Jack Mazzoni

JackMazzoni
JackMazzoni

From his site:

With over 100 million views on YouTube and 10 million streams on Spotify Jack is one of the most loved and followed dance artists in Europe. He has remixed for renowned artists such as Sean Paul, Sak Noel, Juan Magan, Alexandra Stan, Inna, Daddy Yankee and Dj Antonie (just to name a few). Jack also established himself as an artist in his own right with the hit “Booma Yee” and its much requested bootlegs and remixes.

Our take:

We have to talk about that hair. Any man who can rock a hairdo like that is surely a god. Mazzoni is also a top flight remixer, he’s so good that we’re surprised he’s not better known in North America because, frankly, his skills are right up there with Avicii. A Mazzoni remix comes with its own trademark sound and the best of them is his remix of Zombie, released in December of 2018.

Mazzoni is still DJing and remixing, but he’s also releasing his own work. “Booma Yee“, his collaboration with Geo De Silva, quickly charted in Europe. A more recent release, “The Fight” is even better in our opinion, but just didn’t get the recognition it should have. It’s a hella good song.

We’re proud to feature Jack Mazzoni on The Squirrel this week and we hope he becomes as loved in North America as he is in Europe. The man does good work.

Favourite video:

Songs in high rotation:

We’re sorry for posting the featured artist late this week. Mr. Squirrel started the week with a pulmonary embolism and has been recovering ever since.

Mother Mother

Mother Mother
Mother Mother

From Wikipedia:

Mother Mother is a Canadian indie rock band based in Vancouver, British Columbia. The band consists of Ryan Guldemond on guitar and vocals, Molly Guldemond on vocals and keyboard, Jasmin Parkin on keyboard and vocals, Ali Siadat on drums, and Mike Young on bass. Longtime bassist Jeremy Page left the band in 2016.

In 2005, they independently released their self-titled debut album under the band name Mother. They later changed their name to Mother Mother, and re-released the album on Last Gang Records in 2007. Retitled Touch Up, the reissue also featured several new songs.

The band’s second album, O My Heart, was released on September 16, 2008; their third album, Eureka, was released on March 15, 2011; their fourth album, The Sticks, was released on September 18, 2012; and their fifth album, Very Good Bad Thing was released on November 4, 2014, with an American release of April 7, 2015, on Def Jam Recordings. Their sixth album, No Culture, was released on February 10, 2017, with yet another Def Jam Recordings release in the US. The seventh and newest album, Dance and Cry was released November 2, 2018.

Our take:

We regularly make fun of CanCon (Canadian Content) here at The Squirrel. It’s a way of forcing Canadian broadcasters with terrestrial transmitters to play insipid, homebred, crap. Being honest, there are a lot of Canadian artists who, frankly, shouldn’t be artists. The system also doesn’t work and we say this because, despite regularly listening to terrestrial radio, Mr. Squirrel had never heard of Mother Mother until he ran across their (new then) single “It’s Alright” on Youtube. Yes, it took the recommend algorithm on a site run by an American corporation to help discover quality CanCon that should have been all over Canadian airwaves like a rash.

A look at Wikipedia shows some songs have charted respectably, but, this is weird, because we’ve not heard them and would remember them. It’s like Canadian stations have gone out of their way to avoid playing Mother Mother.

Anyhow, we’ve found them, we love them, and we purchased a bunch of their tunes for our library. “It’s Alright” is our fave and speaks to anyone who has a 12 Step background (cough!). We’ve put it into perpetual high rotation for that reason. And they’re in high rotation because they earned it, not just because they’re Canadian.

Favourite video:

Songs in high rotation:

Adon

Adon
Adon Slider

Bio from Spotify:

Melodies are heard, being played, being echoed somewhere deep in the swiss Mountains. A young classical trained sheperd trying to bring some beautiful melodies into these repetitive pop world. Influenced by Beethoven, Mozart or Bach, his music that is filled with emotions and beautiful piano melodies, is going straight to the heart.

Our take:

We fell in love with “About Life” the instant we heard it and slammed it straight into high rotation where it will forever stay. The piano melodies are haunting and our only complaint is that we wish they stood out more because they’re that good.

Adon seems to be a very private artist who lets his or her music speak for itself, and that’s okay. The one intriguing thing we did find was Adon’s official Instagram feed. He or she is — like Mr. Squirrel — either a photographer or at the very least a photography lover. It’s always nice to discover that one has things in common with the artist one loves.

Favourite video:

Songs in high rotation:

Roman Müller

Roman with guitar

From the artist’s bio:

Roman Müller is a newcomer Producer / Dj / Artist from Austria. He started to produce Music early 2015. He quickly earned massive feedback on his first productions.

Roman Müller´s first release was in April 2015 followed by further releases. Keep your eyes and ears open, because you will be seeing a lot of him in the future!

Our take:

We first found Roman when his collaboration with Foulds, “What It Is“, popped up on Youtube on The Vibe Guide. The song was so damn good that we immediately looked for older songs from the same artists. That was when we came across Roman’s track “The Things You Do” (featuring Parula). It blew our minds that a song of this quality only had around 500 hits. That is, frankly, bullshit. The song deserves 500 MILLION listens.

