Q. I have limited space available; do I need a large mixing desk?
A. Many people starting a radio station believe they should have a large radio mixing desk with 30 channels and faders. In addition to being expensive, these units are simply unnecessary. The reality is that a regular radio studio will have no need for 30 channels on the mixing desk. You will probably have no more than five microphones connected, your computer system, a couple of CD players, perhaps a record player, and your phone line input. All told, you will probably need no more than 12 to 15 channels. So you can save money on your mixing desk purchase by opting for a smaller scale unit that will do the job just as well. The smaller unit will not only save you money, but will also give you more work space on your desktop.
Q. Do I need to soundproof my studio?
A. Soundproofing can be expensive and, if you have a small studio, the wall space it takes up will make your studio even smaller. Since today’s microphones are omni-directional they are designed to pick up audio only from directly in front of them. They are not designed to pick up audio that comes from behind the microphone or on the sides. Because of this, soundproofing is largely unnecessary unless there’s a high level of noise outside your studio – such as a busy road or industrial area. Also, since the audio and transmission equipment in the studio generates a fair amount of heat, you may want to keep a window open so your space is well ventilated. This would also negate the benefits of soundproofing. Our recommendation, then, is not to go to the expense of soundproofing unless your station is located in a very noisy area and you will be using an air conditioning unit.
Q. I don’t have any experience within the radio industry. Can I still start a station?
A. It is not necessary to have had previous experience in the radio industry or any prior radio training. Indeed, having worked first hand with some radio school graduates, we would much rather deal with someone who has no previous experience whatsoever. With the right assistance and advice you can be guided towards the correct process, learn how to get everything done, and be on your way to successfully getting on the air.
Learning how to operate a radio station is much better learned on the job. Start your learning process by operating your station for a week or two with everything operational except your FM transmitter. This will give you the opportunity to work through any issues that may arise without the pressure of having anyone listening. When you’ve gone through all the processes without any problems arising, you’ll be ready to go on the air!