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That Radio Sound - Compression & Limiting

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September 30, 2004 12:57:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I don't know whether I'm asking for something you folks consider
industry trade secrets, but could somebody explain to me how that
big, boomy, bright, full "radio sound" is achieved?

My ears love uncompressed music as much as the next audiophile's,
but under some circumstances, like while driving and listening to
my compilation CD-Rs, FM radio-style compression is preferable.
Moreover, some tracks simply sound magical with that compressed,
booming radio sound -- think "Cruisin'" by Smokey Robinson. :-)

So, sitting in the company of CEP 2.0's hard limiter and dynamics
processing functions here at home, I'm wondering if that kind of
sound can be duplicated, or at least closely immitated, in my
livingroom.

It should be stated that while I've never set foot inside a real
radio studio, I have a fair understanding of how this processing
works from lots of reading and a technically-oriented mind. I.e.,
what compression/expansion do as opposed to hard limiting, how
thresholds and ratios and compensation gain relate to them, the
roles attack, release, and lookahead times play in affecting the
punchyness in the output, the fact that everything above happens
independently yet simultaneously to different frequency ranges
(multi-band compression) which partly overlap (crossover?), etc.
I just lack the expertise and experience real engineers have to
make all those things work in harmony to produce a true "radio"
sound without breathing and pumping. <g> That's why I'm here.

At <http://www.snpp.com/staff/brian/drc/&gt;, I've uploaded a few
GIFs showing the DRP options offered by CEP 2.0. While genuine
multi-band DRP is not possible in this program, it does permit
you to define the low and high frequency cutoffs for each DRP
action. Theoretically, then, it should be possible for me to
achieve "multi-band" compression by performing DRP in multiple
passes, once for each band.

Anyone have any hints on where I might start? Like tips on what
compression/expansion ratios, thresholds, compensation/output/
input gains, and attack/release/lookahead times are best applied
to each band, etc., if I could achieve something like the sound
that well-engineered classic rock/oldies/pop/new age stations
exhibit (big, booming, and larger than life -- but not *totally*
dead dynamically, like soft rock stations engineered to be heard
through alarm clock radios)? Of course, I realize that beggars
can't be choosy. :-)

I'd really appreciate any pointers this group might have.

P.S. - Something I'm vastly ignorant of is where the low & high
cutoff points fall for each band in the multi-band compressors
used by most stations -- as well as how MANY bands they usually
have to begin with, and by how many Hz/kHz they usually overlap
(crossover?). Info here would likewise be very much appreciated.


Brian
__
E-mail address munged to avoid spammers.
If you wish to respond privately, replace 'moon' with 'sun'.
Anonymous
September 30, 2004 4:07:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Thu, 30 Sep 2004 08:57:33 GMT, in rec.audio.pro you wrote:
snip
>It should be stated that while I've never set foot inside a real
>radio studio, I have a fair understanding of how this processing
>works from lots of reading and a technically-oriented mind. I.e.,
>what compression/expansion do as opposed to hard limiting, how
>thresholds and ratios and compensation gain relate to them, the
>roles attack, release, and lookahead times play in affecting the
>punchyness in the output, the fact that everything above happens
>independently yet simultaneously to different frequency ranges
>(multi-band compression) which partly overlap (crossover?), etc.
>I just lack the expertise and experience real engineers have to
>make all those things work in harmony to produce a true "radio"
>sound without breathing and pumping. <g> That's why I'm here.
>snip
>
>Brian
>__
>E-mail address munged to avoid spammers.
>If you wish to respond privately, replace 'moon' with 'sun'.

I fortunately left the radio industry many years ago, before the
invention of Optimod
http://www.orban.com/orban/products/radio/index.html

a dangerous bit of kit in the wrong hands




martin

Serious error.
All shortcuts have disappeared.
Screen. Mind. Both are blank.
Anonymous
September 30, 2004 4:07:30 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Thu, 30 Sep 2004 12:07:29 +0200, martin griffith
<martingriffith@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:

>On Thu, 30 Sep 2004 08:57:33 GMT, in rec.audio.pro you wrote:
>snip
>>It should be stated that while I've never set foot inside a real
>>radio studio, I have a fair understanding of how this processing
>>works from lots of reading and a technically-oriented mind. I.e.,
>>what compression/expansion do as opposed to hard limiting, how
>>thresholds and ratios and compensation gain relate to them, the
>>roles attack, release, and lookahead times play in affecting the
>>punchyness in the output, the fact that everything above happens
>>independently yet simultaneously to different frequency ranges
>>(multi-band compression) which partly overlap (crossover?), etc.
>>I just lack the expertise and experience real engineers have to
>>make all those things work in harmony to produce a true "radio"
>>sound without breathing and pumping. <g> That's why I'm here.
>>snip
>>
>>Brian
>>__
>>E-mail address munged to avoid spammers.
>>If you wish to respond privately, replace 'moon' with 'sun'.
>
>I fortunately left the radio industry many years ago, before the
>invention of Optimod
>http://www.orban.com/orban/products/radio/index.html
>
>a dangerous bit of kit in the wrong hands
>
You seem to imply that there might be some right hands for an Optimod.
Of course there are - those of a scrap metal dealer.

d
Pearce Consulting
http://www.pearce.uk.com
Related resources
Anonymous
September 30, 2004 4:07:31 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Don Pearce <donald@pearce.uk.com> wrote:
>>
>You seem to imply that there might be some right hands for an Optimod.
>Of course there are - those of a scrap metal dealer.

The older Optimods are actually pretty good. If you disable the gate on
them and set them up well, they can give you a little bit of extra level
without being aggressive or problematic in any way.

In terms of actually being able to get the modulation level up without
overshoot, the Optimods do a better job than anything that came before
them. Going from an Audimax/Volumax combination to an Optimod 8100 is
amazing in that you can increase the transmitter modulation considerably
with a decrease in perceived distortion.

The problem comes when people try to do abusive things, like cranking the
compression ratios on the Optimod way higher than is appropriate for mere
gainriding, and start hammering the limiters. Or abusive things like putting
three racks worth of multiband compressors in front of the Optimod.

Honestly, the old 8100 is a good choice for a minimally processed classical
or jazz station today... and the Optimod _can_ be used with minimal processing.
It's a tool, and it's a tool that is often horribly abused by engineers
trying to make things massively louder and destroying sound quality, but
don't blame the tool for the Loudness Wars.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
September 30, 2004 4:07:31 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

>> I fortunately left the radio industry many years ago, before the
>> invention of Optimod
>> http://www.orban.com/orban/products/radio/index.html
>>
>> a dangerous bit of kit in the wrong hands
>>
> You seem to imply that there might be some right hands for an Optimod.
> Of course there are - those of a scrap metal dealer.
>
> d
> Pearce Consulting
> http://www.pearce.uk.com

I'd be disagreein'' with that.

Ty Ford



-- Ty Ford's equipment reviews, audio samples, rates and other audiocentric
stuff are at www.tyford.com
September 30, 2004 4:07:31 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

donald@pearce.uk.com (Don Pearce) wrote in message news:<415be107.8476296@news.plus.net>...
> On Thu, 30 Sep 2004 12:07:29 +0200, martin griffith
> <martingriffith@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:
>
> >On Thu, 30 Sep 2004 08:57:33 GMT, in rec.audio.pro you wrote:
> >snip
> >>It should be stated that while I've never set foot inside a real
> >>radio studio, I have a fair understanding of how this processing
> >>works from lots of reading and a technically-oriented mind. I.e.,
> >>what compression/expansion do as opposed to hard limiting, how
> >>thresholds and ratios and compensation gain relate to them, the
> >>roles attack, release, and lookahead times play in affecting the
> >>punchyness in the output, the fact that everything above happens
> >>independently yet simultaneously to different frequency ranges
> >>(multi-band compression) which partly overlap (crossover?), etc.
> >>I just lack the expertise and experience real engineers have to
> >>make all those things work in harmony to produce a true "radio"
> >>sound without breathing and pumping. <g> That's why I'm here.
> >>snip
> >>
> >>Brian
> >>__

For FM, part of it is the pre-emphasis and de-emphasis. This combined
with the compression/limiting results in the high frequencies being
compressed/limited to a lower loudness than the low frequencies are.
The de-emphasis is over 12 dB or so down at 15 kHz.

This is why I don't listen to the radio anymore. Please don't add
this to your recordings.

