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Miwuk Tribe Bets on Online Radio

The tribe is in charge of the casino, hotel, RV park, general store, gas station and Rancheria Radio

The Jackson Rancheria Band of Miwuk Native Americans own and operate Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort, which is located in northern California, in the city of Jackson. The tribe is in charge of the casino, hotel, RV park, general store, gas station and Rancheria Radio. The current studio facility was once an unused, open room that was part of the tribe’s government building.

The four brands of Rancheria Radio were founded in November 2015 and all were designed by the tribe themselves. Rancheria Radio currently has four music channels: Spin, Fuze, Ranch and Sage. (In the near future, a fifth brand, a Native American channel, will start.) Spin is a top 40 hits station; Fuze is active rock; Ranch is country; and Sage is easy listening soft rock music. These brands create a wide variety for all of the resorts customers as well as members of the tribe.

The whole project of creating four radio brands from the ground up took a collection of professionals to accomplish. The following is a list of key personnel in the build out of its new and current studios: Rich Hoffman, CEO; Justin Valencia, program/music director; Manny Duarte, broadcast assistant; Dan Rehart, director of IT; JJ Kaden, programming consultant; and, the Jackson Band of Miwuk Indians. Rob Goldberg, RadioDNA president, and Adam VanConant, RadioDNA engineer, played crucial roles as well.

The studio furniture was custom designed by the folks at Radio DNA. The tribe, on the other hand, does all of its own manufacturing and craftsmanship, and built the studio furniture themselves for both the on-air studio and production room.

RadioDNA designed and constructed Rancheria Radio as a Wheatstone WheatNet-IP facility. The On-Air Studio consists of the versatile, low-profile Wheatstone LX-24 console. 

The LX-24 console works with the whole WheatNet-IP intelligent network to access, control or utilize any or all sources on the same network. The on-air studio uses three different blades; a Mix Engine blade, A/D Blade and the M4 mic processor blade. The Mix Engine blade handles all the DSP processing power for the console, logic (GPIO) and distributes the four stereo PGM buses, four stereo AUX sends, per-channel mix-minus feeds, monitor outputs, and other bus signals to the network. 

The A/D Blade is a combined analog and AES digital input/output BLADE. It handles both the input and output, each with eight stereo channels, 16 mono channels, or any combination totaling 16 discrete channels. 

The Wheatstone M4 microphone processor provides four completely independent channels of mic amplification and processing in a single rack unit of space. The TS-4 is one of Wheatstone’s smallest Talent Stations, the TS-4VW is vertically orientated, and fits virtually anywhere around the three guest positions on the countertop. In addition to all the Wheatstone gear, the on-air studio uses a Telos Hx6 telephone hybrid with two VSet6 headsets. 

Also found in the air studio is a Denon USB/SD media player, multiple Yellowtec mounts and Electro-Voice RE320 dynamic vocal microphones.

The production room serves as a backup air studio as well as a mix studio for DJs. The studio console is the Wheatstone IP-12. The IP-12 is a 12-fader control surface that is part of the WheatNet-IP through its IP88CB console audio BLADE engine. Each of its 12 input modules is equipped with an LED source name display and an A/B source selector; sources can be set via a rotary encoder in the master section. This studio also contains a M4 microphone processor and two TS-4 guest turrets panels. The DJ equipment that is setup in between the guest positions consist of a Pioneer DDJ-S2 Mixer with built in Serato. This is used for live DJing on the air for any of the radio stations.

Rancheria Radio uses RCS Zetta for automation and music playout and G-Selector for the scheduling of music. Because they are both products of RCS, they are easily compatible for Rancheria Radio. The group of four brands doesn’t have a TOC, but they do utilize two WheatNet-IP all-digital blades for integration of the automation playback.

And because Rancheria Radio does not have a terrestrial FM or AM signal, it’s available only through its website and mobile apps. When figuring out how to stream and build its mobile platform, RadioDNA and the staff of Rancheria Radio turned to Securenet Systems for a full turnkey solution. (Securenet, a Florida-based company provides radio streaming services and website hosting to customers in over 200 countries and the US.)

The playout audio streams from Rancheria’s four different formats are all processed by an Aura8IP-3 audio processing blade. (This single-RU device has eight independent processors built-in, giving the group some room to grow.) Outputs from the playout system make their way in to this blade, by way of WheatNet-IP, and are processed and sent to audio codecs which generate streams further distributed to end-users by the Securenet system, either by a streaming player or mobile apps customized for Rancheria. The company provides mobile app templates for every client for both iOS and Android streaming, and each music station of Rancheria Radio is able to customize its own look on the app with the brands logo and creative skins.

Rancheria Radio is the official radio station for the Jackson Rancheria Casino and Resort.

You can stream any of the stations online at or any of their mobile apps.

Rob Goldberg of RadioDNA also contributed to this article.