Getting Started

Periodically, the FCC opens the door for new applicants to take a shot at getting a license to run their own station. These applications are only available for non-profit and community organizations. For more detailed information on when and how you can apply for your license, consult the FCC website

FCC licenses for LPFM stations are only granted for “non-commercial-educational” use. This means that although you can’t sell advertising airtime directly, you can accept contributions from businesses and incorporate their name into your sponsorship messages, much like public radio. Luckily, “educational” programming has a wide range of interpretations, allowing music, news, and general discussion of public affairs and events to be acceptable programming.

If you’ve already reviewed the application process, your next step would be fundraising. Fundraising is a great way to gauge community interest and spread the word about the future of your station. Not to mention, it’s essential for covering your start-up, equipment, and studio costs.

The leading one-stop resource for obtaining equipment, as well as assistance with setting up a professional broadcasting studio, is Progressive Concepts. Progressive Concepts offers complete equipment packages containing everything you need to start and run a high-quality LPFM. Additionally, they offer 30-day guarantees and assistance in setting up and maintaining your equipment.

To learn more about your future as the owner of your very own radio station, contact Progressive Concepts today!

Are you passionate about radio and dream of one day running your own station? Well, your dream is not a distant reality. There are a lot of resources available to help you get started, and the equipment required is more accessible than ever! Here are some important considerations to explore in the early stages of getting your station up and running.

Location, Location, Location
Two of the major decisions to make early on are the location of your studio and whether or not your transmitter will be located on-site or remotely. Transmitters should be placed in an area that will minimize interference and maximize the potential range of your frequency. Your studio should be located in a convenient location that is accessible to any potential guests.

What Type of License Do I Need?
In order to legally broadcast on FM frequency bands you have to obtain a license from the FCC. There are two types FM radio licenses:

LPFM or Low Power FM (local) - These stations have a limited range and are only available to non-profit organizations. They cannot include advertising content, but can be funded by donations and sponsors.
Full Power FM (commercial) - Commercial radio stations have a much larger range and are usually for-profit enterprises.

If you’re serious about starting a radio station, but are unsure of which license is appropriate, you will probably want to start with a Low Power FM (LPFM) station and move on to full power FM station later.

Educate Yourself
There are a lot of questions that are likely to come up as you pursue your dream of running a radio station. By considering these questions now, you can be better prepared for what’s ahead. Here are a few things to think about:



What are your startup and operating budgets?
What is the process of obtaining a license and a frequency?
What am I legally allowed to broadcast?
What kind of personnel will I need?


Equipment
One of the most important aspects of having a functional, high-quality radio station is having the proper equipment. Radio stations require a large variety of equipment, including microphones, transmitters, audio mixers, and headphones -- to name a few.



Your best bet is to contact a professional radio broadcast equipment seller who can assist you in determining what equipment will best suit your needs. Progressive Concepts is highly knowledgeable about their products and provides affordable radio broadcast equipment with 30-day no fault guarantees. They are also available to assist you in obtaining an FCC license, help building out your station, and provide you with expert technical assistance.

Why would someone want to host their own LPFM or low power FM radio show? The answer is simple. Hosting an LPFM low power radio show is a wonderful way to promote a business, a cause, or to inform those in your community about a particular issue. Novice radio broadcasters can purchase broadcasting equipment, apply for and secure a license from the FCC, and launch their own show with very little start-up cost. It is important for newcomers to the radio broadcast world to remember the following tips

Promote the show. This is easier than some might think. By talking with friends and family members and encouraging them to tune in, low power FM radio hosts can generate an audience.


Carefully select topics. It is important to discuss topics that matter to a wide audience. Even when promoting a business, broadcasters should discuss an issue of concern and carefully weave their business into the conversation.


Do your homework. Research radio shows that draw large audiences and try to structure your show in a similar fashion. It is okay to adopt strategies from seasoned broadcasters, but be careful not to attempt to imitate a well-known broadcaster.