Mark
Anonymous
September 30, 2004 4:07:32 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> It's a tool, and it's a tool that is often horribly abused by engineers
> trying to make things massively louder and destroying sound quality, but
> don't blame the tool for the Loudness Wars.
> --scott

Persactly. I remember getting a call from a friend engineer in Washington DC
when I was in Baltimore. He was asking what I had in front of the optimod. It
was fashionable by some then to have two or three processing boxes in the
audio chain of one's FM.

He said he really liked our open sound and that it was plenty loud. I said we
had a new invention in line; a piece of wire.

To jam Bob Orban for the abuse that others created with his fine tools is
just plain wrong.

Regards,

Ty Ford




-- Ty Ford's equipment reviews, audio samples, rates and other audiocentric
stuff are at www.tyford.com
Anonymous
September 30, 2004 5:09:57 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Mark <makolber@yahoo.com> wrote:
>For FM, part of it is the pre-emphasis and de-emphasis. This combined
>with the compression/limiting results in the high frequencies being
>compressed/limited to a lower loudness than the low frequencies are.
>The de-emphasis is over 12 dB or so down at 15 kHz.

Huh? The frequency response should be flat because the emphasis and
de-emphasis curves cancel out. There isn't any processing being done
between the two procedures.

>This is why I don't listen to the radio anymore. Please don't add
>this to your recordings.

No, the current obsession with loudness on the part of broadcasters is
a social problem and not a technical problem, and it is responsible for
the way radio sounds today.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
September 30, 2004 5:25:03 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 30 Sep 2004 09:11:53 -0400, kludge@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) wrote:

>Don Pearce <donald@pearce.uk.com> wrote:
>>>
>>You seem to imply that there might be some right hands for an Optimod.
>>Of course there are - those of a scrap metal dealer.
>
>The older Optimods are actually pretty good. If you disable the gate on
>them and set them up well, they can give you a little bit of extra level
>without being aggressive or problematic in any way.
>
>In terms of actually being able to get the modulation level up without
>overshoot, the Optimods do a better job than anything that came before
>them. Going from an Audimax/Volumax combination to an Optimod 8100 is
>amazing in that you can increase the transmitter modulation considerably
>with a decrease in perceived distortion.
>
>The problem comes when people try to do abusive things, like cranking the
>compression ratios on the Optimod way higher than is appropriate for mere
>gainriding, and start hammering the limiters. Or abusive things like putting
>three racks worth of multiband compressors in front of the Optimod.
>
>Honestly, the old 8100 is a good choice for a minimally processed classical
>or jazz station today... and the Optimod _can_ be used with minimal processing.
>It's a tool, and it's a tool that is often horribly abused by engineers
>trying to make things massively louder and destroying sound quality, but
>don't blame the tool for the Loudness Wars.
>--scott

You reply goes to the heart of what is wrong with Optimod, and all
things like it. As a listener, if I need a bit of extra level, I can
turn up my volume control. If it is too loud, I can turn it down. I
certainly don't want some godawful machine doing it for me.

Pop music generally sounds best the way the producer left it, and
classical sounds best completely uncompressed - there is no reason for
a radio station to do any level processing at all.

As for the spoken word, even the least amount of compressions sounds
totally pants.

d
Pearce Consulting
http://www.pearce.uk.com
Anonymous
September 30, 2004 5:27:52 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

JWelsh3374 <jwelsh3374@aol.comnojunk> wrote:
>Anyone else notice enormous bass boost on radio?
>
>I have to notch my "bass" control back 60% or so on a couple of stations here
>in Nashville.

That's a regional thing, I think. Around here, most places have incredibly
peaked-up treble, except for the NPR affiliate, which has a bass boost.
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
September 30, 2004 5:36:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Thu, 30 Sep 2004 09:31:08 -0400, Ty Ford <tyreeford@comcast.net>
wrote:

>
>>> I fortunately left the radio industry many years ago, before the
>>> invention of Optimod
>>> http://www.orban.com/orban/products/radio/index.html
>>>
>>> a dangerous bit of kit in the wrong hands
>>>
>> You seem to imply that there might be some right hands for an Optimod.
>> Of course there are - those of a scrap metal dealer.
>>
>> d
>> Pearce Consulting
>> http://www.pearce.uk.com
>
>I'd be disagreein'' with that.
>
>Ty Ford
>
I've listened to your audio samples, and I'm not surprised. Try
listening to what real people sound like for a bit, and strive for
that instead - you may be pleasantly surprised.

d
Pearce Consulting
http://www.pearce.uk.com
Anonymous
September 30, 2004 6:07:22 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Thu, 30 Sep 2004 10:34:44 GMT, in rec.audio.pro you wrote:

>On Thu, 30 Sep 2004 12:07:29 +0200, martin griffith
><martingriffith@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:
>

>>I fortunately left the radio industry many years ago, before the
>>invention of Optimod
>>http://www.orban.com/orban/products/radio/index.html
>>
>>a dangerous bit of kit in the wrong hands
>>
>You seem to imply that there might be some right hands for an Optimod.
>Of course there are - those of a scrap metal dealer.
>
>d
>Pearce Consulting
>http://www.pearce.uk.com

I think its probably fine for butchering the sound for a shortwave
transmission, apart from that...........


martin

Serious error.
All shortcuts have disappeared.
Screen. Mind. Both are blank.
Anonymous
September 30, 2004 11:22:59 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <415d0873.18565671@news.plus.net>, donald@pearce.uk.com says...
>
>
>On 30 Sep 2004 09:11:53 -0400, kludge@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) wrote:
>
>>Don Pearce <donald@pearce.uk.com> wrote:
>>>>
>>>You seem to imply that there might be some right hands for an Optimod.
>>>Of course there are - those of a scrap metal dealer.
>>
>>The older Optimods are actually pretty good. If you disable the gate on
>>them and set them up well, they can give you a little bit of extra level
>>without being aggressive or problematic in any way.
>>
>>In terms of actually being able to get the modulation level up without
>>overshoot, the Optimods do a better job than anything that came before
>>them. Going from an Audimax/Volumax combination to an Optimod 8100 is
>>amazing in that you can increase the transmitter modulation considerably
>>with a decrease in perceived distortion.
>>
>>The problem comes when people try to do abusive things, like cranking the
>>compression ratios on the Optimod way higher than is appropriate for mere
>>gainriding, and start hammering the limiters. Or abusive things like
putting
>>three racks worth of multiband compressors in front of the Optimod.
>>
>>Honestly, the old 8100 is a good choice for a minimally processed classical
>>or jazz station today... and the Optimod _can_ be used with minimal
processing.
>>It's a tool, and it's a tool that is often horribly abused by engineers
>>trying to make things massively louder and destroying sound quality, but
>>don't blame the tool for the Loudness Wars.
>>--scott
>
>You reply goes to the heart of what is wrong with Optimod, and all
>things like it. As a listener, if I need a bit of extra level, I can
>turn up my volume control. If it is too loud, I can turn it down. I
>certainly don't want some godawful machine doing it for me.
>
>Pop music generally sounds best the way the producer left it, and
>classical sounds best completely uncompressed - there is no reason for
>a radio station to do any level processing at all.
>
>As for the spoken word, even the least amount of compressions sounds
>totally pants.
>
>d
>Pearce Consulting
>http://www.pearce.uk.com


Don -- I'm sorry you're cross with me. However, I presume that you
understand that the FM channel does not have an infinite signal-to-noise
ratio. Eliminating all forms of protection processing will cause many
potential listeners of a given radio station to be unable to enjoy that
station because quiet parts of the program are contaminated by noise. "Turning
up the volume control" also turns up the noise and hence, does not address the
problem.

In the days of monophonic FM and outdoor aerials, this was less of a problem.
However, FM stereo introduced a noise penalty of approximately 20 dB, and few
people use outddor aerials anymore.

All DSP-based FM Optimods, BTW, offer the ability to configure the unit for
various forms of "purist" processing. The most purist of these offers
protection limiting that introduces no compression at all with normal input
levels, and only does the amount of HF limiting and peak limiting necessary to
protect the channel from overdeviation.

Bob Orban
Anonymous
September 30, 2004 11:29:41 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <415d0873.18565671@news.plus.net> donald@pearce.uk.com writes:

> You reply goes to the heart of what is wrong with Optimod, and all
> things like it. As a listener, if I need a bit of extra level, I can
> turn up my volume control. If it is too loud, I can turn it down. I
> certainly don't want some godawful machine doing it for me.

The problem that the Optimod solves (in addition to keeping the
station legal) is that most people don't like to constantly adjust the
volume control on their radio when going from music to talk, or from
one record to another on the station. Also, considering where most
people listen to the radio - in a car, in the kitchen, when doing
something else, they need less dynamic range than a well crafted
recording has so that they don't lose the quiet parts when the
background noise raises momentarily.

