Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pledge Drive at KPOV

I volunteered on Tuesday night over at KPOV's studios, answering the phone during their pledge drive. It was great being back in a radio studio. I used to do studio engineer techie work for KTYD-AM/FM in Santa Barbara back in the mid-70's, before it became corporate radio. Album-Oriented Rock was the format, it was all about the music. The jocks knew how to get out of the way of the artists, and while the station was a commercial station and had its obligations to the local businesses that bought advertising, it was always made clear that the music was the focus, not the spots. 

It was a joy being part of that scene. Even when we had to come in on Monday nights from midnight to 6 am because that was the only time the studio was taken off-line so we could do the major work that couldn't be done when the studio was in use, there was a sense of being part of a community effort. 

I got that same feeling when I was at KPOV. But here it's even more fun because it's volunteer operated, donation funded. No owners to suck up to and no sales department trying to coerce the progamming department to play safer music. (I was in sales at KTYD for a while. Hated it.) Just folk doing radio because radio is cool and fun. 

The station is having some issues with their equipment right now. The CODEC that gets the signal through the T1 line to their (present) 2 watt transmitter* (this mighty transmitter is located high atop Awbrey Butte--500 feet closer to the stars)  glitches every so often, causing messy and embarassing dropouts; and there's some issue with the signal path where one channel is lost somewhere in the studio. My studio engineering background is pre-digital, so I'm no help with the CODEC but I offered to lend a hand to Tristan when it comes to troubleshooting the latter problem. 

These are high-energy people who love what they're doing, and they're bringing great music and covering community events in Bend like no one else.

Support them. If you've ever lived in an area that is dominated by corporate radio you know what a fucking desert the airwaves are. A suckhole of commercials and bland, commercial music, where creativity and spontanaiety are stomped out in favor of the formulaic and predictable. 

Click here to support KPOV. They're just trying to raise $10,000. A commercial radio station blows through that much money in a week -- much of which leaves town forever into the pockets of the owners and stockholders. You can donate as little as $20, or as much as your love of music moves you. The drive ends on the 18th. 

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* KPOV is presently a Low Power FM (LPFM) community station. Read more about that here

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