Administrated by the non-profit corporation known as Denver Educational Broadcasting, KUVO-TV reflects its commitment to cultural diversity. The multicultural programming, outreach and public service are geared to emphasize the Chicano/Hispanic experience. Located at 89.3 on the Denver dial, the station provides healthy doses of Salsa, Latin and Blues music with its core being contemporary and classic jazz.
Known as Denver's “Jazz oasis in the city,” the station is one of only nine full-time jazz stations in the nation. While a National Public Radio affiliate for fifteen years, KUVO has grown both in listener support and technologically.
The station has taken the long-standing premise of live jazz being the core of their programming. A bi-monthly offering, Performance Studio, presents jazz artists and trailblazers in live studio performances. From pianist/composer Billy Taylor and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band to the new guard of Medeski Martin and Wood, KUVO is outpaced in sheer number of studio performances only by Boston's WBGO. Recently, KUVO completed a full digital plant conversion including a Nautel transmitter, Logitek Numix digital consoles, Shiveley antenna, a Harris digital microwave and an Omnia FM Veris processor from Cutting Edge among its major components.
In addition, Neumann microphones have been a significant part of the station's on-air sound for many years, according to Mike Pappas, KUVO's chief engineer. It was on the suggestion of an associate that KUVO tried the KMS 105 for live broadcasts.
Pappas and the KUVO staff were so impressed with the KMS 105 that it soon replaced another industry standard microphone used by their on-air announcers for the past 10 years.
KUVO records all of its live performances via Genex Direct Stream Digital recorder and Midas Venice 320 console. These recordings are compiled into a “best of” compilation CD and are used as premium member donation incentives. Pappas emphasized that the necessary support from national and regional artists is what keeps the station going.
The KUVO commitment to quality programming and on-air sound is reflected in its extensive collection of both Neumann and Sennheiser microphones. Neumann KM 184s find duty on guitars along with M 147s on reed instruments. M 149s are often used on vocalists, while U 87ai's and 105s are used for announcers.
TLM 103s are also part of the house microphone complement. As for instruments, the station has used the Neumann KU 100 dummy head to mic drums and has been delighted with the results. Other Sennheiser mics include five of the recently introduced MKH 800s, MKH 20s on drum overheads and MKH 60s on saxophones. Sennheiser HD 25 and HMD 25 headphones are used extensively for studio monitoring and live remotes. In the pursuit of the natural and open sound characteristic of the world's best jazz recordings, the station does not use limiters or compression on their live recordings. Preamps, however, play a significant part and are all designed by Mike Grace.
While having this arsenal of Neumann and Sennheiser microphones stretches the budget of the non-profit station, Pappas pointed out that no other microphones provide the level of performance and reliability both the station and the artists demand.