> Pop music generally sounds best the way the producer left it, and
> classical sounds best completely uncompressed - there is no reason for
> a radio station to do any level processing at all.

This is true, in an ideal world. But commercial radio isn't about
listening to music, it's about selling commercial air time (and
ultimately about selling the station for a profit). The way they do
that is to keep listeners, and the won't keep listeners who have to
continually adjust the volume control.

We have a couple of classical stations around here that don't bugger
the music too badly and one jazz station that isn't smart enough to do
very much (though many of their promos are dreadfully overprocessed -
I write that off to the bad taste of the DJs who cut them). But pop
music radio is all about consistent volume and hearing the beat well
enough to get the heart pumping.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
October 1, 2004 3:48:45 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Thu, 30 Sep 2004 09:36:29 -0400, Don Pearce wrote
(in article <415e0ba5.19383984@news.plus.net>):

> On Thu, 30 Sep 2004 09:31:08 -0400, Ty Ford <tyreeford@comcast.net>
> wrote:
>
>>
>>>> I fortunately left the radio industry many years ago, before the
>>>> invention of Optimod
>>>> http://www.orban.com/orban/products/radio/index.html
>>>>
>>>> a dangerous bit of kit in the wrong hands
>>>>
>>> You seem to imply that there might be some right hands for an Optimod.
>>> Of course there are - those of a scrap metal dealer.
>>>
>>> d
>>> Pearce Consulting
>>> http://www.pearce.uk.com
>>
>> I'd be disagreein'' with that.
>>
>> Ty Ford
>>
> I've listened to your audio samples, and I'm not surprised. Try
> listening to what real people sound like for a bit, and strive for
> that instead - you may be pleasantly surprised.
>
> d
> Pearce Consulting
> http://www.pearce.uk.com


Why Don. What a snotty reply.

Since I'm sure you know close to zip about what I do with audio, save the
snot for yourself in future. I don't need it and this group doesn't deserve
it.

The 8100 in the right hands is quite nice, folks.

Regards,

Ty Ford





-- Ty Ford's equipment reviews, audio samples, rates and other audiocentric
stuff are at www.tyford.com
Anonymous
October 1, 2004 11:04:47 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Thu, 30 Sep 2004 19:22:59 -0800, Robert Orban
<donotreply@spamblock.com> wrote:

>>Pearce Consulting
>>http://www.pearce.uk.com
>
>
>Don -- I'm sorry you're cross with me. However, I presume that you
>understand that the FM channel does not have an infinite signal-to-noise
>ratio. Eliminating all forms of protection processing will cause many
>potential listeners of a given radio station to be unable to enjoy that
>station because quiet parts of the program are contaminated by noise. "Turning
>up the volume control" also turns up the noise and hence, does not address the
>problem.
>
>In the days of monophonic FM and outdoor aerials, this was less of a problem.
>However, FM stereo introduced a noise penalty of approximately 20 dB, and few
>people use outddor aerials anymore.
>
>All DSP-based FM Optimods, BTW, offer the ability to configure the unit for
>various forms of "purist" processing. The most purist of these offers
>protection limiting that introduces no compression at all with normal input
>levels, and only does the amount of HF limiting and peak limiting necessary to
>protect the channel from overdeviation.
>
>Bob Orban

Is there anybody left in the industry with the slightest idea of
exactly how much signal to noise ratio an FM channel actually has? It
has more than enough by many tens of dBs to cope with any pop record
released in the last twenty years. It also has vastly more than any
piece of vinyl *ever* released, and it has plenty enough for any
classical recording. So the lack of dynamic range argument is a
non-starter.

As for protecting channels from overdeviation, it is a regulatory
requirement that transmitters contain such protection - they don't
need Optimod for that, and anyway that is what the engineer is for.

No, Optimod is a tool seized upon by cheap and nasty radio stations
(and yes, I know that is most of them) for making themselves as noisy
and obnoxious as possible in order to stand out and appeal to the
lowest common denominator in the market. Now I'm sure that is a plan
of sorts, and I can't knock it. But never try to claim that it has
anything to do with quality. If you want quality you just leave out
all these extraneous bits - radio does not need them.

d
Pearce Consulting
http://www.pearce.uk.com
Anonymous
October 1, 2004 11:09:45 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Thu, 30 Sep 2004 23:48:45 -0400, Ty Ford <tyreeford@comcast.net>
wrote:

>>>> You seem to imply that there might be some right hands for an Optimod.
>>>> Of course there are - those of a scrap metal dealer.
>>>>
>>>> d
>>>> Pearce Consulting
>>>> http://www.pearce.uk.com
>>>
>>> I'd be disagreein'' with that.
>>>
>>> Ty Ford
>>>
>> I've listened to your audio samples, and I'm not surprised. Try
>> listening to what real people sound like for a bit, and strive for
>> that instead - you may be pleasantly surprised.
>>
>> d
>> Pearce Consulting
>> http://www.pearce.uk.com
>
>
>Why Don. What a snotty reply.
>
>Since I'm sure you know close to zip about what I do with audio, save the
>snot for yourself in future. I don't need it and this group doesn't deserve
>it.
>
>The 8100 in the right hands is quite nice, folks.
>
>Regards,
>
>Ty Ford
>
>
TY, my comment was purely in reference to your published samples - not
your other work which as far as I know may be very good. But what you
put on your web site does indeed lead me to the conclusion that you
would like the sound of Optimod, since it is highly artificial in
nature. Now maybe you really do believe that everybody should like to
hear voices presented that way - and maybe I am indeed alone in the
group in preferring a natural human voice - but don't think for one
moment that this places you above criticism. And I'm sure that the
group can speak for itself if it feels offended by my preference for
fidelity over punch.

d
Pearce Consulting
http://www.pearce.uk.com
Anonymous
October 1, 2004 1:27:32 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Fri, 1 Oct 2004 03:09:45 -0400, Don Pearce wrote
(in article <415e01c2.931062@news.plus.net>):

> On Thu, 30 Sep 2004 23:48:45 -0400, Ty Ford <tyreeford@comcast.net>
> wrote:
>
>>>>> You seem to imply that there might be some right hands for an Optimod.
>>>>> Of course there are - those of a scrap metal dealer.
>>>>>
>>>>> d
>>>>> Pearce Consulting
>>>>> http://www.pearce.uk.com
>>>>
>>>> I'd be disagreein'' with that.
>>>>
>>>> Ty Ford
>>>>
>>> I've listened to your audio samples, and I'm not surprised. Try
>>> listening to what real people sound like for a bit, and strive for
>>> that instead - you may be pleasantly surprised.
>>>
>>> d
>>> Pearce Consulting
>>> http://www.pearce.uk.com
>>
>>
>> Why Don. What a snotty reply.
>>
>> Since I'm sure you know close to zip about what I do with audio, save the
>> snot for yourself in future. I don't need it and this group doesn't deserve
>> it.
>>
>> The 8100 in the right hands is quite nice, folks.
>>
>> Regards,
>>
>> Ty Ford
>>
>>
> TY, my comment was purely in reference to your published samples - not
> your other work which as far as I know may be very good. But what you
> put on your web site does indeed lead me to the conclusion that you
> would like the sound of Optimod, since it is highly artificial in
> nature. Now maybe you really do believe that everybody should like to
> hear voices presented that way - and maybe I am indeed alone in the
> group in preferring a natural human voice - but don't think for one
> moment that this places you above criticism. And I'm sure that the
> group can speak for itself if it feels offended by my preference for
> fidelity over punch.
>
> d
> Pearce Consulting
> http://www.pearce.uk.com

Dear Don,

You're making broad judgements based on MP3 files? Curious.

Again, having had some experience with the Optimod 8000 and 8100 (as well as
other processors normally used and abused on air) it's still up to the
individual to determine the degree of use and/or abuse.

I support your comment if its basis is that broadcast facilities typically
overprocess the audio. That basis, however, was not made apparent in your
comments.

My problem is that instead of discussing the issue, you chose to attack me
professionally based on what amounts to a polaroid snapshot of audio (MP3)
designed for purposes other than fidelity. That's quite a jump in logic.

