Behind the Mic: Soundwave Transmission

When you hear the word “library,” genre-transcending music and quirky banter isn’t the first thing that pops to mind (at least I don’t think. I’m not going to pretend I know what you’re about).

However, that’s exactly where senior Michaela Hoover and sophomore Fabrizio Lacarra Ramirez began their friendship turned co-hostship of KCR’s very own “Soundwave Transmission.”

“I was trying to get some papers done,” Michaela says of the reason she went to the library that fateful day when she met Fabrizio. “I literally sat down next to him and we started talking for like an hour. I got no homework done at all and we’ve been really good friends ever since.”

This fall semester was their first season of “Soundwave Transmission,” a music show that prides itself on not sticking to any one genre and never playing the same song twice.

“It’s just a ‘good music’ show. Any song that’s good, we’ll throw it on the show,” explains Michaela. “Any song that gets us excited, any song that makes us feel fresh and invigorated, it goes on the playlist.”

“It makes it kind of special because every time you listen in to the show, that’ll be the only time you hear a song for our show,” adds Fabrizio. “So it’s like if you missed the show this week, you’re not going to get those songs and you might miss out on some stuff that you really like. So listen, basically.”

Fabrizio is in charge of curating the archive of music. During their downtime, the two hosts add music to the general playlist and Fabrizio then creates the song list for a given week’s show. He’s found a system that efficiently does two things: provides musical variety and satisfies both hosts’ preferences. The former is a given. The latter may be trickier when you describe your music tastes as a “Venn diagram” as Fabrizio does. However, he’s mastered the art of song selection.

“I like a little bit of jazz and more hip-hop, some electronica and more indie music whereas she likes a lot of jazz, Spanish music or music in different languages.”

During the creation of playlists, Fabrizio consciously pulls one of his music songs from the master list, one of Michaela’s, one of his, one of hers, etc. etc. repeat.

Because this is their first semester hosting for KCR, they had to overcome some challenges that exist with starting a radio show. The biggest? Remembering not to swear.

“The first two or three shows, I was cussing at least twice,” says Michaela (Don’t worry Brett, she pressed the button). “I would beat myself up for it and I’m better at it. I don’t think I’ve cussed in a while.”

“We almost had a slip up today, but I caught myself,” Fabrizio laughs.

Michaela chimes in. “I totally set him up to say something gross.”

Another lesson they learned was embracing the uneasiness of transitions. Fabrizio says they now accept their style and are “awkward on purpose.” Michaela describes the duo as “pretty dorky” and says they were trying really hard to be cool the first few episodes, but eventually came to the conclusion that they were better off embracing their own quirky voices and using that genuine approach to have a better show.

If you, the reader, are thinking “Dang, this show sounds awesome. I can’t wait to listen to it next semester,” then get ready to have your heart broken. Go ahead, sit down, grab some tissues. I’ve got something to tell you.

Michaela is headed to Spain next semester, so the duo will become an uno for the time being. Fabrizio will continue the show in the spring and keep up the same style and concept, planning on bringing in different guest hosts each week. While he has no plans on experimenting with “Soundwave Transmission” because he considers it to be their “baby,” he will also be co-hosting another show in the spring called “AJ Squared.” It is there that he may try his hand at new risks and creative ideas.

The hosts’ biggest goal this semester with “Soundwave Transmission” was to introduce their audience to new music while hosting a safe space in the radio waves.

Their go-to order at Taco Bell?

Michaela: Cinnamon Twists

Fabrizio: Nacho Cheese Dorito Taco

 

Written by: Monica Vigil
*Fabrizio doesn’t know what time the show will be next semester, but this semester it was Thursdays at noon. Follow their Instagram and say what’s up: @soundwave.kcr

Behind the Mic: Arvin Domier, Andrew Kaitcer, Gautham Dixit and Trevor Mass

Known to keep fans on the edge of their seats, sporting events are high energy, competitive and passionate environments that bring all types of people together. KCR’s Arvin Domier, Andrew Kaitcer, Gautham Dixit and Trevor Maas successfully translate these epic moments onto the airwaves through their sports radio show, “Undefeated.”

