TX Factor

Episode 23

In episode 23 of TX factor we explore the process of music audio mastering at Mike Marsh G1IAR’s studio in south Devon. Mike shows us how the latest TX Factor theme tune was mixed and mastered, and demonstrates the process of cutting the audio onto vinyl disc - such nostalgia!

Nick Bennett 2E0FGQ visits the National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park where Noel Matthews G8GTZ and Graham Shirville G3VZV demonstrate how set up and operate over the new geostationary satellite, Oscar 100. Plus, Bob McCreadie G0FGX visits the folks at Icom UK with a full review of Icom's long-awaited VHF / UHF all-mode transceiver the IC-9700.

In The Groove - TX date 6th July 2019

Detailed show notes for Episode 23 or download the show notes as a PDF

Download Episode 23 as an audio only file 

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Show Notes for Episode 23 (TXF023)

Please note that all URL links included in these notes are, to the best of our knowledge, correct and have been tested, although from time to time some may appear not to be working at the time of reading this. Sorry for the inconvenience, however, these things do happen, and a search on Google or similar should provide you with more up-to-date links. 

Mike Marsh Mastering
TX Factor presenter Mike Marsh G1IAR is a great example of how amateur radio and the knowledge we gain from the hobby can lead to a technical career. Mike was interested in radio, electronics, music and recording from a young age and those interests led him to a hugely successful career as a world-renowned mastering engineer, working with top artists and producers on chart-topping albums and singles. 

Find out more about Mike’s fascinating day job at:


and via his fascinating facebook page at:


In this episode, Mike demonstrated cutting a playback acetate using a disc that is the same physical size as that of the resulting vinyl release - in this instance, a 12 inch single. A playback acetate is a one-off reference disc that doesn’t go through any further processing to give an artist / producer or the record company a good idea of what a record should sound like before it goes through the mass-production process.

If this record was to be commercially produced as a 12 inch single, it would need to be cut on a larger 14 inch disc (otherwise known as a master ‘lacquer’ - made of the same material as an acetate) and then sent to a pressing plant to go through a galvanics process to create a metalwork stamper to enable record pressings to be made.

A master lacquer for vinyl production needs to be made on a disc bigger than the finished resulting pressing, so that there is a border margin for the pressing to be finally cut down to size by the record press machinery, therefore maintaining clean starting ‘edge’ point to a record’s run-in groove, where you first land your playback stylus!

Don’t forget you have a two chances to win the playback acetate that Mike cut in our free-to-enter draw!

Qatar Oscar 100

AMSAT-UK has a great page packed with information about this exciting new Ham Sat.


Listen in to the narrowband transponder via the Qatar-Oscar 100 narrowband web SDR at:


ICOM IC-9700 VHF/UHF Transceiver

You can see the full specification of this new high-performance transceiver and download the leaflet and manual at: icomuk.co.uk

For a fully detailed PDF fact sheet of episode 23 (TXF023) show-information click here