More fun in the radio station. Go here for the original, and go here for an alternative manipulation.

  • Cory Funk 8y

    I'd like to see a color version of this too, if you have it.
  • Nic McPhee 8y

    It is done! Go here for the original, and go here for an alternative manipulation.

    I'd like to point out that the viewing stats on this shot were really quite odd. There were over 80 views (which is pretty high for me in 2-3 days) without a single comment or fave. Cory has now broken that :-).

    There was obviously something that drew people to the picture, but then nothing that made them want to say anything. The social dynamics around things like this are quite fascinating, really.

    Seen on your photo stream. (?)
  • Cory Funk 8y

    Oh, I have all sorts of comments I could add, but they would all be esoteric memories of sitting around this equipment after midnights on Tuesdays a decade ago, and who wants to hear about that?

    This is exactly the sort of picture that would end up on a blog about stereo equpiment. Perhpas it got blogged somewhere? I am pretty sure a couple of mine have had that happen. How else can you explain 1k views and three comments and 1 fav?
  • Nic McPhee 8y

    Oooh, oooh, oooh, I do! (I realize, however, that I might be a minority in that opinion.) I still tell Cory Funk (and Abe Welle and Mike Heuer and Gina Maus and Robert Fitzgerald and ...) stories to the exec staff at the station, although to be fair they mostly wait patiently until the old man calms down and then move on with their meeting :-).

    I suspect that in important ways, you were the last person who really understood the old school, tape and buttons and wires technology in the studio. There's no analog magnetic media left anymore, and all the editing is done on minidisc players 'cause no one's ever figured out how to do it on the nice computer in Studio B that runs the loop when there's no one on air.

    Personally, I think radio in general, and KUMM in particular, is in a pretty weird place right now. With iPods, and podcasts, and XM why would anyone listen to live, local radio, especially the bland, commercial filled crap that dominates so much of the airwaves. When everyone was the captive of their cars or an inexpensive transistor radio, the current model worked pretty well. Now people have a huge array of choices, so it's not clear how much longer they'll keep listening to the lame stuff corporate radio keeps feeding them. They're already leaving in droves, and so far the suits haven't been very creative in their responses.

    As far as KUMM goes, I think the profile of listeners and (especially) DJs changed enormously, and we're still not at all sure what that means. 20 years ago, a milk crate of LPs was a pretty good sized music collection for a college student, and DJing at the radio station was a great way to access a vastly larger music collection than any student could afford (or find room to store!). Now, students have 50-100Gb of music on their hard drive and can't find time to listen to a fraction of it all. When I started at KUMM in 1991, I was unusual in how much of my own music I brought in to the station (but I was old and had collected a lot over the years). Now I see shows where two or three DJs have laptops and iPods that they're plugging in and playing from, and the only "station" music they're playing is they're required four songs from the official new music section every hour.

    So why listen to KUMM? Why be a DJ on KUMM? Do we really care about upping our wattage so that people in Glenwood (and maybe Alexandria on a good day) can here us? Or is our real market in on-line broadcasting and (if we could sort out the permissions) podcasting specialty programs?

    Hmph. My, that got long, didn't it? I've been thinking about this stuff a lot, and you obviously triggered something.

    You're probably right about the blogging. 126 views and no faves as of now, and still no one talking except you and me :-). I've got a bunch of Google Alerts looking for this sort of thing, but nothing's shown up on this image yet.

    It makes a great background/wallpaper BTW :-).
  • Cory Funk 8y

    Now that is my kind of rant!

    After I interned at Cities 97, I pretty much gave up listening to radio. I got XM a couple years back but still don't listen to that as much as I would like. I think Pandorra is cool too.

    And you are right: Why would we listen to corporate radio? The only answer I can give is that people like familiar tunes. We want to be surprised, but not that surprised. That and its free. People do like free stuff, no matter the quality. I always wondered how many folks listened to my show when I was on. I don't think I ever did that show to please anyone but myself.

    Good point about ipods. I have to think that if students have al that music but don't get through it, it is the same as only having a crate full of well worn LPs. If you don't know what is in your collection, you might not as well own it. Its interesting that DJs can premix a show. The radio industry has been doing that for years, so it is a natural stage, albiet a strange one, for KUMM. As for me, I liked the loose and free format where you cued up the next song with only a minute left of the previous. But I DJ'e dfor The Oracle before it was The Oracle, so I had a different sense of timing about it.

    I think (or hope in my heart) that KUMM is still relevant because it is unique. Anybody who wants on the air can get on the air. In a way, it represents a sort of audio blog. A "Hey, here is who I am because this is the music I like". Being a DJ demystifies the medium and in a society that takes all too freely accepts what the media dumps into our living room, I think the hands on approach of KUMM grants a new understanding of how it all works.

    And thanks for the compliment. I spent way too many hours in Studio B not to know the machines. Helped that I was on exec staff for 2.5 years too. :)

    Well, when I use this picture for a cover on a compilation, I'll let you know. And maybe even send you a copy!
  • Nic McPhee 8y

    Glad you liked it :-).

    I was quite jazzed by Pandora when I first discovered it. I found some cool music that way, and even used it in my Roots Music First Year Seminar course last semester. Now I find I almost never listen to it, although I couldn't tell you why. About the only non-KUMM radio I ever listen to these days is Brainwashed radio and podcast. I have so music I want to listen to more (and more carefully), though, that finding new stuff just isn't the problem.

    I never have much of a sense of who our how many people listen to our show, but we also do it for ourselves and not really for anyone else. I think that's ultimately how most art needs to be - scratch your itch first, and if anyone else comes along for the ride then it's a bonus.

    I'm less clear about student behavior now, but back in the heyday of Napster student's would download gigabytes of music just because it was free and they could, and they obviously didn't have to listen to more than a fraction of it. My sense (but no promises) is that things like iTunes have replaced a lot of that behavior with purchasing, so I doubt people are building up such ridiculous piles of stuff in quite the same way. It doesn't seem that students buy much physical media (CDs, LPs) anymore, though, which makes one wonder for the future of such things. I can imagine a world where physical media becomes a specialty market, dominated by elaborate box sets like Goodbye, Babylon. We may also be looking at the demise of the "album" as the dominate form for distributing music. With people being able to pick and choose individual songs, the old model of 2 or 3 good songs and a side and a half of filler just isn't going to fly.

    I'm not sure that the students are actually pre-mixing their shows (although I'm sure some do). I think that instead their laptops/iPods are simply electronic versions of my canvas back of LPs/CDs that I bring, without really knowing which of those things I'll manage to fit in, or where.

    I really like your comments about demystifying media. I think I'll share those with the staff. I look forward to a copy of that compilation!
  • Nic McPhee 8y

    I figured I'd ranted sufficiently on thsi to copy a lot of it over to my blog, where there are now several good comments on this subject.

    Seen on your photo stream. (?)
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Taken on March 11, 2007
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