Purchasing the right broadcasting equipment is of extreme importance. The experts at Progressive Concepts have been in business for more than 25 years. Focusing on offering radio broadcast equipment of high quality along with a dedication to customer service, Progressive Concepts has earned the trust of countless clients over the decades. Whether you are a novice to the radio broadcast world, or are a seasoned broadcast expert, Progressive Concepts is the place to purchase broadcast equipment. In fact, they are committed to meeting or even beating any written estimate, which makes them the best place to purchase LPFM low power FM broadcast equipment. Contact the trusted professionals at Progressive Concepts today and learn how they can help you secure the necessary equipment and licensing to launch your very own radio show.

If you’re like many people, when you think of the difference between AM and FM radio, you might say, “Well, AM is mostly talk radio and FM is mostly music.” While this is somewhat true (there are exceptions with both), it’s certainly not the main characteristic that sets them apart from one another. While AM and FM radio function and operate in the same ways and by the same principles, the biggest difference between the two is the way in which the carrier waves are modulated.

AM Radio

AM stands for “Amplitude Modulation”, as AM radio signals vary their amplitude to adapt to the sound information that is being broadcasted through the wavelengths. While changes in amplitude occur on FM radio as well, they are more noticeable in AM radio because they result in audible static. So, essentially, when you’re switching the channels on an AM radio, you’re hearing changes in amplitude, which is why distant broadcasts with weak signals will come across as very faint with the sound largely dominated by static.

FM Radio

FM stands for “Frequency Modulation,” and, unlike AM radio, sound is transmitted through changes in frequency. While both FM and AM radio signals experience frequent changes in amplitude, they are far less noticeable on FM. During an FM broadcast, slight changes in amplitude go unnoticed because the audio signal is presented to the listener through changes in frequency, not amplitude. So, when you’re switching between stations, your FM antenna is alternating between different frequencies, and not amplitudes, which produces a much cleaner sound and allows for smoother transitions with little to no audible static.

There are pros and cons of both AM and FM radio, but the better sound quality of FM radio makes it more desirable for those who want to transmit clear and clean sounding audio. And while AM radio has a lower bandwidth and can accommodate more stations, FM radio is generally preferred by those who want to start their own low power broadcast.

If you’re interested in broadcasting on your own low power FM radio station, Progressive Concepts has everything you need to produce a professional sounding show, whether you plan on transmitting mostly spoken word, or recorded or live music. With extensive knowledge of all of the equipment needed to produce a radio show, the experts at Progressive Concepts can help you outfit your home studio with everything you need and nothing you don’t. Contact us today to learn more or to order your equipment!

Product Information

If you own a BW Broadcast original TX series FM Transmitter or V2 or V3 FM transmitter and need to have it repaired, Progressive Concepts can repair it for you.

Simply call Progressive Concepts to obtain an RMA number. It's that easy!

Once we receive your BW Broadcast FM Transmitter at our Service Center, we will evaluate the damage and give you an estimate for the cost of the repair. Our estimates are fair and accurate, so you won't be charged any more than the original estimate even if we find more problems once we begin the repair.

Progressive Concepts can repair most any model of BW Broadcast FM Transmitter quickly. Most repairs can be done in one day! That means you get your transmitter back fast!

Give Progressive Concepts a call today to get your BW TX series FM transmitter fixed quickly and cost effectively...

