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Broadcast Compressor for Classical
Old 18th January 2019
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMetzinger View Post
The bad news is that the 'broadcasters' over ip are applying the same processing, even where it isn't required, because they want to sound like radio.

In my public access situation, because the radio is delivered as part of a TV signal, all those loudness rules are applied. It's quite a challenge to figure out how much dynamic range is actually available.

My show often starts by telling folks to turn up the volume.
unbelievable... - over here, all gear got changed with the (much delayed) advent of dab+ (and broadcasters slowly but surely fade out their fm channels); what's possibly the same though is that the 'new' tech does not sounds significantly better although it could...
Old 18th January 2019
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMetzinger View Post
The bad news is that the 'broadcasters' over ip are applying the same processing, even where it isn't required, because they want to sound like radio.

In my public access situation, because the radio is delivered as part of a TV signal, all those loudness rules are applied. It's quite a challenge to figure out how much dynamic range is actually available.

My show often starts by telling folks to turn up the volume.
unbelievable! over here, most any gear got changed with the (much delayed) advent of dab+ (and broadcasters slowly but surely fade out their fm distribution); what's possibly the same though is that the 'new' tech did not lead to the program sounding significantly better although it could...
('better' meaning signals getting less altered on their way from the source to the audience)
Old 19th January 2019
  #33
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
unbelievable!
But not everyone's doing that, thank goodness. I mix a weekly live internet radio show (that then becomes an archived podcast) where the producers definitely don't want that -- they like the signal solid and reined-in but not turned inside-out like US terrestrial radio. I think it sounds great.
Old 19th January 2019
  #34
Back to the suggestions...dbx Quantum II Quantum II | dbx Professional Audio find them on Ebay for about $750.00. FWIW

I think it is a really fine piece of equipment that is very good at doing what you need.
Old 9th February 2019
  #35
Here for the gear
 

I work along side orchestra mixer Tommy Vicari for a couple of TV shows each year; the Oscars and A Capital Fourth, an annual fourth of July special with the National Symphony Orchestra. He very often brings an SSL G Stereo Bus Compressor to put on the back end of the digital desk we use. He's told me that he also uses this piece of hardware on most of the movie sound tracks he mixes as well.
Old 13th February 2019
  #36
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i posted a pic (screenshot of a manual with settings of a broadcast limiter) in another thread...

Level riding in classical music.

(post#93)

...as i just fed a mix i'm working on through one of these devices, recorded the output back into my daw and adjusted levels for more fair comparison with an uncompressed mix; files then got converted to mp3 (yes, mp3) and sent to the musicians and the conductor of a small chamber orchestra:

out of twenty people, i'm waiting for feedback from one person, twelve preferred the compressed mix, five could not hear much of a difference and only two did prefer the uncompressed mix; both couldn't tell for what reason though.

which one do i prefer? yet another one, using tape emulation and different limiter settings - not sure i wanna bother folks with another option as in my experience, the order and the way you present results can have a big impact on how people judge results...

who will decide? the conductor, 1st violinist, soloist, the majority, me? (no producer involved, money taken out of the ensemble's annual budget for a single recording of the music they play)

finding answers to these questions imo is much more difficult than finding suitable limiter settings!
Old 14th February 2019
  #37
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JCBigler's Avatar
Interesting discussion.

Is there any value for a TC Electronic DBMax Broadcast Maximizer in this modern workflow? I have one in the truck that I bought recently and was going to sell it. Now wondering if I should consider keeping it.
Old 14th February 2019
  #38
Okay, I think I need to clarify a bit here.

I am not looking for a "broadcast" compressor. I am looking for suggestions for a bus compressor that I can use as the last link before my mix goes out for broadcast. Something that will allow a signal with a nice level, and not let those unexpected peaks clip the (ISDN, internet, digital) feed to the station (who will probably do what they do to the mix before they put it on air.)

A 2-bus compressor, not a multi-band, before the transmitter, radio station compressor.

I think I am going for the R22, the Neve Portico 2-bus, or a Drawmer.

