Shuffling The Schedule: Problem X to Problem Y

Important is timing…in yoda speak…is something I’ve been slowly realizing. It’s not all about scheduling and getting priorities in order, sometimes its simply not screwing up at exactly the wrong moment. There are gaps in everyone’s schedule where priorities start to shift to a new task and focus is lost on x project and moved to y project. I’m definitely not an exception.

In this instance I’m talking about how I deal with the station’s automation. Recently I’ve spent some hefty amounts of time debugging sound issues. Of course while I’m not expecting them all to simultaneously disappear it seems very much like an indefinite process of tripping over one problem, only to discover another. Example Numero Uno: The mixing device I was using previously was generating a significant amount of white noise, and while otherwise functioning properly it made recording voice and instrumentals hell. You may catch some of the oddities if you catch my voice in the stream and hear the weird squeakiness (my best attempt at removing the white noise). Soon after ripping through all possible settings on the mixer it soon became clear that it was the USB device responsible for all the buzz and hiss. The mixer itself was fine, power wasn’t causing a ground loop problem, but connecting it to a computer the way it was intended and designed for was the actual failing point. *Fairly frustrating to say the least* Now after actively avoiding usb based devices I found a replacement, with its own problematic behavior. This brings us to example Numero Dos: My new mixer being significantly more advanced than the previous mixer, does all the audio processing, after which the digital stream is sent back. This bypasses windows audio processing entirely, which occasionally, but not always seems to hang all the audio processors temporarily as it sets itself aside. My software automating the stream does not play nice when its audio device suddenly resets, a problem I’ve been aware of way before I had even purchased the new replacement, but of course I hadn’t really considered that a new device could trigger the problem so consistently. The real issue of course is that automating the station means I’m away. A failure like this means a terrible experience for anyone who would like to listen in, only to find an empty stream.

So right now I’ve now switched my priority of updating and improving the website to keeping watch over the stream. Which is now a juggling act of it’s own with college classes in the way. All of this has of course taught me the importance of timing, like don’t update your equipment in the middle of the week and expect everything to go perfectly. *If the stream is dead, please fire an email at me to let me know!*

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