How to Improve the Sound of your Radio Station
How your station sounds is important – in fact, it is what keeps our listeners tuned in to your station. It is important to constantly evolve and improve how your radio station sounds. Listeners want to listen to a radio station that is easy on the ear. Different elements make up the sound of the station – from sound outputs, audio file quality, music transitions, jingles, sweepers, to how the DJ presents, so always listen in to your station to review these different elements.
Below are some tactics that you can employ to improve the sound of our station.
Choose a good microphone for your station
A good microphone is a valuable tool for the trade for a radio station. A microphone converts certain aspects of your voice such as the tone, prominence, and clarity, making your voice sound better. It is therefore imperative to invest in a good microphone for your radio station. Some of the top microphones for 2022 for radio broadcasting and podcasting are the Electro-Voice RE20 Broadcast Microphone. This microphone is a professional quality dynamic cardioid microphone with studio condenser-like performance. The Behringer B-1 Large Diaphram Microphone or condenser microphones are also good alternatives as they make your voice feel very organic and have good audio quality.
Noise Cancelling Headphones
Whether you are a beginner or seasoned radio DJ, a good set of headphones are an important investment. Making use of regular headphones will affect the sound of your station. Regular headphones do not have the required clarity, bass response and noise isolation required for a disc jockey. It is therefore important for DJs to use noise cancelling headphones so that you hear your set well. Noise cancelling headphones also help when you are recording in a noisy environment.
Use professional voice overs for commercials
When playing commercials on your radio station, opt for commercials that have used professional voice overs as they sound better. If advertisers do not have professionally recorded voice overs, opt to provide this service as a station. Professionally produced voice overs sound better for your station as there is more clarity of voice and messaging.
Radio stations should also try and use different voices for adverts, so that listeners can differentiate between the back-to-back ads, otherwise if sounding the same, listeners might think it is the same advertisement.
No dead air for your radio station
If you want your station to sound great, dead air is one of the key mistakes that a radio station should avoid. It is understandable that glitches in computer software can happen, but you should have a mechanism to fix this immediately. This is especially important to stations that do live broadcasting.
SAM Broadcaster Cloud has a reliable fall-back solution. No matter the cause of the disruption, SAM Broadcaster Cloud can automatically pick a disruption and can resume streaming automatically, so no more dead air.
Use quality audio music files
Audio files that keep good sound quality intact give a good sound output experience for your radio station. Lossless formats, such as FLAC or ALAC are good formats as they allow for lossless compression, but the audio file sizes are generally high. AAC files are a suitable alternative, as they take up very little space and are good for streaming, especially over mobile devices.
SAM Broadcaster Cloud can stream in multiple formats including AAC, aacPlus, AAC-HE, MP3, mp3PRO, Ogg and Windows Media.
Choose the right bitrate
The amount of data/bits transferred in each amount of time is referred to as the bitrate. Bitrate determines audio quality—the higher the bitrate, the better the sound quality of your audio file. Your listeners will get superior sound quality if your audio is encoded from 128kbps.
With SAM Broadcaster Cloud you get between 120 and 360 listeners (depending on your package) streaming at 128kbps, giving you a good sound quality.
Cross fading for Your Station
Crossfading is another way of improving the sound of your radio station. Cross fading enables DJs to fade one song as the next one is introduced, enabling a smooth transition from one song to the next, giving your station a professional sound. Cross fading also helps avoid sudden silent gaps between your songs.
SAM Broadcaster Cloud allows you to configure global crossfade settings. Moreso, you can fine tune individual tracks. The gain or volume can also be adjusted by plus or minus 6dB, allowing the user to seamlessly mix tracks; this can be particularly useful when broadcasting adverts, sweepers, or station IDs.
Voice tracking is one common method employed by radio stations to give their stations a professional sound. Moreso, radio stations find it economical compared to employing DJs. Voice tracking is having pre-recorded clips which can be inserted at the end of a song or commercials, to make your station sound like a live broadcast.
As a small to medium station, consider using voice tracking to improve the sound of your station. Planning your radio show in advance is key, as you can select the appropriate voice trackers to use for each show. Click here to learn more about voice tracking.
Spacial’s SAM Broadcaster Pro comes with a voice tracking feature.
DJ Voice Clarity
Having all the fancy features to improve sound should be coupled by the DJ presenting with a professional and clear voice for the listeners to fully engage. Professional radio DJs should pronounce words correctly and clearly, so that the message is easy on the ear for the listeners to follow through.
If you are new to radio, you can also self-train to have a voice for radio through practicing and recording yourself or finding professional voice trainers for this purpose. Consistency is key and in no time, you will have a new radio voice that sounds great.
Spacial’s solution offers you professional sound outputs. In addition to SAM Broadcaster Cloud’s capabilities, our other solution SAM Broadcaster Pro also comes with advanced audio features like cross-fade detection, gap killer, volume normalization and 5-band compressor and limiter.
Improving the sound of your radio station is a continuous process. It is important to take time to listen to how your station sounds overall and find areas for improvement. How your station sounds is key to keeping listeners and growing your station, so invest in your station sound.