Regards,

Ty Ford



-- Ty Ford's equipment reviews, audio samples, rates and other audiocentric
stuff are at www.tyford.com
Anonymous
October 1, 2004 1:32:18 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Fri, 1 Oct 2004 03:04:47 -0400, Don Pearce wrote
(in article <415d0006.486765@news.plus.net>):

> No, Optimod is a tool seized upon by cheap and nasty radio stations (and yes,

> I know that is most of them) for making themselves as noisy and obnoxious as
> possible in order to stand out and appeal to the lowest common denominator in

> the market. Now I'm sure that is a plan of sorts, and I can't knock it. But
> never try to claim that it has anything to do with quality. If you want
> quality you just leave out all these extraneous bits - radio does not need
> them.

Again, when misused, this is correct. When used correctly, this is not
correct. Many expensive and not-so-nasty radio stations also over-process,
some with an optimod, some with other devices.

There is a compelling reason in area where automotive radio listening is
important. Typically, the road noise obscures the lower level passages of
non-dynamically reduced audio.

If you turn up the car radio to hear the lower levels of the 1812 Overture,
you doors will be blown off when the cannons fire.

Regards,

Ty Ford



-- Ty Ford's equipment reviews, audio samples, rates and other audiocentric
stuff are at www.tyford.com
Anonymous
October 1, 2004 2:29:50 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <415d0006.486765@news.plus.net> donald@pearce.uk.com writes:

> Is there anybody left in the industry with the slightest idea of
> exactly how much signal to noise ratio an FM channel actually has? It
> has more than enough by many tens of dBs to cope with any pop record
> released in the last twenty years.

A red herring for sure. You only need about 10 dB of dynamic range for
that. A cassette recorder with no noise reduction has snough dynamic
range to cope with any pop record released in the last 20 years too.
This is a function of the record, not the transport medium.

> As for protecting channels from overdeviation, it is a regulatory
> requirement that transmitters contain such protection - they don't
> need Optimod for that, and anyway that is what the engineer is for.

What engineer? The engineer is the guy who sets up the transmitter and
dynamics processor so the studio owner won't get fined, and then he
goes fishing.

> No, Optimod is a tool seized upon by cheap and nasty radio stations
> (and yes, I know that is most of them) for making themselves as noisy
> and obnoxious as possible in order to stand out and appeal to the
> lowest common denominator in the market.

So attack the stations, not the maker of the tool they use. I still
use a box cutter even though one was blamed for starting our War on
Terror.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
October 1, 2004 5:53:52 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Fri, 1 Oct 2004 09:27:32 -0400, Ty Ford <tyreeford@comcast.net>
wrote:

>> TY, my comment was purely in reference to your published samples - not
>> your other work which as far as I know may be very good. But what you
>> put on your web site does indeed lead me to the conclusion that you
>> would like the sound of Optimod, since it is highly artificial in
>> nature. Now maybe you really do believe that everybody should like to
>> hear voices presented that way - and maybe I am indeed alone in the
>> group in preferring a natural human voice - but don't think for one
>> moment that this places you above criticism. And I'm sure that the
>> group can speak for itself if it feels offended by my preference for
>> fidelity over punch.
>>
>> d
>> Pearce Consulting
>> http://www.pearce.uk.com
>
>Dear Don,
>
>You're making broad judgements based on MP3 files? Curious.
>
>Again, having had some experience with the Optimod 8000 and 8100 (as well as
>other processors normally used and abused on air) it's still up to the
>individual to determine the degree of use and/or abuse.
>
>I support your comment if its basis is that broadcast facilities typically
>overprocess the audio. That basis, however, was not made apparent in your
>comments.
>
>My problem is that instead of discussing the issue, you chose to attack me
>professionally based on what amounts to a polaroid snapshot of audio (MP3)
>designed for purposes other than fidelity. That's quite a jump in logic.
>
>Regards,
>
>Ty Ford

The attack wasn't really meant personally but against an industry
generally that values punch, apparent volume or whatever over a
faithful representation of the human voice. With music, I am happy for
artistic license to have its say, but with voice I simply won't have
it - it is too personal.

In my view there is no such thing as over-processing of voice, there
is simply processing and it is all anathema.

d
Pearce Consulting
http://www.pearce.uk.com
Anonymous
October 1, 2004 6:56:38 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Don Pearce" <donald@pearce.uk.com> wrote
>
> Try listening to what real people sound like
> for a bit, and strive for that instead -
> you may be pleasantly surprised.



I spend a lot of time listening to what real people sound like, and I
can tell you that I will NOT be making that *my* objective.

Listen to a casual conversation between any two people, and see how many
times words are missed or mis-heard ("What? Sorry? I beg your pardon?
Say again? You watched VD last night? What's VD? Oh, TV!!!") That's
face-to-face, where it's easy to repeat a missed word. I don't have the
luxury of having the talent repeat what a listener missed, so I better
make sure they hear it the first time.

Add to the equation that my audience may be cooking, cleaning or doing
other distracting things while my show is on (or, in the case of radio,
most likely driving) and the problem becomes much worse.

Healthy levels of compression help make sure my audience isn't muttering
the dreaded "Whadeesay?"

--
"It CAN'T be too loud... some of the red lights aren't even on yet!"
- Lorin David Schultz
in the control room
making even bad news sound good

(Remove spamblock to reply)
Anonymous
October 1, 2004 6:58:23 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 1 Oct 2004 10:29:50 -0400, mrivers@d-and-d.com (Mike Rivers) wrote:

>
>In article <415d0006.486765@news.plus.net> donald@pearce.uk.com writes:
>
>> Is there anybody left in the industry with the slightest idea of
>> exactly how much signal to noise ratio an FM channel actually has? It
>> has more than enough by many tens of dBs to cope with any pop record
>> released in the last twenty years.
>
>A red herring for sure. You only need about 10 dB of dynamic range for
>that. A cassette recorder with no noise reduction has snough dynamic
>range to cope with any pop record released in the last 20 years too.
>This is a function of the record, not the transport medium.
>
Agreed - I was responding to Orban's claim that Optimods had something
to do with the limited available dynamic range of FM radio - bollocks
for sure.

>> As for protecting channels from overdeviation, it is a regulatory
>> requirement that transmitters contain such protection - they don't
>> need Optimod for that, and anyway that is what the engineer is for.
>
>What engineer? The engineer is the guy who sets up the transmitter and
>dynamics processor so the studio owner won't get fined, and then he
>goes fishing.
>
Good old quality control you know. If a radio station isn't prepared
to maintain a decent standard of quality, then it has no business
being on the air. If the engineer has gone fishing, fire him and go on
firing them until you find one who enjoys engineering more than
fishing.

>> No, Optimod is a tool seized upon by cheap and nasty radio stations
>> (and yes, I know that is most of them) for making themselves as noisy
>> and obnoxious as possible in order to stand out and appeal to the
>> lowest common denominator in the market.
>
>So attack the stations, not the maker of the tool they use. I still
>use a box cutter even though one was blamed for starting our War on
>Terror.

Ah! The old "its not guns that kill people, it's people that kill
people" argument. Sorry, I don't buy it.If there weren't any Optimods,
people wouldn't abuse them - and I use the term advisedly because
abuse is the only use I have ever heard.

d
Pearce Consulting
http://www.pearce.uk.com
Anonymous
October 1, 2004 6:59:52 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Fri, 01 Oct 2004 14:56:38 GMT, "Lorin David Schultz"
<Lorin@DAMNSPAM!v5v.ca> wrote:

>"Don Pearce" <donald@pearce.uk.com> wrote
>>
>> Try listening to what real people sound like
>> for a bit, and strive for that instead -
>> you may be pleasantly surprised.
>
>
>
>I spend a lot of time listening to what real people sound like, and I
>can tell you that I will NOT be making that *my* objective.
>
>Listen to a casual conversation between any two people, and see how many
>times words are missed or mis-heard ("What? Sorry? I beg your pardon?
>Say again? You watched VD last night? What's VD? Oh, TV!!!") That's
>face-to-face, where it's easy to repeat a missed word. I don't have the
>luxury of having the talent repeat what a listener missed, so I better
>make sure they hear it the first time.
>
>Add to the equation that my audience may be cooking, cleaning or doing
>other distracting things while my show is on (or, in the case of radio,
>most likely driving) and the problem becomes much worse.
>
>Healthy levels of compression help make sure my audience isn't muttering
>the dreaded "Whadeesay?"

Don't be silly - you know perfectly well I was referring to the
quality of the voice, not the content.

d
Pearce Consulting
http://www.pearce.uk.com
Anonymous
October 1, 2004 7:37:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <415f6f93.29044546@news.plus.net> donald@pearce.uk.com writes:

> >What engineer? The engineer is the guy who sets up the transmitter and
> >dynamics processor so the studio owner won't get fined, and then he
> >goes fishing.
> >
> Good old quality control you know. If a radio station isn't prepared
> to maintain a decent standard of quality, then it has no business
> being on the air. If the engineer has gone fishing, fire him and go on
> firing them until you find one who enjoys engineering more than
> fishing.

