Monday, July 16, 2018

[GHOST BOX] Radio is undead

We're back. We're bigger. We're badder. 
Online playlist: 7 days, 1 hour, 24 minutes, 41 seconds

This is an entirely new Ghost Box Radio. Before, it was a process of addition. Now, it's a process of subtraction. Rather than hand pick every track with tender loving care as I did before, I've jammed every song in my massive collection of music labelled "dark ambient" and put it on the server. Kind of like how they shove passengers onto the bullet trains during rush hour in Japan. This includes some music that is most definitely not dark ambient. It includes movie soundtracks, experimental music, spoken word, electronic artists, industrial artists, ethnic and folk artists, found sound, as well as music from every dark ambient artist in my collection who submitted music in the last 5 years. ( theory.)

I have 10 gigs of space on the server and much more than that in my collection. Fitting it all in was the issue. I converted all the music to 128kbps .mp3s in order to save space. (128kbps keeps decent sound quality to the stream while still being available to those with poor internet connections. It's standard for internet radio.) I uploaded everything at once. While uploading, I ran a mad dash through the files on the server and deleted all but a handful of tracks from each artist. Sometimes at random. Sometimes due to large size. It was a manic game. Quite fun, actually. By the time the upload stopped I had some music from every artist in my collection and 400mb to spare. It was very organic and I'm excited to hear how the mix sounds together. The larger sized files were tracks that were longer, so the length of the tracks max out at about 15 minutes.

There were 3 things that I used to do by hand that are now automated.

1. The AutoDJ software has an 8 second crossfade. This eliminates the dead air between songs. Usually. Some artists leave a bunch of dead air at the end of the track. I'll have to hear it playing on the stream it before I notice. It is what it is. I used to preview and edit each track, deleting dead air and fading out when the artist didn't. The 8 second crossfade pretty much takes care of that.

2. .MP3Gain - This program allows me to analyze all the mp3's at once and normalize volume levels to a custom level. Production styles vary wildly. I used to adjust volume by hand. This is a lot more consistent. There won't be such a wide variety of volume levels between tracks. 

2. MP3Tag - This program takes the artist info from the track and renames the file. This allows me to actually see the artists and songs on the server. 

TuneIn links and player are still being registered. They will come.