What is BUTT? BUTT (Broadcast Using This Tool) is an audio encoder to stream audio from your computer to a Shoutcast or Icecast server
What does it run on? Windows and Mac
How much does it cost? BUTT is Free open-source software (users can donate to the developer)
Where can I get it? https://danielnoethen.de/butt/
Why do I need it? If you want your radio station to broadcast live to the internet you will need an encoder to stream the audio from your machine.
Summary: BUTT is one of the most effective encoders we’ve come across. We recommend it to broadcasters for ease of use and high audio fidelity. It offers multi-platform support, is intuitive to use, provides multi-channel connectivity and won’t crash your system! It includes built-in compression and equalisation for optimal audio fidelity across 6 different codecs and a bitrate up to 320k
If you want to broadcast live from your radio station online BUTT is one of the most straightforward tools to work with. It features a range of improvements that will enhance your live broadcasting capability.
Margo Vader once wrote “Being content with less, creates space in the heart for more love”. Being content with less in the broadcast industry is a tricky proposition. The pace of technology is unrelenting and online Radio broadcasting requires knowledge of microphones, encoders, broadcast platforms and a basic understanding of broadcast principles. It can get very confusing very quickly and before you know it, making radio content and having fun with your radio station falls further down the list of accomplishments as you get into the weeds of figuring out how everything works.
There are a variety of platforms and solutions on the market designed to make this problem easier to navigate and they all tend to rely on an encoder to complete the task. An encoder is a prerequisite if you want to broadcast live online. Put simply, it connects your hardware or software broadcast platform to a server connected to the internet. It converts the audio signal for broadcast so that listeners can hear your radio station.
BUTT is an encoder that has been around for a long time and is relied on by thousands of radio stations, small and large to broadcast their content on the internet. It has a simple and intuitive interface, is easy to use, has powerful built-in features, and is highly effective and very reliable.
The principle of K.I.S.S. (keep it simple stupid) ought to be the holy grail of online radio broadcasting. Station operators should want to maximise the capability of technology without being consumed by it or compromising on the fidelity of the audio output. In that regard, BUTT 0.1.37 has just been released with some significant enhancements that will help broadcasters do more with less.
Amongst the raft of enhancements, the gamechanger is the ability to add a second audio device. This one addition means you can feasibly broadcast an entire radio station from a laptop with nothing more than a microphone attached! But BUTT doesn’t stop there, this update also includes a mixer, channel routing and separate audio controls for streaming and recording.
If you install BUTT alongside a virtual mixer or audio routing application like Loopback, Voicemeeter etc you can route all your audio sources to BUTT and separate your mic input source for complete ‘virtual mixing’ control. It’s genius, as is the creator Daniel Nothen who continues to improve and enhance the product on a regular basis so that your station will continue to benefit.
So, what does this mean for you the broadcaster? Well, it means you can broadcast in real-time with a minimal amount of equipment which opens up a host of creative possibilities, saves money (no need to buy a soundcard) and gives you access to a complete broadcast solution that works on a variety of platforms.
So, how do I use it?
Historically, DJ’s and radio broadcasters have utilised a mixing desk which is often hardwired to your input source (CDs, turntables, microphone). You can then use a hardware encoder to broadcast that audio signal to the internet and thus globally.
BUTT allows you to configure your input sources and route your audio signal directly to the internet using one of six available codecs. The audio tab allows you to select your preferred channel and device for both main and secondary inputs e.g. a computer for your main input and a microphone for secondary.
Once you have this correctly set up you can configure your streaming details and connect from the main screen and voila, you are broadcasting live!