They don't even require a meter reading test for a DJ license any
more. There may not even be a DJ license (3rd class commercial) now.

But, hey, I don't think that people who can't sing on pitch acceptably
or can't play a guitar solo or sing with proper emotional phrasing and
diction without doing it a phrase at a time should be making records
either.

> Ah! The old "its not guns that kill people, it's people that kill
> people" argument. Sorry, I don't buy it.If there weren't any Optimods,
> people wouldn't abuse them - and I use the term advisedly because
> abuse is the only use I have ever heard.

If we didn't have recorders, maybe we'd listen to more live music,
too. And in venues small enough so that we wouldn't need PA systems to
abuse.



--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
October 1, 2004 11:50:54 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 1 Oct 2004 15:37:29 -0400, mrivers@d-and-d.com (Mike Rivers) wrote:

>
>In article <415f6f93.29044546@news.plus.net> donald@pearce.uk.com writes:
>
>> >What engineer? The engineer is the guy who sets up the transmitter and
>> >dynamics processor so the studio owner won't get fined, and then he
>> >goes fishing.
>> >
>> Good old quality control you know. If a radio station isn't prepared
>> to maintain a decent standard of quality, then it has no business
>> being on the air. If the engineer has gone fishing, fire him and go on
>> firing them until you find one who enjoys engineering more than
>> fishing.
>
>They don't even require a meter reading test for a DJ license any
>more. There may not even be a DJ license (3rd class commercial) now.
>
>But, hey, I don't think that people who can't sing on pitch acceptably
>or can't play a guitar solo or sing with proper emotional phrasing and
>diction without doing it a phrase at a time should be making records
>either.
>

I would agree to this if it weren't for the fact that this is exactly
how Dusty Springfield used to record - virtually every word was
punched. But I've heard some original unpunched tracks, and they
sounded great; she was just that much of a perfectionist.

>> Ah! The old "its not guns that kill people, it's people that kill
>> people" argument. Sorry, I don't buy it.If there weren't any Optimods,
>> people wouldn't abuse them - and I use the term advisedly because
>> abuse is the only use I have ever heard.
>
>If we didn't have recorders, maybe we'd listen to more live music,
>too. And in venues small enough so that we wouldn't need PA systems to
>abuse.

Now you've got it!!!

d
Pearce Consulting
http://www.pearce.uk.com
Anonymous
October 2, 2004 12:19:05 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

OK - here's the 'fix' - step #1 ...
dump the old analog gear, the hardest thing to do ...
step #2 : get something like Cool Edit Pro ( I use Audacity )
-
-
for commercials you need "dynamic compression" - which is more like a digital
controlled 'expander' - let me explain ...
First, all the compression, and limiting in the world will simply reduce the
overload point and flatten the dynamic range ...
What we use these days is digital software that samples far beyond the CD rate
of 44,100 and 192K provides far more digital resolution than any station can
play back ...
The dynamic compression simply looks at the waveform, which can have peaks at
say -6DB MAX, and simply expands the volume of each slice near that pre-set
peak, depending on the settings ... so the result is that "full" sound we all
want, but it's more about expanding and increasing volume on the lower peaks
than changing any of the 'high' peaks, so the upper range of the digital audio
is the same, only 'fuller' ...
In the online 'demo #4' I tried to really push the distortion to the peak -
the voice-over is at +3 db, the music and subliminal (!) track is at -6db, so
there is a 9 db separation - admittedly it sounds (nearly) to distortion, and
usually I make sure I'm at least -3db on any peaks, period ...
See what an old laptop and software can do - my studio fills a suitcase, with
lots of mics, cables, patch cords, headphones, etc - and I can do 36 tracks at
192K sample rate - right at the client's office/store 'on-the-spot' - as well
as mixdown/edit with a large variety of pre-recorded music 'beds' from my 2
casio keyboards ... no prob ... forget the radio production room, and the
big multitrack studio too - dump the old analog gear while you still can ...

Joe

joe@astoriamovies.com

http://www.astoriamovies.com

(demos above)

---













Robert Orban <donotreply@spamblock.com> wrote in message news:<NIidnY1pQq8sIsHcRVn-pg@giganews.com>...
> In article <415d0873.18565671@news.plus.net>, donald@pearce.uk.com says...
> >
> >
> >On 30 Sep 2004 09:11:53 -0400, kludge@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) wrote:
> >
> >>Don Pearce <donald@pearce.uk.com> wrote:
> >>>>
> >>>You seem to imply that there might be some right hands for an Optimod.
> >>>Of course there are - those of a scrap metal dealer.
> >>
> >>The older Optimods are actually pretty good. If you disable the gate on
> >>them and set them up well, they can give you a little bit of extra level
> >>without being aggressive or problematic in any way.
> >>
> >>In terms of actually being able to get the modulation level up without
> >>overshoot, the Optimods do a better job than anything that came before
> >>them. Going from an Audimax/Volumax combination to an Optimod 8100 is
> >>amazing in that you can increase the transmitter modulation considerably
> >>with a decrease in perceived distortion.
> >>
> >>The problem comes when people try to do abusive things, like cranking the
> >>compression ratios on the Optimod way higher than is appropriate for mere
> >>gainriding, and start hammering the limiters. Or abusive things like
> putting
> >>three racks worth of multiband compressors in front of the Optimod.
> >>
> >>Honestly, the old 8100 is a good choice for a minimally processed classical
> >>or jazz station today... and the Optimod _can_ be used with minimal
> processing.
> >>It's a tool, and it's a tool that is often horribly abused by engineers
> >>trying to make things massively louder and destroying sound quality, but
> >>don't blame the tool for the Loudness Wars.
> >>--scott
> >
> >You reply goes to the heart of what is wrong with Optimod, and all
> >things like it. As a listener, if I need a bit of extra level, I can
> >turn up my volume control. If it is too loud, I can turn it down. I
> >certainly don't want some godawful machine doing it for me.
> >
> >Pop music generally sounds best the way the producer left it, and
> >classical sounds best completely uncompressed - there is no reason for
> >a radio station to do any level processing at all.
> >
> >As for the spoken word, even the least amount of compressions sounds
> >totally pants.
> >
> >d
> >Pearce Consulting
> >http://www.pearce.uk.com
>
>
> Don -- I'm sorry you're cross with me. However, I presume that you
> understand that the FM channel does not have an infinite signal-to-noise
> ratio. Eliminating all forms of protection processing will cause many
> potential listeners of a given radio station to be unable to enjoy that
> station because quiet parts of the program are contaminated by noise. "Turning
> up the volume control" also turns up the noise and hence, does not address the
> problem.
>
> In the days of monophonic FM and outdoor aerials, this was less of a problem.
> However, FM stereo introduced a noise penalty of approximately 20 dB, and few
> people use outddor aerials anymore.
>
> All DSP-based FM Optimods, BTW, offer the ability to configure the unit for
> various forms of "purist" processing. The most purist of these offers
> protection limiting that introduces no compression at all with normal input
> levels, and only does the amount of HF limiting and peak limiting necessary to
> protect the channel from overdeviation.
>
> Bob Orban
Anonymous
October 2, 2004 11:12:14 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< I would agree to this if it weren't for the fact that this is exactly
how Dusty Springfield used to record - virtually every word was
punched. But I've heard some original unpunched tracks, and they
sounded great; she was just that much of a perfectionist. >>



Same with Streisand, who has the ability to sing great, but wants the ability
to obsess over every single syllable. Lots & lots of takes & lots & lots of
comping.
Scott Fraser
Anonymous
October 2, 2004 2:08:51 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <20041002031214.01852.00001511@mb-m13.aol.com> scotfraser@aol.com writes:

> Same with Streisand, who has the ability to sing great, but wants the ability
> to obsess over every single syllable. Lots & lots of takes & lots & lots of
> comping.

Must be nice to be rich and eccentric. When you have that kind of
money to put behind your sessions, you can pay engineers who will
go along with that nonsense. I guess I would, too, if I could get paid
what Streisand & Co. can afford. But probably only once.

It's not that I'm not a perfectionist, I just don't have the patience
to go along for the ride with that kind of perfectionist.



--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
October 2, 2004 2:40:16 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Mike Rivers wrote:


> It's not that I'm not a perfectionist, I just don't have the patience
> to go along for the ride with that kind of perfectionist.

