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Voice Tracking From Home

Posted by Jamie Woods on
Voice Tracking From Home

If you can’t make it to the studio, the last option is to record your show from home. This post will explain how to do it.

Your Microphone

Before we start, we’re going to need a reasonably good quality microphone. If you’re a media nerd like me (or if you might want to venture into podcasting) you could choose to invest in a good quality microphone, but I’ve had a hunt for some good cheap microphones.

The one built into your laptop or phone (or AirPods) unfortunately is nowhere near good enough. You’re also going to want to be able to use your headphones at the same time so you can hear the music.

We have a few kits that can be borrowed short-term, but in the current climate it may be worth investing in something for the longer haul.

Low Cost

The best quality low cost microphones we can find are here. If you’re doing radio for the first time, have a look at these.

Behringer C-1U (£38)
Like many broadcast engineers, I don’t normally have a lot of good to say about Behringer, and have had a lot of bad experiences with their hardware failing just after the end of the limited warranty. But for the price this is a good entry level microphone and is probably the cheapest you can get, and the overall sound quality is good.

Rode Smartlav+ (on deal at £38 + £11, £49)
The Smartlav is a clip on microphone that sounds incredibly good for its price. However, to use it with headphones on your laptop/tablet you need to purchase an additional £11 adapter which is a bit annoying.

One important note is that the Smartlav only works on laptops that let you use a headset mic like Apple headphone – although most laptops now have headset jacks instead of headphone jacks this could catch you out.

Editor’s Pick: Marantz Pro USB (£49)
I’ve heard from a LOT of radio techies that this microphone is just fantastic for the price, and really does give you studio-like quality at an entry-level price.

Higher Cost

To be honest, the more money a microphone costs, the better the sound quality you’re going to get for it. Although there are some exceptions to this rule – some microphones sound incredible at a fraction of the cost. And here they are.

Samson SAQ2U (£79 on Amazon)
Samson have been releasing some fantastic microphones over the last few years, and the Q2U has quickly become a podcaster’s favourite. You can plug it directly into your computer with USB, or into another mixer. It has a headphone port built into it too so it’s already better than your phone!

Samson G-Track Pro (£165 on Amazon)
This microphone, although our most expensive, is an incredibly strong bit of hardware and, if you want to get that studio quality from home for your show or podcast, this could be the one for you.

Getting Set Up

If you have an Insanity Myriad account, click the link to “Myriad Anywhere” on the menu tab on the intranet. This will take you to the login screen.

You can continue to upload music through Nerve like normal.

Log in with your normal username and password.

If you get an error message saying your username and password isn’t correct, you might not have the right account set up yet. It’s really easy to do, log onto the Account Portal and you will have the option to enable a Myriad account. It should then work immediately.

You may be asked to choose an option. Choose Log Editing/Voice Tracking.

We now need to pick a station to use. First, let’s open Insanity XTRA so we can set everything up and make sure it works! Insanity XTRA is our virtual training station – nothing you record into it will go public.

Once it’s finished setting up, you will see the station log on the right. Because this is “Insanity Training” the log is a copy of all the logs from a few days ago, we can make changes here without having an impact on air.

If you’re not sure you opened the right station, click the top left menu button and press Change Station.

We’re in!

Myriad Anywhere aims to be as close to the desktop experience as possible.

As such, you can pretty much log your show like normal, and by uploading songs through Nerve you don’t need to be on site to record your show!

As we’re on the training database, let’s not start planning our actual show yet, as none of the changes we make will go on air.

Open the Options menu, and go to “Media Engine Settings”.

Select “No, let me specify custom devices” near the top. This will let us tell the system that we’re using our own microphone. Otherwise, it may use the one that’s built into your laptop, and the resulting quality would be bad.

If you’re logging in for the first time, you may see this dialog. It’s completely normal to see this, but make sure to check a “Remember” option if it gives you one!

Now let’s click “Audio Input” and find our microphone!

Mine has shown up as “USB Microphone”. Click this and, optionally, change the output device too if you need to (for example, if you have a mixer, or if your microphone has a headphone socket).