We are often asked "How far will my 100 watt transmitter go?".This question does not have a simple answer. WHY? Because there are so many factors that will determine how far your transmitter will go that there is no single answer to this question. For example, here is a list of the factors that will determine the range of an FM transmitter:

1. The amount of output power of the transmitter (TPO)
2. The type of coaxial cable used
3. The amount of coaxial cable used (length of cable)
4. The type of antenna used
5. The height of the antenna above average terrain (HAAT)
6. The amount and height of trees in the area around the antenna
7. The amount and height of buildings around the antenna
8. The type of terrain surrounding the antenna site (Flat or Hilly)

So as you can see by the above list there is no one single answer to the question. You could have two different people both using a 100 Watt FM transmitter and one of them will be getting 15 miles while the other person is only getting 1 mile. The reason could be that the one who is getting 15 miles has a 2-Bay PCP2 antenna mounted on a 15 story office building that is located on top of a hill with gradually downward sloping terrain in all directions while the other person has a cheap home made antenna mounted on a 10 foot pole that is at ground level and the terrain slopes upwards in all directions around him. These are just two examples in a myriad of possibilities. The best way to know for sure what the range of your transmitter will be is to set it up and try it out. Progressive Concepts can help you determine what equipment you will need in order to achieve a certain range, but keep in mind that we can only estimate the range and can not guarantee results until after a given system has been tested in actual practice.

Many customers are afraid to buy an FM antenna that has a negative gain. They seem to feel that they are losing power. Nothing could be further from the truth!

In this article, I will use our PCP1 circularly polarized FM antenna as an example.

The PCP1 has an antenna gain of -3dB. So that means that you are losing half of your power, right? NO, This is not a true statement, here is why...

When the gain of an antenna is measured, it is only measured in one polarization plane, not both. What this means is that the gain is only measured in either the vertical OR horizontal plane. The PCP1 is a circularly polarized antenna, so there are both vertical and horizontal elements on the antenna, consequently, there are both vertical and horizontal components to the signal radiating from the antenna.

In true circular polarization, half of your signal is in the vertical plane while the other half is in the horizontal plane. So 50% of your power is in the vertical plane and 50% of your power is in the horizontal plane. ALL OF YOUR POWER (100%) IS STILL THERE! You don't lose anything!

When looking at the gain figure for ANY antenna, we have to remember that there is no magic effect that the antenna can have to either amplify or destroy your RF power. It's simply a matter of how the power is distributed or radiated from the antenna.

Likewise, when an antenna has a positive gain of +3dB, your power is not really doubled. Rather the antenna is simply re-distributing power from one area and placing it in another giving the illusion of increased power.

Let's look at it this way; imagine if you had a special pair of glasses that would allow you to "see" RF power coming off of your antenna. If you stood back far enough away from your antenna, and your antenna had a power gain of 0dB (meaning it had no gain or loss) the signal would be round, like the shape of a huge beach ball.

Now let's say that we add +3dB gain to the same antenna, it would be like you took your hands and put one on top of the beach ball and the other on the bottom of the beach ball and applied a little pressure. The ball would be "squashed" a little bit so that it would be flatter on the top and bottom, but the outer edge of the ball would "bulge" out and become larger. In this same way, an antenna with gain "pushes" the signal out around the outer edge while pulling it in from the top and bottom.

No extra power is created. Rather the exact same amount of power is coming off of the antenna, but being distributed differently.

This is why having a circular antenna such as the PCP1 is actually better than having a vertical only antenna that has a positive gain. The reason for this is because the listener's receiving antenna can come in all shapes and sizes (vertical and/or horizontal types). When you are broadcasting on FM, it is best to send your signal using an antenna that has the same format or polarization as the listener's receiving antenna. Since receiving antennas are available in vertical (like a stick antenna on older automobiles) or horizontal (like the 300-ohm twin-lead antennas on most home stereo systems and/or window antennas on cars), it is best to transmit in circular polarization (both horizontal and vertical polarization). In this way, the broadcaster has both bases covered when it comes to matching up his transmit signal with that of his potential listener.

This is why almost ALL professional FM broadcast stations are using an antenna with circular polarization and not vertical only polarization.

Since the FCC only measures the power in one plane (vertical or horizontal) you are able to actually put twice as much power into a circular antenna (such as our PCP or CIRPA antenna) than you can put into a vertical only antenna. By putting twice the power into the antenna, you are effectively putting twice the power into the air, which gives you much better coverage than any "vertical only" antenna could ever provide.

