Disc Jockey computers

The “Top 40…” thread has made me curious about this…

Are radio station computers so advanced that they can not only store the songs…but act as DJ’s too?

That is…is there a computer program that has a human voice, acts as a DJ–talks over the air, introduces songs, the whole thing? Or will there be soon?

(If not, I imagine that big money savers would be syndicated shows…or having the DJ in to do all the intros in an hour or two for his 6 hour shift)

I can imagine that small town radio stations would flock to such a program–a computerized, non-human DJ. Big town stations would use them for off periods (such as midnight to 6 AM).

I heard of a piece of software that monitors the amount of space a DJ leaves between words when speaking. It can cut some space out of a recording leaving more time for ads.
I think it was a minute an hour, or some such.

Smile asked:

Well, I would say no, and for a couple of reasons:

  1. I don’t think speech synthesis technology is quite there, yet. You can get the pronunciation correct, if it’s only by having a human speak every possible word and have the synthesizer digitize it; however, for the speech to sound absolutely normal, the inflection has to be correct as well. Inflection changes based on many things, including the word’s position in a sentence, the preceding word, type type of sentence (question, statement), etc. I don’t think we have technology that can do that yet. The phone companies figured this out a while ago, which is why they record each digit in each position in a phone number, so the inflection sounds more natural when it’s played back in a recording. For example, they would record someone saying a sequence of numbers, say 123-4567, then they’d record 234-5678, etc, then split up each sequence into single digits. I don’t know if this is exactly how they do it, but it’s the general idea. I’m sure if someone else has more info they can correct me.

  2. How would this DJ software know what to say? We’re talking about some pretty sophisticated AI, right? I suppose the software could have some canned phrases programmed in, but after a while you’d know it was a machine, since it’d be saying the same sorts of things over and over again. A DJ’s chatter is, for the moment, irreplaceable.

That being said, I’m sure that there’s software that can automatically choose and change songs, which would be fine for a music service like Muzak that doesn’t have any announcements, but I hope that the human DJ will be around for a long time (well, except maybe for those obnoxious top-40 guys :)).


well, you’d be AMAZED at how many DJs are actually ‘syndicated’, but you wouldn’t know the difference. and how many are actually living in denver, or somewhere, and are in florida, new york, and four or so other locations per day. there’s many. what they do is record a liner, say “on all hit 98.9” to reference one, and that station puts it in a computer. then the dj says something to the effect of “that was britney spears” and then mashes the tone generating button. the tone shouldn’t go across the air, but trigger the computer or cart player to fire off the “on all hit 98.9”. if done correctly, it’s seamless. it’s used mostly on syndicated shows and services. but again, there are some djs that are “live” in several markets, all over the country, at different times.

actually, it’s called voice tracking. lots of computer systems (that control the music) have this option. lots of people use it…to go to the bathroom, overnight hours, tired, hungover, etc…it usually takes less than 2 hours for a decently technically adept dj to do 6 hours, granted that’s with smoke breaks and whatnot.

Automation already occurs on the local radio stations in my town. Despite our relatively small size (about 13500 population), we boast an AM and an FM commercial stations. Each is part of a national syndicate of programming, hence the after-hours content is all provided from interstate.

Except for the advertisements - they are all local, but no one is actually at the station after hours to cue them. All the commercials reside within a computer drive and the software to play them is cued by remote control from the source studio.

Our local TV station works in the same fashion too.