Finally (and importantly) make sure you choose Mix left and right channels down to mono. Some microphones will only record on the left or right side, and this can trip the silence detector. If you have two microphones plugged in, you might get one on the left, and one on the right. By making the microphone mono rather than stereo, this can’t happen.

Then click “Save” on the right to exit the settings window.

To record a link between two songs, select the song you want to record before and double click it. For instance, if I want to record between Bad Liar and Take My Breath I’ll double click Blinding Lights.

This will open the “Segue Editor”.

To make loading faster, songs might appear blank like in the following screenshot. This is normal – you can click the “wave” button on the bottom and the system will download the songs for you.

Once the downloads have completed (this might take a few seconds depending on the speed of your internet), we can now see the songs! 🎉

Click the “Play” button to have a listen to the segue as it would sound.

We can also record a voice link to get some practice. To do this, click the microphone button. It will transform into a red dot.

It will automatically start recording when the microphone picks up sound, but it will also start recording when you click the red record button (or press the space bar).

If you’re in a noisy environment it can be a bit over sensitive and start recording too soon. Although this doesn’t really matter, you can go to Options and change the automatically start recording setting

Once you’ve finished saying what you want to, click the fast forward button. This will start the next song – so you could also click the button to talk over the intro. In fact, I’m going to re-record that VL. Once you’re done, click stop. If you’re happy with what you recorded, click the tick button. To delete it (warning: permanently!) click the cross.

Once you’ve hit save, you’ll see it appear in the log.

Recording For Real

Make sure you’ve opened “Insanity Radio” as a station (click the blue menu button if you’re not sure). If you don’t open the main Insanity station, your recordings will never make it to air.

Let’s log our show. Exactly as we would on Myriad, click “Goto” and enter the date/time of our show. Unless you want to keep them, delete all the existing songs out of the hour by dragging them into the bin or pressing delete. Log your songs like normal, but make sure to leave the hour in AutoFade.

If we put the hour in Live, we may inadvertently add stops into the log or mess up the timings for the next show. Remember that leaving stops during pre-records can cause radio silence so please avoid putting red squares/stops in.

Remember that the gap timer will tell you if your show is too short or too long (ie. overrun/underrun).

Right now, we can see a gap of “-01:06”, which means we have space to record 1 minutes and 6 seconds of links this hour. As it’s hard to time your recordings perfectly, it’s better for the gap to be positive (aka “+XX:XX”) than negative, as then the system can trim the songs to make the show run to time.

Once you’ve recorded a voice link, it’s good to go. However, if you wish to delete it, click the back arrow on the top bar in SegEdit.

The system will give you the option to keep or delete the recording. If you want to keep the recording (maybe for future editing/use if it was a good one otherwise) click No.

And that’s basically it! You’ll hear your own voice on the radio when you’re miles away from the studio, how proper weird.


Downloading Visual Content

Posted by Madeline Breed on

Downloading visual content is actually pretty easy, plus you’ve then got it forever to make your demos extra special!!

1) Type in to a search bar one one of the insanity computers. These are the only computers it will work from.
2) Fill in the start time
3) Fill in the end time (No longer than a 30 minute period as it can crash the server)
5) Click download mp4
6) Should open up a new tab and will take a few minutes to load, varying on how long the download is
7) It will then download the video file which can be found in the downloads folder



How to use the studio phone

Posted by Beth Carr on

In the studio there is a phone that can be used for interviews and features. This will mainly be on air but there is also a way to pre-record phone interviews if you can find a time to use the main studio outside the schedule. This post will focus on using the phone for on-air, live content. PLEASE NOTE: The phone system is being constantly developed and altered to make it easier to use and these instructions will be updated periodically.

How to use the studio phone

How to use the studio phone – click on the image for a larger version

The full instructions are on the training document on the left – you can save the image for future reference but it is also included here.

Setting up the phone:

  • Make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to set up the phone call e.g. two songs.
  • The system works best when you dial out directly from the studio so you’ll need the phone number of your guest.
  • To dial out lift the handset and press 9 before dialling the number as you normally would. Make sure there is a tone before you dial – if the line is dead your call won’t go through so you may need to put the phone down and press the square button a few times to reset it.
  • To connect the phone line to the sound desk, press the square button on the box underneath the phone. Pressing this again will hang up (so do that at the end!)
  • Once your guest answers the phone you will need to run through the guest agreement with the guest.
  • We don’t accept calls direct to the studio but it dials out on 01784 430005.

