On and Off

27 08 2014

What if…

There was to be an experiment, in which a whole state of a country was involved, one which has a fairly evenly spaced population, a popular radio station, and an Astronaut watching and in contact with the radio station below….

And the listeners had their fingers on their light switches, and were set to flick their switches as the Astronaut says…. on, off, on, off, on, off, on….

Would the Astronaut see the state flash like a neon sign, in a fairly even, flat pattern…

OR, Would He see something more like ripples from a pool, because people who were closer to the transmitter, would hear the commands quicker than those further away?





Vinyl Records

23 03 2014

This is just a short post to say that I have a new homepage which is partly about my voice work, and perhaps get some work by letting people hear what I can do. There are some samples of me reading commercials, poems, short stories and a full interview with Simon Fisher-Becker from Doctor Who.

It’s also partly about my interest in rare coloured vinyl records.

Record collecting has been a hobby of mine, although it’s been on pause, since the early 80’s, so I know a fair bit about it.

Every few weeks I’ll be making a brand new video about the latest additions to the collection, as well as some tips for collectors.

There is also a music quiz, Rockit, which I write each week, which should stretch your memories a bit, as it’s retro in nature… those of you who were into music from the early 80s should fly through it, or not, give it a go.

Take the link here and please let me know what you think.

Thanks!

Wolfie Rankin.

 

 





Simon Fisher-Becker Interview

3 09 2013

Radio Wolf returns to Air Digital Radio Tomorrow Night at 10pm Melbourne Time.

On the menu will be a mix of 70’s and 80s music, rarely heard songs, Extended Mixes, Mashups and of course Comedy.

And Featuring a fifty minute interview with Simon Fisher-Becker from Doctor Who.

Listen live from anywhere on the Planet and selected parts of the Galaxy.

* If for any reason you have trouble listening, please read the instructions on the website, that is what they are for!





The Dream

25 07 2013

While The Danie and Wolfie Show is Danies idea, and one I can’t wait to be a part of, I would like to talk about Air Digital.

When I was a kid, people used to ask me what I wanted to be, and I always said “A TV Cameraman”, I was completely fascinated by those huge cameras that blokes would push around in a studio.

I thought I’d have control of that awesome thing, and get to make some great television, I was thinking of tonight shows, or something involving singing.

Then at some point, someone asked me about the footy, or hours of cricket… which, not being the sporty type, would just bore me senseless.

So the TV Cameraman dream died there and then (but I love cameras and own quite a few)

I’m not sure where the idea of being a DJ came from.

I remember in grade four, a teacher was making some sort of recording, and had asked the boys to line up and come into the room one by one… it turned out that he wanted someone to put on ye olde ABC accent.

And I totally cracked it, and made him happy.

Then I fell for the charms of Kenny Everett, who I adored as a teen, and of course, although I never heard his show, I knew who Wolfman Jack was, and loved his voice.

I went through High School, and dreamt of leaving and being a DJ, I dreamt of having my own station, AIR FM… The Thunderbolt was the logo and it had a very thin Wolfie as a mascot, who wore an AIR FM sun visor.

The design is on a manilla folder I still have, which has all my vinyl cataloged inside it, dated 1986.

In the later 80s, I joined The Radio Works, a Radio School run by Chris Heaney (3XY) and Steve Dale (Fox-FM).

I seemed to have been there forever, although I wanted to work in radio, what was happening was classmates were finding jobs in other states, thousands of kilometers away from home, this bothered me, because I love my family… and my dog, moving would hurt.

Now Chris had told us not to get into community radio, as we were being trained for commercial radio, and I remember him doing his block with a student who did in fact join a community radio station,

BUT… Mum found out about 3 RIM FM in Melton, Now called 979 FM, She phoned and asked about it for me, and next thing I knew, I was there.

They were taking students through a quick course on knob twiddling, but rushed me through due to going to The Radio Works.

I had a twice weekly show around 1987 called “Something Wild” and
I would also produce recorded content for the station, and write Sponsorships and things.

I was there for about three years.

I started getting a bit cranky with myself, why was I a “useless” DJ when I could have been a doctor or something, they were silly thoughts, and I found myself getting cranky about doing radio, while becoming more and more interested in hanging out with friends who had Amiga computers.

Then things took on a downward spiral as my health declined slowly,

I felt horrible for a few years, but then got to a point where I felt I could do something, and that’s when I became a new age crystal wearing hippy… well ok, I had been wearing crystals for a while.