Over time, pressure grew for a solution to allow community organizations the power to broadcast their message locally over the radio. As a result, the FCC began granting licenses to non-profit organizations that allows them the right to broadcast FM radio signals with limited power and range. Corporate broadcasters fought back, causing many of these stations to shut down--until 2011 when the Local Community Radio Act was signed into law allowing the FCC to again grant licenses to LPFM stations.

LPFM stations with a valid license from the FCC are allowed to operate at a maximum power of 100 watts, which equates to a range of anywhere from 3-5 miles depending on the local terrain.

The Numark MP103USB CD Player is perfect for use in Radio Broadcasting. The MP103USB has all the features needed by today's demanding radio DJ's. Furthermore, the MP103USB is rugged in design so that it lasts under the rigors of constant use.

We are often asked how to figure out what power to set your transmitter at in order to achieve a certain Effective Radiated Power or ERP. Below is an example of an LPFM station that is using 190 feet of Andrew LDF4 Cable and our PCP1 antenna. In this particular example the customer is approved for a 29 Watt ERP. You can plug-in your own figures to determine your ERP.

Here is the formula to figure out what power to set your transmitter at in order to achieve a given ERP:

Transmitter Power Output x Line Loss x Antenna Gain = ERP

For this example we know the PCP1 has an antenna gain of -3dB. We also know that the loss of LDF4 cable is .661dB per 100 feet. Since, in this example, we will have 190 feet of cable we multiply .661 x 1.9 = 1.255. So you will lose 1.255dB in 190 feet of LDF4.

Now we need to convert dB into POWER GAIN figures. According to my chart (below), -3dB = .5 power gain. And -1.255dB = .75 power gain.

Chart Image

Now we have all the information we need in order to figure out what your transmitter needs to be set at:

79 Watts TPO (Transmitter Power Output) x .75 (cable loss) = 59.25 Watts x .5 (antenna gain) = 29.6 Watts ERP.

The same formula can be used for Belden 9913 cable. The loss per 100 feet of Belden 9913 at 100 MHz is 1.4 dB which gives you a power gain of .75 per 100 feet. If we used 9913 in the example above with 190 feet of cable you would multiply 1.4dB x 1.9 (190  feet) = 2.66dB loss. Using the chart above, this would give you a power gain of .54 (in some cases it is necessary to "read between the lines" on the chart.

Therefore, if we used Belden 9913 in the above example instead of Andrew LDF4 cable, we would get the following results:

110 Watts TPO (Transmitter Power Output) x .54 (cable loss) = 59.4 Watts x .5 (antenna gain) = 29.7 Watts ERP.

Those who have an interest in operating a low power FM or LPFM radio station, either on behalf of a company, institution, or for personal use, are often intimidated by the prospect of assembling all of the necessary equipment and sending sound through the airwaves. While the process of getting a low power FM or LPFM radio station up and running may seem daunting, with just a few pieces of essential broadcast equipment, you can produce a high quality program that listeners will enjoy. 

The key component of every broadcast is the FM transmitter, which is responsible for sending the signal through the airwaves. Naturally, this piece of equipment is a must, but it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. If you’re running an LPFM radio station in a building that already has an antenna mast or tower, you can connect to it by just purchasing or leasing space on the existing tower. After you’ve purchased or connected to a transmitter, you’ll need an antenna. The antenna sends the signal into the airwaves. These pieces of equipment make up the essential items that are required to physically receive and send sound signals. 

After you’ve assembled your essential equipment, you can take more liberties when choosing pieces like microphones, mixers, equalizers, and monitor speakers. This type of equipment ranges widely in price, so if you’re just starting out, you can purchase cheaper items and then upgrade once you’re familiar with the broadcast process and want to refine the sound you produce. When it comes to broadcasting equipment, price often dictates quality, so a more expensive microphone (provided it’s the right kind for what you’re using it for) will make your voice come through clearer than an inexpensive entry-level microphone. 

