On Air Studio



In the studio, you need a lot of things: Audio Mixer Consoles, microphone, studio monitor speakers, headphones and many more.


List of equipment on a Radio Studio

  • Microphone
  • Microphone Processor
  • Mic Arms
  • Headphone
  • Mixer Console
  • Microphones
  • Microphone Processor
  • Audio Processor
  • Mic Arms
  • Headphones
  • Headphones distributor
  • Active Speakers Monitors
  • Phone Hybrid Interface
  • On Air Light
  • Computer with automation and play list software
  • Computer Monitor
  • Talent Panel
  • CD player
  • Tuner FM Receiver good quality
  • RDS Encoder
  • Telephone
  • Broadcast desk and Furniture
  • GSM Interface
  • soundproofing panels/ acoustic panels studio foam wedges
  • RDS Encoder

Audio Mixer Console

At the heart of any studio is the “Audio Mixer Console”. This is the interface to control what’s heard on air,choose which sounds need to be broadcasted.

Every channel represents one “input”, the fader (slider) attenuates or amplifies the incoming signal,change the volume and dynamics of the sources and combine the various audio signals.
The Audio Mixer Consoleis the device that in total control and monitor the audio

The Microphone

But the seed, the origin, where everything is born: this is "The Microphone"…...

Technically, the Microphone captures the sound and converts it into electrical impulses.
In practice, is primarily responsible to bring the voice to the listeners.
From the the microphone depends the timbre, depth, clarity, body and softness of the voice.
We can imagine it like the object that makes flight the speaker from the studio right in front of the listener.

It cannot be explained scientifically, but listeners unconsciously recognize the difference between a professional, good quality Microphone and a low quality consumer one.
If the budget is limited, however, an important part must be reserved to the microphone and, in any case, today there are wonderful microphones at an affordable price.
It's enough to know how to choose it or to look for a professional advice.

Mic Arms

Studio microphones are often mounted on a special arm that keeps the microphone at the correct height.

A Mic Arm helps you move the mic around and adjust it to your liking.
These arms often extend over the audio console, computer monitors, and other equipment – leaving plenty of table space free for equipment and paper.

Microphone Processor

To stabilize at a constant level the voice of the speaker is necessary a “Microphone Processor”

This is an audio compressor than decrease the volume of the voice if it is to loud or amplify if is too low.
Doing so produces a sound that captures all the detail of the voice but levels out volume changes.
Too high a volume level could distort the signal or if too low make speech incomprehensible.
A microphone processor helps smooth the audio, minimizes background noise and cleans the signal.
It helps the job at the mixer control because is not necessary to adjust continuously the level of the microphone.
It helps to get "Radio Sound" so that it always sounds at the right level and the speaker can concentrate on performance instead of worrying about being too close or too far from the microphone or even speaking in too loud or too soft.
Moreover the gives to the voice more presence and allow to set it at higher level because you are sure it will contain the peaks
Another function of the Microphone Processor is to remove hissing noises such as those produced with words that contain an S.

DBX 286 Microphone Preamp or Behringer Ultragain Pro MIC2200 are some of the most popular ones.

Broadcast Audio Processor

The Audio Processor is very important because this is usually the last piece of equipment used before your audio is transmitted.

The audio processor improves and optimizes the sound quality and give your Radio a sound with the own character.
It has several moods sound like jazz, pop, rock, classical, etc, but, moreover you can adjust it to create your own sound.
The Broadcast Audio Processor is a combination of a multiband compressor/limiters and a parametric equalizer and other effects.

The Audio Processor compress the overall dynamic of the program but in this way is possible increase the volume because prevent against the over-deviation, clipping and other saturation, all effects than create distortion.
With final effect than your radio sound “Louder” and “Bigger.
There is a psychological reason because when searching on the dial of the radio they stop at the radio than sounds louder better and bigger and so it increases the audience.


Headphones will allow to listen carefully to the audio you broadcast.

These are connected to the same audio channel than feeds the speakers in the way that when you plug the headphones, the speakers mute automatically.
If you want to have complete control over your audio, you need to be able to monitor it using headphones.
You are able to monitor what the audio is like as well as ensure that your setup is working properly.

