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Author Topic: optimizing audio to send to WBCQ  (Read 920 times)

Offline PhreakinDeacon

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optimizing audio to send to WBCQ
« on: June 23, 2018, 0402 UTC »
I have a general idea how to optimize audio in order to place it on, oh, say, an AM HF transmitter without fancy, real-time filtering or conditioning hardware between the audio player and the mic input, yet occupy the right bandwidth and sound decent . But now I am sending something for the first time to a licensed SW broadcaster, to play at WBCQ on their 50kW 7490 kHz transmitter.
They're very busy it seems (Allan Weiner has been gracious and swell, but I don't want to keep trying to bother him directly about any noob questions, aside from they will have to answer, "May I email you a download link, and is .WAV ok, if not how do you want it delivered and in what format?"
I'll call and find out because I haven't gotten an answer after asking a couple of times even in the PayPal notes, and it's always nice not to look too exceedingly stupid to people you saw as minor personal heroes for years, as I have him and his buds seeing them swashbuckling spectacularly on a converted, commercial fishing vessel. After watching a documentary on the unexpected tech nightmares filming Jaws was at sea for directors, I can only imagine being new pirating on the actual sea and watching your nest egg get shorted, salted, eaten up, beaten up, or confiscated.
Treating audio for WBCQ:
Since commercial SW seems to go with 10kHz bandwidth I guess I might as well:
Low Pass at 5kHz ? 
Even if they do this automatically, I might as well do it ahead of time and work within it so I can listen and adjust other EQ bands accordingly, more accurately knowing what to maybe boost to brighten up a dulcimer etc.
High Pass at, what... 60Hz? or maybe higher to ease up on bass energy? I do want to have some male DJ/MC umph but not be inefficient.
Maybe 90Hz?
And is it like Voiceover standards and limit peaks to -3dB or -3.2dB max(?)., or should I go a bit higher/louder/farther?
I have been doing voice track compression at like 2.5:1 or maybe 3:1
And music just whatever the least amount of compression brings every desired note up in RMS not too far from peaks nicely, but not overdone a.k.a. without the waveform looking overly chockablock (I heard they have good modulation on 7490, but I know, like, a ham Hallicrafters or something will start to saturate or not recover or something and actually not sound as good with too much crowded compression and not enough "valleys" or room...had this seemingly happen in the field, er, at sea 3.5 miles out).

And maybe boost mids, not as to sound aweful, but to get the most punch (seemed to increase my clarity and extend my discernible range in amateur free radio tests elsewhere).
But am I on the right track?
I know these are not the things to do for an FM commercial station, not only because they just run everything already thru their crunch compression, but of course the different mode is subject to different phenomenon.

Any help with these settings, or maybe "NO - they have equipment meant for that which will oversaturate pre-conditioned stuff with the same effects too much" would be of help. I can't get a phenomenal copy on that transmitter in the Gulf of Mexico, but on a good spurt of quality signal it doesn't sound like they're pumping a lot of EQ or compression or anything... sounds like really varied, occasionally very raw, optimized or muddy-sounding or distorted or under-normalized or under-compressed tapes some people send in for some shows, kinda, sometimes, in between other more beefy-sounding regular shows. But ultimately I don't know and that's why I'm here. Could just be my reception. I just want to send the best post-produced audio.
Thanks in advance.
PD


« Last Edit: June 23, 2018, 0410 UTC by PhreakinDeacon »
"Yay, finally! A listener!", noticing a black SUV over by my Title 47 Part 15 antenna

Offline Pigmeat

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Re: optimizing audio to send to WBCQ
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2018, 0456 UTC »
I talked to them about the very same subjects about a decade ago and got a big "Huh?" like they didn't know what I was talking about. They said they aired the shows the way they sounded when they came in.

It didn't make a damned bit of sense to me, but it's their radio station.

Offline Stretchyman

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Re: optimizing audio to send to WBCQ
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2018, 0749 UTC »
Yes, simple stuff. Limit the B/W 60-5K is fine, then compress and limit the audio. The actual format and level won't matter as they'll be able to play anything and adjust the level for optimum mod level.

I use soundforge, but any decent audio program will do. No meet to spend 1000's on a Neve or whatever...