Setting up a low power FM radio or LPFM radio station can seem like a lot of work, but it’s also a lot of fun. Once you get the basics down, you can start to play around with equipment options and find the items that are best tailored to your productions. At Progressive Concepts, we have everything you need to begin broadcasting on your own LPFM low power FM radio station at prices that won’t break the bank. No matter what type of broadcast equipment you need, we’ve got you covered. Contact us today to learn more!

Imagine being able to send out music and thoughts through energy, electrons and radio waves. An FM antenna does just that. Antennas are sometimes called an aerial. You see antennas every single day of your life. They are built into our cell phones, our cars. Satellite dishes are even a form of an antenna. Antennas take on many forms, such as wires, rods, dishes and all manner of bizarre shapes, with the shape depending on exactly what is intended to be received or transmitted. The goal of an antenna is to send out radio waves throughout the earth, and even into space, or to receive data from long distances.

But how does an FM antenna work exactly? There are two types of antennas, one called a transmitter, the other more commonly seen type is a receiver. Both operate differently, yet in related ways. A transmitter generates electrical signals and turns them into radio waves, sending these radio waves through the transmitter at the speed of light. These radio waves can travel vast distances around the earth, and even into space. The further these waves travel, the more powerful the receiver must be.

A radio station uses an FM antenna to transmit songs, talk shows, programs and commercials across long distances. This data is turned into electrical energy, which surges along the FM antenna. While this process is ongoing, the signal or power is boosted. This energy has electrons in the electric current that surge back and forth across the length of the antenna to create electromagnetic radiation. This electromagnetic radiation is what you commonly call radio waves, and these radio waves travel  to transmit data at the speed of light. These radio waves are then captured by other receiver antennas. The radio waves captured by the listener's antenna surge along the receiver antenna, and this causes electrons to move, which in turn generates an electric current. A radio or other such device then converts this electric current into sound and data.

Anyone can buy an FM antenna and start their own radio station. All one needs is the right equipment and, of course an FCC license, which is not too terribly difficult to obtain. If you have ever dreamed of owning your own radio station, it is as easy as finding an FM broadcast equipment distributor that specializes in antenna sales for radio broadcasting. Progressive Concepts can make your dream come true. We specialize in radio broadcasting equipment, and we even help our customers obtain their FCC license if needed. We can even help you build your radio station. We have the lowest prices on all of the equipment you need for your radio broadcast. Contact us today!

Emergency Messaging systems were once very expensive, but they have become much more affordable in recent years.  They offer many benefits to radio stations, and now, more than ever, DASDEC systems are affordable for even the smallest radio stations with minimal budgets.

Sometimes radio stations need to let listeners know about a major storm or some other type of natural disaster, and these messages need to be transmitted expeditiously to a large audience.  In today’s uncertain times, radio stations also rely upon Emergency Alert Systems (EAS) to notify listeners of an issue, such as a national security related incident, that could potentially jeopardize the safety of the listeners.  Using the Digital Alert Systems DASDEC II, radio broadcasters can notify those who need to hear the important message.  The Digital Alert Systems DASDEC II is reliable and user-friendly, which is necessary during times of emergency.  It’s also user-friendly and can be learned by just about anyone with a manual and a little bit of time.  Don’t be fooled by all of the ports on the back panel.  It is much easier to setup than it may initially seem.

The Digital Alert Systems DASDEC II comes with an easy-to-navigate owner’s manual, which is extremely helpful for those who are unfamiliar with the product or have never used any type of alert system.  Remember, if you purchase the Digital Alert Systems DASDEC II from Progressive Concepts, you have an additional source of help along the way, should you ever run into any mechanical or performance issues. Our staff is always available to help, no matter what type of problem you’re experiencing.

