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Discussion Starter #21
The Soo in the USA used to have a great fm rock station in the 70s as if i remember it was the first station between both Saults that played entire album sides commercial free.Today i find fm stations have become more like the am stations were back in the day with all the commercials.

WSMM. The first station my brother and I found when we moved there in 1975. Never had a clue that 6 years later I would be on the air there. By 1982 they changed formats and it sucked hole from there forward.

Today's radio is corporate - single companies owning several stations. I know for a fact how they're run now because the guy I got started (who always wanted to be in engineering before) in radio now owns that station and about 11 others in no4thern MI. (I ended up quitting radio and getting into engineering . . go figure.)

The corporation sets the format for the sound they want on each genre of radio they want to portray. Most morning shows are still "live" but everything else is pre-recorded digitally. I've been told that a good "jock" can record a 4 hour show in about 45 minutes. Thusly, they "host" 3 or more shows on different stations at different times of the day and they're done recording them before noon.

My long time bud took me on a tour through his studios one afternoon about 15 years ago. All four studios in that building were empty - completely running on auto-pilot.

I remember being a bit flippant with him when he told me that listener frequency is up, it's the duration of listening that's down. I said "That's because your programming is "tish"! I can get your version of 'classic rock' anywhere on the dial - it all sounds the same. So once I hear the weather or the sport score I'm looking for, I'm bored with everything else and flip down the dial!"
 

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Lexington got WKQQ in 1977. They played album rock for at least five years, but switched sometime between my moving away and moving back.
Like most album stations they had the inevitable "skip" incident that played the same 2 seconds of music for something like 10 minutes, on more than one occasion.
 

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I did not enjoy DJ'ing on radio. I needed instantaneous feedback from the audience.

When I played a songs on the radio, there was no way to know if it is appreciated.

With a live audience, I know immediately how the song is doing. People filling the dance floor or sitting down.

I liked the attention from being on stage, entertaining party goers. I was a performance DJ, dancing around on stage imitating Mick Jagger and other active singers, toss inflatable musical instruments down from the stage and also play some air guitar solos. I made humorous comments, went out on the dance floor to teach or lead line dances and surprised the crowd with The Chicken Dance, Hokey Pokey and other silly songs that baby boomers and older loved towards the end of the evening (was alcohol involved - certainly). In addition to playing prerecorded music, I also have been hired to MC events and function as an auctioneer.

I consider myself a "party motivator".

Any monkey can flip records. With the internet, one can download a list of the top current dance or country songs, burn them to the computer, rent PA equipment and play the same songs that DJ's play. Knowing what to play and when is where the experience comes in. Being able to say "no I'm not playing that song" to a guest making a request of an awful, inappropriate or a song that is hard to dance to is also where an experienced DJ becomes useful. Younger guests enjoy requesting songs that they know will shock the older people so knowing song content becomes important. The service that provided the top pop and country hits offered the choice of the original song or a clean version and I only ordered clean versions. Not because I am a prude. I considered each gig to be an opportunity to pick up new clients and did not do anything to diminish my appeal.
 

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I have found that if you want to play back an old reel to reel tape or any magnetic recording tape, to warm it up before playing. It softens the brittle tape so that you can play it back without destroying it, and record the contents to a different medium.

It's been a while since using this approach but you need to experiment with the temperature on a sacrificial tape. I placed the tape recorder with tape threaded in a box with a heater, monitored the temperature of the tape and noted when the tape became pliable. Too warm and the tape will stretch. I seem to recall 90 degrees being a good temperature.

Some tape was so brittle that warming it did not help.

If the contents of the tape is really important, a commercial conversion service will be able to transfer the contents.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Lexington got WKQQ in 1977. They played album rock for at least five years, but switched sometime between my moving away and moving back.
Like most album stations they had the inevitable "skip" incident that played the same 2 seconds of music for something like 10 minutes, on more than one occasion.
The Eagles - "Lyin' Eyes". Afforded me the time to get downstairs, across the street to the gas station, buy a pack of smokes and a Coke, back across the street and up the stairs to the studio. Never had a stuck needle once!

