Another product from Sean, he's getting to be a prolific author of gear for the home broadcaster. Another project of his is the C-QUAM AM stereo kit.
I was just discussing processing with one of our members off-board, and there are so many ways it can be done, depending on taste and what you want to accomplish, and also what you know and interpret sound quality to be, as well as technology available. As they say, it can be "deep science."
Having several bands that are processed in parallel is one way to do it, which is supposed to compliment the way that the ear processes sound, in discreet frequency bands, sort of like an equalizer is the way I picture it.
As the review on Jay Allen's site says, a loud bass note can modulate the rest of the sound, as can treble peaks from sibilances, and that pumping sound used to be all over the AM dial, and even some of the FM stations were doing it, pushing a full band compressor until one sound was affecting another in a dramatic way.
You can compress the full band of sound, but just to a certain threshold, then the compression effect disrobes itself and can be heard by the ear. You can do a lot to compress, but still keep a more natural sound, by adjusting the attack and release time constants well.
AM stations of the day went way over the line and created a raucous sound, but since everyone was doing it with the limits of the processing they had, it became the 'sound' of what radio was like.
For the station I had in high school, I sent audio through a tape deck that had an ALC in it when you went into record, and line in and out audio jacks. That had issues in itself, like thumping noises with volume changes.
I didn't know much about compression, just heard that radio stations used it, and that's why they sounded the way they did. I learned more through studying the way receiver ALCs worked to control signal levels, and applied it to audio and built test circuits using a lamp and a CDS photocell, which was a very low distortion way to do it in analog at the time.
You can do it by putting an LED on the output of an amp, with the photocell across the input to adjust the input to the amp, which makes a loop and self-adjusts the audio. After tweaking it over and over again, it sounded way better than the tape recorder ALC!
Multiband is the way we rock today, especially when audio sources now have a wider frequency response in use generally, and it will result in a cleaner sound.
I saw that the Schlockwood processor was talked about here earlier this year, and I think that's also a multiband unit as well, so it's happening on the analog home station front now, very good!
OldiesWMRK, have you gotten to try out your new Cuthbert compressor, how do you like it, and any airchecks you could share from your station to hear how it sounds?
I've been using it for a bit now and the EQ and separate compression/release on bass mid and treble is a big plus. The bass mid and treble controls are actually controlling the output gain to compensate for the gain reduction, separately for each frequency range. By just adjusting the release on the bass for example you can make it tighter sounding or have less of a damping effect....not as noticeable on the treble and midrange but still can selectively control the sound.
The EQ, is also good for something like Zara which has no EQ in it's program. It gives you more flexibility in shaping your sound and it's not a big heavy thing.
Amazing how it's built as I took a look inside, all home assembled, hand done and a lot of painstaking work I'm sure to do this. Not a kit, comes fully assembled.
Don't know how to do the aircheck and post it as I don't think it will go on here. Once tried and it didn't work and don't know the procedure to post it somewhere with the link.
That sounds good, and if it actually controls the gain of each channel, then you can adjust exactly how much each band gets through, and EQ with that, to get the sound you want. Good for tweaking, listening for a while and going back to tweak again, getting the sound just the way you want it, making the oldies sound good on different radios. This may take a while..
I use my computer audio out directly into the transmitter so I know how that is. It's nice when you can have the processor outboard though, because then you can connect different sources to the input of the processor like go from computer to mixer or CD player, and have it come out of the transmitter all processed the same way for consistent sound on your station when you cut in to go live or auto_dj.
Oh yeah, I'm not surprised that the work inside was meticulously done. I have the C-QUAM transmitter, and I made the kit myself, and it's so well documented that it made me want to cry, because no one today in kits, at least that I know of, puts such attention into their kits every step of the way. It's his own design stereo generator in the transmitter too. Sean is a real asset to the community.
It's okay about the aircheck, I know what you mean. I just hear people talking about something cool they've done in their setups and wish I could peek over their shoulder.