Running your phone interview:

  • The phone call plays out through the ‘TELCO’ channel—it acts just like a MIC channel so put the fader up to talk on air.
  • You can put the phone down while you conduct the interview, these settings ensure you can’t hang up!
  • CUE/PFL the channel to check the levels—you can adjust the TRIM to make it louder or quieter (make sure your caller is close to their phone).
  • Pressing LINE HOLD will allow the caller to hear what’s playing out – only do this when you’ve finished talking to them about the interview as they will struggle to hear you!
  • Make sure you take the phone off CUE/PFL on air otherwise it’ll sound distorted.
  • You may want to duck your microphones while your caller is talking to get a better sound.

Other tips:

  • Calls tend to be VERY quiet. Make sure your caller is close to their handset and speaks loudly and clearly. You can turn up the TRIM and also the EQ dials above but make sure these are reset after the call.
  • If you have pre-arranged your interview, send a copy of the Guest On-Air Agreement beforehand so your guest has a chance to understand it – it will also cause less stress with you explaining it before the call.
  • There is a talkback facility that allows you to speak to your guest off-air via MIC 1 without having the handset. This is still in testing and training will be updated when it is less complex. You can still use CUE/PFL to check levels whilst speaking to your guest off-air via the handset, but make sure the handset is kept away from the mic otherwise it will feedback.

How to use the portable recorders

Posted by Beth Carr on

One way to get content for your shows is to record clips outside of the studio and we have two recorders that you can use to do that – the Tascam and the Zoom. These are especially useful for members of the News Team and the Music Team but anyone can use them as long as you’ve been trained – you can ask your team leader or the Head of Training for this.

Before you use one of the recorders, you’ll need to request it from a board member and then sign it out on the sign out sheet. Make sure you state the purpose and which recorder you are signing out so we can keep track. You cannot take the recorder home overnight and you are responsible for it whilst it is signed out so look after them and report any damage or technical problems to the board so we can sort them out. Make sure you sign it back in when you return it too!

Using the Tascam/Zoom is really easy and the instructions are on the document below – you can click the image for a bigger version and a pdf is available via email!
A guide to Portable Recorders


Music Won’t Go In The Hour

Posted by Jamie Woods on

If you’re pre-recording a show you may occasionally come across a really weird bug where music will sit outside an hour.

Not to worry, there’s an easy(ish) way to get around it, it just involves digging into menus a bit more than you may be used to.

First, delete the dodgy hour. Right click on the hour’s purple markers and press Delete. It will panic and say “Do you REALLY actually want to delete this? Please no”. Ignore its pleas and continue clicking Yes.

Next, go to Log, Add Hour To Log. Under there, click Add Hour from Carts

File, Add Hour To Log, Add Hour With Carts

This will open the normal “Select Date” dialogue. Enter the hour at the start of your pre-record, select the right date and press ok. You will have to do this again later for the second hour.

Select Date

Next, it will pop up with a really odd looking Audio Wall browser. This is more or less a list of what you see on the left hand monitor.

Double click “1”, or Top Of Show (in orange), to select it.


Great. Now, just type “1” into the next dialogue (not 10, otherwise it will insert 10 sweepers in a boring order), and press ok.

"How many carts" dialogue - enter 1

That’s it! In the log you should now have an hour starting with the TOP OF SHOW sweeper, just like when you normally plan a show. You will have to do it again to add your next hour of music, but just leave the other hours non-existent so that they can be filled later on with playlist music.

Be sure to change the hour mode to Auto, not LiveAssist or AutoFade. And don’t put stops (red squares) anywhere in your pre-rec.


Pre-recording in Studio 2

Posted by Beth Carr on

Pre-recording is nothing to panic about! There are two ways you can pre-record a show – we recommend using the first, SegEdit. Setting up is the same for both methods.

Set Up in Studio 2

  • Before entering the studio, log your music into the time slot when your show will be aired (most pre-records are 2 hours so use two hour long slots) – if an error message appears when you ‘Go To’ your hour, select the ‘Log’ drop down menu on the top left of the screen, then select Add Hour to Log > Add Empty Hour and choose the hour (or two) that you need. You can then drag and drop songs into the hours as usual.