Did have an incident once when I was out in the office screwing around with the staff when somebody give me a "zinger" of a verbal barb and I said "Fine!" Turned and mockingly threw my bic lighter.

Which bounced off of a wall.

Then off of the studio door that was propped open.

Then cleanly plucked the needle off of the "hot" turntable resulting in dead air until I ran into the studio, keyed the mic and said "Annnnd, we just heard the edited version of Simon and Garfunkel's 'Sound of Silence'. We'll be right back..."
 

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Discussion Starter #28
syjos - I understand what you mean about playing the crowd. Back when I did gigs it wasn't so much that the younger group wanted to "shock" (because there wasn't a lot of shock songs back then) they just wanted to hear their favorite songs. When it didn't fit into the "flow" you had to tactfully work around the request. Read the floor, know when it's time to get to a slow set, know when it's time to "build" and "peak". If the DJ was nothing more than a jukebox, well then he was nothing more than a jukebox.

I'm slightly jealous about missing out on the technology. The light show I have in my den now I would have KILLED for back then. Probably would have run $10k at the time and I have about $1200 into it!
 

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In a Gada Da Vida is a tough song to dance to. I did play it a lot in the 70's.

I had several bathroom break songs. Favorite was "Gonna Make You Sweat - Everybody Dance Now" by CC Music Factory. I have an 8 minute remix version.

When the third generation dual deck CD players arrived, it allowed the second deck to start and fade in automatically. Enough time for a run to the head. With the MIDI computer interface, I could place as many songs as needed in que and the device would start, fade and play the songs while I ran to the head. Some DJ's play the whole night preprogrammed. They tend to be new DJ's starting out, DJ's working for a booking agency and or lazy ones. Other than when I first started with the reel to reel, I preferred live mixing. Pretty boring 4 hours otherwise. If I was out on the dance floor teaching line dances, I did places music in que so that I didn't have to keep going back to the stage. And background music during cocktails and dinner, which is played at low volume was played on an iPod plugged into the mixer.

When I got to a venue I hadn't played before, I locate the bathroom and time how long to get there and back. It was not a big deal when I was in my 20s and 30s. Hit 40 and the bathroom situation definitely became more problematic. Damn prostate.
 

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Quote

I'm slightly jealous about missing out on the technology.

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The technology advances were exciting. But expensive too.

Since this was a part time "hobby business" and I didn't have to rely on the DJ income to live, I spent a higher percentage of my DJ earnings on equipment, software, vehicles and stage attire. I bought high end equipment from Denon, Electro Voice, JBL, Carver, and other manufactures.
I started out with huge home built wood speaker cabinets that weighed 125 pounds housing JBL drivers in the 70's and ended up with thermoplastic modular speaker system from Electro Voice, which weighed 35 pounds each for a four piece speaker/powered subwoofer setup.
 

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My favorite trick for avoiding a request is to tell the requester that there are requests ahead of his. When he comes back later and asks when will I play his song, I respond "I played it a few songs ago". Requester says something like - oh darn I must have gone outside for a cig, bathroom whatever. And when he request I play it again, I respond that I only play each song once per gig. Works every time.

There was a lot of shock songs back in the day. Honky Tonk Women, Let's Spend The Night Together, The Lemon Song, Little Red Corvette, Walk This Way, Aqualung, Tonights The Night, and many many more. The only difference between those old songs and the new shock songs are that I liked all those old songs because I was a kid when they were released. I don't like the new shock songs because the kids listen to it to piss off us old guys. Confession, I might be guilty of playing songs when I was a kid, to piss old people off. What goes around............

The old songs were clever innuendoes instead of the current crop. Tough to understand the, in your face, words on the new songs too. Modern artists, especially rap and hip hop, do not enunciate well either. To be fair, there are a lot of hip hop that I do enjoy listening to.
 

