How to setup an online radio station from home

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There are a number of ways in which you can set up an online radio station. All you need is a computer, free software and a microphone. The costs differ according to the types of radio and also whether you are a hobbyist or a professional. Here are the best tools that can be used to set up your radio station.

Radio hardware and software

In order to make a radio station, you need a computer, microphone, and headphones so that you can records, speak and hear yourself. The better tools you have, the better everything will sound. You need a software. This software can be something that you can get online or a dedicated software for hosting the radio. Some of the online software are free. You need some way of playing and recording voice on your computer. There are many free tools available for this work for Mac, Windows and Linux. Many of these tools can convert your recording into a stream for you, either with extensions or without. You can try using Audacity or Winamp as a start.

Legal warning about hosting radio online

It may be fun to host your radio station, but you should also consider the legal aspect of it. You must make sure that you have the rights to broadcast all music played online. You also need to check with the local authorities to find out whether there is any local broadcasting rule. In case of some places, you may need to pay rights for digital broadcasting. You can also have a collector who will calculate your costs depending on the number of listeners you have.

Using free radio station

One way to host your radio station for free is using shoutcast. Even though the tools that you need to set up varies, the process of setting up a host is very simple using shoutcast. You will find many online resources to learn more about shoutcast. There are lots of forums where you might get help in setting up your host using shoutcast. Free Stream Hosting is another free host. This is actually partially free as it is only free up to 1000 users. After that they charge for their service. They will place ads on your sites and start making money.

Creating a live radio station

sdad‘Spreaker’ is a tool that is similar to Google On Air or Ustream.tv. Using tools from the ‘Spreaker’ site, you can record your show live or record it. You can keep all shows and share them with your friends through Facebook feed or followers on Spreaker. Spreaker gives you a user-friendly console for managing voice, special effects and your music library. You can easily invite your friends to follow your shore, share the episodes of your show on Facebook, and tag them as well.

DIY radio station

If you have a great amount of upstream bandwidth, then you can stream directly from your PC. But practically, most people don’t have that. So, you should forget about streaming directly from your PC. It will cost you very little every month. The cost depends on the size of your audience. Initially, you will probably need $10 per month. When the number of audiences of your radio station increases, the cost increases too. You will be responsible for all the technical details and promotion of your radio stream.

When making your own online radio station, you need to find out how professional you want your radio station to be. You need to consider if some advertising can be allowed or it will outweigh technical needs and costs. The easiest methods don’t give you access to all the features. For example, tools like Spreaker, Ustream.tv and Justin.tv doesn’t give mp3 stream for sharing. It makes use of social sharing for sharing with friends. These tools are great for a fun project, but not for a professional one. Using free radio stream host like FreeStreamHosing and Shoutcast can be used for a semi-professional set up. If you are looking for a more professional setup, then you will need a different host.

Internet has a huge resource on how to set up a radio station. There are lots of free and paid tools that you can use. You will get tips on setting up both free and professional radio stations. You will find lots of examples as well. Just read through before you start setting up your own radio station.

4 amazing West African instruments

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There are a number of West African instruments that are handcrafted in the traditional style. The instruments are built with excellent craftsmanship and produces beautiful and unique sound. Here are some amazing West African instruments.

Bolon

Bolon

It is a traditional Mande harp that contains a large open-top gourd covered with skin. It has a fretless neck, bridge and 3 or 4 tunable strings. This a low pitch instrument compared to the other West African instruments. This instrument is associated with the warrior class. These are hand made in Guinea or Mali using traditional methods. It features large, thick calabash gourd having a diameter of 16 – 18’’ with a bass hole. On top, there is a thick calf or goat skin that is tied with decorative stitching. The fretless neck is curved and extends from end of gourd 32 – 38’’. It has a hardwood bridge with anchor that holds 3 to 4 leather strings in place. You can tune the instrument by sliding strings up or down the neck.

