How should I automate a live news feed?

Probably one for Charlie or Tony ;…

We presently relay our on-the-hour news from the IRN news feed which is available on satellite. If I remember correctly, this is always 3’30" (well, it’s always the same fixed duration, so I’m assured!). So far, so good.

The problem comes during unattended hours. How do we work this during the night? My only ideas so far are:

  1. Leave the IRN desk channel faded up overnight. Unfortunately this won’t work because IRN ‘helpfully’ broadcasts lots of other things on the feed during the rest of the hour. >:(

  2. Hook up the IRN feed to the LineIn on the PC and use mAirList commands/scripting to ‘fade up’ the news (a.k.a. LineIn) when it starts and ‘fade down’ the news after it ends.

Although 2) would work, it means sending the relatively nice quality IRN signal into a domestic quality sound card’s LineIn (with its domestic quality A-D converters!).

Am I missing some other obvious solution to this, or not?

PS: Don’t suggest we just buy a pro-grade PC sound card: we HONESTLY can’t afford one. :wink:


Hi Cad, hope this helps.

The Sonifex red boxes range has an phono to xlr converter but may be outside of the budget:

Instead we will use these:

Some of the reviews on this site are not very promising but we followed the recommendations of a senior engineer from GCap (good enough for them - good enough for us).

As yet untried but may just solve the problem.

btw:there was a delay when the supplier was restocking.

Kind regards tony

Hi Tony, and thanks for the kit pointers.

Looks like you’re suggesting the ‘hook it to the Line In on the PC’ route; whereas what I’d prefer really would be a way to remote off/on a desk channel which we left faded up overnight during unattended times. (Anything else would mean routing our IRN feed into a fairly junk PC sound card’s Line Ins, as stated previously.)

Sort of the exact opposite of pressing a key on (e.g.) a Tipro keyboard and/or a desk button/fader to make mAirList ‘do something,’ if that makes sense? What I’d like is to have mAirList able to ‘operate’ a desk channel mute on/off.

Maybe the IOwarrior unit may be the answer; really what I’m wondering is whether or not I’m missing some other obvious way of making mAirList ‘send a command’ to external kit, probably via a pair of open/closed contacts at the far end?

(PS: We use a Very Old [ca. 1989 vintage] Clyde Presenter 2 desk, incidentally.)


Tony, thanks for that link! The ARTcessories box looks just right for us, and I only wish I’d known of their existence before now!

As you rightly say, the Sonifex REDbox range are the ‘Rolls Royce’ option, but Dolphin are good and I bought my beloved AKG K241 cans from them (take them off and they mute: designed for TV studio floor use really but great for radio too, and the ‘muting’ widget is a microswitch, so it’s easily possible to disable it at will by inverting the plastic ‘actuator’ using a standard small Philips screwdriver).


Hi Cad, yes sorry I was thinking of the option of going through the soundcard line-in.

I did have a link for something that would help with an open/close contact relay but cannot find that at the moment.

It came from another hospital radio station and you’ve probable guessed right - I cannot remember which, I will speak to Jon at Carillon Radio who is always a great help.

Back when he replies (it may take a day or so as he looks after a network of AM stations).

In the meantime, is this the sort of thing you are looking for?

Also sent you a PM about how myriad achieves this which may be helpful.

Kind regards tony

Hi Cad.

Unsure whether you still have the problem of the IRN beeps and feeds still.

Have you heard of autoIRN. I’m sure there is a channel on IRN which has no beeps or feeds and just the 3min news at the TOTH. I’ve used this before at a local station and i know they use it overnight by simply leaving the fader up. Unless i’m mistaken that it’s not a channel (i’m sure it is) but some kind of fancy configuration done at the station(doubt it), i’d enquire with IRN about it.


Thanks for all the ideas. :slight_smile:

I’m somewhat ‘hands-off’ at our station, and I’m not the guy who set up the IRN stuff either, so I’ll ask him when I’m next in touch with him (and he isn’t p***ed!).


As of last week (when I last had Hotbird and Sirius going through the studio), the IRN beeps and lo-fi announcements came through on both IRN90 and IRN180 via Sirius and also the single service on Hotbird. The other 3 stereo channels also had left/right test tones and announcements. The Sky News Radio feed on Astra @28’E also has low-level pips during “out of hours”.

PS: Back to Cad’s original comment about a “nice quality IRN signal” - I disagree, it’s ghastly! Shove it through the line input :slight_smile: Even the Hit40UK feed sounds rough until it’s been through one of Bob Orban’s £8k metal boxes. GCap’s Blast distribution is much clearer - I think they may be using that in preference to Sirius.

Actually, m’lud, the defendant’s exact words were ‘… relatively nice quality IRN signal …’ ;D Right enough, the LineIn option is starting to look like a real possibility. :-\

sigh< Well, one of those babies would improve the quality, wouldn’t it?!!
(THINKS: I must not covet my neighbour’s, uh … metal box … ;))


Line in sounds perfectly good here, IRN quality is s**te anyway ;D ;D