, trackers must though, track 5 minutes out, as the playback over the internet, and where studio is actually playing differs. If they track too late, the track will be missed by Studio.

Won’t Voice Tracks sound bad coming from an IPhone?

Actually, no, things do sound pretty good.

 

The best of luck with your Internet Radio station!

 

Drew Weber

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