In Broadcast - October 2012 - 71


ISSUE 13 - OCTOBER 2012 | WWW.INBROADCAST.COM

I N T E R N A T I O N A L

N E W S

InSOUND

6585 Digital Optimod-TV from Orban

Maintaining Audio Quality In The Broadcast Facility
By Robert Orban and Greg Ogonowski
Audio processors change certain characteristics of the original programme material in the quest for positive benefits such as increased loudness, improved consistency, and absolute peak control to prevent distortion in the following signal path and/or to comply with government regulations. The art of audio processing is based on the idea that such benefits can be achieved while giving the listener the illusion that nothing has been changed. Successful audio processing performs the desired electrical modifications while presenting a result to the listener that, subjectively, sounds natural and realistic. This sounds impossible, but it is not. Audio processing provides a few benefits that are often unappreciated by the radio or television listener. For example, the reduction of dynamic range caused by processing makes listening in noisy environments (particularly the car) much less difficult. In music having a wide dynamic range, soft passages are often lost completely in the presence of background noise. Few listeners listen in a perfectly quiet environment. If the volume is turned up, subsequent louder passages can be uncomfortably loud. In the automobile, dynamic range cannot exceed 20 dB without causing these problems. Competent audio processing can reduce the dynamic range of the programme without introducing objectionable side effects. Further, broadcast programme material typically comes from a rapidly changing variety of sources, most of which were produced with no regard for the spectral balances of others. Multiband limiting, when used properly, can automatically make the segues between sources much more consistent. Multiband limiting and consistency are vital to the station that wants to develop a characteristic audio signature and strong positive personality, just as feature films are produced to maintain a consistent look. Ultimately, it is all about the listener experience. In the automobile, dynamic range cannot exceed 20 dB without causing these problems. Competent audio processing can reduce the dynamic range of the programme without introducing objectionable side effects. Good broadcast operators are hard to find, making artful automatic gain control essential for the correction of errors caused by distractions or lack of skill. Also, the regulatory authorities in most countries have little tolerance for excessive modulation making peak limiting mandatory for signals destined for the regulated public airwaves. The Orban OPTIMOD for AM – FM – TV – DAB and Internet have been designed to meet the special problems and needs of broadcasters and net-casters while delivering a quality product that most listeners consider highly pleasing. However, every electronic communication medium has technical limits that must be fully heeded if the most pleasing results are to be presented to the audience. For instance, the audio quality delivered by OPTIMOD As delivered to the consumer, it can never be truly “high fidelity”. Consequently, multiband audio processing for AM compresses dynamic range more severely than in typical FM or digital practice. In addition, pre-emphasis (whether NRSC or more extreme than NRSC) is required to ensure reasonably crisp, intelligible sound from typical AM/MW radios. In AM, this is always provided in the audio processor and never in the transmitter. Audio quality in TV viewing is usually limited by small speakers in the receivers, although the increasing popularity of DTV, HDTV, personal entertainment, and home theatre is changing this, increasing consumer demand for high audio quality. In everyday television viewing, it is important to avoid listener irritation by maintaining consistent subjective loudness from source to source. A CBS and ITU 1770-2 Loudness Controller combined with multiband processing, both included in OPTIMOD-TV, can achieve this. Netcasting (also known as webcasting), DAB, and HD Radio almost always use low bit-rate codecs. Processing for such codecs should not use clippers for limiting, and should instead use a look-ahead type limiter. OPTIMOD-SURROUND, OPTIMOD-DAB, OPTIMOD-HD FM, and OPTIMOD-PC provide the correct form of peak limiting for these applications and other low bite rate digital audio services. Just as the motion picture industry creates a consistent, professional look to their product by applying exposure and colour correction to every scene in a movie, audio processing should be used as part of the audio broadcast product to give it that final professional polish. The complete report ‘Maintaining Audio Quality In The Broadcast Facility’ can be downloaded from www.orban.com ■

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6585 Digital Optimod - TV from Orban - the art of audio processing

is highly influenced by the quality of the audio presented to it. If the input audio is very clean, the signal after processing will probably sound excellent, even after heavy processing. Distortion of any kind in the input signal is likely to be exaggerated by processing and, if severe, can end up sounding offensive and unlistenable. Audio processing is an art and the “sound” of a given audio processor is a function of hundreds of variables, many of which involve trade secrets known only to their manufacturers (this includes Orban.) Comparing audio processors by counting the number of bands of compression/limiting or listing other features obvious from the front panel is superficial and futile. Processors must be judged on how they perform with the many different types of programme material used in a given format and ultimately should be judged based on their ability to attract and hold a given broadcaster’s target audience. There is no substitute for longterm listening. AM/MW is limited by poor signalto-noise ratio and by limited receiver audio band- width (typically 2-3 kHz).


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - October 2012

In Broadcast - October 2012
Contents
PO Group Invest in 4k SGO Mistika Solution
BBC Entertainment Launches in Malaysia
AJA KI Pro Eases Elton John Show Workflow Transition
Bolshoi Theatre Install RTS System
Canal+ Sports Opts for Orad Power Wall
SIS LIVE Rolls Out OB 14 HD Truck
OCC’s Bill Smith Answers on the Technical Challenges
4KTV? Not So Fast!
ChyronIP Powers Graphics on Newtek Tricaster
Take Control With Rascular’s Helm
In Broadcast - October 2012 - Intro
In Broadcast - October 2012 - In Broadcast - October 2012
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 2
In Broadcast - October 2012 - Contents
In Broadcast - October 2012 - PO Group Invest in 4k SGO Mistika Solution
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 5
In Broadcast - October 2012 - BBC Entertainment Launches in Malaysia
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 7
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 8
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 9
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 10
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 11
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 12
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 13
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 14
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 15
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 16
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 17
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 18
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 19
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 20
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 21
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 22
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 23
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 24
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 25
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 26
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 27
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 28
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 29
In Broadcast - October 2012 - AJA KI Pro Eases Elton John Show Workflow Transition
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 31
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 32
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 33
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 34
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 35
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 36
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 37
In Broadcast - October 2012 - Bolshoi Theatre Install RTS System
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 39
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 40
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 41
In Broadcast - October 2012 - Canal+ Sports Opts for Orad Power Wall
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 43
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 44
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 45
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 46
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 47
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 48
In Broadcast - October 2012 - SIS LIVE Rolls Out OB 14 HD Truck
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 50
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 51
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 52
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 53
In Broadcast - October 2012 - OCC’s Bill Smith Answers on the Technical Challenges
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 55
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 4KTV? Not So Fast!
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 57
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 58
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 59
In Broadcast - October 2012 - ChyronIP Powers Graphics on Newtek Tricaster
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 61
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 62
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 63
In Broadcast - October 2012 - Take Control With Rascular’s Helm
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 65
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 66
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 67
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 68
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 69
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In Broadcast - October 2012 - S1
In Broadcast - October 2012 - S2
In Broadcast - October 2012 - S3
In Broadcast - October 2012 - S4
In Broadcast - October 2012 - S5
In Broadcast - October 2012 - S6
In Broadcast - October 2012 - S7
In Broadcast - October 2012 - S8
In Broadcast - October 2012 - S9
In Broadcast - October 2012 - S10
In Broadcast - October 2012 - S11
In Broadcast - October 2012 - S12
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