Str.
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Offline PhreakinDeacon

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Re: optimizing audio to send to WBCQ
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2018, 0946 UTC »
Much, much thanks, all, hehe.
I'm using the same ok/entry stuff I accumulated over the years, running Windows 7 since my sound module and software both don't all have Win 8 or 10 updates.
I have an Edirol UA-25 sound module, Samson C01 XLR-mic, and I have Cakewalk Sonar 8 Studio with soft synths to play with, but anymore I keep opening up Audacity to do simple stuff and find myself wasting way less time. Like to have music autoduck while I speak over it (for clarity) instead of staring at busses and considering before fader or after fader, fx send vs. bin, and idiosyncracies and uber settings galore, with Audacity I make two tracks and click Autoduck, LOL. It's not ASIO so you just can't audit effects real-time but the end result is as good (sometimes better for some reason).
Having fun... I thought getting on 50 or 100 kW was more expensive, and the Free Radio guys don't police what you play it seems. Maybe kind of like Public Access TV down here -- you do something wrong, you get in trouble, not the station. To a Point. But a pretty far Point. This girl I knew before I found God went on there and everyone was like...what am I looking at...that's when we figure out it was bubbles being blown with remarkable skill using her diaphragm, I guess. Needless to say the feed eventually got cut and there were riotous complaints and lots of elated teenagers, but besides the station being scolded for sleeping at the switch, it was the girl who had to get out on bond. They went and picked her up at her house like a week later.
I don't exactly have express copywrite permission from the late Winifred Atwell for her 50's piano jamming or Johnny Cash for his reading a couple bible verses, but I'm claiming fair use with critique and education. I don't think they'll mind.
Check it out, I read Genesis through a Cylon-style robot vocoder and I'll start with that. Not your average Christian show (just when you thought there was one too many, right... I was wishing there was more Mysteries of the Unknown Stranger than Fiction UFO/Bigfoot stuff myself even recently, but I had some really crazy stuff happen I'd like to share with you guys that made me reassess my lifelong pseudo Taoist agnostic paradigm. I'll try to make it interesting. Next 4 Thursdays 8-9PM EST (0000-0100 UTC) on 7490. The privilege would be all mine if you'd tune in.
"Yay, finally! A listener!", noticing a black SUV over by my Title 47 Part 15 antenna

Offline Stretchyman

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Re: optimizing audio to send to WBCQ
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2018, 1514 UTC »
Maybe you could play 'Dumb all over' from Frank Zappa's, 'You are what you is'.

Def worth a listen....

Str.
'It's better to give than receive' so why RX when you can TX!

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Great discounts on ALL my transmitters if purchased via HFUnderground


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Offline PhreakinDeacon

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Re: optimizing audio to send to WBCQ
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2018, 0219 UTC »
Heyyyy.... that sounds like a comment from a real zappa head.
That reminds me of someone.
I'll really appreciate the guys over there taking care of me.
One Larry W on Swling post states, "But more and more, it seems like these fringe “our way or the highway” types are just QRM that we have to navigate to get to the good nuggets."
For what it's worth, there's a lot of us that aren't bigoted and know the Earth's not flat, so maybe my brand is at least the lesser of evils even if I'm just crazy... I dunno.
I absolutely never expected to believe in an anthropomorphic God and certainly not as a Christian. I grew up on Carl Sagan, Allan Watts, putting stuff in orbit with my dad, and digging up proof of a good deal of evolution with my own two hands.
My 180 comes after what amounts to the closest thing possible to a repeatable scientific experiment that, now, keeps yielding results (which were against everything I formerly believed) until I'm now at... maybe a few hundreds of thousands of millions to one against not having tuned in quite unexpectedly but successfullyto what started out to be an elusive QRP signal but wound up being the ultimate QRO broadcaster of the cosmos.
And I was equally surprised when that "higher power" led me to the Christ paradigm instead of.... pretty much anything else.
At least the start of the show will sound interesting to most anybody, and I'll have it to the studio by Monday night.
To do what I'm called to do I'll have to get boring for some folks for part of the show.
I'll call and bother Allan about making sure a download link to a 16 bit .wav is acceptable as a submission since it's been a little hard to get an answer.
I will never forget my roots or frame of mind before this life-altering "discovery" happened to me.
It seemed so clear it was all BS for the intellectually stunted.
And I resented narrow-mindedness, prejudice, and hypocrisy.
Now, though, I'm noticing as much of that everywhere. Real progressive.
Zappa was pretty funny. I'll never hear Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds the same ever again. ::) ;D


« Last Edit: June 25, 2018, 0309 UTC by PhreakinDeacon »
"Yay, finally! A listener!", noticing a black SUV over by my Title 47 Part 15 antenna

Offline Pigmeat

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Re: optimizing audio to send to WBCQ
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2018, 1121 UTC »
So, you finally saw "200 Motels" and found out Zappa was God, eh?

Offline Brian

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Re: optimizing audio to send to WBCQ
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2018, 1509 UTC »
Don't optimise the audio at all.
If you want, normalise it  but leave the optimising to the station.

