This Week In Radio Tech (TWiRT)

Technology Podcasts

“TWiRT” is your go to show if you want to get behind the scenes on what makes broadcasting possible. The show addresses common issues as well as explaining past experiences from a wide array of hosts who each come from a different background in radio technology. This show is a must for any tech geek or for anyone who is interested in what goes on behind the boards and wires.




“TWiRT” is your go to show if you want to get behind the scenes on what makes broadcasting possible. The show addresses common issues as well as explaining past experiences from a wide array of hosts who each come from a different background in radio technology. This show is a must for any tech geek or for anyone who is interested in what goes on behind the boards and wires.




TWiRT Ep. 630 - New FM Site, New Swiffer with Russ Laferty

Russ Laferty is the kind of broadcast engineer that more stations need. He’s from the rough mountains and “hollers” of Eastern Kentucky - Auxier, Kentucky - to be precise. But he also travels Tennessee, Arkansas, West Virginia and beyond to get broadcasters back on the air, always working to improve their equipment reliability and effectiveness. Today we caught up with Russ at the new transmitter site of WDTL-FM, licensed to Indianola, MS. It’s a second-hand prefab building at the base of a...


TWiRT Ep. 629 - The Most Interesting Engineer in the World with Jack Scott

Jack Scott's résumé includes the following: Author, Brand Ambassador, Consultant, Technologist , Broadcast Engineer, Pilot, Broadcast Journalist, VO Talent, Serial Entrepreneur, Wacky Radio Guy - and he's on TWiRT! Jack started in radio at age 12 when he exclaimed to the station owner, “Hey, I’m not famous yet!” Jack went on to be a station engineer, and then built several radio and TV stations before getting into the burgeoning home


TWiRT Ep. 628 - Voice Workspaces with George Whittam

George Whittam - I call him “Engineer to the Stars” - is back on TWiRT! This time he’s brought photos of home studio design and construction. George talks about some challenges in the layout and building of these home Voice-Over (VO) studios. We also get George’s opinion on headphones and microphones, and a look at what makes the Apollo audio interfaces so sophisticated; it’s a lot more than I had imagined. Kirk Harnack interviews George Whittam on this episode of TWiRT!


TWiRT Ep. 627 - Ariane, I Love You - with David Reaves

Ready to learn some surprising facts about audio processing? David Reaves - known by many for the Ariane audio processor - is guest! We're talking, of course, about the famous Ariane audio processor, but also the CBS Audimax and Volumax. Did you know the Audimax had a "memory module" that was key to its “intelligent” audio leveling action? Pretty slick for early 1960's design!


TWiRT Ep. 626 - Syndicate of Sounds with Frank Foti

Frank Foti is well known within the broadcasting industry for his digital audio processing innovations. Those of us who know Frank personally know that he is a huge fan of 5.1 audio recordings, and that he has often lamented the scarcity of available material. But unlike the rest of us, Frank actually has the skills to do something about it. He’s been developing DejaVu for several years and says it’s finally ready. Frank explains how his artistic upmixing technologies led him to Abbey Road...


TWiRT Ep. 625 - A Contest for Engineers with John Bisset

Armed with another treasure trove of broadcast engineering tips, tricks, and advice, John Bisset is here for our year-end episode! Plus, John is having a little contest (or is it “challenge”?) for your best transmitter site tips. One early entry to John advises, “Don’t knock on the transmitter door because that’s how we call the alligator!”


TWiRT Ep. 624 - Feel-Good Audio Processing with Cornelius Gould

Cornelius Gould began nearly 40 years ago considering audio processing and its effect on how we perceive music and voice. His “Chameleon” audio processing algorithms began with analog circuits, but are now fully emulated and perfected in Digital Signal Processing (DSP). What makes audio more pleasing to our ears and brains? What might a psychoacoustic expert say about the treatment of audio so we hear and appreciate it more enjoyably? Chris Tarr joins Kirk Harnack to discuss these topics and...


TWiRT Ep. 623 - Virtualizing Makes Sense with Sascha Ludwig

Like many of us broadcast engineers, Sascha Ludwig builds and maintains somewhat traditional broadcast studios while implementing server-based virtualized solutions as well. Sascha is based in Germany where the talent appreciates traditional hardware user interfaces. But he’s implementing more of today’s technology for these content creators. As a software developer, he maintains and update the OnAirScreen software package appearing in radio control rooms everywhere. Chris Tarr joins us for...


TWiRT Ep. 622 - TV Audio Loudness: It's Complicated - with Ken Tankel

Hearing dialog on some TV shows and many movies broadcast on TV is a problem. Why is dialog often hard to hear? Radio doesn’t have this problem. And TV typically didn’t until we went digital with DTV and 5.1 audio. Ken Tankel is Kirk’s go-to TV audio specialist. Ken worked for years in radio major market radio, so he understands audio processing. But, TV audio is markedly different, with different goals, targets, and formats. But we’d still like to understand the dialog! Ken walks us through...