Jeli Ngoni

Jeli Ngoni

It is a traditional Mande instrument. It is alute that is played by the jelis. It has a solid handcrafted hardwood body that is 15 – 18’’ long and 4-5’’ wide. There is a hollow body with goat skin covering, similar to a drum. It has a fretless fingerboard and four to seven fish-line strings, that is strung over a bridge and tensioned by leather straps. The instrument is similar to banjo and is still popular today in modern Mande music. The instruments are built in Mali and Guinea.

Kamel Ngoni

Kamel Ngoni

This is part of the family of hunters lute-harps of the Mande people in Mali.It is similar to Kora with calabash gourd body, notched bridge, hand posts, and neck. It has 7 to 8 strings. The musician holds the two hands on the hand posts and plucks the open strings with thumbs and fingers.

Kora

Kora

It is a Mande stringed instrument. It is like a combination of harp and lute and produces a classical guitar-like sound. It is played throughout western Africa. Its main components consist of half-gourd, full-length neck, notched floating bridge, key-tuned tensioning and decorated hand posts. In order to play this instrument, you need to hold it facing towards you, hold the hand posts with both hand and then pluck the strings using your fingers and thumbs.

All these instruments are traditional and are still played in West African music. All the instruments are handcrafted with attention to great details, and thus making them precious.

Guinean radio stations

Radio is one of the major telecommunications in Guinea. The people of Guinea are the poorest in West Africa. Radio is the most important source of information for the public in Guinea. It is the only way news or information can reach the entire country. There is one government-owned radio network and a number of private radio stations.

Audience participation programs are very popular. Most private FM stations have at least one daily phone-in show. Several community stations in the government’s Radio Rurale network also broadcast phone-ins and round-table debates where local people have their say on topical local issues. This radio uses local language a lot. The government began to license private radio stations in 2005, which ended the monopoly of the state broadcaster Radiodiffusion Television Guineenne (RTG). It is a state-run radio broadcast station. It also operates in different rural areas. It is one of the largest radios in Guinea. The radio broadcasts on 88.5 FM to Conakry and other nearby areas from 29 relay stations. It broadcasts in French and other local languages. Within in 2010, there were 17 private radio stations in Guinea, most of which were based in Conakry.

Espace FM

Espace FM is an informational online radio in Guinea. Here, you will find information on various things that helps people to be connected with the world affairs. Listeners will get lots of news updates from this radio.

Bonheur FM Guinee

Bonheur FM Guinée headquarter is located in Conakry, Guinea. It transmits live in French. It mainly telecasts local and international news and various popular programs that are popular in Africa.

Radio Nostalgie Guinee

It is the first private radio station opened in 2006. It is an informational and musical radio station that broadcasts online for 24 hours a day. This is the best place for all in one radio programs for those who love to hear music and news.

Radio Kaloum Stereo 94.9 FM (RKS)

It is a music and entertainment radio station. It broadcasts in French from 08.00 until midnight in Conakry only. There are short news bulletins every hour and longer 15-minute news programs. RKS also carries a lot of sports coverage. The station mainly targets young people.

Radio Rurale de Guinée

It is a government-owned network of 23 local FM stations that covers most part of Guinea. In the 1990s, the first two Radios Rurales were set up. By 2011 Radio Rurale claimed that its network covered 90% of Guinea’s land area. There are four regional stations based in Kindia, Kankan, Labe and Nzérékoré. Radio Rurale stations relays Radio Guinéenne’s main evening news program in French. Most of their own programs are in local languages and deals with farming, health, social and economic development, education, etc.

There are many more private radios across Guinea. Though most of them concentrate on the capital, there are also stations in the other parts of Guinea. These radio stations are doing an excellent job is transmitting news to every corner of Guinea and entertaining the audiences out there.

10 best musicians from Guinea

Guinea is a country in West Africa. There are a number of ethnic groups in Guinea. There are 10 million people in Guinea who belong to about 24 ethnic groups. Mande is a popular form of music which traveling singers sing. The songs are mainly praises to noble patrons. The popular musical instruments include ngoni, banjo, and balafon.

A cultural transformation took place in Guinea with Ahmed Sekou Toure was elected as the President of the country. The Guinean music, during this time, helped restore national dignity and pride. Here are the best musicians from Guinea.