As leaders in radio broadcast equipment, the staff at Progressive Concepts is able to provide our customers with top notch equipment at affordable prices.  We pride ourselves on working closely with our customers to ensure that their needs are met.  If you want to learn more about the Digital Alert Systems DASDEC II and receive additional information about how it can improve the efficiency of your broadcast, contact us today!

Whether you are a radio broadcasting hobbyist, or a full time disc jockey/talk show host, nothing is more crucial than your radio transmitter. Other components found within this industry such an amplifier, oscillator, modulator, power supply, and antennas are integral in radio broadcasting, but without a good transmitter, all supplementary equipment can be for naught. 

Even though radio broadcasting has enjoyed much popularity for nearly a century, most people are unfamiliar with the way that FM transmitters send signals to create sound within the broadcasting area. Again, familiarity with something such as radio doesn’t mean people understand it. The same principle applies to other forms of technology such as copiers, fax machines, the internet, etc. If you are unsure, ask a friend or relative to explain to you how an email can be sent in India and received in Indiana in less than a second or two! When compared to other communication tools, low power FM or LPFM transmitters are actually fairly simple.

LPFM Low power FM transmitters allow signals to be transmitted to a small area. For example, a large-scale radio program might have transmitters that use a huge amount of wattage with capabilities of transmitting sound to large areas. LPFM or Low power FM transmitters generally range between 50-1000 watts. The smaller the number of watts associated with the transmitter, the smaller the possible audience. The difference between large radio stations and their technology compared to those who run a low power FM radio station is simply the size of the transmitter.

Radio broadcasting is not only a career for some, but it’s also a hobby or charitable project for others, as well as a useful tool for small communities and businesses who wish to project sound to a desired audience. If you are interested in learning more about your low power FM transmitter options, the experts at Progressive Concepts are eager to listen to you and help you find the best low power FM transmitter to meet your needs. Contact us today!

Every sound engineer has had to deal with telephone lines at one time or another. Linking the phone conversation to an audio system when taking calls at a radio studio can be accomplished via telephone hybrids such as the JK Audio AutoHybrid. These devices receive audio signals, separate transmission, and safely isolate the caller from dangerous ring and supply voltages.

The JK Audio AutoHybrid is a passive interface that allows you to send and receive audio simultaneously through analog telephone lines. The JK Audio AutoHybrid connects directly to the phone line and enables automatic answering and disconnecting from an incoming call.

Since the JK Audio AutoHybrid is a passive interface, you’ll need a mixer in order to send and receive signals at an acceptable level. There are a few things every JK Audio AutoHybrid user needs to keep in mind when connecting to a mixer, and some adjustments might have to be made. First, make sure your mixer has a line level input and check to see that phantom power is disabled. Also, connect the “Caller” output on the JK Audio AutoHybrid to the mixer’s line level input. Next, in order for the “Send” jack to work properly, it needs to receive a mix-minus signal to prevent feedback or noise interference.

Once you set up the proper connections for your JK Audio AutoHybrid, its features can be used for many simple applications. The JK Audio Autohybrid is a small desktop audio interface that is ideal for IFB feeds, monitoring remote locations, conferencing, and PA telephone interface applications.

If you are interested in purchasing the JK Audio AutoHybrid, or you want to learn more about radio broadcast equipment, contact the professionals at Progressive Concepts. With extensive knowledge in all aspects of radio broadcasting, they are prepared to help you find every piece of equipment you need.

In previous posts, we’ve outlined the equipment you need to get your low power FM radio station up and running. But before you start purchasing the different pieces of your broadcast puzzle, you should first understand the function of each component and get a better grasp of its effect on your production. Often, it takes more than just assembling the required equipment to produce a high quality broadcast, so you should be sure that every individual component is tailored for your intentions. Mixers and equalizers (EQ) are great examples of components that can have a huge impact on your sound. Once you know about the mixers and EQ equipment available to you, you can choose specific pieces that will have the best impact on your broadcast.

