• A Little Saturday Update

    Posted on by Nate

    Everything is going well at the station, we’ve had a full week with no computer issues or crashes, even with the thunder storm. Very cool.

    Barry and Don are headed down to Balingup today to do some work on the transmitter there, hopefully to boost the output slightly as it is currently a little quiet.

    We’ve had 72 unique listeners on our new internet stream, with a session average of 22 minutes.

    Today I am going to be working on the new computer system for the main studio computer and the promo for Amcal Donnybrooks Grand Opening for the new services. Watch this space for more info on that one.

    In Music news, Billy Eilish has a new song out that is brilliant. I’ve linked to The Guardian review, and you can find it on Youtube with the filmclip that she wrote and directed for the song. Beautiful and powerful, I highly recommend you have a listen. I’m hoping to get a copy soon to be added to our playlist.

    That’s all I have for today. Have a safe weekend!!

  • Tutorial – Accessing Streaming Audio

    Not sure how to access our internet audio stream? Find your computer/phone type below and follow the instructions. It should work automatically, but in case it doesn’t…

    Windows Users

    The easiest way to use our audio stream is to click on the Windows Media Player link on the website, which will open the audio stream in Windows Media Player. If it doesn’t open automatically, go to your Downloads folder and right click on the file donnybro.asx and select Open With, then choose Windows Media Player.

    Alternatively, you can use the very excellent free program VLC to open any of the streams, as well as watch any kind of video or listen to any audio format you can imagine. The same procedure applies, you just need to select open with and then VLC from the right click menu.

    Apple Macintosh Users

    Select the iTunes stream from the website, which should automatically open in iTunes. If it doesn’t automatically open, go to your Downloads folder and click on the file donnybro.pls which will open in iTunes. You can also use VLC which is probably the best media player available, and it’s free.

    Linux Users

    RTFM, yo.

    Seriously though, VLC is your best bet. There are packages on the official site for Debian based distros including Ubuntu and Mint, Redhat based distros including Fedora, for Gentoo, Arch, openSuse and even Slackware. You can also build from source if you are so inclined. Download the winamp stream file and open it in VLC and you’re away.


    There are several players available that can access audio streams. VLC or BubbleUpnp are probably the best. VLC is free, and BubbleUpnp has adds, and costs a few dollars for the full version (License available here). Android should automatically open the stream in the correct program. I recommend VLC, it is a powerful and versatile app.


    iPhone has built in players that can open the iTunes type stream with no problems, but you can also use VLC which is an incredibly useful media player program.

    Real Player and Quicktime

    There is an option to use Real Player or Quicktime player to stream audio. These are not recommended unless you are already a Real Player or Quicktime user. They are provided only as a courtesy, and both products are difficult to use compared to other options.

  • Internet Streaming Online

    Today, I turned on the internet stream. You can now listen anywhere you have an internet connection. Below is a link to our stream page. Alex is going to add the links to the sidebar when he gets time, and my next project is to find out if I can make and publish an Android app for the stream. I know people have done it, I have no idea how yet.

    Needless to say, I am quite pleased that it’s working.


  • Compression, Production Techniques and Ardour Digital Audio Workstation

    Well, this started out as a short email and morphed into a semi lesson and I thought I might include a few extra people because the info might be of some use to some of you.  I’m also thinking about writing a blog on the website in the kind of style, so I’d like some feedback on that idea please. Ultimately, I want to document everything I am working on so that we have a sort of library of ideas, techniques and projects.

    After I made the first version of the Amcal DBK Apnea Spot, I quickly realised that it wasn’t actually very good and I needed a version 2.0. That’s because in the first version, the way I ran the compression on the VO (voice over) track emphasised Jutas in-breath in a hilariously awful way, making it sound like she was gasping for every word.  I couldn’t leave it like that.  I still don’t know how I missed it, but that first version went to air probably 4 or 5 times before I realised.

    Below is some explaination of what I did wrong and how I fixed it.

    Simple Version: we use an audio processing technique called compression to level out the difference between the loudest and the softest parts of any given bit of audio by running some maths on it.  We can use this to get rid of unwanted base room noise, to make the track stand out, to level out uneven volume levels, to suppress or highlight aspects of the sound.
    If you’d like a detailed lesson in compression, ask Ian (haha) or if you must, you can ask me.  It’s not terribly difficult and I mostly use a cheat sheet of 3.5:1 compression ratio and then fiddle until it sounds good when I’m processing vocals.

    Tech Details Version: I was running x42-plugins Dynamic Compression, tiny bit of input gain, 3.5:1 compression ratio (for vocal tracks I find 3.5 to be a pretty good default) short attack, and a medium threshold setting.

    This had the effect of picking up the almost silent intake of breath on the track and amplified it, doing exactly what a compressor is supposed to do, but it didn’t sound at all bad in my headphones, I was pretty happy with the mix and I exported the whole thing, loaded onto the playlist and triggered it so I could listen over the air.  

    Well.  Now I can’t unhear it, lol! So I loaded up the project and went through and clipped out all of the in-breaths, but accidentally clipped out the tail of several plosives.  It sounded super weird. This was when I discovered that wav editing in Ardour is lossless, so I only needed to extend the segment beyond where I’d clipped and it restored the final part of a couple of P’s and K’s, and so….

    I leaned a heck of a lot about the Ardour interface doing this project and I’m really happy with the outcome. Next main project is getting the streaming up and running, so stay tuned!!

    Any questions or comments most welcome.

  • Some More Progess, and a new NBN Connection

    In the last week, we’ve been able to get our new internet connection up and running, as well as some maintainence tasks that I have been meaning to get to but didn’t.

    This week will be a lot of cabling, programming computers and getting cranky at Windows. Wish me luck, everyone. I’ve also finally got my home recording gear working again, which means I might actually get some work done on the sponsor messages (sorry everyone)

    Stay Tuned, lots of cool stuff coming soon.

  • Slowly catching up

    Some of you may have noticed the website has been in rough condition for a few weeks now. We are in the middle of a big rebuild, a new hosting service, new internet connections and new computers, new software…It’s been a big change in a short period and as you can see, I am slowly catching up.

    Watch this space.