We’re happy to pimp Roman Müller as our featured artist for the week of May 13th, 2019. Here’s hoping he makes it to #1 on Billboard someday, he deserves it.

Our favourite video:

Songs in high rotation:

Free Radio Imaging Sound Files

Free Radio Imaging Sound Files

Below are packs of sound files we have created from scratch for our radio imaging drops on Squirrel FM. There are glitches, drones, sweepers, transitions, power-ups, power-downs, loops, and more. We’re making them available for free to support other hobbyist Net broadcasters under Creative Commons License 0, which means they are free for commercial and non-commercial use. Help yourselves.

Radio imaging packs:

Maintaining correct Window focus when using RadioDJ with multiple support applications

Maintaining correct Window focus when using RadioDJ with multiple support applications

The previous live broadcast system we were using prior to the purchase of our Arrakis broadcast console used several applications in addition to RadioDJ, our radio station automation software. They are:

  1. Voicemeeter Banana, our virtual mixing console
  2. RingCentral, our VOIP toll free provider

We have numerous hotkeys assigned to each. For example, CTRL+ENTER answers a call coming in from RingCentral, but only if that app is running in the foreground. If RadioDJ is in the foreground, the hotkey commands don’t go to RingCentral and nothing happens. Or, if you have RingCentral in the foreground and you hang up a call and hit the PLAY button on our control pad (Mapped to CTRL+SPACE), nothing happens because RadioDJ is not in focus. You can see the mess our broadcasters have to deal with in the screenshot below:

As an example, if you’ve just hung up a call on RingCentral and are wanting to play CART 10 in RadioDJ, nothing will happen when you hit the green 10 key on our programmable keypad (shown below) because you are still focused on the RingCentral application. You would need to either ALT+TAB toggle through active windows on your keyboard or click on RadioDJ with your mouse point. This is a lot of extra work and can be confusing for broadcasters, resulting in dead air. Here’s how we solved the problem:

First, we figured out a way to create universal hotkeys that could be used to bring specific windows back into focus. Next, we added those key combos as prefixes and suffixes as appropriate to our programmable control pad from Genovation (shown below).

Universal Hotkeys with AutoHotKey:

Our go to app for hotkey programming is the free and wonderful AutoHotKey. We used it to assign the following hotkeys to window focusing:

  • SHIFT+F3, RadioDJ
  • SHIFT+F4, RingCentral
  • SHIFT+F5, Voicemeeter Banana

Here is what our script looks like, (which you can BroadcastConsoleWindowFocus if you want to play with it – just rename the file extension from .txt to .ahk.)

Once the script was created, we saved it in our OneDrive folder with the rest of our AutoHotKey scripts. Then we created a shortcut of the script file and pressed CTRL-X to cut the file. We pressed WIN+R to bring up the startup dialogue and type ‘shell:startup’:

This opens the Startup Folder for Windows. Any application or script with a shortcut to it placed in this folder automatically runs at system startup:

Click somewhere in the right-hand pane and press CTRL-V to paste your shortcut into the Startup folder. The script will now load on startup.

Genovation CP48 Control Pad:

If you have a control pad that lets you map series of key combinations to a specific key on the pad, that is the easiest route to go. We use a Genovation CP48 programmable keypad for our broadcast console:

We’re now going to add the universal function keys for application window focusing to every keyin our control pad mapping software, show below:

Our pad programming software, Genovation MacroMaster CPxx (CP48), allows us to map multiple keypresses to a single key. As you can see above, the 10 key on our keypad first sends SHIFT+F3 to bring RadioDJ back into focus and then sends F10 to play the cart.  Every single key on our keypad has a prefix sequence entered before the actual hotkey sequence for that application to put the focus on the correct window first, so that even if you’re clicking around the desktop with a mouse, using the keypad always takes you back to the right application instantly.

Now when you’re in RadioDJ and you hang up a phone call from RingCentral, pressing the R-HNG call on our control pad shifts focus from whatever window is active to RingCentral, ends the call, and then shifts back to RadioDJ immediately as the assumption is that you’re probably going to play a song or ad.

And that is it. The control pad’s focus always goes back to the right window now, even when you’ve moused away from it or have another window over top (e.g. browsing for news or weather). No more dead air caused by the mad scramble to get the right window back in focus!

Note: Before we were Squirrel FM we were Radio Hanna, thus the Radio Hanna references. This is an older article we’re archiving as it may be of interest to those trying to solve similar issues.

Installing the AutoHotKey script for a RadioDJ controller

Installing the AutoHotKey script for a RadioDJ controller

As mentioned in a previous support article, our custom made control pads run on AutoHotKey scripts. AutoHotKey is a free program that lets you remap keys on your keyboard or keypad and also assign numerous actions to them through scripting, if desired.

To start with, you can download AutoHotKey free of charge HERE. You can also download our script files, which can be found HERE. There are two versions… One mutes the local monitor speaker (what we use) while opening the mic and the other doesn’t, letting the broadcaster manually mute the monitor speaker instead. We frequently have new broadcasters running a console who forget to mute the monitor while the mic is open, so we use the script with the combo action. Please use one or the other, but not both. Save the scripts somewhere on your system where you can find them again easily.