Headphones distributor

Often in the Studios there are more than one people participating at the program. In this case, a headphone distributor is necessary to connect several ones to the same source.
They have four, eight or more outputs, each of one with independent volume adjust to allow each user to set the self comfortable level.

Active Speakers Monitors

You need Studio monitor speakers, it show you how the music sounds without headphones.

These speakers must be of high quality, so all the abnormal sounds can be detected.
It is also advisable to have another speaker, low quality and small, to check how is your sound even in this kind of speakers. At the end the sound must be good but also understandable for every type of audience.

It is recommended to use speakers specifically designed for music as they can provide the most accurate representation of the signal.

Telephone Hybrid

You also need a Telephone Hybrid Interface to come in the console with the audio coming from a phone call.

This is important if you want to take phone calls while you are on air.
In simple terms, a Hybrid is an interface to connect two-wire phone lines into input and output XLRs. These XLR connectors are plugged into an audio console or I/O node.
Many hybrids also contain echo cancellation and an automatic equaliser.

On Air Light

How do you know a mic in the studio is live?

There’s a light especially for that! This light is automatically turned on/off by the audio console whenever a microphone channel is turned on.
In fact, to show everybody the program is live, you need an On-Air light.
It must be one of them inside and outside the studio.
It avoids people comes in the studio, open the door or make noise during the show.

Computer with automation and play list software

You also need a computer with an automation software.

This computer system makes it possible to play background music, commercials, and sweepers.
The software is called automation software or “Playout”.
These programs are designed to continually play music on the background.
The heart of these programs is the Play List”.
This is a list with all the audio files that need to be played. Most of the time these programs contain hotkeys, a music database, and a lot more.
These are specially designed computer programs that allow for continuous playback of audio, with a lot of granular control for Announcers and Programme Directors.
At the heart of any Automation System is the “log”.
This is a sequential list of all audio files and commands that need to be played at certain times.
All music played on a commercial radio station will be pre-programmed by the Music Director and loaded into the log.
A separate person will often load all advertisements into the same log.
Most automation systems also contain a music database, hot keys (to play ad-hoc audio), an audio editor, segue editor (to change the mix between different elements), interfaces for website and RDS data, and a lot more.

Talent Panel

If you are planning on having guests on your radio show, it is important to get a talent panel.
With a talent panel, the guest can control their own headphones and microphone.
It is smart to put the talent panel front of the guest’s microphone.
In fact, while the main announcer or panel operator can control everything via the audio console, guests often need their own individual control for headphone levels, a cough mute and mic on/off. Most panels include a headphone jack, and some also contain an XLR connector for the microphone.

CD player

Even If nowadays most of the music comes from some MP3 source, you need an CD Player of good quality to play the music

Th CD Player is used even just as a backup, or a way to capture old archival material

Tuner FM Receiver good quality

To monitor the real sound you are broadcasting is necessary a good quality Tuner. It will helps you also to compare your sound on the air with the your competitors.

Broadcast desk and Furniture

In a small Radio Studio the Broadcast Equipment mentioned above can be disposal on a normal table

Soundproofing Panels/ Acoustic Panels Studio Foam Wedges

Adding some soundproofing to your studio can really help to improve audio quality if there is a lot of reverb or echo

And the last piece of the audio puzzle, foam soundproofing panels come in a variety of sizes and can be had cheaply. Placed strategically in your broadcast area, they are an excellent way to cancel out any remaining ambient and background sounds such as street noise.

RDS Encoder

RDS (Radio Data System) is a way of sending ASCII text and other metadata to radio display.

It encodes a 1187.5Bps data stream onto the 57Khz subcarrier (third harmonic of the 19Khz FM Stereo Pilot signal).

Stations use RDS to encode the station name, song data, program guide and traffic information.

RDS Encoders are sometimes built into the FM Audio Processor or in the FM Transmitter.
If you have an external RDS Encoder, it needs to be connected into the SCA input on your Stereo Generator or Processor.

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