Offline PhreakinDeacon

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Re: optimizing audio to send to WBCQ
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2018, 0810 UTC »
Brian:
I appreciate your input... I know this is definitely the case with some stations... but are you sure this is the case with a bargain basement discount offer specifically on WBCQ's cheapest way to go? If it was my station, yeah, I'd say leave it to me. But I began to think this could be a case of DIY when it comes to a modicum of compression (?) and I know they're not relying on me cutting the lows and esp. the highs (I always see them leaving a 10kHz waterfall and that's the audio highs cutting off at 5kHz on AM) but doing low pass filtering at 5kHz myself won't double up on anything even if they do it and it allows me to listen to the "damage it does" top certain tracks and try to compensate a little by cranking up a band or two on the EQ during like a zither track or something, which I would only expect a paid sound engineer to do for way more than a few bucks an hour, not that he doesn't know how of course, but I'm just feeling privileged to even be tolerated here. Even though they're linked to a "ministry" that depicts Nazi-looking, exaggerated Jew faces connected to snake bodies with Star of David rattlesnake tails, but you know, freedom of speech and all, and something that I find distasteful or even kinda harmful doesn't make my programming any more of an entertaining relief for an "unbeliever's" relaxing evening after a hard day's work.
Except if you tune in right at 8PM EST Thursday night 6/28 (0000 UTC Fri. morn.) you'll catch a couple minutes of stuff at the very bweginning that would easily wind up on Radio Free Euphoria or Area 51. But then I'll have to chill out a bit because I am earnestly trying to do the not-particularly-bonkers overseas border blaster ministry mission I describe, and I am genuinely dedicated to the cause with everything I've got.
I decided not to play "Brother Stair's-way to Heaven" because it might be counterproductive or even dangerous.
I'm a well-wisher.
I'm trying to be a good Christian even if I don't think he's the neck between Jesus and the Body of Christ, and I've even heard him make sense more times than I almost want to admit, intermittently.

Thanks for your input Brian. If I sound like crap you can say "I told you so"
"Yay, finally! A listener!", noticing a black SUV over by my Title 47 Part 15 antenna

Offline JimIO

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Re: optimizing audio to send to WBCQ
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2018, 1409 UTC »
Stations don't change technical standards based on what they charge for air time. You think too much.


Offline Pigmeat

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Re: optimizing audio to send to WBCQ
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2018, 1817 UTC »
I had the WBCQ engineer tell me not to sweat it too much when I was considering it saying that Weiner was always changing things when it came to the audio.

Tailoring your audio to the transmitter is much more crucial when pirating because a great majority of the transmitters/ transceivers aren't set up for broadcasting, What sounds great after you laid the show down may sound like pure crap when you feed it into a tx/tcvr  that doesn't have the audio bandwidth to handle it despite mods to the thing. That's when it gets both tricky and frustrating.

Do you know the guy who does Radio Free Euphoria? He really knows his stuff when it comes to tailoring his audio to the different tx'es and stations that relay him. If you're that concerned about how you're going to sound on WBCQ, he's the man to talk to.

Offline TheRelayStation

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Re: optimizing audio to send to WBCQ
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2018, 1842 UTC »
Don't optimise the audio at all.
If you want, normalise it  but leave the optimising to the station.
i agree with this statement.
further processing your audio will not make it sound better on any commercial SWBC station.
your voice-overs may sound fine to you when you play them back but once it is on a commercial SWBC station, it may sound much different.
many commercial SWBC stations try to "squeeze" as much audio into the usable modulation bandwidth as they possibly can but not as bad as commercial FM stations do.
normalizing it is the best method when sending your content to a SWBC station.
6880 Khz AM 50W/500W - shortwavepirate@aol.com

Offline Josh

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Re: optimizing audio to send to WBCQ
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2018, 2117 UTC »
Just send them as clean a wav or other lossless compression audio file as possible, than you've done all you can.
Conveniently located near Vincennes Indiana.

SevenTrees

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Re: optimizing audio to send to WBCQ
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2018, 1010 UTC »
Send them this, It will definitely work...

For what it's worth, there's a lot of us that aren't bigoted and know the Earth's not flat, so maybe my brand is at least the lesser of evils even if I'm just crazy... I dunno.

Also make sure you compress that audio as much as possible.  Thanks in advance.

False prophets are not always obvious. At first they appear to be credible. However if they are allowed access to the flock, they can do incredible damage.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2018, 1357 UTC by SevenTrees »

Offline Azimuth Coordinator

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Re: optimizing audio to send to WBCQ
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2018, 1551 UTC »
Every Commercial Station has a rack of processing ahead of the transmitter  including compression limiting, peak limiting, bandwidth limiting.  So you should make your recording as Clean as possible don't use any compression or other limiting just clean audio with full bandwidth with peaks at 0vu  in Wav or FLAC  MP3's are tricky because they don't decode as good as you would think..  And some processing doesn't help with that..
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