  • Sign in to the presenter’s Insanity account on Myriad in studio 2.
  • Make sure all three power switches behind the equipment are turned on in studio 2.
  • Press the ‘AUD’ button above the microphones that are going to be used during the recording – these are the two channels on the far left of the sound desk.
  • ‘Go to’ the hour in the log that your pre recording is scheduled to play on air and make sure it is set to AUTO (it should not be in AutoFade).
  • Press the round ‘PFL’ button above Myriad cart 4 (blue channel, far right of the sound desk). All the Myriad channel faders should be down.
  • On the right of the sound desk are 10 buttons, set out in two columns – press the top two (AUD) but leave all the others.


1) Using SegEdit: (recommended)

  • Highlight over the song you want to play after your link and open SegEdit (located on the right hand computer screen above the logs).

Pre-recording using SegEdit

  • Press the spacebar to play the end of the track before your link.
  • The recording will start automatically when the microphone picks up sound so make sure you are quiet until you want to start recording. You MUST start the recording before the red line near the end of the track – if you’re not ready to talk, make a noise like a cough or pop to activate the mic (then you can be quiet again). You can see the duration of the recording at the bottom right hand corner of Myriad.
  • Press the spacebar again to start playing the song after the link and then spacebar again to stop the recording.
  • If you are happy with the link then remember to click save!
  • Repeat the spacebar button pressing for all voice links.
  • Once you are finished, right click the top of the hour that contains the time and date and select ‘Export this Hour to a file’ – save it in Computer/Music (M:)/PRE RECORD LOG FILES and save it as ‘Presenter/Show Name Date Time’. Make sure you do this for both hours.
  • Make sure you log out when you are done!

2) Pre-recording into carts: (commonly for interviews or other features)

  • Log into Myriad.
  • Find an empty cart on the AudioWall – 8000-10000 is used for recordings.
  • Right click on the empty cart and select ‘record into cart’. It will automatically start when the microphone picks up audio.
  • Press stop on the bottom right corner of the screen (the recording cart) to end the recording and save it if you are happy.
  • Make a note of the pre-recorded material’s cart number so you can log it with your music in your show.
  • To locate the cart your pre recordings went in to, click ‘Jump’ on the left hand side of the computer screen and type the number of the cart.
  • Edit the name and artist to something more memorable and put the date it will be aired to make sure the cart isn’t accidentally deleted.
  • You can drag your recording into the log as you would with music and use SegEdit to blend it in with the songs.

Beds in Studio 2

  • If you want to add beds to your pre-record, you can do this in studio 2!
  • Choose the bed (or beds) you’d like to use and drag it into cart 1, 2 or 3. Select ‘AUD’ and keep the fader up on the sound desk (these carts are the other three blue channels on the right, next to cart 4).
  • Start playing the bed whilst voice recording (either on SegEdit or into a cart) on the Myriad screen and when you want to talk over it, drag the slider down to between 5 and 10 (it may sound louder on the headphones than it will on air)
  • If you want to talk over an intro to a song, fade out the bed as you would when live and press the spacebar to start the next song on SegEdit.
  • PLEASE NOTE: The ‘ON’ buttons above the Myriad faders do not start tracks as they would in Studio 1 so you have to manually press play for the carts on the screen and then click back onto the SegEdit panel.

Resetting Studio 2

  • Once you are finished with your pre-record, turn off the ‘AUD’ and ‘PFL’ buttons on all the channels you have used.
  • Put the three Myriad channel faders back up and turn off the ‘AUD’ function on the right hand buttons.
  • Log out of Myriad and return the studio to how you found it:

Resetting Studio 2 to broadcast settings

Any problems, email or ask your producer.


