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YouTube Top Tips

Posted by Jamie Woods on

Sharing visual content from your show? Here are some creator 101 tips for YouTube and other video platforms.

If possible, ask the Head of Visual Content (e: [email protected]) to upload the content directly onto our YouTube channels.

This really depends on your target audience, but if you’re an entertainment show trying to #SocialGoals, this is a great place to start.

1. Short & Sweet

For visual radio, long-form video doesn’t work best. Remember the “one thought one link” rule from entertainment radio – apply that to videos if you want to target .

For instance, if you have a live act performing a set of songs, make sure each song has its own video. It’s fine to have ten or twenty seconds of dialogue at the start and end, as this helps give context.

2. Copyright Check

Cut out all music! Be wary if you’ve used a bed – if it’s a well known song instead of an Insanity specific bed, it may get flagged.

YouTube has a PRS license, which means they pay for song covers (great for live music!) Facebook does too, as of February – covering all their platforms such as Instagram, Messenger.

3. Look & Feel

Make sure you “top and tail” your videos, so they’re instantly recognisable as ours. The top contains our “sonic logo” (as well as logo), so people immediately know what they’re watching is an Insanity production.

The “tail” lets us suggest videos to viewers in the last 5-10 or so seconds of a YouTube video.

If you’re not sure how to do this, you can send your unedited video to the Head of Visual, but they won’t be able to get it published as a priority.

4. Sharing

Videos should, where possible, be uploaded to Insanity’s social media channels. From there, you can share them on your own pages. Due to how Facebook and Twitter’s algorithms work, people are more likely to see your videos this way.

People are more likely to watch videos on Facebook if they’re uploaded as a Facebook video. Opening another app is a pain, and you lose out on autoplay.

Our Facebook videos get thousands of views.

Don’t share music/covers on Twitter, as this is illegal because they currently have no licensing agreement.

Uncategorized

Manual Vision Mixing

Posted by Jamie Woods on

If you’re doing a planned visualised segment, chances are you’ll want to manually control which cameras are live. This is called vision mixing.

Insanity uses a bit of kit it built called automix to control the cameras, but you can manually override it. To do that, open a web browser, and go to http://10.32.0.125:9292 . This can only be done from an Insanity network connected PC (so any one in the office or studios).

This’ll show you a page somewhat like this.

automix remote control – GoggleBox.

When you close the GoggleBox web-page, the camera settings will revert back to default.

In the above screenshot, the cameras are in Auto mode.

None of what we can adjust on this page affects sound.

Turning Off the Slate

The slate is the “holding picture” (currently a vinyl with the classic Insanity headphones) used when the cameras and microphones aren’t live. If we want to override this so that the cameras are always live, we can click the toggle button labelled “Slate”, which will change to “Wide”. In the “Wide” mode, the wide angle camera will always be live when the microphones are off.

Manually Selecting Cameras

Click the “Auto” toggle button. It will slide to “Manual”, and change colour to grey. The other buttons will become visible again, and you can click them.

To change which camera/input is live, double click/tap it. The first click will put the camera into preview mode (this is important for technical reasons), and the second click will make it live. The live camera will not change unless you either shut GoggleBox, change the mode back to Auto, or click another camera.

 

Uncategorized/Presenting/Production

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 10.32.0.126:9292 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

 

Uncategorized

Audio Checklist – Gettin’ It Right Every Time

Posted by Jamie Woods on

Working on a podcast, video, or some on-air segment that’s pre-recorded? Here are a list of things you should always check off before airing and/or uploading a clip.

This assumes you have a relatively basic understanding of audio. If not, there are some brilliant tutorials out there – we’ll be writing some of our own guides soon!

Pre-production check-list:

  1. Your microphone is close to the source. But not too close – nobody should be making out with the mic. 10-20cm is a good distance.

    If this isn’t particularly easy to achieve, have a listen before you record. If you don’t, it’s almost impossible to remove them in post. So plug in a pair of headphones, and ensure:

    • The target isn’t drowned out by the background noise. If you can’t check, go somewhere quiet.
    • The target isn’t echo-ey (the bathroom effect). Is their speech nice and clear?

      If any of the above are true, move the microphone closer.

  2. Ensure that you’ve got enough microphones. Try and get the Zoom, not the Tascam, as this lets you plug in more mics. Make sure:
    1. You have a different microphone for everyone talking. For instance, your interviewee has a handheld (with better quality), and you have the portable recorder
      OR
    2. You have the one microphone closest to your interviewee. You can always re-record your questions later on, but obviously not theirs.
  3. If outside, you have a windshield on your microphones to prevent that yuck whooshing sound.
  4. Check the levels before you record.
    1. When your guests speak, the level ideally shouldn’t go above 75% on the VU (volume unit) meter.
    2. It shouldn’t be normally below 40%, as for technical digital recording reasons your quality becomes lower & noisier.
  5. Record phone calls using the unit in the studio, not off a mobile phone. Cell tower quality is really poor.
  6. If you’re shooting video:
    1. Avoid using just the shotgun microphone on your camera. The audio from these is almost always unusable. Give your presenter a handheld, use a clip-on/wireless mic, or find a boom operator.
    2. If covering an event, ask the organisers ahead of time if they can provide you with an audio feed. The Union are usually willing to do this. You can probably plug the XLR directly into your camera.

 

Once you have the audio back in the edit suite, import it into Audacity and split all the tracks into mono. This’ll make mixing easier.

