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Audio, Out and Back

I can’t help but find it thrilling how easily audio can move around the world.

Charles “Buc” Fitch is a contributor to Radio World.

I can’t help but find it thrilling how easily audio can move around the world.

MaryAnn, my beloved, is one of several women involved in a charismatic Catholic prayer group. They’ve recently produced the first in a series of audio programs for radio and podcast airing, called “Sweet Life in the Spirit.” I helped by recording it.

The success of radio programming is almost always asymptotic … slow and small beginnings, with an ever-increasing distribution as the programming ‘proves itself and finds an audience.’ In our search for outlets and air time the show has been sent far and wide.

About as far away from Avon, Conn., as one can get, the show aired on HRRZ in Honduras the other night.

What’s amazing to me is that the show was recorded in our dining room into a laptop, edited on another computer with Audacity, transferred to MP3 for dubbing to a CD, then shipped to Honduras, moved to a memory stick to carry it from the manager’s home to the station, played off of their ZaraRadio automation computer from the stick, sent through the FM transmitter at the studio, picked up off the air for the streaming computer, off to the website purveyor, then into the World Wide Web to Comcast in Denver, then to our house in Connecticut and finally out of the speakers — sounding like MaryAnn and buddies are right in the room with me. Amazing fidelity and non-existent distortion.

Another episode of the show airs next Saturday night. The stream can be found on the welcome page of the station website, Our show is recorded and played in glorious mono.

A few nights ago I was reminiscing and it came to me that I have been in this industry since 1961 when I got my first paycheck doing transmitter watch … 13 or 14, IIRC.

Technology has evolved organically … sometimes slow change, sometimes nec- breaking … Even so I had client stations who were airing programming as recent as 2005 acquired by off-the-air pickup … literally taking another station off the air for rebroadcast of sporting events and special news features. By any definition this is pretty primitive compared to the flexibility and power of the Web.

Even with its significant weaknesses, the Internet is still an amazing tool.