1. Momo Wandel Soumah

Momo Wandel Soumah

He was a singer, saxophonist, and composer. He was famous for his gravelly voice. He started his music career in 1950s by playing in dance bands. Later, he moved to modern music after the cultural revolution. From mid 1980s Soumah developed a blend of African traditional music and jazz. He was the musical director of Circus Baobab. His discography includes Matchowe (1992), Afro Swing (2001) and Momo Le Doyen (soundtrack, 2007). He died in 2003.

2. Bembeya Jazz

Bembeya Jazz

It is a Guinean jazz group that became famous in the 1960s for their Afropop rhythms. It is also called Orchestre de Beyla. They were formed with the help of the local governor, Emile Konde, so that they could act as the region’s ‘orchestre moderne’. They are considered to be one of the best musical bands in Guinean music. Most of their recordings are based on traditional folk music fused with Afropop and jazz style. It features guitarist Sekou ‘Diamond Fingers’ Diabate. Sekou Camara and Achken Kaba were in the brass section on trumpets, Hamidou Diaoune was on bass and Mory ‘Mangala’ Conde on drums. The band was very famous in Conakry during the days of their political turmoil. The band went through some bad times in the 1980s and disbanded for some time. It was again reformed in the late 1990s. In the early 2000s, it toured Europe and North America. Their albums included Sons nouveaux d’une nation nouvelle, République de Guinée, 2 Octobre 1962, 4ème anniversaire de l’independance nationale, Orchestre de Beyla and included the songs Présentation, Yarabi, Lele, Din ye kassila, Wonkaha douba, Seneiro, Wassoulou and Maniamba. They won the first prize at two national arts festivals in 1964 and 1965 and were crowned “National Orchestra” in 1966. They used saxophone, clarinet and trumpet in their music. They became extremely famous after their Aboubacar Demba Camara joined the band as the lead singer. The band toured a lot and became one of the famous bands in Africa. The songs ‘Armee Guineenne’ and ‘Mami Wata’ were their biggest hits. In 1973, their lead singer Camar died on an auto accident. Their popularity started to go down and in 1991 the band disbanded. In 2002, they again joined together and performed at the Musiques Metisses d’Angoulême world music festival in France. They recorded their first new album in 14 years for the director of the festival, Christian Mousset’s Marabi label.They went on to tour Europe and North America.

3. Balla et ses Balladins

Balla et ses Balladins

Balla et ses Balladins, also known as Orchestre du Jardin de Guinée, were a dance-music orchestra formed in Conakry, Guinea in 1962. It was formed after the break-up of the Sylin Orchestre National which was Guinea’s first state-sponsored group. Guinea at that time formed a number of music groups, festivals and competitions throughout the country in order to play the traditional musics of Guinea instead of the European music. The name ‘Orchestre du Jardin de Guinee’ was given after the ‘bar dancing’ music venue in Conakry. This music venue still exists today. It became one of the first modern dance musical groups in Guinea who used traditional musical instruments to blend the traditional Guinean folk music with modern music. The group made a number of recordings for the state-owned Syliphone label. The leader of the group was the trumpet player Bella Onivogui. He was born in 1938 in Macenta. He became a member of the state’s leading orchestra, the Syli Orchestre National. He died in 2011.

4. Mamady Keïta

Mamady Keïta

He is a master drummer from the West African nation of Guinea. He specializes in the goblet-shaped hand drum called djembe. He is the founder of the Tam Tam Mandingue school of drumming. He is a member of the Manding ethnic group. He started playing djembe when he was seven. He was educated in the traditions of his village, learned music and history of the Malinke people. He became a member of the first regional federal ballet of Siguiri after Balanka Sidiki at the age of twelve. At the age of fourteen, Keita was selected, along with other artists, as Guinea’s Minister of Culture to form Le Ballet National Djoliba. After being trained for nine months, he was one of only five percussionists retained. He became the lead soloist of Ballet Djoliba in 1965 where he stayed till 1986. In 1988, he moved to Belgium and worked as a teacher and performer. In 1991, he opened his first school Tam Tam Mandingue percussion school in Brussels. Since then, has worked as a performer with his group Sewa Kan and recorded a number of CDs. He teaches internationally as well in Europe, the US, Asia, and Australia. He has published many djembe teaching materials on CD, DVD, and book.

