Paul Shinn wants to get something off his chest.
A broadcast engineer for 27 years, he shares some thoughts with me that I thought I’d pass along for your comments.
“I’m no fan of computers and similar consumer-grade electronics at a radio station,” he begins.
“Back when I got started, stations were turntables and cart machines. One station had a MacKenzie machine (it pre-dates carts). There were consumer-grade turntables, and then there were broadcast-grade turntables. The difference was night and day.
“As for carts, there were broadcast-quality cart machines, and there were consumer grade 4-track machines (which used the same tapes). Again, difference was night and day. You could drop a cart machine on the concrete and it still worked. You could subject it to disc jockeys, and they still worked (the machines, that is).
“I remember when we brought in the first CD players at KWG/B101. Although they were high-end consumer machines at nearly $2K each, they were damaged by disc jockeys. CD players had the ‘start’ buttons smashed through them, decks dislodged, optics damaged, you name it. Meanwhile, the broadcast-quality cart machines outlived every CD player that ever went through the place,” Paul continues.
“Now, I do live in the real world, and I know that all the old stuff is horribly obsolete. However, I have seen computers that were built for military and industrial uses, and I see the consumer-grade junk that passes for a ‘broadcast-quality’ computer today. Junk!
“Here’s my personal rule: If any of the parts for the ‘broadcast’ computer can be found at Best Buy, then it is NOT broadcast-quality. Period. No way