Mixers and Audio Interfaces

A mixer, or audio interface, combines the individual inputs and “mixes” them into controllable outputs. In other words, a mixer takes the individual audio signals and mixes them together to make a better sounding end result. The simplest mixers have at least one volume control on the output, but most have volume controls for each input, or channel. They can also, of course, be much more complex and feature a variety of signal processors.

If the plans for your broadcast only involve using a single microphone with a USB interface, then you don’t need to worry about purchasing a mixer or audio interface, but if you need to use multiple microphones or the microphone you’ll be using has an XLR input, then you will need a mixer. You should make sure the mixer you purchase has a USB interface so that you can edit your shows on your computer. Also, if you’re using a condenser microphone, you need to find a mixer that is equipped with phantom power. Another important thing to consider is how many channels you need to accommodate the number of inputs your broadcast requires. If you intend to produce a radio show that only involves you speaking or playing music, then you don’t need a lot of inputs. But if you plan on including other speakers or broadcasting live music, your mixer should have more available inputs.

Equalizers

An equalizer is often a built-in component of the mixer, but they can also come in the form of a digital plugin or a separate piece of hardware. EQ controls, or shapes, the frequencies to achieve a better sound or eliminate unwanted noise. Since each sound is comprised of many frequencies, there can be an overlap when more than one sound is combined, and this often results in a “muddy” final product. Through EQ, you can shape the two sounds so they complement one another and produce a more cohesive sounding whole. EQ is a very valuable tool that can transform the sound of your broadcast, but you should beware of becoming too reliant on it. When recording something for later or delayed broadcasts, you should always try to record the best possible sound without EQ, and then go back and correct the spots that sound muddy. This practice will ensure that you produce the best possible final product.

Put simply, EQ shapes each input while a mixer combines the inputs into a cohesive final product. Depending on how you intend to broadcast, both components can vastly improve the quality of your productions. Whether you’re just starting out and need to find the necessary equipment to get your low power FM radio station off the ground, or you want to upgrade the equipment you already have to improve your sound quality, contact the experts at Progressive Concepts for the lowest prices and the best equipment for broadcast.

After you’ve assembled the necessary equipment to broadcast your signal through the airwaves, you can begin to pick and choose certain items that will enhance your broadcast. The most important component to ensure that your voice carries well through the airwaves is a microphone. But with so many types of microphones on the market, how can you know which will best suit your voice?

When choosing a microphone, people often ask the question, “Which one is the best?” This question doesn’t have a definite answer because, while there are certainly microphones that are better than others (price is usually a good clue), different voices can benefit from different microphones. Also, while some microphones are high performers in one category, such as condenser microphones for recorded voice, they can be poor performers in another category, such as condenser microphones for miking the live sound of a loud electric guitar amplifier.

One helpful thing to consider as you begin searching for a microphone is frequency response. That is, you should find out what ranges of frequency a microphone is suited for in order to find the best one for your needs. For instance, a large diaphragm microphone is engineered to pick up lower frequencies like a deep male voice, a bass guitar, or a bass drum. A smaller diaphragm microphone is designed to pick up high frequencies, such as a female voice, the shiny, shimmering sound of cymbals, or the clear high tones of an acoustic guitar.

So, essentially, the best microphone is the one that is designed to pick up the frequencies you’ll be putting out and one that you can use with minimal technical problems. When all other factors are equal, you should choose the microphone that requires the simplest setup to enable you to record quickly and easily. If you can “plug and play,” you’ve found the right microphone.

Whether you’re looking for a microphone to complete your radio broadcast setup, or you’re starting from scratch and need to assemble all of the necessary components, contact the experts at Progressive Concepts today to choose from a wide selection of the best equipment for setting up and producing a professional radio broadcast.