Downloading your show

Posted by Beth Carr on

So you’ve come out of the studio, high on adrenaline and keen to come back next week? Or are you wanting to cry and composing an email to Head of Operations saying you never want to see a radio studio ever again? Whichever one of these best describes you, we highly recommend you download and listen back to your show. Why? Here’s a few reasons:

  • If you feel like it went badly, chances are that there was a moment in your show when something happened to throw you off. Being able to reflect on what you said/did can help you avoid the same situation happening again – perhaps you tried to discuss a topic you weren’t confident about or you struggled to turn the mics on.
  • Having a recording of your show means that you can share it with friends and family, who can give you feedback on what they liked and what they’d like to hear more of. These are the core listeners for your show and can help you gain an audience if they genuinely enjoy what they hear.
  • If you had a particularly good show you can use the recording to create a podcast. This can reach more listeners and those who missed out on your live show can catch up.
  • It’s also a good idea to keep a record of bits of your show that you are particularly proud of. There are multiple opportunities to enter awards, both as an individual or as part of the station as a whole, and these often require demos – basically a compilation of your best bits. If radio is something you want to go into as a career then a good demos should hopefully help you to bag your dream job.

So, how do you find the recordings of your show? Good news is that each hour is automatically recorded, so all you have to do is download the individual hour for your show. To do this, you need to visit – this only works ON CAMPUS but you don’t have to come to the media suite to do it. The page looks a bit like the one below:


Once you’ve found the homepage, you need to select the day of your show – this is in the format YYYY-MM-DD. This will send you to the page below:


You then need to find the file for your show – each one is in the format YYYY-MM-DD-TT.mp3 (T meaning time). As shown above, the time in the file name is the start of your show and the time printed at the end is the end time, with the files saved in hour long slots. If your show is two hours long, make sure you save both files! To actually save it, right click on the blue hyperlink and select ‘Save Link As’ or ‘Save Target As’ (depending on your browser) – this will allow you to save the file to your USB stick or directly to the computer.

There will be more training material on podcasting, demos and how you can use your logs later in the term but for the mean time enjoy listening to your shows on the logs!


Hour Modes – A Quick Overview

Posted by Jamie Woods on

You’ve probably seen and been trained briefly on Hour Modes, but what are they and why are they so important? Let’s explain.

The log (essentially the big playlist that contains ordered songs that’s on the right hand screen) is split into hours. Every hour, the clock essentially resets.

The “TOP OF SHOW” thing that appears when you plan your show is known as a Top Of The Hour/TOTH, and often in radio there are news bulletins exactly at X:00. Usually, we want this to play as close to 00 as possible, otherwise we get either overrun or underrun. Overrun is when an hour has too much content, and underrun is when it has too little.

Both are completely preventable, and I’ll explain how to after we define each of the different modes.

Each hour in the log has a specific mode – one of the following 3. You can change the mode in the studio as you feel fit by clicking one of the 3 buttons on the top right screen.

  • LiveAssist
    This is the only mode where stops (red squares) have an effect. This mode is aimed for hours where a presenter will be in the studio, and automatically loads music into Cart Players ready for them to play to assist them.
  • Auto
    If there are stops in the log, Auto will completely ignore them. This is useful if you have to pop out of the studio for a couple of seconds, but don’t want the system to top it up with music. Overrun and underrun won’t be resolved by this.
  • AutoFade
    (This mode will only work in the studio that’s on air.) AutoFade will try its hardest to automatically time the music to finish EXACTLY at X:59:59. If it can’t, it will fade songs out early. When no presenter is on air, this is recommended, as it is the most accurate. It’s also recommended for pre-recorded shows.


The “Hour Mode” buttons are the three above the top. Note the “On Air” one in green.

What does this mean for me?

When the hour is on LiveAssist, your show will play as normal, even if you’re not in the studio. That means that if the log hits a stop, the music stops, and silence goes out on air. This is very bad and unprofessional.

When planning a show, remember not to change the Hour Mode to LiveAssist unless you’re either:

  • Currently in the studio, or
  • Just about to enter the studio (ie. you’re planning out your show the hour before)

DON’T put the hour mode onto LiveAssist if you’re planning your show a while in advance, and definitely don’t put them in pre-records!

A studio with nothing playing out - disaster!

A studio with nothing playing out – disaster!

When you complete your last link, it is very advisable to put the log back onto AutoFade. This will ensure that you have no overrun or underrun, and is fair on the next presenter, and is the professional’s choice.

Don’t be scared, after a couple of shows this will all become second nature to you! Let us know if you have any questions.