All posts by WPCD

Be a DJ this Spring! COM 141 is Still Open!

Are you interested in gaining real experience working in radio? Did you wait too long to register for classes? Parkland College is now offering a late-start section of COM 141, Broadcast Announcing.

COM 141 gives you the opportunity to learn broadcasting principles and techniques AND apply those skills right here on campus as a DJ on 88.7 WPCD. You’ll also learn how to produce and edit content for radio, conduct broadcast interviews, and operate studio equipment.

The late-start section of COM 141 starts on February 1, and is open for registration now! Don’t delay because spots are filling up fast! The deadline to register is January 26.

Gaming…Under The Dome!

I have a confession to make. I am a gamer geek. And I am always looking for new ways to introduce new people to the games I love.

One game in particular has grabbed my attention for the last three years and has taken up a big part of my free time in both game play and game development. Its called Artemis: Spaceship Bridge Simulator.

What the heck is that, you say?

Well, think Star Trek. The players are in the roles of Captain, Helm, Tactical, Engineering, Science, and Communications, and they all have to work together to defeat the enemies, survive, and win the game! It uses a series of linked computers that act as duty stations for the roles that the players take on. The action takes place when all of the players work together with the info and abilities their duty stations provide to make it all come together as a cooperative team and crew. Together, you win. Alone, you lose.

Like I said, I have played this game a lot and have taken it to local game conventions, private parties, and at home and seen how much fun people have in building a team to win the game. It was also after a discussion about how to bring people to Parkland College, especially younger, potentially future college students, that it occurred to me that maybe something like the Artemis game could be presented at the Staerkel Planetarium as a fun event and, at the same time, expose the players to the planetarium and the college!

I recall that something like this happened to me as a grade school student. A writing contest was presented to local grade schools and winners were brought to the college for writing workshops. I was one of those students who came to Parkland College those many years ago, and whether it was intentional on the part of the writing workshop organizers or not, I knew then that I would be attending Parkland in the future. If it worked back then, maybe it would work now.

I spoke to Director David Leake and the staff at the planetarium about my idea, and they pretty much did not bat an eye at the suggestion. I set up my personal “bridge” and did a play test for him to show how it would work, and over a few weeks we put together a plan to offer this game event on a day when the local schools were not in session. We sent information and promotions via social media and WPCD and before we knew it, the registration list was full, with all time slots filled.

It remains to be seen what comes of the experience of “gaming under the dome” will have on the players in relation to future students at Parkland College, but I know it will be fun, and they will have a good experience with the college. We hope the event will be well received and would like to maybe do it again. If you are curious about it, stop on by the planetarium on Monday, Oct 12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and check it out! (Fee is $2 per spectator.)

If we decide to do it again, you just might want to tell your friends about it and join the fun!

[Deane Geiken is WPCD-FM 88.7‘s radio director.]

New Music Recording Class Starts Up This Fall!

MUS 161 (Introduction to Music Recording) is an exciting new course coming to Parkland fall semester 2015.

The purpose of this course is to help students develop a knowledge and understanding of key recording techniques and apply them through hands-on practice in a multi-track studio environment, right here on Parkland’s campus!

Basic audio and recording concepts will be covered, including sound principles; perceptions of direction and space; microphone types, patterns, and placements; console features; effects processing; signal flow; and much more.

This project-based class will enable students to run real recording sessions on campus and learn how to do everything from setting up, tracking, and mixing to mastering a song.

MUS 161 will utilize a new recording space in Room C140 that is equipped with a top-of-the-line console and microphone collection. (Right now we’re in the beginning stages of building the studio.)

For any questions or more information on the course, please do not hesitate to contact instructor Adam Porter at aporter@parkland.edu.

New “Parkland Spotlight” on WPCD 88.7

WPCD 88.7, first and foremost , has always been a learning lab for students taking COM 141 and 142 classes and a place were student DJs hone their skills at a 10,500-watt, alternative-rock FM radio station.

But WPCD also wants to be a voice for Parkland College.

To that end, the students of instructor Adam Porter’s COM 142 class have created a new radio series titled “The Parkland Spotlight,” which will air each Wednesday at 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. now through the rest of the spring semester.

On the show (which is pre-recorded), students will interview various faculty and staff from around the college, to find out what is happening in their program or their department and to shine some light on people and events that you may not know much about.

We hope this series will continue from semester to semester with each new group of students in the COM 142 course and that it will not only provide a “spotlight” on those who make Parkland the great learning institution it is, but also create a closer connection between students and the faculty and staff here at Parkland College.

As always, feel free to stop by the WPCD studio and see if there is anything we can do to help you get more exposure for your programs, special events, and activities. We want to be a voice for Parkland College.

Listen. Learn. Live…on WPCD

Did you know Parkland College has its own radio station on the FM dial? I didn’t either, until I took COM 141 (Basic Broadcast Announcing) as an elective and now, the rest is history!

WPCD 88.7  FM blasts new up and coming alternative artists as well as the forefathers of alternative music 24/7 and allows Parkland students the chance to hone their radio skills live on the air. To go along with their on-air training, students are tasked with making promotional spots and writing their own copy for public service announcements, news segments, and weather spots. There is also a chance to do live on-air spots from shows happening throughout Champaign-Urbana.

As you progress in the radio courses, there is an opportunity to interview bands and artists live in the studio or over the phone, which then allows you to use the editing skills you learned in class to produce an interview segment you can play during your radio show.  Whether you are into the music playing on WPCD or not, the experience you gain from the course work and on-air spots is an amazing one. It has given me much more confidence in other courses and in life as well.

Being on air at WPCD brings loads of real-life experience and gives you the feeling that you are actually working at a radio station. Even if radio isn’t your thing or your dream, being in an environment that promotes creativity while teaching life skills is an invaluable one that I would suggest to anyone who is attending Parkland!

 

Aron Ammann is a Virgo who likes long walks on the beach and spending time in the kitchen whipping up culinary masterpieces. He also enjoys spending time on 88.7 WPCD as the co-host of “The Mid-Morning Mess” alongside Chad Myler.  Aron stumbled upon the COM 141 class as an elective for his program of study and found that he really enjoyed the art of radio. An Iraq veteran, Aron has found his time on the air to be a therapeutic experience as well.