Not even by the hour (and hour and hour...)?
Anonymous
October 2, 2004 2:52:40 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Fri, 1 Oct 2004 09:53:52 -0400, Don Pearce wrote
(in article <415e6080.25184828@news.plus.net>):

> In my view there is no such thing as over-processing of voice, there
> is simply processing and it is all anathema.
>
> d
> Pearce Consulting
> http://www.pearce.uk.com

You must be a very unhappy person in this world today. :) 

Regards,

Ty Ford



-- Ty Ford's equipment reviews, audio samples, rates and other audiocentric
stuff are at www.tyford.com
Anonymous
October 2, 2004 3:06:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Fri, 1 Oct 2004 10:56:38 -0400, Lorin David Schultz wrote
(in article <Gee7d.6584$223.3967@edtnps89>):

> "Don Pearce" <donald@pearce.uk.com> wrote
>>
>> Try listening to what real people sound like
>> for a bit, and strive for that instead -
>> you may be pleasantly surprised.
>
>
>
> I spend a lot of time listening to what real people sound like, and I
> can tell you that I will NOT be making that *my* objective.
>
> Listen to a casual conversation between any two people, and see how many
> times words are missed or mis-heard ("What? Sorry? I beg your pardon?
> Say again? You watched VD last night? What's VD? Oh, TV!!!") That's
> face-to-face, where it's easy to repeat a missed word. I don't have the
> luxury of having the talent repeat what a listener missed, so I better
> make sure they hear it the first time.
>
> Add to the equation that my audience may be cooking, cleaning or doing
> other distracting things while my show is on (or, in the case of radio,
> most likely driving) and the problem becomes much worse.
>
> Healthy levels of compression help make sure my audience isn't muttering
> the dreaded "Whadeesay?"


There's a compelling statement (no aphex hype intended). When recording
normal humans (as opposed to VO pros or actors) I never cease to be amazed at
how different voices are. The tendency to drop off at the end of each
sentence as the lungs empty is often a problem.

Even in mixing vocals for music projects, I find that fixing the vocal track
involves boosting a word or phrase here and there to make the words audible.
Don, I'm guessing that you may also like your printed word the same
unadulterated way. When I do an interview for an article, I usually send the
words back so they interviewee can take his/her foot out of his/her mouth.
Other writers I know absolutely will not change anything. "They said it. I'm
printing it!"

My experience is that people frequently talk out of their butts, myself
included. The point is (for me) to present the information in the best way to
the reader. If that means restating, then that's OK.

Then there's the idea that no mic/preamp can actually capture the voice with
absolute fidelity. What do you use and why? What limitations do you
encounter?

Regards,

Ty



-- Ty Ford's equipment reviews, audio samples, rates and other audiocentric
stuff are at www.tyford.com
Anonymous
October 2, 2004 3:09:06 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

>> Healthy levels of compression help make sure my audience isn't muttering
>> the dreaded "Whadeesay?"
>
> Don't be silly - you know perfectly well I was referring to the
> quality of the voice, not the content.

Hmm, for me the ability or lack thereof of the voice to maintain level is
part of the quality of the voice; voice as instrument. Guess it could be
construed as the performance rather than the voice.

But you're still against processing. So how do you rationalize the
performance variations?

Regards,

Ty Ford




-- Ty Ford's equipment reviews, audio samples, rates and other audiocentric
stuff are at www.tyford.com
Anonymous
October 2, 2004 3:15:42 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Fri, 1 Oct 2004 23:19:05 -0400, Joe Altieri wrote
(in article <d7793b53.0410011919.1ff04636@posting.google.com>):

> OK - here's the 'fix' - step #1 ...
> dump the old analog gear, the hardest thing to do ...
> step #2 : get something like Cool Edit Pro ( I use Audacity )
> -
> -
> for commercials you need "dynamic compression" - which is more like a digital
> controlled 'expander' - let me explain ...
> First, all the compression, and limiting in the world will simply reduce the
> overload point and flatten the dynamic range ...
> What we use these days is digital software that samples far beyond the CD
> rate
> of 44,100 and 192K provides far more digital resolution than any station can
> play back ...

Well that can be said of most live operatic performances. Most of the ones
recorded onto LP or CD have been gain reduced so they fit within the Usable
Dynamic Range of the media or medium. Video and film are similar in that they
can't really capture differences in light across as wide a spectrum as the
human eye.

Regards,

Ty Ford




-- Ty Ford's equipment reviews, audio samples, rates and other audiocentric
stuff are at www.tyford.com
Anonymous
October 2, 2004 3:36:31 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Ty Ford <tyreeford@comcast.net> wrote:
>
>But you're still against processing. So how do you rationalize the
>performance variations?

I tend to be against processing as much as possible, and in the case of
broadcast work I think the performance variations are just part of what
make things interesting.

But, because FM does have limited dynamic range (and the truth is that
the dynamic range when you have full quieting is excellent, but out in
a fringe area it can be pretty poor), and as a result gain riding at least
is needed.

It's true that compression on FM buys you a lot less in terms of improved
service area than it does with AM, since the FM capture phenomenon means
there is really only a narrow range of signal strength between full quieting
and no reception at all.

If you're against manual gain riding, that's one thing. But if you're
okay with manual gain riding, how do you feel about a box like the Audimax
which basically tries to emulate the same process?

In a typical classical chain, you'll have a limiter that kicks on every
minute or so. Do you object to that? Very light limiting can buy you
a lot, for very little sonic loss (and the BBC has been using it since
the fifties). You can think of this as being safety limiting rather than
processing if that makes you feel better.

There is a huge range between no processing at all and the massively aggressive
overprocessing that is the norm even in small markets here in the US.
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
October 2, 2004 11:08:23 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Joe Altieri" <joe@astoriamovies.com> wrote
>
> See what an old laptop and software can do - my studio fills a
suitcase, with
> lots of mics, cables, patch cords, headphones, etc - and I can do 36
tracks at
> 192K sample rate - right at the client's office/store 'on-the-spot' -
as well
> as mixdown/edit with a large variety of pre-recorded music 'beds' from
my 2
> casio keyboards ... no prob ... forget the radio production room, and
the
> big multitrack studio too - dump the old analog gear while you still
can ...



True, with one caveat: you can't carry a decent room in a suitcase. I
can edit anywhere, but I still need a decent room to record in. You
wouldn't believe how many tracks I've had clients reject after they were
recorded because objectionable room effects were just too severe.

One should obviously also mix in a decent environment, but that's yet
another diatribe.

--
"It CAN'T be too loud... some of the red lights aren't even on yet!"
- Lorin David Schultz
in the control room
making even bad news sound good

(Remove spamblock to reply)
Anonymous
October 3, 2004 12:44:45 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <SI2dnakG6KGcdcPcRVn-iA@omsoft.com> nopsam@nospam.net writes:

> > It's not that I'm not a perfectionist, I just don't have the patience
> > to go along for the ride with that kind of perfectionist.
>
> Not even by the hour (and hour and hour...)?

My point, exactly. I'm not that much of a whore.

--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
October 3, 2004 1:32:48 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 2 Oct 2004 11:36:31 -0400, kludge@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) wrote:

>Ty Ford <tyreeford@comcast.net> wrote:
>>
>>But you're still against processing. So how do you rationalize the
>>performance variations?
>
>I tend to be against processing as much as possible, and in the case of
>broadcast work I think the performance variations are just part of what
>make things interesting.
>
>But, because FM does have limited dynamic range (and the truth is that
>the dynamic range when you have full quieting is excellent, but out in
>a fringe area it can be pretty poor), and as a result gain riding at least
>is needed.
>
>It's true that compression on FM buys you a lot less in terms of improved
>service area than it does with AM, since the FM capture phenomenon means
>there is really only a narrow range of signal strength between full quieting
>and no reception at all.
>
>If you're against manual gain riding, that's one thing. But if you're
>okay with manual gain riding, how do you feel about a box like the Audimax
>which basically tries to emulate the same process?
>
>In a typical classical chain, you'll have a limiter that kicks on every
>minute or so. Do you object to that? Very light limiting can buy you
>a lot, for very little sonic loss (and the BBC has been using it since
>the fifties). You can think of this as being safety limiting rather than
>processing if that makes you feel better.
>
>There is a huge range between no processing at all and the massively aggressive
>overprocessing that is the norm even in small markets here in the US.
>--scott

Funnily enough, manual gain riding doesn't bother me much. It tends to
be applied sympathetically, and doesn't have that loathsome pumping
and breathing effect that so many radio stations have with their
mis-applied automatic systems.

d
Pearce Consulting
http://www.pearce.uk.com
Anonymous
October 3, 2004 2:59:56 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Don Pearce <donald@pearce.uk.com> wrote:
>
>Funnily enough, manual gain riding doesn't bother me much. It tends to
>be applied sympathetically, and doesn't have that loathsome pumping
>and breathing effect that so many radio stations have with their
>mis-applied automatic systems.

