Trying to get my brain wrapped around encoders

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Funk Republic Radio
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Trying to get my brain wrapped around encoders

Post by Funk Republic Radio » Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:18 pm

My station uses a Mac desktop workstation with NiceCast to encode my signal and send out to our Shoutcast Server. Whether you're using a Mac and NiceCast, or a PC and some other encoding software... is using a computer and software encoder pretty much the norm with the big boys?

I recently found this product - Telos ProStream http://telos-systems.com/prostream/ Now this seams to be a rockin' little piece of equipment. But is using a piece of outboard hardware the norm in your higher end radio stations that also stream? Or are they using a computer with software?

Thanks
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Dale H. Cook
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Re: Trying to get my brain wrapped around encoders

Post by Dale H. Cook » Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:08 am

Funk Republic Radio wrote:... is using a computer and software encoder pretty much the norm with the big boys?
No. In my experience smaller commercial stations often use a tuner to feed the sound card. Larger stations often use either external processing, perhaps some of them taking the main processor output before the STL, or use a professional streaming processor such as an Orban Opticodec or a Telos ProSTREAM (which likely gets it processing muscle from Frank Foti).

Many of us have been around since the Audimax/Volumax days, if not longer, and some of us were doing this before Bob Orban and Frank Foti went into business (I started in radio two years after Bob sold his first product to WOR-FM and more than a decade before Frank built Z-100). Some of us have listened to some of the software processors, and are not impressed with what they do, opining that none that we have heard are designed by people with the theoretical expertise or design capabilities of Bob or Frank. For some of us this comes not only from many years of experience with Bob and Frank's products, but from conversations, in person, by phone, and in email, with both of them over the course of many years.

Trying to get results from a single processor (even a multi-core CPU) similar to that provided by multiple processors (DSPs) is likely futile with today's technology, especially when the single processor is also accomplishing other functions (such as running a bloated OS).
Dale H. Cook, Contract Engineer, Roanoke/Lynchburg, VA
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Muadeeb
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Re: Trying to get my brain wrapped around encoders

Post by Muadeeb » Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:38 am

I can vouch that there is at least one national radio group who does use Orban software processing, and the same computer generates the stream and ad-insertion. They are using one sound card to deal with the ad-insertion, coming out of that through the PPM encoder, then back into the Orban. The computer is a higher end HP Z series workstation (not a simple user desktop).
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Re: Trying to get my brain wrapped around encoders

Post by Funk Republic Radio » Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:40 am

Dale H. Cook wrote:
Funk Republic Radio wrote:... is using a computer and software encoder pretty much the norm with the big boys?
No. In my experience smaller commercial stations often use a tuner to feed the sound card. Larger stations often use either external processing, perhaps some of them taking the main processor output before the STL, or use a professional streaming processor such as an Orban Opticodec or a Telos ProSTREAM (which likely gets it processing muscle from Frank Foti).

Many of us have been around since the Audimax/Volumax days, if not longer, and some of us were doing this before Bob Orban and Frank Foti went into business (I started in radio two years after Bob sold his first product to WOR-FM and more than a decade before Frank built Z-100). Some of us have listened to some of the software processors, and are not impressed with what they do, opining that none that we have heard are designed by people with the theoretical expertise or design capabilities of Bob or Frank. For some of us this comes not only from many years of experience with Bob and Frank's products, but from conversations, in person, by phone, and in email, with both of them over the course of many years.

Trying to get results from a single processor (even a multi-core CPU) similar to that provided by multiple processors (DSPs) is likely futile with today's technology, especially when the single processor is also accomplishing other functions (such as running a bloated OS).
Well I have to say, I've been tweaking my audio for quite some time and my Mac is running my programming, my processing i.e. compression/limiting with Waves plugins and then using NiceCast... and I've sampled my audio in a myriad of ways i.e. at home on stereo, in my car, in my friend's BMW... and I have to say that my audio is sounding pretty darn good.

That's not to say that you "experienced" boys might not tear it to shreds. :-)

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Re: Trying to get my brain wrapped around encoders

Post by Dale H. Cook » Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:05 pm

Funk Republic Radio wrote:That's not to say that you "experienced" boys might not tear it to shreds.
It is not only experience, which teaches what the various processing stages sound like in various situations, it is a theoretical understanding of what each stage does, and why it sounds the way it does when used incorrectly. In this business experience teaches little without a proper theoretical foundation. The man who twists the cranks of a phasor without a basis of DA theory is not likely to achieve the results that he wants. The same holds true with processing. It is the combination of theory and experience that, for example, enables one to know why Texars sound "harsh" or "shrill," and how to correct that problem.
Dale H. Cook, Contract Engineer, Roanoke/Lynchburg, VA
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