I got into Chinese and New Age healing, I learnt Shiatsu Massage, Reiki and  Yoga, and have to say, that even though I think a lot of it was pretty flakey, my health did improve by leaps and bounds.

After I left the Australian Shiatsu College, I took up a volunteer position as a Friends of the Zoos at Melbourne Zoo, but that didn’t last, My Dad wasn’t well, and it wasn’t long before he was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

My own health fell away to what it was earlier, I could barely get into the hospital to visit him, but forced myself to… and was almost admitted myself.

After Dad Died, I found myself staying home with Mum and Benny Malamute, and found out about Broadband internet.

I spent a lot of time soaking up time on the internet, I really wasn’t well enough to do much else.

But not to the point that Benny missed out on a Walk.

While watching channel seven, I found out about Second Life, and decided to try that, it looked nice, and it had furries… what appealed to me most was that it wasn’t a violent game, more about creating than destroying, in fact it was more of a social network than a game.

A friend in the US bought us a full island, which he called Eragon, I had a pub there, and one day a bloke strolls in and says “Hey, can I perform at your pub?” “er, what?” it turned out musos were playing live gigs in these places… I said yes, and we started getting musos coming in and performing.

Then I was hitched up with ABC via a friends blog, they were building an island too, and I would become the admin of that island.

I was becoming very well known, which freaked me out a bit.

I began a show like spicks and specks which I called “Rockit” and that was very popular.

Then I found out about DJing from home into Second Life.

So I grabbed myself a copy of Sam Broadcaster, named my Station AIR and off I went, gee I must’ve had about eight people listening to me at one point, and after about four tries, I gave up.

Sam gave up too, I wasn’t about to pay for it back then, it was too expensive.

And so now, AIR gets another go at being a teen dream realised.

But this time it’s not just me and some mp3s, this time i have friends and supporters who might actually turn this dream of mine into something seriously special.

We’re going to water this little plant and see how big it gets.





How do DJs do that?

1 06 2013

When I was a DJ years ago on community radio, I would often be asked by friends, How DJs managed to play a request only seconds after a listener requested it.

Now firstly we’re talking about the 1980s, there are no computers loaded with songs, at the time, computers were confined to the office and were not a part of the studio… if the station had one at all.

There might be a few cartridges beside you containing top 40 hits, but the rest is mainly vinyl, There may have been some CDs available to you

This is how it runs:

You have two tickets to give away for a Phil Collins concert, which will be given to the first caller through when “Easy Lover” is played.

You have a record playing, it’s just about to end, and you’re about to play “Easy Lover” which is all cued up on the next turntable (People are already phoning, but you’re ignoring all incoming calls).

You have your reel-to-reel tape recorder all ready to record, it’s probably a good Idea to hit record right now and see if it’s actually recording.

The song ends, you play “Easy Lover”

You quickly cue the next record.

You take the phonecall, and say…

“Hello, You’re the first person on the line, Who am I speaking to?”

“Diane”

“Hi Diane, Well done, You’ve won two tickets to see Phil Collins performing live at The Entertainment Centre here in Melbourne, on the 7th of September, how about that?”

“Wow, I’ve never won anything in my life, I’m excited, Thankyou!”

“You’ve very Welcome Diane, Now please don’t hang up, I’ll get back to you in a few minutes to get your details, but while you’re here, would you like to hear a song?”

“Yes please, How about “The Power of Love” by Huey Lewis and The News?”

“We can certainly do that for you Diane”

“Thanks Wolfie, Thanks AIR-FM”

At this point, you stop recording, you may have to start your third record and rewind what you’ve just recorded until just before you took the call, the tape should now be cued and ready to play.

You then run off to the record library and find “The power of love”, return to the studio and cue it up.

The record you’re playing comes to an end.

You hit the play button on the reel-to-reel, and it plays the call.

When you hear Diane say “Huey Lewis and The News” you begin playing the record.

When You hear her thank you and the station, you say…

“All the best Diane, Have a great time, It’s fourteen to four on AIR FM and Here’s Huey Lewis, The Power of Love…”

The Lyrics kick in.

And that’s how it’s done.

Wolfie!





Recording Radio on Mac or Iphone, With a TuneIn Solution.

5 03 2013

I tried to record radio on my Mac, and I can’t believe it’s such an utter pain in the arse to get something which simply records an mp3 file of the recording.

I tried the soundflower/audacity combo and was left with something which sounded like someone had recorded an old tranny (70s slang for tiny radio) with a mic in a tin can… maybe there’s a way around that, I don’t know.