Post-production checklist:

  1. The overall levels are OK. The volume shouldn’t go between loud and quiet across different segments. You can apply some compression to achieve this, or use Audiomatic on your final mix to master the audio.
  2. Speech isn’t panned to the left or right. Put on a pair of headphones – if one of your ears receives special treatment, ensure the audio tracks are split to mono.
  3. The average volume of your clip, in Audacity, sits at about 80% height on the blue wave form (or, when you play it, doesn’t go above -4 on the green meters). Try to avoid red vertical lines, as these represent clipping (which your audience can hear as distortion).

You can fix some of these issues using Audiomatic – an internal tool we built specifically to help you do this with minimal effort. If you’re not an Insanity member, you can achieve a similar effect using Stereo Tool and the Syrtho preset – our tool is just a shortcut for this.

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Tips for Sourcing Music

Posted by Jamie Woods on

All music used in broadcast needs to come through the right channels. If it doesn’t, then the broadcaster risks getting in huge trouble. Obviously, we pay for all our music. Scary bits aside, let’s discuss how to source high quality music for your show.

Prerequisite: Music Quality

Music comes in all shapes and sizes. You’ve probably head of MP3 and WAV. There are other formats such as M4A, AAC, and FLAC that we use in broadcast. This will explain what all of that means. If you don’t care, you can skip over it. It’s useful to know, though.

You’ve probably noticed that MP3 files are waaaaay smaller than WAVs. This is because they apply clever tricks to remove bits of audio that humans aren’t likely to hear. As a result, this lowers the sound quality – known as “lossy/compression”. There are different intensities of compression that result in different “bit rates”. These are the ones for MP3:

128kbps is regarded as transparent (i.e. unnoticable) to (very very roughly) about 50% of people. But that’s not good enough for broadcast. This is about the top quality of YouTube.

192kbps is regarded as transparent to about 70% of people. Still not good enough for broadcast.

256kbps and above are transparent to 99% of people, which is probably acceptable.

In modern M4A/AAC, anything above 192kbps is probably okay to use in broadcast.

If you’re thinking “why can’t I just increase the bit rate?” – you sadly can’t. If you’ve ever tried to make a small digital photo bigger, you’ve probably found it’s impossible. It’s the same concept with audio. Sadly, some online stores try to fake the bit rate and then pretend it’s higher when in fact it isn’t.

We can’t use tracks that aren’t above 256kbps or similar. This is because the station uses clever processing techniques to make our output sound better, but this does not work well with low bit rate MP3s (i.e. 192kbps or below). You really can hear it, and it sounds very unprofessional.

WAVs and FLACs are large files, but they keep all of the sound quality.

Nerve will do most of the hard work here in determining if a song is of good enough quality. If it isn’t, it’ll reject it. Before Nerve, this was not possible.

Promos

A lot of our music actually comes from record labels. The Head of Music receives lots of emails with links to tracks. If it’s relatively mainstream, chances our you can ask them very nicely to see if they have it.

You can also approach a record label directly. As this blog is public, I can’t share our contacts, but our Head of Music will again be happy to assist! Often, you can find a bands publicist through Google.

Online Stores

I Like Music

This store is designed for broadcasters. Registering an account is free. The best bit about this store is that downloads are significantly cheaper than iTunes and Amazon. It is done on a credits system, so purchasing 50 credits will get you 50 songs at 63p a track. There’s no minimum, but bulk credits give bulk discounts.

When selecting a .WAV, you’ll need to enter/search for the track in Nerve. This is because WAVs don’t include computer readable song info, unlike most MP3s.

iTunes

The iTunes store lets you download tracks at 99p a pop. Don’t forget that this is separate to Apple Music, which is a streaming service not a downloads service.

You can select the M4As from your “iTunes” music folder and upload them directly to Nerve.

Amazon

Amazon will give you an MP3 download of a track for 99p. However, disappointingly in some cases, the actual quality of the download can be very low. Just search for a song on Amazon and buy it like any other track.

CDs

Shop around in second hand stores like CEX, buy new, or raid your parents’ vast CD collection. You can then rip them (DON’T use Windows Media Player, use “fr:eac” with WAV or FLAC as described here) and upload them to Nerve.

 

Have fun, and stay legal!

Uncategorized/Myriad/Presenting/Production

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.

ss2

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.

Uncategorized/Myriad/Presenting/Production

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.

christmas-pre-recording-shows-in-studio-2

  • 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.

christmas-pre-recording-shows-in-studio-2-1

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 training2.insanityradio.com or ask your producer.

Uncategorized/Uncategorised

The Silence Detector

Posted by Jamie Woods on

Ever noticed something different playing out on the radio/stream than what’s going on in the studio? Chances are you’ve encountered the emergency programme, controlled by the aptly named silence detector.

Essentially, if there’s silence (or very very quiet) output from the live studio for about 20 seconds, the silence detector switches to the emergency programme. Historically, this has been Bohemian Rhapsody, but it’s now shuffled and could be any song from its playlist.

So what counts as very very very quiet? If you leave the studio and Myriad reaches a stop, it will kick in after 20 seconds until the presenter gets a chance to either press Go or talk (or both). Songs that over-use stereo (like Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd) may trip it if, say, the left channel is quiet. And, finally, songs that just have a really really quiet intro or ramp.

It’s always a good idea when uploading music to make sure that tracks don’t have a long, quiet introduction.

So what do I do if it trips?

Essentially, play some music. If the song isn’t peaking at 5 on the meterbridge (the retro looking dials), adjust the green knob (trim) to turn it up. After about 5 seconds of content in the studio, it will switch back to regular programming.

There’s another silence detector that sits at the transmitter, which will continue to play music on 103.2FM if there’s an emergency at the studio. This one kicks in after 30 seconds of silence, or immediately if the studio goes off air. In this case, the stream will probably sound different to FM.