Every Friday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., this quartet cover topics such as football, basketball and, most recently, baseball. At first, Arvin had no idea KCR existed until his guest interview on Weston Lowe and Ruairi McCann’s show. Following his appearance, he fell in love and proposed creating their own show to his current cohosts/roommates. Soon after, “Undefeated” was born.

In Fall 2017, Arvin, Andrew and Gautham took a more casual approach to their show format during their first semester as DJs. “Thirty minutes before we went on air, we would jot down notes and figure out what we would talk about from there. An example would be discussing our top five players in the NFL. We were still trying to figure everything out so it was very relaxed,” says Arvin. Now, since they’ve gained more listeners and added Trevor Maas as a cohost, more preparation is put into their content.

Each week, this group tackles huge topics covered on big name sources such as ESPN as well as events from SDSU’s intramural teams. In fifteen minute segments, the cohosts share their take on anything and everything sports related. Arvin focuses on football, baseball and basketball, and has even taken a keen interest on hockey. Andrew and Gautham concentrate on basketball and football whereas Trevor is the main man for baseball. Trevor, an economics major, admits, “The only professional sport I follow is baseball so KCR helps me to stay up to date with all of the players.”

One of their favorite segments was their Superbowl preview. Each cohost gave a break down of the coaching side and player side of both teams. In-depth predictions and analyses on team advantages were also brought up. By creating good sports dialogue, it keeps listeners engaged in open-minded opinions and perspectives. Their inspirations include Skip Bayless who is known for his raw and controversial viewpoints. Computer science major Gautham adds that shows like “Undisputed” and “First Take” with Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman are other influences.

In addition, changes in the show include a live-stream on their Facebook page and, according to Arvin, an unwavering hope to interview beloved former men’s basketball coach Steve Fisher. These four have big plans for improvement in order to create awesome content.

What sets them a part from other sports broadcasting shows? “Undefeated” is real and passionate.”My roommates and I decided to follow our love for sports and open up our daily living room talks to an audience,” says marketing major Andrew. One thing is clear: sports hold this dynamic team together.

Besides being DJs, Arvin, Andrew, Gautham and Trevor are third years who play on intramural teams like basketball, bowling, football, volleyball, softball and dodgeball. With their loaded course work, KCR has become a creative escape to unwind and speak their mind on a topic they all love.

Don’t forget to tune in to “Undefeated” every Friday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m on KCR college radio. You can also watch their live-streams on their Facebook page.

Featured image by Arvin Domier

Behind the Mic: Matt Hoffman & Anthony Reclusado

Matt Hoffman and Anthony Reclusado pose in the Student Union at SDSU.

When people hear “the face of KCR,” they might think of KCR’s logo or the events KCR takes part in or puts on. But, members of KCR, some who have been around for years, probably think of General Manager Matt Hoffman and Programming Director Anthony Reclusado as the face of the organization. Members of KCR for nearly four years now, the roommates have held their management positions for half of that time and have greatly contributed to the radio station. I caught up with Matt and Anthony before their graduation for the last Behind the Mic of the spring semester. 

The pair made their debut on KCR in spring 2014 with “Delay of Game,” a show they have had on-air up to their final days as seniors. Anthony told me that during the fall semester of 2013, they contributed to “Aztec Circle,” a group sports show on KCR, because the two joined halfway through the semester and weren’t given their own time on-air.

Since beginning “Delay of Game,” Anthony explained that they have localized their sports coverage to San Diego. Listeners would have heard nearly an hour of Padres, Chargers, Gulls and Aztecs coverage every week. Matt described a headline segment, “Quick Shots,” that concluded each show. During this short period, Matt and Anthony would bring up national sports headlines and break them down, giving their opinions.

Prior to the move, each show began with the Chargers, with Aztec Football quickly following. Game recaps, injury reports and other player news all made up the usual discussions.

“We shoot for quality and consistency — that’s why the show is still here seven semesters later,” Matt explained. Anthony added that dedication made their show stand out, with Matt giving an example of a basketball ticket giveaway they conducted on-air a few years ago, requiring the two to wake up at 4 a.m. to stand in line for the tickets.

Matt and Anthony holding awards in the KCR studio.

KCR has won an array of awards while Matt and Anthony have served on management. Photo by Amir Badeanlo.