Listen to some of the NBC Toscanini recordings, and you can hear manual
gain riding that will bother you just as much. At least, it drives me
up the wall.

There's no excuse for pumping and breathing, though. Don't dismiss
the concept because it's being misapplied.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
October 4, 2004 12:06:22 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Sat, 2 Oct 2004 22:59:56 -0400, Scott Dorsey wrote
(in article <cjnpvc$9ei$1@panix1.panix.com>):

> Don Pearce <donald@pearce.uk.com> wrote:
>>
>> Funnily enough, manual gain riding doesn't bother me much. It tends to
>> be applied sympathetically, and doesn't have that loathsome pumping
>> and breathing effect that so many radio stations have with their
>> mis-applied automatic systems.
>
> Listen to some of the NBC Toscanini recordings, and you can hear manual
> gain riding that will bother you just as much. At least, it drives me
> up the wall.
>
> There's no excuse for pumping and breathing, though. Don't dismiss
> the concept because it's being misapplied.
> --scott
>

Persactly! Having said that, I've found some folks are a lot more sensitive
to the level changes that are the result of compression and limiting than
others. Maybe Don's just a lot more sensitive.

I developed a preference for gain reduction while I was in radio. It took
several years of NOT being in US radio to lose the preference. I remember
listening to some mixes a few years after I had left radio that I had made
shortly after leaving radio. TOO MUCH limiting and compression.

Maybe it's like caffeine. One can get very used to it and not realize that
life is worth living without it. I haven't gotten to that point yet myself.

Regards,

Ty Ford



-- Ty Ford's equipment reviews, audio samples, rates and other audiocentric
stuff are at www.tyford.com
Anonymous
October 4, 2004 4:21:55 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Mon, 4 Oct 2004 08:06:22 -0400, Ty Ford <tyreeford@comcast.net>
wrote:

>On Sat, 2 Oct 2004 22:59:56 -0400, Scott Dorsey wrote
>(in article <cjnpvc$9ei$1@panix1.panix.com>):
>
>> Don Pearce <donald@pearce.uk.com> wrote:
>>>
>>> Funnily enough, manual gain riding doesn't bother me much. It tends to
>>> be applied sympathetically, and doesn't have that loathsome pumping
>>> and breathing effect that so many radio stations have with their
>>> mis-applied automatic systems.
>>
>> Listen to some of the NBC Toscanini recordings, and you can hear manual
>> gain riding that will bother you just as much. At least, it drives me
>> up the wall.
>>
>> There's no excuse for pumping and breathing, though. Don't dismiss
>> the concept because it's being misapplied.
>> --scott
>>
>
>Persactly! Having said that, I've found some folks are a lot more sensitive
>to the level changes that are the result of compression and limiting than
>others. Maybe Don's just a lot more sensitive.
>
>I developed a preference for gain reduction while I was in radio. It took
>several years of NOT being in US radio to lose the preference. I remember
>listening to some mixes a few years after I had left radio that I had made
>shortly after leaving radio. TOO MUCH limiting and compression.
>
>Maybe it's like caffeine. One can get very used to it and not realize that
>life is worth living without it. I haven't gotten to that point yet myself.
>
>Regards,
>
>Ty Ford
>
>
Keep trying - please. I'm heading towards a crusade to rid the
industry of it - it really is time.

d
Pearce Consulting
http://www.pearce.uk.com
Anonymous
October 7, 2004 11:06:47 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <415d0006.486765@news.plus.net>, donald@pearce.uk.com says...
>
>
>On Thu, 30 Sep 2004 19:22:59 -0800, Robert Orban
><donotreply@spamblock.com> wrote:
>
>>>Pearce Consulting
>>>http://www.pearce.uk.com
>>
>>
>>Don -- I'm sorry you're cross with me. However, I presume that you
>>understand that the FM channel does not have an infinite signal-to-noise
>>ratio. Eliminating all forms of protection processing will cause many
>>potential listeners of a given radio station to be unable to enjoy that
>>station because quiet parts of the program are contaminated by noise.
"Turning
>>up the volume control" also turns up the noise and hence, does not address
the
>>problem.
>>
>>In the days of monophonic FM and outdoor aerials, this was less of a
problem.
>>However, FM stereo introduced a noise penalty of approximately 20 dB, and
few
>>people use outddor aerials anymore.
>>
>>All DSP-based FM Optimods, BTW, offer the ability to configure the unit for
>>various forms of "purist" processing. The most purist of these offers
>>protection limiting that introduces no compression at all with normal input
>>levels, and only does the amount of HF limiting and peak limiting necessary
to
>>protect the channel from overdeviation.
>>
>>Bob Orban
>
>Is there anybody left in the industry with the slightest idea of
>exactly how much signal to noise ratio an FM channel actually has?

Since you are a "consultant," I presume you know enough maths to plug the
numbers into the equations that allow you to calculate FM signal-to-noise. An
FM channel does not have an intrinsic signal-to-noise ratio; it is a function
of the carrier's signal strength and the background noise temperature in the
channel. In addition, multipath can cause what is essentially modulation
noise.


> It
>has more than enough by many tens of dBs to cope with any pop record
>released in the last twenty years. It also has vastly more than any
>piece of vinyl *ever* released, and it has plenty enough for any
>classical recording. So the lack of dynamic range argument is a
>non-starter.

Not if you live in the real world, where people try to listen to FM stations
in moving vehicles and, in fixed locations, on radios with line-cord antennas.

>
>As for protecting channels from overdeviation, it is a regulatory
>requirement that transmitters contain such protection - they don't
>need Optimod for that, and anyway that is what the engineer is for.

In most parts of the world, a deviation limiter is NOT part of the FM
transmitter. Indeed, because many of the older deviation limiter designs
introduced various unpleasant side-effects (like bass's ducking the midrange
and dullness caused by HF limiters of simplistic design), broadcasters
worldwide welcomed more modern designs like Optimods, which do not have these
problems, yet can be set up to be as gentle as the user wants.

>
>No, Optimod is a tool seized upon by cheap and nasty radio stations
>(and yes, I know that is most of them) for making themselves as noisy
>and obnoxious as possible in order to stand out and appeal to the
>lowest common denominator in the market. Now I'm sure that is a plan
>of sorts, and I can't knock it. But never try to claim that it has
>anything to do with quality. If you want quality you just leave out
>all these extraneous bits - radio does not need them.

A certain number of stations are _very_ interested in providing a quality
sound to an upscale and discerning audience, and many of these stations use
tasteful Optimod processing. When I was involved in classical music radio, I
had the experience of getting more complaints when the signal was
underprocessed (because people couldn't hear the quiet parts of
the program, particularly in cars) than when it was moderately compressed.
Perhaps if you had any experience with actually running or engineering a radio
station whose properity depended on attracting and holding an audience, I
would take your last quoted statement more seriously. As it is, you are simply
stating your preference as fact.

Bob Orban
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 9:49:58 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I remember working at an FM station in Italy and having to deal with
the owner, the program director and the RF technicians.
Italy is probably the worst-case scenario as far as Orban-abuse.
The federal government had NO laws or restrictions concerning the
assignment of frequencies until 1992-3, which basically meant that
anyone with a big enough antenna could have a radio station.
People were also blowing up antennas etc. at one time.
In Rome every 50KHz step on the radio had Some kind of radio station.
this added up to hundreds of single stations on the dial.
The radio I worked at was the biggest in Rome and is a national
network.
I remember trying to explain that over-compression creates
listener-fatigue.
It was Mr. Orban himself that said that over-compression creates more
hits (people stop because of the louder signal) but short-term
listening.
also women are more sensitive to the distortions induced by
over-compressing and do not like the sound of over compressed
CHR--type sounding stations.
the response I used to get from the owner, who was not technically
proficent, was that I should make the signal 'loud AND clear'.
when I tried to explain that over-compression makes a signal distorted
he simply looked at me as if it was my problem...