5. Orchestre de la Paillote

Orchestre de la Paillote

This Guinean group was a result of the split, in 1960, of the Syli Orchestre National. The original orchestra was formed by then president Sékou Touré. It was led by saxophonist Kélétigui Traoré. Later, the group changed its name to Kélétigui et ses Tambourinis.

6. Keletigui et ses Tambourinis

Keletigui et ses Tambourinis

There was a dance music orchestra found in 1959 by the government of Guinea. They were one of the most popular national orchestras of the newly formed independent Guinea. This group was one of the small groups that were formed after splitting the Syli Orchestre National. The group was led by keyboard and saxophone player Keletigui Traore. This group was also based in the nightclub in Conakry and made a number of recordings for the state-owned Syliphone record label.

7. Mory Kante

Mory Kante

He was born in 1950. He was a singer and a songwriter. He plays kora harp. He was known internationally for his 1987 hit song ‘Ye ke ye ke’ which became the number one song in Finland, Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain. It sold one million copies in Africa. The songs form ‘Akwaba Beach’ (1987) were referenced in three famous songs in Hindi films. He received fame again in 1994 through the dance remix of ‘Yeke Yeke’. He appeared as a vocalist on British DJ Darren Tate’s release ‘Narama’ in 2006. He was one of the singers of the song ‘Africa Stop Ebola’ which offered advice for Ebola crisis.

8. Famoudou Konaté

Famoudou-Konate

He is a Malinke master drummer from Guinea. He is one of the few masters of the Malinke drumming tradition. He is respected as famous djembe master drummers. He has dedicated his life to preserving music of his country. He helped in promoting djembe orchestra internationally. From 1959 to 1985, Famoudou was the lead djembe soloist for Les Ballets Africains de la République de Guinéeand toured the world. Today, Konaté teaches and performs annually throughout Europe, Japan, Israel, North America and West Africa. In 1996, he received an honorary professorship in Didactics of African Musical Practice from the University of the Arts Berlin.

9. Sona Diabate

Sona Diabate

Sona Diabate comes from a family of hereditary griot musicians from Guinea. She is a gifted singer who memorizes vast amounts of oral history and composes “praise songs” to important figures and benefactors. She has also performed as a singer and guitarist with the band Les Amazones de Guinea.

10. El Hadj Djeli Sory Kouyaté

El Hadj Djeli Sory Kouyaté

is a renowned balafon player, from Kindia, Guinea. He is a member of the Djoliba Ballet as well as the National Choral and Instrumental Ensemble. He is a master of the balafon, a “resonated frame, wooden keyed percussion idiophone of West Africa.

All these musicians had revived the culture of Guinea since it’s independence. Some of these musicians have also made it to the international stage.

3 reasons to visit Conakry in Guinea

Conakry is a city that is colorful, friendly, musical, a little wild, and always full of fun. The city has a variety of African flavors. Here are three reasons you should go to Conakry:

The Soumba waterfall

The Soumba waterfall

This beautiful waterfall is a 2 hour drive out of the city a short distance across Dubreka. There is also a restaurant to enjoy a nice meal beside the sound of the water in the background. You can have a swim in the waterfall also. You will love the surrounding scenery.

Guinea National Museum

Guinea National Museum

Guinea National Museum shows information on the ethnic tribes in Guinea and various instruments and mask. You will also find various kinds of exhibits on ancient Africa.

Botanical garden

Botanical garden

This botanical garden is quite famous for its collection of plants. It also has some great hiking trails so that you can enjoy the natural beauty of the garden.

Conakry is a lovely place to visit. It has some great hotels and restaurants. You can also have a good night life here. But some countries, like USA, have imposed restrictions on traveling to Guinea as they think it’s unsafe due to unhealthy environment and high crime rate. If you consider visiting Conakry then you must take enough precautions before your flight.