Your Recordings Wanted!

The Radio Kitchen is an audio blog featuring recordings of AM and shortwave radio, and discussion of the contents. As the webmaster and proprietor around here I’ll be doing a majority of the posting and professing. However, I think it will be much more intersting to enlist guest authors here and have readers contribute as well. What makes The Radio Kitchen blog different from other sites and blogs that cover broadcast band listening and DXing is that visitors can actually hear (and download) audio of the broadcasts discussed– kind of an "ears-on" radio museum. And in a sense it would be a shame if the content here was limited by just what I’ve been able to record myself.

As with my other blog (The Audio Kitchen), I’ve wanted to incorporate an easy upload function to make contributing audio from your home computer a simple process from the outset. And the good news is that I’ve actually installed a tool on the site that should make this pretty simple, but despite my best efforts I don’t have all the bugs worked out yet. Once I get this feature up and running it should make it relatively easy for you to upload MP3’s of airchecks and bandscans (and JPG’s if you like) right from your hard drive to this site, and write a post to along go with it. When this becomes a reality I will announce it here. Meanwhile, you can still contribute recordings to the Audio Kitchen. And gosh I hope you will. But for now, it will take more than a few clicks.

Meanwhile, there are a number of ways you can get your radio recordings to me now. And they all involve sending me a preliminary email. Here’s a list of what kinds of "captured radio" that may be of interest to The Radio Kitchen:

  • In general, recordings which contain at least some audible English language content, or some compelling music or radio formatics in any language. While there may be exceptions to that rule, the most important consideration would be that you find the recording worth sharing for some reason.
  • Recordings of some historical significance or importance. Looking for broadcasts following ongoing events– news updates, commentary and talk radio discussing moving events in their time– wars, disasters, elections, protests, political movements, major crimes and even good news that affects significant numbers of people. In retrospect, there’s lots of revealing details to mull over– the emotions at play, the speculations, accusations and rumors surrounding that particular time. For over twenty years, when there’s a major story breaking (especially locally) out there, I tend to start recording. You’ll find some of those archives here. If you’ve grabbed some radio history yourself, I might be interested in posting it here. Let me know.
  • Bandscans. I find these kinds of radio recordings almost always compelling in some way. These are audio captures of what it sounds like when strolling through a radio band. They’re recordings uniquely linked to that moment in time, with content dictated by available reception, programming schedules and the ongoing news and prevalent worldviews in play within radio reach from that particular time and location. Shortwave and AM radio (at night) offer more distant reception opportunities (DXing), and I’m definitely interested in recordings documenting DXing episodes from around the North America and the world. If you’re a seasoned DXer please consider posting some audio here. I hope to feature a wide range of broadcasting most people would never find on their own. But I am really interested in day or night bandscans from other parts of the planet. It doesn’t have to be exotic reception with exotic equipment.
  • Local programming of all sorts, from anywhere in North America or around the world. Again, looking for AM & shortwave. I know I’m not the only who records radio when traveling. Unfortunately, I don’t travel enough to sample much. Maybe you do. Let me know.
  • Any AM or shortwave radio programming that has amazed, disgusted or inspired you, especially from personalities who are relatively unknown on the national or international stage. Again, very interested in historic radio recordings of many kinds. If you think you have something worth sharing here, please write me using the form below.

And of course, there’s no guarantee I’ll post any particular recording. But if you think it’s worth hearing, worth spreading around, I might just agree. Send me an email and tell me what you have.

One word on recording AM and shortwave radio. Unless you’re listening to a strong local station I recommend NOT using a computer or digital device to archive. In general, complicated electronics broadcast a lot of noise into the AM & shortwave bands. (Ever notice how MP3 players rarely have AM radios on board?) In fact, when I’m recording any kind of DX listening I use an old fashioned tape recorder and run everything off batteries. Many AC adaptors make a lot of noise, and even plugging your cassette recorder into the wall may significantly up the noise floor. So what I do is run tape when I’m listening (cassette recorders on their own seem to add very little, if any, extra noise), and then dump the audio to computer afterward. Then again, if you have higher end equipment or just know what you’re doing, you can get find results using AC power. For me, it works to dump the cassette audio to the computer, and compress to MP3. And if you’re using low to mid level portable receivers like me, I’d generally advise you to stick with batteries and audio tape. Then digitize.

So here’s the deal. Until I update the site, you’re going to have to email me before sending anything. Use the form is below. If you’re able to digitize your recording(s) and compress them to MP3, you can probably just send them to me via the internet. Remember, all AM & shortwave stations broadcast in mono, so please encode in mono as well. 56k to 32k is probably OK. Lo-fi recordings don’t get better at higher bitrates (but please use the the "high-quality" setting in your MP3 encoding software.

If you have something less than 8MB (or that you can chop into 8MB or less segments) then you may be able to send it to me via email. Larger files won’t work this way. I have FTP setup with this site, but I’m not sure if I’m going to use it for this yet. Best solution may be a service like "You Send It" which I’ve heard the Bob Lassiter Airchecks site has had good luck with. There’s plenty of other services where you can send large files over the web, do a google search. Once you upload something there send me the link in an email and I’ll grab it.

Otherwise, you’ll have to send me something in the mail. To do that, tell me what you have and I’ll send you a snail mail address to ship your audio my way. If you can make an audio or data CD, send that to me. If you’re not able to do that, send me the tape itself. If it’s something you want to keep, please make me a copy and send that. I’d rather not have to send the tape back to you, unless I have to.

So, hopefully this explains how you can be a part of the proceedings here. I’d like to offer a wide variety of AM & SW sound material here. So, if you’re an aircheck collector, or a DXer with a tape recorder handy consider letting us hear what you have found.

For now, if you’re interested in sharing some radio audio, it all begins with sending an email using the contact form below. I do look forward to hearing from you.

The Professor

 

For details on how to send your recordings to The Radio Kitchen, please send an email here:

(required)
(required)