I have a Compellor 320D which actually sounds pretty good to my ears for a 2-bus so I am not in a hurry.

D.
Old 14th February 2019
  #39
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there are many very good analog 2-bus compressors available (neve, ssl, dbx, drawmer, crane song, focusrite, summit, tube tech etc.), a lot less multiband compressors (tube tech, drawmer, maselec and maybe a few more) and they all can get used in many various settings with great success.

personally, i prefer using digital devices (and mostly multiband dynamic tools) for a couple of reasons: imo it's not worth leaving the digital domain as one will want/need to use very decent adda converters on the 2bus - interfacing: all gear needs to get level matched in the analog domain in order not to overdrive any gear down the line; you'll possibly need to step up/attenuate signals. even then, most analog compressors/limiters are either not fast enough to catch transients and/or can still output peaks way above nominal level*. and most single band devices behave... well, like single band devices, meaning they do not show smooth behaviour on a tutti but tend to squeeze signals based on their energy if no clever sidechain filtering is getting used; some of them have some circuitry implemented, others would need an external equalizer to be fed into their side chains. finally, while i like some analog gear for its 'character'/'sound' if driven hard/thx to their transformers, tubes etc. (and the simplicity of the interface/access to functions/speed of use), i like digital gear for its 'functionality'/'transparency' without (much) introducing hard-to-control by-products - i don't care much if these devices then are intended for broadcasting or not: some gear offers more/more nuanced control but a dynamic tool is a dynamic tool and it either works or it doesn't.

(i'd keep the dbmax even if it'd be only for occasional monitoring of a dynamically processed mix or to record/output both an unaltered and a processed mix - can also get scaled in the analog domain for proper interfacing with analog gear and is quite okay if used just as a converter and/or for inserting analog gear)

* not even all digital limiters with a look-ahead function for brickwall limiting guarantee flawless performance regarding overloads: i vaguely remember reading an article by tc electronics about inter sample peaks (it's possible to get levels above 0dBfs without intentionally clipping a converter/dsp block). cannot remember though whether the article was more about dsp architecture in general, a recommendation to upsample for certain processing or especially when using their limiters...

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 14th February 2019 at 04:25 PM.. Reason: info added
Old 14th February 2019
  #40
Okay. Thanks for the detailed thoughts.

I sorta come out of the "analog age" and my processing chain "thoughts" revolve around the old-school subs out to the compressor, compressor back into the panel, compressor channels to the main outs. All analog.

Would you be so kind, (and I am only on my first cup of coffee and my brain is filled with a particularly difficult Dante issue) to give me a quick walk through about where in my Dante chain, I could put a digital compressor?

It seems that in most of my broadcasts, the final mix needs to get changed to analog just before it hit the outgoing device, lets say the ISDN box for now. The boxes to the station have analog inputs in all the venues that I can think of right now. Hopefully, someday that will change and it should.

So even as there is tons of digital processing, lets say from just after the Grace m108 pres on, and it stays digital to the recorder, it ends up as analog into the broadcast mixer, through the analog compressor and out to the output box to the station.

As long as I am able to plug an analog signal into that station-provided box, (oh and if the outgoing signal chain is strictly 44.1k or 48k) I am able to stay digital all the way into the panel and to a Dante-analog box just before the radio-station box. Hope this makes sense so far.

And would a Dmax be an appropriate compressor to use in this case? I have lots of compressor choices in my Pro Tools but I have firmly banished Pro Tools from any location job, and hooking it up as outboard is a bad idea in any case.

But I am willing to buy a new, appropriate device, analog or digital, that will allow me to do what I ask for in the post above. That is to say, keep the signal hot enough that the station gets a good feed, to have something in place to address the occasional, unforeseen overs, a loud bass drum hit, a crescendo that is a bit hotter than expected, etc, so that I don't clip the outgoing signal. And so the station doesn't use it's sledgehammer compressor before the transmitter to tame the signal.

Blatherings from Doug.

Thanks for listening.

