Anyone using other than Optimod or Omnia

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HadYourPhil
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Anyone using other than Optimod or Omnia

Post by HadYourPhil » Thu Jun 20, 2013 2:28 pm

There seem to be several interesting boxes out there aside from the big two. Any comments, positive or negative?
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duckfan98
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Re: Anyone using other than Optimod or Omnia

Post by duckfan98 » Thu Jun 20, 2013 5:24 pm

Yeah.

We're using a 300$ Breakaway setup. We are the best sounding station in the market; cleanest, loudest, with no overshoots. Ever...

dave
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Re: Anyone using other than Optimod or Omnia

Post by dave » Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:02 pm

Stereo Tool sounds better than Breakaway to me. Fuller, more open bass. No overshoots.

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Slab Bulkhead
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Re: Anyone using other than Optimod or Omnia

Post by Slab Bulkhead » Fri Jun 21, 2013 6:23 am

I'm curious about trying some of these new options along with the old standbys. I have been hearing lots of good things about Stereo Tool lately but there is part of me that is still a bit edgy about trusting mission critical audio to a PC, especially at a remote site.

I have an Omnia-3 that is having issues with consistency on an oldies/classic hits format. It doesn't handle cuts that have pronounced stereo pans very well (i.e. vocals panned hard to one channel). I'm wondering if something newer or different would help.

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Re: Anyone using other than Optimod or Omnia

Post by dave » Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:36 am

They are all basically computers nowadays... I have not had a problem with freeze and have heard mostly good things about those who use these processors. However, I hear ya. Maybe putting one of those pieces of software into a good rack mounted computer wouldn't be too much different than any 10k processor... not bad for about 2k or less.

Stereo Tool does use the processing power though. However, it is much better than it used to be and you can hear the goods in the final product (IMO)

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Re: Anyone using other than Optimod or Omnia

Post by BroadcastDoc » Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:36 am

Does the O3 have a separation setting like the 6EXi? I know you can adjust the amount of separation, which would cause the effect you're describing. You may want to make sure you have the latest software version for the three as well.

I have two clients that use them, and I've never run into that problem.
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Baylink
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Re: Anyone using other than Optimod or Omnia

Post by Baylink » Fri Jun 21, 2013 12:06 pm

FWIW, I have been very happy with Supermicro's 2U rack machines; had them in a call center with 2 quad-PRI cards in each; 8 of them had no failures of any type in over a year. Pricey, but worth it.

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Slab Bulkhead
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Re: Anyone using other than Optimod or Omnia

Post by Slab Bulkhead » Fri Jun 21, 2013 2:01 pm

BroadcastDoc wrote:Does the O3 have a separation setting like the 6EXi? I know you can adjust the amount of separation, which would cause the effect you're describing. You may want to make sure you have the latest software version for the three as well.

I have two clients that use them, and I've never run into that problem.
It's got a separation control setting to reduce stereo separation by 3dB or 6dB, or use the full stereo. I can give that a try. We're not doing anything strange with outboard boxes or stereo enhancement, the only processing is the Omnia itself.

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Re: Anyone using other than Optimod or Omnia

Post by NECRAT » Mon Jun 24, 2013 8:31 pm

I installed Vorsis VP-8 at a 23 watt LPFM which has some bad multi-path issues related to a bad antenna install and poor TX location.
The VP8 did a nice job of cleaning up the muck and sounding good over the mutli-path. Especially on such a low powered spanish station.
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HadYourPhil
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Re: Anyone using other than Optimod or Omnia

Post by HadYourPhil » Tue Jun 25, 2013 6:05 pm

How about the Wheatstone FM-4? It is at the same price level as the David.
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Grounded Grid
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Re: Anyone using other than Optimod or Omnia

Post by Grounded Grid » Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:43 pm

I have a sensitivity to excessive clipping. Many FM processors hurt to listen to after 15 minutes or so. I found the early Vorsis (VP8) had too much grunge for me. Same with the DSP-XTRA, though the Ariane front end is nice.

In the "out of the box" department, I've put in several Breakaway and Stereo Tool installs. Both can process very aggressively without excessive grunge. Stereo tool is much more versatile than Breakaway, in that just about every parameter is available to the operator. That can get you in trouble fast, too. Breakaway has dramatically fewer controls, though their presets can be modified to fit most applications. Prices run between $200 - $400, depending on features selected.

I'm using common Optiplex GX-620 computers, available from asset-repurposing companies on Ebay for around $150 or so. They're a little challenged, cosmetically, but functionally perform as well as anything and the price is right.

The software guys like the Marian Trace Alpha sound card, because it is DC coupled and requires almost no tilt adjustment. It's a little hard to find though. The M-Audio Delta Audiophile and ESI Juli@ cards also work well, and can be more-easily found.

In my mind, the major "reliability secret" is to clone the hard drive to an SSD. You can get a 120gB drive with Acronis cloning software from Best Buy for about $100. Other drives probably work just as well. This is recommended by both software companies, but I don't hear that a lot of users actually switch the mechanical drives out.

As for the reluctance to put a Windows-based computer in such applications... I have 12 of them in the field now. 3 of them are on top of mountains, have been in service for over 4 years and haven't so much as burped.

If you can get beyond the hardware issues, it would be worth your time to check these alternatives out. I find them to be easily competitive with the (really) expensive legacy boxes.

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radioman1992
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Re: Anyone using other than Optimod or Omnia

Post by radioman1992 » Wed Jul 31, 2013 5:40 am

I had a Vorsis Ap-2000.. It was a big step up from an 8100. Made the station really stand out on the dial.. Heard sounds in songs that I had never heard before :shock:

bossbill
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Re: Anyone using other than Optimod or Omnia

Post by bossbill » Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:10 pm

I'm using the Inovonics David IV on 3 of my FM stations. We just moved one of the stations closer to a major market. I had a couple of reports that they liked our processing. As if we did anything special. I plugged it in and found a preset...

bossbill
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Re: Anyone using other than Optimod or Omnia

Post by bossbill » Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:11 pm

And the David IV reboots in about 6 seconds..

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Re: Anyone using other than Optimod or Omnia

Post by maxpace » Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:41 pm

Just have to say my vote for best sounding audio processor out there, in the right hands goes to: Stereo Tool. Hands down.

For anyone in engineering scoffing at using a PC for audio processing...notice what is inside the latest digital exciters and um, automation systems...

I've seen a digital exciter from a brand I won't mention need rebooting twice while a PC running Stereo Tool has... not once required a reboot.

While it is something new to get used to...for the price of one expensive box...build three or four Stereo Tool machines, you'll have backup...and probably cleaner audio.

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