Matt has served as General Manager of KCR for two years, and prior to that (as a sophomore) he was Program Director. According to Matt, he spent the summer between management positions renovating the KCR studio. He collaborated with iHeartMedia to construct the current studio, which has professional equipment and safer furniture. “It all helps with the professionalism,” Anthony added.

The following summer, Matt worked to open a second studio: the production studio in the basement of EBA.

The culture of KCR has totally changed since their freshman year, according to both Anthony and Matt. “As soon as that studio changed, everything else changed,” added Anthony.

“It’s a lot bigger than it probably has ever been,” said Matt, referencing the sheer size of KCR’s current membership.

Matt described how amazing it is to see members of KCR, past and present, earn internships and obtain positions in the media industry, noting that KCR was the starting point for many. Getting people interested in radio has been one of Matt’s responsibilities. He mentioned current Production Director at KCR, Jack Sellas, as an example. Jack became an active member, obtained a management position and is now looking at radio as a potential career.

“KCR will always be a part of my life,” said Anthony.

Matt currently works as a news assistant at KPBS, where he also covers on-air stories. Additionally, Matt is a writer and producer for the morning shows at NBC 7 San Diego. After his upcoming graduation in May, Matt plans on working full-time at NBC.

Anthony has worked with Matt as Program Director for two years. During his senior year, Anthony served as Sports Editor for The Daily Aztec. He currently interns at FOX 5 San Diego, and will move back to the Bay Area after graduation to continue his media career. 

Featured Image: Matt Hoffman and Anthony Reclusado are preparing for their graduation in May and departure from KCR. Photo by Amir Badeanlo.

Behind the Mic: Brandon Battaglia

Brandon Battaglia in front of some shrubs by West Commons.

Listeners and fans of KCR College Radio know of the variety shows broadcast on-air. But, what some are not aware of is KCR’s coverage of Aztec Baseball. During the season, commentators, such as Brandon Battaglia, take to the airwaves from Tony Gwynn Stadium. I sat down with Brandon for a special edition of Behind the Mic.

As a new member of KCR, Brandon went ahead and auditioned for baseball commentating at the beginning of this spring semester. First, Brandon was assigned to two games in the beginning of the season – and his performance warranted more appearances. Since then, Brandon has commentated nearly 10 games for KCR.

To get a better understanding of what it’s like to commentate, I had Brandon walk me through a typical game. He and his partner, Sean Nichols, arrive to the stadium about an hour prior to the first pitch. During this time, statistics and information, including topics like “who’s gonna be big in the game” and “players’ backgrounds,” are gathered about the opposing team.

Going into the commentating gig, Brandon told me he didn’t have many expectations. However, he now believes it will all work out.

An avid fan of the sport, Brandon told me, “Watching baseball non-stop is finally paying off with [commentating].” He added that he “just has a really good time doing it.”

In addition to KCR’s live broadcast of baseball games, Brandon has begun covering games for the Mountain West Conference. According to Brandon, he got a call from KCR’s General Manager, Matt Hoffman, to fill in for a game. After a successful broadcast, Brandon and his partner Sean were signed on with the network for the remainder of the season.

Brandon, an international security major, joined KCR in January 2017 as a sports talk show host for “Diamond Sports.” He and Michael Quinn host the show every Saturday at 2 p.m. They equally cover San Diego State teams and professional sports. During the season, the SDSU basketball team was the trending topic on each show. Brandon told me he addresses current player moves, playoffs and other headlines for the NBA and NFL.

Listeners can expect to hear a lighthearted debate about sports between Brandon and Michael. Brandon mentioned that the two try to make the show sound like a normal conversation, adding that “it’s a people’s sports show.”

Brandon has hopes to resume commentating for both KCR and the Mountain West in the 2018 season.

You can catch some of Brandon’s written commentary on Aztec baseball games, and listen to his show, on KCR’s website. For the other games, Brandon’s coverage can be viewed on the Mountain West website.

In addition, you can find your favorite DJs on our KCR schedule.

Featured Image: Brandon Battaglia, a sophomore at SDSU, is optimistic about his future in commentary. Photo by Sumner Shorey.