Tuesday, June 12, 2012

How it all began.

  • I'm not sure that anyone cares about how or why the "show" came about, but I'm going to tell the story anyway.

     Sometime around November or December of 2011 I started tinkering with equipment I had either acquired or purchased over the past few years. Microphones, mixer(s), cables, wires, spare adapters, etc, basically enough  pieces for a podcast puzzle. The idea for the podcast came after intermittently blogging since 2009. "Why not record conversation and thoughts" I began to think. This is a similar thing I did as a child/preteen with a boombox and a cassette tape, cassette tapes that were used and reused may times. (By the way, I still have a few of those high-pitched pre-pubescent pieces of audio.) Back to being 28 and having a bunch of electronics, I either called or sent a text to my friend/former co-worker Rob suggesting beers and recorded conversation. That was only plan. One session, and a few beverages of choice, nothing more. For those of your that aren't aware, Rob and I both have lengthy radio backgrounds, Rob's is a little big bigger... but size doesn't matter. I won't get into Rob's radio career too much except for the fact that you can usually find him on 97ZOK on Saturday's from 2pm-7pm. He also provides entertainment for your ears and dancing shoes at Brewsky's Bar in Rockford, IL on most weekends. He's doesn't always work 7 days a week.

 Back to the story. We're both bored at whatever time of the night on whatever day of the week so Rob drives over and so it begins. After a few "mic checks" and headphone adjustments, we're ready to roll. The interesting thing (or maybe not interesting at all) is how cheap & generic the set-up was. One 12 channel mixer, two stick mics, and an adapter to the headphones jack so that we each had audio coming out of only one ear piece in each of our 'phones. Yup, top of the line for sure. I set up Audacity to record the inbound audio through the line-in input on my laptop and we were off and running. I'm not sure why I chose Audacity over Adobe Audition but regardless the software is no longer being used. Headphones on, mics ready, and we're underway. The show involved a few tunes and conversation. The after that first show we felt like it was an awesome thing. In our minds it sounded good and was quite entertaining. Unfortunately we will never know how great or awful the recording was because some jackass (me) didn't pay attention to the levels on Audacity and the entire recording ended up being extremely hot. ("Hot" is a radio/pro audio term meaning very loud & distorted.) Now that I think about it, hot was an understatement. I don't think we redid the show, I believe we just did another show the next night or the following week. Nevertheless, Rob and I were quite disappointed in my screw up, but it happens.

     The first recording was in the books, sort of. After the first podcast, some thinking, and a few conversations, Rob & I both agreed to attempt to dedicate one night of the week to this podcast experiment. A new plan,  a weekly podcast, and radio our way. Remember that phrase, "radio our way". We recorded a few more podcasts that I uploaded to my personal blog as a way to link it to Facebook and Twitter. At the same time I decided I wanted to attempt to do the podcast alone and also shoot for a weekly countdown. The countdown sucked and the file was too large to upload to godaddy's server and I also learned that a one-man podcast sucked too. I think the one-man podcast sucked because I had nothing planned other than bitching about DJ's and nightlife in Rockford, IL. I do that a lot and I'm trying to get over it. Both of those projects didn't last long and neither did uploaded podcasts to my blog's server. Do we keep doing these podcasts? How do we keep sharing them with people that are beyond bored and have nothing better to do? After searching servers, host site's and similar things when I should have been sleeping, I finally found a free site that would not only allow me to upload mp3 content that could also stream live on the web. Awesome. This is around the same time I came up with "JB Radio" and got Rob's approval on the name of our podcast. I know, I know, JB Radio seems egotistical and makes me seem full of myself, I get that. Think of it like this; J= just B= because Radio. Just Because Radio is probably the best idea to describe what we were doing, which was actually nothing at all other than hitting record. Boom - podcast title, live stream, podcast archive, success.

     I don't like the word podcast when talking about JB Radio, in fact the only time I use that word is when talking to Rob, close friends, or our frequent guests (a.k.a. correspondents). Man I really dislike that word. Podcasts are usually short and one subject. JB Radio is more than that. Why, you ask? Upon job searching (a blog for another day), I came across an ad from a "soon to launch" Internet Radio Station (PKNR) in search of local radio shows, podcasts, and similar shows looking to expand their audience with no monetary reward. I sent an email to the person posting this inquiry and mentioned our podcast, who we are, and our background in radio. After a few email conversations and phone calls our podcast was picked up to air on this "station". Wait a minute. An Internet radio station is going to play our stuff? A podcast that is primarily about nothing? Hmm, I think that means it's time to figure out what the hell we're doing. At this point I made the executive decision to brand the podcast into a talk show because that is what the podcast was turning into. JB Radio was turning in to something bigger than planned. Rob and I came up with ideas like talking about new tech items, reading craigslist missed connections, and Rob would give a review on new music coming out each week. The rest would be whatever came off the top of our heads or came across our eyes on the interwebs. 

     After over 20+ show there have been some upgrades show in regards to approach of the show and the technical aspect. We've added a headphone amplifier that is available to up to four separate headphones. We've added a phone line VIA Google voice. We've added a Facebook & Twitter account, a website, and now this blog. We've also added guests and contributors the show. We refer to our contributors as correspondents and they really are scattered throughout the country. The correspondents are people we've worked with in the past, grew up with, or met through networking. As far as guests go, they're legit. Some of our guests include Randall (the narrator from the YouTube famous Honeybadger video), singer Paris Bennett, Mitch from the band Wayland, the creator/founder of the Pet Loo, comedian Dobie Maxwell, and more. If you have a guest idea or suggestion feel free to contact the show via our website and let us know!  

     Now we have this Internet radio show, JB Radio, the show about nothing. Seinfeld fans will quickly recognize that saying. JB Radio is a show about nothing and our intro does include that conversation between Jerry and George. Though the title says it's about nothing, our content and features are definitely something. Each show (episode) covers a variety of subject and topics. For a list of upcoming shows check out our "Schedule" posted on our website.

     Where does JB Radio go from here? Who knows. We don't. Ideally we would love have the show on terrestrial radio. We're not holding our breath, but that would be awesmoe. Obviously the uncensored format would have go or at least adapt to FCC regulations, but we're cool with that. Until that point, JB Radio will continue to be radio done our way. Support local radio, even though it's on the Internet.

- JB

No comments:

Post a Comment