And I have tried almost everything else which had been suggested, yes I have googled and read and downloaded, but it was fail after fail.

Finally I gave up, I knew I could record,  a radio stream to my iphone with TuneIn Radio although I hadn’t actually done it yet.

After I was finished I found I had a perfectly good copy of what I needed, except there was no way to get the recording from the iphone.

Again I resorted to Google for help, and again software was mentioned which might work, One looked great… connect the iphone, search the directory for a weird file, copy that, rename it 12345.mp3 or wav or aac or….. and eventually you get a file which plays.

I came up with another idea, I tried it out, and it works.

Get yourself a stereo cable, one with two male jacks on each end, shove one into the iphone and the other into the mic socket on the mac.

Load up Audacity, Select “Built in input” (Where it generally says “Built in mic”)

Turn the Iphones volume up full, press record on Audacity, press play on your Iphone… let it transfer.

Done!





Wolfies guide to talking to the media

11 07 2012

I’ve been thinking about Furries and the party line which is “Don’t talk to the media”.

I have always felt this isn’t the best way to be, because not talking to anyone creates the illusion of being some sort of dark cult and before long, nutters start spreading tales about Toad Licking and doing odd things in your garden shed at 2am.

You should speak, but do it carefully!

Several years ago, I was invited to be in a documentary about Furries and Second Life, A Virtual World/Social Network sort of thing, and I said I’d do it… but I already knew a few things.

Shelley Matulick, The Director, Had already made a short film about Second Life which had been on television. This new doco would be much like that one, but run for a full hour.

The Network it was to be shown on, SBS has always treated minority groups with a great deal of respect.

Shelly and I had several long talks about how the documentary would be structured, and during this time, we got to know each other really well, I also got to know our Camera Man – Peter Zakharov, and Sound Recordist – Bart Bee, as we spent quite a lot of time together.

Marko T Rat also had a lot of questions to ask, and decided that he might like to be in the doco, despite a few other furries advising him not to.

We had a lot of fun making the doco although sadly, a lot of the good stuff never made it into the end product, plus it aired very late at night and not many people saw it.

And none of the Second Lifers could remember what a Television set looked like. 😉

What I’m saying is that nothing was rushed into, We had all done our homework and everyone was fine with it.

Always research who you’ll be speaking to, Google and Youtube can usually assist you.

Are they people who produce interesting and factual work?, or are they shock jocks?. Is the station, newspaper or network in the habit of publishing reliable material? or are they in the habit of calling people with interesting new ideas, crazy?

If they check out, do the interview, If not, walk away and save face.

If you decide to do the interview, Here are a few things to consider.

No elephants in the room, say what you want to, be honest, but don’t be defensive (Shelley told me this).

“What’s a Furry?” “A person who portrays themselves as an animal”

Some Furries have written entire novels on what a furry is, painstakingly making sure that no stone is left unturned, save it for your blog or wikipedia… it will not work for a thirty second news story and isn’t suitable for a documentary either as your audience will quite literally tune out and learn nothing.

You are explaining The Furry Fandom, not The Higgs Boson.

“Do furries have sex?” “Yep, Just like everyone else”

Furries are usually hot blooded young people, of course they have sex, it’s a silly question.

“Do Furries have sex in their costumes?”  “Yes, but only a small group of furries do, it’s not for everyone”

A lot of “normal” people prepare food, naked… It’s a strange world. If you could float like a ghost through walls, I can tell you that you’d see a lot of very strange things. If people are having sex in their costumes, in private, they’re not hurting anyone.

“What does Yiffing mean?” “It’s furry slang for sex”

If a Furry saw two people having sex on the beach, The Furry would say they were Yiffing.

Keep answers brief, Imagine that answers have to fit into a tweet, Sound-bites are great in a news story, but if you’re doing a documentary or long radio interview, feel free to elaborate.

I would like more ideas on this, what are your thoughts?

And before I finish, I would like to say that I was heading for my own career in Media, until my health failed me.

I went to Radio School, and then ran my own radio program on Community Radio for about three years.

I also wrote Community Service Announcements and produced recorded work.

Many of my Twitter followers are media people, mostly from Radio and Television, Especially the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation…. Who are not at all related to the US Version).

I also assisted with ABC Island in Second Life.

If anyone is not afraid of the media, it’s me.

Wolfie!

8750931 Click to see a short from Alter Ego