D.
Old 14th February 2019
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot View Post
Okay. Thanks for the detailed thoughts.

I sorta come out of the "analog age" and my processing chain "thoughts" revolve around the old-school subs out to the compressor, compressor back into the panel, compressor channels to the main outs. All analog.

Would you be so kind, (and I am only on my first cup of coffee and my brain is filled with a particularly difficult Dante issue) to give me a quick walk through about where in my Dante chain, I could put a digital compressor?

It seems that in most of my broadcasts, the final mix needs to get changed to analog just before it hit the outgoing device, lets say the ISDN box for now. The boxes to the station have analog inputs in all the venues that I can think of right now. Hopefully, someday that will change and it should.

So even as there is tons of digital processing, lets say from just after the Grace m108 pres on, and it stays digital to the recorder, it ends up as analog into the broadcast mixer, through the analog compressor and out to the output box to the station.

As long as I am able to plug an analog signal into that station-provided box, (oh and if the outgoing signal chain is strictly 44.1k or 48k) I am able to stay digital all the way into the panel and to a Dante-analog box just before the radio-station box. Hope this makes sense so far.

And would a Dmax be an appropriate compressor to use in this case? I have lots of compressor choices in my Pro Tools but I have firmly banished Pro Tools from any location job, and hooking it up as outboard is a bad idea in any case.

But I am willing to buy a new, appropriate device, analog or digital, that will allow me to do what I ask for in the post above. That is to say, keep the signal hot enough that the station gets a good feed, to have something in place to address the occasional, unforeseen overs, a loud bass drum hit, a crescendo that is a bit hotter than expected, etc, so that I don't clip the outgoing signal. And so the station doesn't use it's sledgehammer compressor before the transmitter to tame the signal.

Blatherings from Doug.

Thanks for listening.

D.
does the m108 allow signals to be routed from the daw back into the unit and on to the aes outputs? if so, you could hook up a dbmax at 44/48k or a finalizer 96k (which has built-in adjustable src so you could feed in 96k and output 48k on aes/spdif and adat) and send processed audio via its analog outputs at +22dBu (or lower) to whatever analog gear the broadcaster provides.
Old 14th February 2019
  #42
Gear Nut
 

I have a Junger D05 and I think it would suit this application. Added bonus of being inexpensive as it is older (if you can find one).
Old 14th February 2019
  #43
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i'm with you on that!

(6 channels for surround or for inserts on channels/groups)
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Broadcast Compressor for Classical-20190214_183420.jpg  
Old 14th February 2019
  #44
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
does the m108 allow signals to be routed from the daw back into the unit and on to the aes outputs?
No DAW in the system. Just a JoeCo BBR64-Dante routed straight off the preamps. The panel is currently fed analog line-in off a Dante to analog device. The panel has a Dante card but it is limited to 48k max. So the panel's Dante is okay for b'cast but not in a session recording at 96k.

The m108s do have Dante inputs, so maybe a side chain with a digital compressor. It would be fussy to control, I think and would perhaps need two channels of preamps as compressor returns. I'll \look into the possibilities.

Thanks.

D.
Old 14th February 2019
  #45
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inputs are clear: mics into grace into joeco (via dante) - but i'm not getting how to you are mixing your tracks; on an analog or digital desk? with what kind of outputs?

i cannot help much with dante: i got (almost) all of my gear hooked up via madi and aes (and use format converters from/to madi)
Old 14th February 2019
  #46
For recording, I go, via Dante, from the m108s, directly into the JoeCo. This is typically at 24/96. That is it's own separate chain.

For broadcast, I go, via Dante, from the m108s to my Presonus panel, and then out to the station. If I work the m108s at 24/44.1 or 24/48, I can go to the panel via Dante. If the preamps and the recorder are running at 24/96, I am forced by the limitations of the Presonus panel to go 24/96 into an Aterotech uND32 Dante-to-analog device and then, analog into the Presonus and then to the station. So, except when the client wants a capture at 24/96, rarely, I can run from the preamps to the recorder and to the panel via Dante at 24/44.1 or 24/48 (mostly) and then analog out of the panel to the radio-station box in the venue Mostly I see a Zepher Telos (sorry, that's what they give us).