TWiRT Ep. 621 - 5 Things to Know About FM Transmitter Sites with Hal Kneller

Some technical advice is timeless. Other tech advice changes with the times. Such is the case with FM transmitter sites. Now more than ever we broadcast engineers need to apply the right safeguards and approaches at today’s FM transmitter sites. Situated under tall lightning “attractors” - otherwise known as “towers” - FM transmitter sites need a mix of time-tested design care and contemporary precautions. Hal Kneller is a 40 year veteran of transmitter sites, and his Florida home provides...


TWiRT Ep. 620 - KOTZ is in Kotzebue with Pierre Lonewolf

Pierre Lonewolf’s career journey that led him to Kotzebue, Alaska in the early 1980s. You can’t get much farther away from major population bases than northern Alaska. Kotzebue, population 3,283, sits on a sand spit of Alaska’s Arctic west coast just across the Chukchi and Bering Seas and several hundred miles from the Russian eastern frontier. It’s a scenic but scarcely populated place that features abundant wildlife like caribou and moose and bear. Pierre Lonewolf, CSRE, CNT, manages...


TWiRT Ep. 619 - Sound Engineering Advice with Dennis Sloatman

“Aggressive Neglect” sounds like a great name for an Alt Rock band, but it’s actually one of Dennis Sloatman’s pet peeves. Petrified hamburger leftovers in the wiring chases is another. But he would rather construct new, reliable, yet simple broadcast systems than complain about poor work that preceded him. From continuing education to SNMP-monitored systems to small, medium and very large markets, Dennis Sloatman is the thoughtful engineer who plans the work and then works the plan. Let’s...


TWiRT Ep. 618 - Better than New with Mike Patton

The auto industry has been offering after-market parts and assemblies for decades. Now we’re seeing more after-market system replacements in the broadcast industry. Mike Patton, a well-known contract engineer, is offering replacement assemblies for some popular AM and FM transmitters. These specific transmitter models are typically well-designed for long life, but now suffer from parts made of “non-obtainium”. Mike solves this with newly-designed replacement assemblies made from parts...


TWiRT Ep. 617 - Radio, SBE, and Education with Isaiah Chavez

This man has seen some things and knows some secrets! Isaiah Chavez joins us on TWiRT. You don't want to miss his "sticky chair" introduction to radio, or his baptism by fire into Broadcast IT. Then there's the SBE Recruitment Ninja award he's about to receive! (OK, we made that up.) Isaiah’s broadcasting career sounds like many others, but with his own unique twists.


TWiRT Ep. 616 - Conference and Cargo

I had a conference to attend - and speak at; Chris Tarr had a travel and transmitter story to tell. I had guests; Chris had frustrations. My boss supports me doing a weekly podcast; Chris’s boss supports his engineering initiatives. I drove from my home to this conference in Columbus; Chris drove from his home to get a transmitter in Colby. Bouncing back and forth between our respective “studios” we put on a pretty interesting and informative show this week. Chris and I hope you enjoy it!


TWiRT Ep. 615 - Never Alone in the Dark at Drake Lighting

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has once again updated lighting requirements for broadcast towers and other “hazards to aviation” via an Advisory Circular issued in November, 2020. Tower lighting manufacturers are responding with new, appropriate lighting kits and custom solutions, and LED lighting is playing a large role in these updates. David Shepeard is President of Drake Lighting, and an advocate for simplified LED lighting systems that are readily remotely monitored and even...


TWiRT Ep. 614 - Live from the WBA Broadcasters Clinic 2022

How many radio remotes have you done from the “station van”? At the Wisconsin Broadcasters Clinic in Madison, WI, we’re broadcasting live from the Telos Alliance van. It was parked just outside the convention hall and seemed a perfect venue for a TWiRT episode. We get to hear from radio industry executives and top-notch broadcast engineers who are attending this terrific annual convention.


TWiRT Ep. 613 - Engineering Through Hurricane Ian with Hal Kneller and Kevin Trueblood

While Hurricane Ian was destroying bridges, homes, and infrastructure in Southwest Florida, broadcast engineers were keeping their stations on the air however they could. And in the aftermath they’re repairing flooded transmitter sites and restoring signals where some things went very wrong. Thoughtful planning kept several broadcasters on-the-air with critical weather and safety information. Hal Kneller and Kevin Trueblood were in the middle of the destruction as Hurricane Ian rampaged...


TWiRT Ep. 612 - Digital Audience Engagement with Curtis Machek

We met Curtis Machek almost 300 TWiRT episodes and exactly six years ago! In 2016 he won awards for “Broadcast Logger”, a cloud-based audio recorder for radio stations. Since then he’s working with radio stations, auto dealers, and medical clinics to effectively engage their listeners, customers, and patients. Text Groove does this with opt-in text messaging that’s designed specifically to not annoy, but to engage the recipients, inviting them to listen, test drive, and stay healthy. We’re...


TWiRT Ep. 611 - The World's Tallest Remote Boy with Charles Kinney

What does "The World's Tallest Remote Boy" know about radio remotes that WE don't know? Let's find out together! Charles Kinney with Cox Media Group, including the legendary WSB AM-FM in Atlanta, is our guest TODAY on TWiRT. We recount the way we handle remote audio and signalling for decades - before the Public Internet came along - and what techniques we’re using now to get audio from live, outside broadcasts back to our radio studios.