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Topic: Broadcast TV Great Sound - How Are They Doing It?

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  1. #1

    Broadcast TV Great Sound - How Are They Doing It?

    I usually have my cable TV box playing through the little speaker in my Sony Video Monitor. Every once in a while for some reason, I'll plug the audio through my stereo and listen on headphones. And wow! I'm constantly amazed by the sound quality. It's as if I'm getting surround sound from my headphones. The sounds that are placed around in the stereo field are all very clearly delineated from each other. There's lots of bass but it's not muddy. The highs are crystal clear and sharp. I don't own a single CD or record that sounds like it.

    So the question is, how or what are these TV stations or cable companies using to process their programs to sound like this? Since the TV shows and commercials all have this same kind of sound, it seems like it must be some form of post processing. Is there some kind of Audio 3D Sound Enhancer that one can buy to process stereo files to get that cinematic movie theater sound that I'm hearing?

    -Elhardt

  2. #2

    Re: Broadcast TV Great Sound - How Are They Doing It?

    Compression compression compression.

    It was a big surprise when I conducted a little experiment with some of my closest (and most respected) colleagues. I gave them 3 versions of the same piece. 1) Without compression ... 2) Moderate Compression ... 3) LOTS of compression.

    In every instance, they chose the #3, the version with the most compression. The reasoning varied from "this mix jumps out at me more", to "this one has more sparkle!". It's an interesting psychological phenomenon- how we perceive LOUDER as BETTER in a number of ways.

    I'm guessing that the TV station has a hardware compressor to make sure that all audio leaving the station is loud and uniform.

    For personal use, I highly, highly suggest waves "L" Series. They are Ultra-Maximizers/Compressors. However, the new L3 series is said to be really amazing. Waves has a new product, L316, which is an Multi-band Ultramaximizer. Wish I could have it!

    As far as the quality of the mix, I think that varies from commercial to commercial, and from show to show. I'm not quite sure about this "3D" thing you're talking about-- unless you're listening through a receiver. If so, maybe you have your receiver on a special setting like "Dolby Surround Sound" or something.

    -Alex

  3. #3

    Re: Broadcast TV Great Sound - How Are They Doing It?

    Alex, you think LOTS of compression would be good for orchestral/classical music done with samples?

  4. #4

    Re: Broadcast TV Great Sound - How Are They Doing It?

    Alex,

    I found out that I get a great sound when I first compress the master with the L3 Multimaximizer and then again a little with the L3 oneband, makes a fine sound

    And: before I export a master into wav 44,1 -16 bit or into an mp3 I always normalize first to - 0,3dB! This headroom eliminates any arteffects while transforming! If you never did, experiment and you will quickly know what I mean

    Best,

    Gunther
    "Music is the shorthand of emotion." Leo Tolstoy

    Listen to me, tuning my triangle http://www.box.net/shared/ae822u6r3i

  5. #5

    Re: Broadcast TV Great Sound - How Are They Doing It?

    The "right" compression is best.

    In a silent room with a good sound system, use no compression and turn up the volume. On a car stereo, lots of compression is required if you want to hear the quiet bits and not blow out your speakers during the loud passages. It's no fun driving with one hand on the wheel and the other on the volume control.

  6. #6

    Re: Broadcast TV Great Sound - How Are They Doing It?

    I don't know how they are creating the exact effect you are describing, but I do know that nearly all FM pop, some classical radio stations , many analogue TV stations and even some digital TV stations use Optimods (a type of compressor designed for broadcast). You used to be able to buy a PCI version for PC a while back but I have no idea what it sounds like.

  7. #7

    Re: Broadcast TV Great Sound - How Are They Doing It?

    Quote Originally Posted by geronimo001 View Post
    Alex, you think LOTS of compression would be good for orchestral/classical music done with samples?
    I don´t think so.

    One of the keys of classical music is dynamics.

    If you compress a lot the orchestra you will not have big differences between quiet & loud passages as the orchestra have.

    Don´t overcompress, music lose live.

    I would recommend to follow bob katz standards.

    Best.

  8. #8

    Re: Broadcast TV Great Sound - How Are They Doing It?

    Quote Originally Posted by L0W View Post
    I don't know how they are creating the exact effect you are describing, but I do know that nearly all FM pop, some classical radio stations , many analogue TV stations and even some digital TV stations use Optimods (a type of compressor designed for broadcast). You used to be able to buy a PCI version for PC a while back but I have no idea what it sounds like.
    See here: http://www.orban.com/products/radio/fm/8500/

    A multiband limiter/exiter/enhancer/equalizer hardware-module... .
    "Music is the shorthand of emotion." Leo Tolstoy

    Listen to me, tuning my triangle http://www.box.net/shared/ae822u6r3i

  9. #9

    Re: Broadcast TV Great Sound - How Are They Doing It?

    Quote Originally Posted by rav View Post
    I don´t think so.

    One of the keys of classical music is dynamics.

    If you compress a lot the orchestra you will not have big differences between quiet & loud passages as the orchestra have.

    Don´t overcompress, music lose live.

    I would recommend to follow bob katz standars.

    Best.
    Make sense.

    I don't know who bob katz is but I'll look it up.

    Thanks.

  10. #10

    Re: Broadcast TV Great Sound - How Are They Doing It?

    Bob katz is a really well known mastering engineer.


    Have a look here: http://www.digido.com/bob-katz/index.php

    Check:

    - Level practices part 1 & 2 (for k-metering system knowledge).

    - Compression.

    Best.

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