Our Roots staff is made up of volunteers who donate their time to keep The Roots rocking. Many have had extensive professional radio careers, or specialists in different styles of music. Other volunteers come from broadcast or IT engineering backgrounds. Our Roots studio furniture was built by a Roots member who is a master cabinet maker. Other volunteers assist our social media operations, serve as station ambassadors or provide graphic design services.
All of our music starts as either a vinyl LP or a CD. We never play MP3 files. We try very hard to make out of print LPs sound their best. We start by cleaning the LP to remove dust and dirt. Then we digitize the LP creating an uncompressed .Wav file. We bring that Wav file into Adobe Audition so we can restore the audio. With Audition we “sample” a small section of the LP to capture a sample of the noise we want removed. Adobe then does its digital magic and the results are quite impressive. After we restore the file and enter all the metadata, we load the new songs into our “Media Finder,” where our hosts can search through 50+ years of music to locate and play your favorite songs.
Our playout systems are provided by PlayoutONE Pro. By the time you read this, we will have two redundant PlayoutONE systems. If one of our servers fails, the backup system will take over automatically. We also have redundant Internet connections from AT&T fiber and Spectrum to relay our audio to Securenet Systems in Florida.
Starting at the top of our equipment rack is a Grace Digital radio. This is how we listen to The Roots. Under the Grace is our cue speaker and small Shure mic mixer. Below those is a 2-line SIP phone hybrid and a Tieline audio codec that we use for live remote broadcasts. The blue boxes are digital switching and distribution amps from Henry Engineering. The white single rack unit is the digital mix engine/blade from PR&E/Wheatstone. All our source devices plug into this box and are connected by CAT5 cable. Not visible are audio processing systems from Orban and encoders from StreamS.
The rest of the rack is filled with Tascam CD players, a digital recorder and a CD recorder. To the right (out of frame) are two Pioneer turntables. Under the turntables are phono pre-amps that feed into the mix engine.
The one the left is our digital audio console from PR&G / Wheatstone. This system uses AoIP and can be networked to other studios. Designed and built in the USA I might add. And finally, the large computer monitor is what our live hosts use to control our PlayoutONE Pro playout system. Our curators build custom sets and test transitions between songs or dig down deep into our library of over 20,000 albums and CDs.