Out of all the equipment needed for radio broadcasting, there is no piece more important than the FM radio broadcast transmitter or FM Transmitter. Sure, the microphone picks up your voice, the audio processor makes it sound better, and the mixer allows you to control various aspects of the sound, but the most important piece of equipment is the radio transmitter because it is responsible for taking the sound from your studio and broadcasting it through an antenna to receivers throughout your listening area.

An FM radio transmitter consists of several pieces that work together to transmit information (in the case of radio broadcasting, sound is that information). A typical FM radio broadcast transmitter that is used in FM broadcasting contains the following components:

The power supply provides an electrical signal to operate the transmitter.
The oscillator creates the alternating current, a carrier wave, that the transmitter sends through the antenna.
The modulator adds information to the carrier wave. In the case of FM (frequency modulation), the modulator either slightly increases or decreases the frequency of the carrier wave.

The amplifier increases the power of the wave. More powerful amplifiers allow for a larger broadcast area.
Finally, the antenna converts the amplified signal to radio waves.
While the components of an FM radio transmitter may seem confusing to some, they are actually quite simple. Radio transmitters are used in a variety of applications, from radio and TV to electronic devices, such as wireless internet routers, and they are often built in schools as a project for science or electronics classes. These types of transmitters, however, are far less powerful than those that power your favorite FM radio stations.

If you’re putting together your own radio station, or you just enjoy tinkering around with radio broadcasting transmitters, contact the experts at Progressive Concepts who can help you gather everything you need to navigate the airwaves.

So you’ve been dreaming about running your own radio station, and you have a good idea of what you will broadcast, but how do you know exactly what equipment you’ll need? While there are endless bells and whistles you can purchase for professional radio broadcasting, there are a few key pieces of equipment you’ll need to get up and running. Here is a breakdown of the basic radio broadcast equipment:

Transmitter
The transmitter is the key component to any radio broadcast. It takes your broadcast signal, encodes it, and transmits as radio waves that can be picked up by any receiver. There are several different types of Radio Transmitters available from Progressive Concepts. There are large FM Transmitters for full power Radio Stations and there are medium to low power FM Transmitters such as those used on LPFM radio stations.

Receiver
The receiver picks up the encoded broadcast signal, decodes it, and allows for you to hear it. It is what allows your radio set to pick up signals for playback.

Antenna
The broadcast antenna sends and receives radio signals. Progressive Concepts can help you determine which FM Broadcasting Antenna is best for your particular application.

Transmission Lines
Transmission lines transport your signal locally, from one location to another. For example from the FM Transmitter up the tower to the FM Antenna. These lines are usually in the form of coaxial cables. There are also short range transmitters used in AM and FM broadcasting. For example, it can take the broadcast from the studio to the location of the transmitter. This is also known as an STL Transmitter or Studio to Transmitter Link.

Audio Processor
The audio processor improves and optimizes the sound quality. There are a variety of audio processors available from Progressive Concepts. Most are stand alone processors which are connected to the FM transmitter. This component can be replaced by software on computer-based radio broadcasts.

Mixer
A mixer allows the operator to combine multiple audio signals and control various aspects of how they sound, including level and equalization.

Speakers
Monitor speakers will be required to hear the contents of your broadcast. It is recommended that speakers designed for music studios be used, as they can give you the most accurate representation of the signal.

Cables
Audio cables link various components of your broadcast studio to each other, allowing your signal to flow from one piece of equipment to another.

Audio Playback Component
Depending on what you intend to broadcast on your radio station, there are various options available for audio playback. These include CD players, tape machines, or vinyl record players. Most modern radio stations use a computer in conjunction with one or all of the previously mentioned playback devices.

Progressive Concepts is a comprehensive source for all of the necessary equipment required to start your own FM or LPFM radio station. They offer 30-day guarantees and assistance in setting up and maintaining your equipment.

To learn more about the specifics of any of the previously mentioned radio broadcast equipment, contact Progressive Concepts today!