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I traveled to Detroit in March of '73 to see Pink Floyd "Dark Side of the Moon" in concert at Cobo Hall. Best concert ever for me. They had 256 Altec Voice of the theater speakers mounted around the walls of the arena. Incredible sound. During teardown of the concert some of the speaker enclosures fell to the ground and got broken. I bought 2 of 'em at a very reasonable price. I had new enclosures made to spec for 'em and brought 'em home. They were fed via a Macintosh preamp thru 2 750 watt RMS heathkit mono amplifiers. Talk about THUMP. Could make your ears bleed.
 

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I haven't heard of a Macintosh pre amp in years & heathkits Fox . That was a lot of power 750 rms per channel not no wimpy peak power. I remember back in the 60s the dude that sold the high end audio equipment were i lived he preferred mono over stereo . I use to have dynaco speakers back in the day but couldn't afford the dynaco pre amp & amp. Glad to hear you got to see Floyd in concert Fox. The light show must have been awesome.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
The old songs were clever innuendoes instead of the current crop. Tough to understand the, in your face, words on the new songs too. Modern artists, especially rap and hip hop, do not enunciate well either. To be fair, there are a lot of hip hop that I do enjoy listening to.
Ah yes, inuendo. Not "You're the only one who could take it all in your mouth" kind of stuff. (Actual lyric I heard when surfing internet radio . . )

All this talk makes me think I'm shopping for a new amp for my pole barn.

I also need to buy screws for the sheet metal because I fear I'm going to vibrate the nails out by mid-summer!
 

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One of the best car forum threads ever!

Excellent work gentlemen, I felt like I was right there with you listening to a wonderful conversation and walking through the memory garden. I thought of one of the early "light shows" where an overhead projector was used, rear scree, with a clear dish of colored oils and water swirled by the operator's fingers. A little like a high speed lava lamp.

Nice to see some of those equipment names in print again. I remember 8-Track tapes being some early road art, cases broken and tape draped upon the roadway. Next, on a smaller scale, it was the cassette tape. I still have some of those late high end cassettes with little reel to reel guts. Used CD's for Christmas decorations at the college when they were sent out promoting every kind of whatever was "new" next. Hard to put your hands on the digital medium.

When Mom's house was torn down a few years back, there were cases of LP's collected by my brother who died in 1977. A time capsule actually. He had an eclectic taste in music that covered the spectrum. Should have kept them. We're all getting to that point where it often seems we're the only ones who care about what we've experienced. I think it must have always been, just our turn now.

Thanks for your good works.

Richard Snipes
 

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All this talk makes me think I'm shopping for a new amp for my pole barn.

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I own a 52' X 21' X 18' boathouse that is wood framed and sheathed with sheet metal.

I have a 7 channel surround system in it with 8 speakers and a subwoofer driven with a Yamaha surround receiver. I plug my iPod into it. I recently added a powered M&K 12" subwoofer that I purchased at Goodwill for $20. I had two Sony 8" powered subs previously.

The M&K's go an octave lower than the Sonys. When I crank it up, the sheet metal in the whole structure vibrate.

I often wear hearing protectors when working in the boathouse and I like to hear the sound system with them on.
 

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Discussion Starter #40
So you had to upgrade your sound system in order to have it overcome your hearing protection?

The scariest thing about that statement is not only do I understand it, it sounds like something I would do! lol

Several years ago I decided to ditch the ear buds when mowing on the lawn tractor. Sweat in the ear canals made them too uncomfortable. I took my Senheiser "cans" out of my den and started using them. My wife said "I shudder to think of how loud you have your music in those."

"Just the opposite, by blocking out the mower noise I don't have to crank up the tunes to hear them."

Took that a step further a year ago when my kids bought me a set of Senheiser noise cancelling cans. The work on bluetooth but using noise canceling with that connection drains the battery faster. Using the cord works fine, you just have to deal with the cord when getting on and off the mower.
 
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