So typically, I have taken a submix out of the panel, analog, to the bus compressor, the R22 typically, put it back into the panel on the last two inputs, assign the masters to main out (you all know this drill I'm sure) and then to the Zepher analog in. The R22 is my boss's and I am looking to have a bus compressor in my rack for those times when we both need one at the same time. Hence this entire thread.

Some day, I hope we can stay digital from the preamps to the station, but right now, it must become analog before it travels to the station.

So at this point, is there really any need to put a digital compressor in the mix (pun intended) if an R22, or a Neve Portico, or a Drawmer fits in the scheme so easily? We are really hamstrung at this point by the transmission line from the venue to the station, and that doesn't look like it's going to change anytime soon. :(

D.
Old 14th February 2019
  #47
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the presonus mixer seems to be the most limiting factor by not allowing an all 96k signal path...
with the given setup (and the broadcaster's modest requirements/gear), i'd probably grab any (analog) comp/lim of choice as well.



[sorry if i went a bit far with some of my suggestions: i'm often confronted with broadcasters not accepting anything below their rather high standards, so i have to provide a madi split from my stagebox with mic/direct outs of all channels plus both unprocessed and processed stereo and 5.1 mixes from my desk (although they do never use them) or i have to take their madi feed of all mics: some broadcasters do not even allow for splitters to be used or will not take in anyone else's digital signals...
Old 14th February 2019
  #48
Yep. I have been on that side of it as well.

Thanks for your suggestions.

D.
Old 19th February 2019
  #49
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cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot View Post
Yep. I have been on that side of it as well.

Thanks for your suggestions.

D.
The JDK R22 is a nice clean-ish piece.. Very practical and imho sounds good! (never used on classical stuff though, so take this with a grain of salt).
For a few db's of GR works perfect.

Other options, more expensive, might include Crane Song STC8 or a Pendulum ES-8 (if a clean tube unit is your thing).



Cheu
Old 2 weeks ago
  #50
Lives for gear
Late to the party, maybe you have already made your choice of processing, but here are my thoughts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot View Post
And would a Dmax be an appropriate compressor to use in this case? I have lots of compressor choices in my Pro Tools but I have firmly banished Pro Tools from any location job, and hooking it up as outboard is a bad idea in any case.
The TC DBmax is a very good broadcast processor and it gives you several choices to control overshooting timpani and brass hits possibly maxing out your headroom: up to five-band compression, then up to five-band limiting and finally two types of brickwall limiting. One of the limiters is a Transmission limiter especially made for radio broadcast.

What makes the DBmax different from the TC Finalizer is that the multi-band filters sound more musical.
I think the filtering in the Finalizer is the reason why it sounds like a "Finalizer" - more 'technical' and less musical.

Also, the DBmax has more functionality, it can mix the low-end into mono, it can widen the stereo-field, it has a user-tweakable Automatic Gain Control which can be used to bring up the soft parts of the music by 2-3dB quite musically.

The metering is quite good.

The only downside with the DBmax, as I see it, is that it's quite fiddly to tweak, and there is really no way of remote controlling it. But, once you have set all the parameters, it will just work for you, taking control of the music as much as you need it to do.

It has a parameter for more or less compression, which is pretty much level-compensated, and it's a good parameter to tweak in the heat of the action.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot View Post
But I am willing to buy a new, appropriate device, analog or digital, that will allow me to do what I ask for in the post above. That is to say, keep the signal hot enough that the station gets a good feed, to have something in place to address the occasional, unforeseen overs, a loud bass drum hit, a crescendo that is a bit hotter than expected, etc, so that I don't clip the outgoing signal. And so the station doesn't use it's sledgehammer compressor before the transmitter to tame the signal.
The DBmax will be able to do that very well.


