Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

In Pictures: Behind the scenes at Todd Miller's self-funded radio station

Mr. Miller launched Radio That Doesn’t Suck (RTDS) from his basement. The Internet-based station is a labour of love that he has since nurtured to the tune of $25,000 – a veritable bargain, he says, thanks to his decision to stream the entire production online.

1 of 15

Mr. Miller recording a segment of The Vinyl Vault on Summer, featuring The Kink's hit "Sunny Afternoon" - a RODE NT2A microphone into an Aphex 230 Master Voice Channel processor, then into a digital mixing board and finally recorded into Garageband on a Mac computer

Jordana Divon/Jeff Lyons

2 of 15

Closeup of the NT2A, Shure pop stopper, and mic flag with the RTDS logo on it

Jordana Divon

3 of 15

Master Control showing some of the preamps and compressors used to smooth out the sound, as well as a phone hybrid for recording phone interviews, and master controller for changing songs, pause, play, etc

Jordana Divon

4 of 15

Mackie sub mixer used as a preamp for the guest microphones, with a picture of Pat Rush (Jeff Healy Band, Muddy Waters, Johnny Winter, James Cotton, Allman Brothers, Dr. John) jamming at the opening at the School Of Rock, Markham, ON

Jordana Divon

Story continues below advertisement

5 of 15

Vinyl is making a huge comeback, and bands such as Days Of You and record labels such as Seventh Fire Records are sending RTDS new releases on 45 RPM records. Mr. Miller painstakingly converts the vinyl to digital, but leaves a few pop and clicks in so that people know they are listening to an analogue source

Jordana Divon

6 of 15

The interview table. Musicians such as Skip Prokop of Lighthouse have come in to the studio to record interviews. Mr. Miller purchased industry-standard Electrovoice RE20 microphones with professional boom stands to sound like a professional radio station

Jordana Divon

7 of 15

Mr. Miller’s extensive guitar collection lines an entire wall of his basement studio. A songwriter, he still composes and occasionally performs his music

Jordana Divon

8 of 15

A selection of the station’s CD library. Friends and fans often donate their old CDs, tapes, or vinyl to the cause, which has helped Mr. Miller’s collection grow into the thousands

Jordana Divon

9 of 15

A vinyl LP from Mr. Miller’s collection. Though he had 2,500 records of his own, a friend has lent his collection of 4,000 records to the station, 99 per cent of which is Canadiana, says Mr. Miller

Jordana Divon

10 of 15

Love Stinks, a classic record by the J. Geils Band that Mr. Miller found used at Alleycats Music & Art in Orillia

Jordana Divon

11 of 15

A Digidesign 003 master production mixer which allows Mr. Miller to plug any source, from microphone, turntable and cassette deck to 8-track player, and convert it into the digital world

Jordana Divon

12 of 15

One of two turntables. Mr. Miller purchased this Dual 505-2 in mint condition for only $85 dollars, and with the exception of a new cartridge, it performs flawlessly. The station also boasts a Thorens TD-160 in the “staff” lounge for people to enjoy during breaks

Jordana Divon

13 of 15

Mr. Miller’s old 4-track reel-to-reel. This piece of equipment was used before the advent of computer recording to record songs, theatre productions and theme music TV shows. Mr. Miller says he keeps it as evidence of the way things were and also out of respect for people like Geoff Emerick, who recorded The Beatle's Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band on a similar machine

Jordana Divon

14 of 15

Mr. Miller interviews rock Paul Rodgers (Bad Company, Free, The Law, Queen with Paul Rodgers) at Canadian Music Week 2012

Courtesy of Todd Miller

15 of 15

Mr. Miller with Alan Parsons (Alan Parsons Project, Pilot, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Manfred Mann, John Miles) after he interviewed the legendary engineer and producer

Courtesy of Todd Miller

Report an error