Setting up a community radio station, whether it’s online, full-time or RSL, can be a daunting prospect. Everything from mixers to microphones, transmitters to tele-balance units need to be procured… and it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the sheer number of options available.

In the coming weeks, this page will feature a sample list of the equipment you need to set up your own radio station, including example suppliers and approximate pricing. Until then, here is a list of companies that can help you get yourself kitted out.

The CMA does not endorse or recommend any particular commercial organisations. The following are links to a number of studio and transmission equipment companies, for information only:

Play it again

One of the main decisions for any modern radio station starting up is your choice of computer playout system–the software that stores and plays out your music, features, jingles and commercials. These range from highly expensive commercial solutions, as used by large regional and national stations, down to free open-source software packages.

Your choice of playout system is an important one–it will be at the heart of your station, and the main way your presenters and volunteers interact with the community. You should take care to ensure the system you go for reflects your current and future needs–for instance, there is no need to buy a system with remote voice-tracking if all your output is live. Any good playout system supplier will be able to talk you through their system, and many provide free trial periods and discounts for community radio stations.

Again, the CMA does not endorse any of these systems–but please feel free to peruse the links below and find out more:

Other software

Here are some links to other pieces of software and equipment that do not fit in the other two categories, but are still very useful:

      • Bexclock: Freeware atomic clock synchroniser
      • DS Clock: Clock synchronisation software for studios (free)
      • Jazler Show: Cart-wall software
      • PlayIt Software: Free playout system and audio logger
      • StationLogger Pro: Free solution for radio station audio logging
      • TOH Software: Various software for playout, newsroom management and music libraries
      • VLC Media Player: A free, open-source media player – plays most audio and video formats and streams (Windows/Mac/Linux)

If you have any suggestions for companies and links you think should be featured on this page, please email the CMA.

Header image: Transmitter tower, Aberdeen by dexterwas on Flickr (Creative Commons)


Updated by Shahzada Choudhury on 15 June 2016.