Just my two cents
Fred

Last edited by frenzy; 2 weeks ago at 11:12 PM..
Old 2 weeks ago
  #51
I've wired several radio stations and the designer / engineer always put a Avalon 747 right before the Optimod broadcast limiter to "tame down the Optimod"
...if that's the thing you are after.

The 747 was also nicknamed "The Concertgebouw Compressor"

I own one myself and indeed "it does not rock" and "it does not destroy" but it's a very high quality usefull tool with an amazing depth of control.
Old 1 week ago
  #52
Tubes? Umm, not me. Personal choice. Thanks tho for chiming in.

D.
Old 1 week ago
  #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot View Post
Some day, I hope we can stay digital from the preamps to the station, but right now, it must become analog before it travels to the station.

So at this point, is there really any need to put a digital compressor in the mix (pun intended) if an R22, or a Neve Portico, or a Drawmer fits in the scheme so easily? We are really hamstrung at this point by the transmission line from the venue to the station, and that doesn't look like it's going to change anytime soon. :(
I think it depends on much you want to decrease the dynamics of the music, and how much control you need before it hits the ISDN transmission.

I normally use my TC DBMAX, digitally inserted in a Yamaha QL1 console, to process my Rec Feed when I do large events and conferences, and apart from being recorded along with the video production and on a USB-stick, the feed is sometimes sent to live streaming as well.

If you want to hear how it can process your music, send me a PM with some sound clips that you've recorded, and I will process them through the DBMAX.


Have a nice weekend
Fred
Old 1 week ago
  #54
Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot View Post
Tubes? Umm, not me. Personal choice. Thanks tho for chiming in.

D.

Tubes are an option with the 747, it also has a solid state signal path with discrete opamps.

A switch on the frontpanel simply gives you the choice between tubes or solid state signal path.
Old 1 week ago
  #55
Ah, thanks. I'll take a look.

D.
Old 1 week ago
  #56
A pair of Aphex 651's set to a peak limit mode would be transparent if used with their exclusive hf side chain expander circuit, it masks the compression effect. I'm not a fan of classical music compression, I like to retain the dynamic range below the threshold. Some transparent peak limiting can be used without detrimental effects.

The 661 version also adds a tube stage along with auto detect modes, the tube stage can be bypassed internally with the jumper supplied or a switch can be added to the front panel.
Old 1 week ago
  #57
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12ax7's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
I'm not a fan of classical music compression
In general, I'm not really a fan of compression/limiting on most "classical" music either:

I think a better strategy is usually just to run lower levels, and be quite gentle with any "protection" used (if any at all).

...I mean, if its going on the radio, there's usually gonna be way too much of that crap anyway!
...But that's just me (YMMV).
Old 1 week ago
  #58
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dbmax converters don't sound bad at all and the output can get scaled in the analog domain - if not using a jünger, i prefer it any day over an avalon(or any other analog comp/lim)!
Old 1 week ago
  #59
Yes, I get all the thought about not using compression (or anything else) on the output of a classical music broadcast. And yes, I suppose the station can use any gain stage in their studio to level the gain for transmission. That is what I am ALWAYS concerned about. It could be an Orban. I usually have no idea.

So I like to send a good level, as near as I am able, but I'd still like to keep any clipping out of the equation. So that means using something to tame the BIG surprises. I always want that "taming" to be one or two dB of gain reduction even on big surprises. Otherwise, I want the box to be transparent. What's the use of putting up top tier mics, world-class preamps, and etc if the final box wrecks everything?

Most times, no compressor/limiter is ever in my chain and as suggested above, I simply record at lower levels and then appropriately set the final gain in post where I have all the control.

D.
Old 1 week ago
  #60
Lives for snowflakes
 
12ax7's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot View Post
That is what I am ALWAYS concerned about. It could be an Orban. I usually have no idea.
Exactly!

(There's notta damn thing you can do about it anyway.)

...So just let it go, man:

Just send 'em the best sound ya got, and let 'em ferk it up any way they've decided to ferk it up.

The sad truth is that nothing you can possibly do will ever fix the bad decisions they've already made!
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