Orban compressors were also designed to automatically EQ and 'master'
different kinds of recordings so that the sound of the radio station
remains consistent from genre to genre.
October 8, 2004 10:08:54 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

..
>
> In the days of monophonic FM and outdoor aerials, this was less of a problem.
> However, FM stereo introduced a noise penalty of approximately 20 dB, and few
> people use outddor aerials anymore.
>
> All DSP-based FM Optimods, BTW, offer the ability to configure the unit for
> various forms of "purist" processing. The most purist of these offers
> protection limiting that introduces no compression at all with normal input
> levels, and only does the amount of HF limiting and peak limiting necessary to
> protect the channel from overdeviation.
>
> Bob Orban

Bob,



I'm sure your products are very good and capable of excellent sounding
results when set for moderate processing. However, excessive
processing seems to be the rule rather than the exception on most
commercial stations. NPR seems to buck the trend thankfully. The
choice to run with excessive processing is the choice of the radio
station and I do not blame you for that.

But I do ask for your help in educating the radio industry to change
the trend. Educate them about listener fatigue. I get so tired of
listening to over compressed music that I actually turn the volume
down or turn the radio off entirely after 15 minutes. Usually I just
tune to NPR for a break. The days of tuning across the AM dial and
stopping on the loudest signal are long gone. Educate them that the
way to hold listeners for the long term and to encourage them to
actually turn the volume up, is to run with light compression. One of
the attractions of satellite radio is the wide dynamic range sound.
If anybody can help turn this around, it's you Bob.

thanks for listening
Mark
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 10:38:33 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Thu, 07 Oct 2004 19:06:47 -0800, Robert Orban
<donotreply@spamblock.com> wrote:

>In article <415d0006.486765@news.plus.net>, donald@pearce.uk.com says...
>>
>>
>>On Thu, 30 Sep 2004 19:22:59 -0800, Robert Orban
>><donotreply@spamblock.com> wrote:
>>
>>>>Pearce Consulting
>>>>http://www.pearce.uk.com
>>>
>>>
>>>Don -- I'm sorry you're cross with me. However, I presume that you
>>>understand that the FM channel does not have an infinite signal-to-noise
>>>ratio. Eliminating all forms of protection processing will cause many
>>>potential listeners of a given radio station to be unable to enjoy that
>>>station because quiet parts of the program are contaminated by noise.
>"Turning
>>>up the volume control" also turns up the noise and hence, does not address
>the
>>>problem.
>>>
>>>In the days of monophonic FM and outdoor aerials, this was less of a
>problem.
>>>However, FM stereo introduced a noise penalty of approximately 20 dB, and
>few
>>>people use outddor aerials anymore.
>>>
>>>All DSP-based FM Optimods, BTW, offer the ability to configure the unit for
>>>various forms of "purist" processing. The most purist of these offers
>>>protection limiting that introduces no compression at all with normal input
>>>levels, and only does the amount of HF limiting and peak limiting necessary
>to
>>>protect the channel from overdeviation.
>>>
>>>Bob Orban
>>
>>Is there anybody left in the industry with the slightest idea of
>>exactly how much signal to noise ratio an FM channel actually has?
>
>Since you are a "consultant," I presume you know enough maths to plug the
>numbers into the equations that allow you to calculate FM signal-to-noise. An
>FM channel does not have an intrinsic signal-to-noise ratio; it is a function
>of the carrier's signal strength and the background noise temperature in the
>channel. In addition, multipath can cause what is essentially modulation
>noise.
>

Multipath distortion does not cause noise - it causes distortion -
particularly in sibilants. This is particularly noticeable when those
sibilants have been enhanced by audio processing.

>
>> It
>>has more than enough by many tens of dBs to cope with any pop record
>>released in the last twenty years. It also has vastly more than any
>>piece of vinyl *ever* released, and it has plenty enough for any
>>classical recording. So the lack of dynamic range argument is a
>>non-starter.
>
>Not if you live in the real world, where people try to listen to FM stations
>in moving vehicles and, in fixed locations, on radios with line-cord antennas.
>

In the real world, FM stations have come a long, long way since the
days when we were short of signal strength. And in moving vehicles the
big problem is - as you already mentioned - multipath caused by a poor
operating environment and omnidirectional antennas.

>>
>>As for protecting channels from overdeviation, it is a regulatory
>>requirement that transmitters contain such protection - they don't
>>need Optimod for that, and anyway that is what the engineer is for.
>
>In most parts of the world, a deviation limiter is NOT part of the FM
>transmitter. Indeed, because many of the older deviation limiter designs
>introduced various unpleasant side-effects (like bass's ducking the midrange
>and dullness caused by HF limiters of simplistic design), broadcasters
>worldwide welcomed more modern designs like Optimods, which do not have these
>problems, yet can be set up to be as gentle as the user wants.
>
Gentle as in zero - far better. With the majority of sources now being
digital, it is possible to define maximum deviation exactly.

>>
>>No, Optimod is a tool seized upon by cheap and nasty radio stations
>>(and yes, I know that is most of them) for making themselves as noisy
>>and obnoxious as possible in order to stand out and appeal to the
>>lowest common denominator in the market. Now I'm sure that is a plan
>>of sorts, and I can't knock it. But never try to claim that it has
>>anything to do with quality. If you want quality you just leave out
>>all these extraneous bits - radio does not need them.
>
>A certain number of stations are _very_ interested in providing a quality
>sound to an upscale and discerning audience, and many of these stations use
>tasteful Optimod processing. When I was involved in classical music radio, I
>had the experience of getting more complaints when the signal was
>underprocessed (because people couldn't hear the quiet parts of
>the program, particularly in cars) than when it was moderately compressed.
>Perhaps if you had any experience with actually running or engineering a radio
>station whose properity depended on attracting and holding an audience, I
>would take your last quoted statement more seriously. As it is, you are simply
>stating your preference as fact.
>
>Bob Orban

As opposed to you, who have not only expressed your opinion as fact,
but then effectively preventing anybody who disagrees from enjoying
their own preference.

Welcome to the artificial, processed world of Orban.

d
Pearce Consulting
http://www.pearce.uk.com
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 11:07:46 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

donald@pearce.uk.com (Don Pearce) wrote:

>As opposed to you, who have not only expressed your opinion as fact,
>but then effectively preventing anybody who disagrees from enjoying
>their own preference.
>
>Welcome to the artificial, processed world of Orban.

Don, this last part was really uncalled for.

Harvey Gerst
Indian Trail Recording Studio
http://www.ITRstudio.com/
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 4:44:55 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Fri, 08 Oct 2004 07:07:46 -0500, Harvey Gerst
<harvey@ITRstudio.com> wrote:

>donald@pearce.uk.com (Don Pearce) wrote:
>
>>As opposed to you, who have not only expressed your opinion as fact,
>>but then effectively preventing anybody who disagrees from enjoying
>>their own preference.
>>
>>Welcome to the artificial, processed world of Orban.
>
>Don, this last part was really uncalled for.
>

So you like that artificial, processed sound? Just another opinion.
Personally I like people to sound like people; maybe that puts me in
the minority, but never ever tell me that expressing such a sentiment
is uncalled for.

d
Pearce Consulting
http://www.pearce.uk.com
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 4:44:56 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Don Pearce" <donald@pearce.uk.com> wrote in message
news:41688b6d.152674562@news.plus.net

> So you like that artificial, processed sound? Just another opinion.
> Personally I like people to sound like people; maybe that puts me in
> the minority, but never ever tell me that expressing such a sentiment
> is uncalled for.

More to the point - I don't like listening to music in a car. But I don't
like not being able to listen to music in a car, even more. Get it?

(apologies for the double negative.)

Orban is a great engineer that we should all show a lot of respect and
deference to. Yes, he made a device that can be technically abused, but one
man's technical abuse can figuratively save another man's life.
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 4:44:56 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

donald@pearce.uk.com (Don Pearce) wrote:

>On Fri, 08 Oct 2004 07:07:46 -0500, Harvey Gerst
><harvey@ITRstudio.com> wrote:
>
>>donald@pearce.uk.com (Don Pearce) wrote:
>>
>>>As opposed to you, who have not only expressed your opinion as fact,
>>>but then effectively preventing anybody who disagrees from enjoying
>>>their own preference.
>>>
>>>Welcome to the artificial, processed world of Orban.

>>Don, this last part was really uncalled for.

>So you like that artificial, processed sound? Just another opinion.
>Personally I like people to sound like people; maybe that puts me in
>the minority, but never ever tell me that expressing such a sentiment
>is uncalled for.

Don, you presume a great deal. I deplore your personal attack on Bob Orban.

Harvey Gerst
Indian Trail Recording Studio
http://www.ITRstudio.com/
!