Start by installing AutoHotKey. Next, you’ll need to locate your AHK scripts. Once you have, right-click on it and create a shortcut:

Then highlight the shortcut and right-click on it and choose CUT. Now Hold down the WIN+R keys to bring up the RUN dialogue and type in ‘shell:startup’:

Press OK. This opens the Windows Startup folder. Any program or script that has a shortcut to it pasted into this folder will automatically run at Windows startup. Right-click anywhere in the right-hand pane of the Startup folder and PASTE your shortcut in there.

The script will run on startup from this point forward. You can run it immediately by right-clicking on it and choosing RUN SCRIPT. You’ll know our script is running when you press the backspace key on your keyboard and it mutes the volume (as that’s how we use the backspace key on a numeric keypad – it has been remapped). The delete key on your keyboard now functions as a backspace key.

To stop the script at any time, simply go to your system tray at bottom right, right-click on the AHK icon (the green square with an H in it), and choose PAUSE SCRIPT. This will undo the key mappings until you activate the script again.

For Radio Hanna, we keep our AHK scripts in a shared OneDrive folder. Whenever we change a script, OneDrive’s file sync pushes the changes out to all of our laptops and tablet systems for us. This saves us having to manually update the script on every machine.

Remember, you are running your AutoHotKey script from a shortcut, so keep the original file in a place where it won’t be deleted easily and without thinking. If you delete the source file, the shortcut to it stops working.

RadioDJ Shortcut Keys:

Our scripts require that the following hotkeys be assigned to the corresponding function (in parentheses) within the RadioDJ software:

  • CTRL+I (toggles INPUT)
  • CTRL+SPACE (PLAY)
  • ESC (STOP with fade)
  • CTRL+F1 (starts RECORDER)
  • CTRL+F2 (stops RECORDER)
  • CTRL+A (toggles ASSISTED/AUTOPLAY)
  • CTRL+D (toggles AUTODJ)
  • CTRL+S (STOP without fade)
  • CTRL+F7 (AUX PLAYER 1 start)
  • CTRL+F8 (AUX PLAYER 1 stop)
  • CTRL+F9 (AUX PLAYER 2 start)
  • CTRL+F10 (AUX PLAYER 2 stop)
  • CTRL+F11 (AUX PLAYER 3 start)
  • CTRL+F12 (AUX PLAYER 3 stop)

To access shortcut keys in RadioDJ, choose OPTIONS, SHORTCUTS. Double-click on the function you want to modify, enter the new key, choose a modifier such as CTRL or SHIFT (strongly suggested), and then click MODIFY. Don’t forget to click SAVE before exiting the dialogue or you’ll have to start creating shortcuts all over again.

We hope this is helpful in creating your own affordable hardware controller pad for RadioDJ. Also worth pointing out, this controller can be adapted easily for other automation software so long as it has shortcut key support.

Building a RadioDJ USB controller pad

Building a RadioDJ USB controller pad

When we first started looking at controller pads, we found some units we really liked. They were programmable and had tops you could take off the keys and put pretty little coloured inserts in. Unfortunately, they cost $200.00 apiece and were out of our price range. We went with Plan B, which is taking $5.00 USB numeric keypads and gluing new labels on them. First of all, you’ll need to purchase a keypad. Please make sure yours has the exact same key configuration as the one pictured below:

If you get a different configuration, it may not work properly and we can’t help you fix it. These cost about five bucks each including shipping on sites like Amazon Canada. Next, you will need to print out our key labels and cut them out (click on the image below to download the PDF):

When you go to print the file, most systems will try to print a PDF so that it fits on the page, usually at 96%. This will shrink the labels so they don’t fit your keys. Make sure you choose ACTUAL SIZE on the print dialogue as shown below, and that you have selected 8.5 x 11 inch paper (letter sized) as the type of paper (click image to enlarge):

Once your labels are printed, you can cut them out and glue them onto the keys on the keypad. A glue stick works well for this. Make sure that you match the labels up with what we have in the picture below:

Once your labels are glued on, there may be a bit of white paper showing around the edge of the labels. A bit of touch up with a black Sharpie pen will fix this. Make sure your labels are well-affixed. Once the keys are labeled, you don’t want the print to wear off, so a bit of clear coat is in order. The easiest way to do this is to mask off the edges of the keypad with masking tape as shown below and give the keys a light coat of clear coat enamel. Do NOT try to remove the keys and paint them individually. It was too much work and resulted in one damaged keypad when we tried. Just mask the unit as shown below:

Give it a light coat of enamel, and let it dry for an hour. Remove the tape and you have a custom control pad for your RadioDJ broadcasting system. You will occasionally have a sticker come off. Just print out a replacement, glue it on, mask the unit, and give it another shot of clear coat and you’re good to go.

The next bit is installing AutoHotKey, which we’ll cover in a separate article. AutoHotKey remaps the keys on the numeric pad to work with the shortcut keys in RadioDJ.

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