The Basement Show

In 2008, I started up a radio show on 89.1 WIDR-FM on the campus of Western Michigan University.

The format was to have a live band on the air, using multi-track recording / live sound methods, and mix them live to air.  We did not multi-track the recordings for post-production, it just was what it was on the air. I’ve got a gear list and approach write-up below.

I ran the show for over 4 years, hosting a different band almost every week. Only a small handful of bands were featured on the show twice. In all, there were over 150 (?) bands on the show, of all sorts of different styles.  Some day, perhaps if I were prompted with some large donations to the 37.ENT general fund, I would list all of the bands, and their air dates.   I know I have this information, or can put it together.  The recordings will probably not be made public again, but if you have any requests, I could get you a copy. Probably the bands have the shows posted somewhere via their sites.

Doing live sound mixed to air for a different band each week sure gave me a lot of experience to draw from.  A lot of those turned out really well.. many positive comments from the groups and listeners often remarked that they thought they were listening to a CD until the bands took a set break and talked.

The show is still in production at WIDR-FM, but I am no longer involved except to offer advice if asked.  It’s often the case that I’m either all-in or just a bit player. This is just one of those things where I have to be all-in, but I can’t do the free work any more.  Perhaps you’d like to make a record with me in this style?  Let’s talk!  [email protected]


Gear List

SM.57’s and 58’s, Sennheiser E609 & E602, RE20, AKG C1000 (2), ProCo DI (2)

Mackie Onyx 16-channel mixer

DBX 266 Comp (2), Lexicon MX200 Multi-FX

Audioarts R-60 broadcast mixing console

Eventide BD900 broadcast delay unit

I don’t recall the model of the broadcast processor that WIDR uses, but the recordings at that time were made by recording to an iMac off of a radio line output. Thus, the broadcast limiter/processor, and FM modulation and de-modulation were part of the sound.  After the first few months, some VU targets were learned for different styles of music.. rock and such was generally kept in the red, while acoustic music was not so much.


Bands who played the show (Alphabetical order)

37.ENT, G’itis Baggs, Bat Cave, Bike Tuff, The Bridge Band, Andru Bemis, Compendium, The Corn Fed Girls, Megan Dooley, Electric Jug Band, Elk Welcome, Duke Elephant, Fiona Dickinson, James Eternal, Funktion, Glowfriends, Go ‘Rounds, Hornet, IMP Click, Eve Kelly, Terrence Massey Quintet, Menophobia, Mesa, Nwe Spryghtes, PAN, Red Sea Pedestrians, The Reptilian, Schlitz Creek, MC Skitzo, Son Drop, Totally Rad, Treading Bleu, Wishek … I’ll check the archives and add more at some point.