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Hearing You Loud And Clear

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What is audio processing or loudness control and what is it used for?

Audio processing has long been used for radio and studio production, however nowadays it is also used for television and internet streaming.

Whether it is used because of legal obligations or as a handy way to look after level control, audio processing can be your friend and sometimes your enemy with the wrong equipment.

Audio processing for radio is designed to first control the absolute maximum audio level and prevent over modulation of the FM signal, thereby protecting other radio stations around your frequency.

The second job of the processor is to maintain a constant audio level no matter what is being fed into it from the studio end. The final job for the audio processor is to give your station its "Radio" sound. Orban have a range of Optimod audio processors for AM, FM and DAB radio.

The FM range has everything from an entry level unit through to flagship processors so everyone is covered. The processors are world renowned for producing punchy big station sounds without being fatiguing and make listeners listen longer.

When it comes to television it's a little bit more difficult. The job of loudness control is very different for an audio source that has more than 2 channels.

With stereo audio, there is an amount of stereo information that must be maintained during audio processing or the stereo image will be ruined. When you have 5.1 or 7.1 audio it's a whole different game. If you make changes to the audio levels for 5.1 or 7.1 audio without understanding what you are doing the surround image will be destroyed.

With television audio, you are also not looking to be as aggressive with the dynamic bandwidth control, nor are you looking for a "Station Sound".

Orban have a range of stereo and multichannel audio processors designed specifically for television audio processing with analogue, digital and SDI inputs.

Internet streaming is the final area where Orban produce processing solutions. For internet audio, you are looking for the sound to be consistent, the bitrate to be as low as possible and the audio quality as high as possible.

Orban make a number of solutions for streaming AAC encoded audio at very low bitrates with outstanding audio quality and the same big “Station” sound as their FM range.

This allows listeners to use mobile devices to listen to their favourite stations but with lower bitrates to help avoid dropout or buffering via the mobile networks.

Want to know how you could sound? Contact Preco for an A B comparison of how your station sounds now and how good you could sound.

[email protected]

This article is also available to read at BFV online here, page 57.


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