Behind The Scenes
On this page, you’ll find a summary of our current technical set-up, and more details about what goes on behind the scenes.
Today, our studio complex consists of two studios, an office and a racks room (home for our signal processing equipment, computer servers and other auxiliary equipment).
The broadcasting studios themselves consist of two ‘self-op’ studios which are in fact self-contained control rooms that can be put to air by our trained presenters. The studios are equipped with a mixing desk, microphones, CD players, record decks, minidisc players and a computer playout system which contains most of our songs and jingles.
Our Music Library
These days, our music library is devoid of most vinyl records, 78’s and relics of yesteryear.
The majority of our music is now stored on our computer playout system. This contains over 17,000 items, which can be accessed by a programme called Music Master Producer. Our 24/7 sustaining server runs on a system called RadioDJ.
We are now able to search by artist, title, year, chart position, year/chart position, combination or track length. This allows us to search instantly for any item, and more importantly to provide a speedier service to our customers i.e. the patients.
Another great feature to assist the request collectors is the ability to listen to any track on the system, should they need to check any record to see if it is what our customer has requested.
Not all of our music is computerised – we still break out the hamster and treadmill to play some vinyl occasionally, plus we do house a collection of CDs.
Our computerized music has been lovingly gathered from donated vinyl and CDs, and compressed into the mp3 format.
Video: Behind The Scenes
Here’s a short video that takes a peek behind the scenes at Southend Hospital Radio:
The Technical Stuff
We currently have two studios. Each studio has a computer containing our current
database within a programme called Music Master Professional and can call any track into the players instantly.
As well as the computer playout system, studios contain the following:
- Mixing desk: Alice 828S console
- CD Players: 2 x Technics SL-PG360A
- CD recorders and Minidisc recorders
- Turntables: 2 x LAD GAJ 828P with OM-PRO
- Tape machine: Revox B77 Mk.II (HS, NAB)
- Mics: AKG D202 (presenter), Calrec CM1050 (guests)
News is taken over IP from Radio News Hub and live phone calls (2 lines) are handled by Sonifex TBUs.
Programmes are delivered to the listener via a Shoutcast radio stream over the Internet, and a switching matrix allows either or both studios to be routed directly to the Internet stream.
As with all things in life nothing’s for nothing, and without the kind donations of various organisations, and the generosity of the public, our unique service would not be available.
Our engineers are Rick Poole, John Salim and Brian Davis, with IT handled by Pete Sipple