Do you want your AM broadcasts to sound CLEANER, CLEARER, and LOUDER? Then you need a processor designed and built for today’s AM radio.
Meet Omnia.7AM, a feature-rich, competitively priced AM audio processor engineered to do just that, and the first processor dedicated to AM to appear on the scene in many years.
While competitors are using old and outdated technology in their processors, the Omnia.7AM uses the best of current technology to meet current challenges faced by AM broadcasters. Omnia.7 AM delivers the powerful, clear, and precise Omnia signature sound that’s the first choice of top stations worldwide.
The Omnia.7AM employs most of the features of the 7FM. All aspects of the processing infrastructure, bandwidth, and their output signals, however, have been specially engineered for maximum efficiency and performance within the AM spectrum.
AM Never Sounded This Good.
OMNIA.7AM IN DEPTH
A processor, by its very nature, compresses dynamic range and employs some form of clipping to deliver a “signature sound” and a competitively loud signal. Clean, well-recorded audio has always been able to withstand greater degrees of processing; this was true decades ago and it’s more relevant than ever today.
Unfortunately, recordings made in the past two decades have declined in terms of quality, as mastering engineers wage their very own “loudness wars.” (Rip a track from the modern CD of your choice and look at the waveform in your favorite editor if you need proof!)
The result is source material that is hyper-compressed from the studio, with only a dB or two of dynamic range at most. As if that weren’t bad enough, the music is run through unsophisticated, brute-force clippers to make them louder still. Before it even gets touched by the compressors, limiters, and clippers in the processor itself, it has been damaged.
By repairing the damaged audio before processing, “Undo” gives Omnia.7AM cleaner and more dynamic audio to work with. The first step of Undo is the de-clipper, which examines and mathematically re-creates audio peaks that were flattened during mastering. The second step, a multi-band expander, increases dynamic range. The result: clean, dynamic, enjoyable sound.
Psychoacoustically Controlled Distortion-Masking Clipper
Clipping is typically the final stage of a processing chain. The final clipper is also where the classic (and oft dreaded) “loud versus clean” tradeoff is made. When more clipping is used to gain loudness on the dial, clipper distortion becomes more and more pronounced. The clipped peaks fall back into the audio and manifest themselves as audible distortion.
How to solve this problem? You could back down the clipper drive to clean up the sound — but you lose loudness. You could dial up the compressors and limiters that precede the clipper — but that results in busy, dense sound that leads to listener fatigue.
To put it plainly: Omnia.7AM sounds significantly cleaner than other processors at a given loudness level — and substantially louder at any given level of quality. It comes closer to eliminating the “loud / clean” compromise than any other processor on the market today. Voices sound clean, while music and production sounds surprisingly vibrant on AM transmission.
This is especially important for AM because unlike FM where loudness is desired for dial-dominating sound, loudness on AM directly translates to increased signal coverage, especially on the fringes of the signal. So it’s even more important to have the ability to be loud AND clean on AM since more and better coverage means more potential listeners, ultimately resulting in potentially more revenue.
While audio processing is largely a “hearing” process, there is still much to be learned by seeing what your adjustments are doing to your sound. Some stations still have an oscilloscope on the test bench or a spectrum analyzer at the transmitter, but it’s not always convenient (or possible) to hook up a processor to them while on the air.
With Omnia.7AM, there’s no extra test equipment to buy (‘scopes and analyzers aren’t cheap) and no cables to hook up. You also have the built-in capability to visually monitor the signal at the input, the output, and dozens of in-between points throughout the processing path so you can tell what’s happening to your audio every step of the way.
If you make decisions about your processing on uncalibrated monitors, your choices are colored by the audio characteristics of the speaker itself — not to mention those of your listening room.
The pink noise generator and RTA built into Omnia.7AM, used with an inexpensive calibrated microphone, makes it possible to calibrate any speaker system to deliver as flat a response as the speakers will allow. (Small speakers still won’t reproduce low frequencies well; the laws of physics still apply!) With speaker and room influences removed from the equation, you are free to adjust your audio based only upon “the facts.”
“But,” you say, “listeners aren’t hearing my station on calibrated speakers! They’re listening in their cars, at their computer, and through cheap ear buds, so I should too.” It’s true—that’s exactly how your listeners hear your station, and why listening on a variety of radios, in many different environments, is a good idea. But adjusting your processing this way invariably results in frustration and lousy audio.
Here’s why: You listen first in a compact car with a typical factory stereo. You don’t hear much bass, so you adjust your processing to deliver more low end. Then, you move to a luxury car with 10 speakers and a subwoofer, and the bass is muddy, boomy, and overwhelming. Why? Because you adjusted the processing to make up for its perceived deficiencies, when the real deficiency was in your speakers!
Having at least one pair of high-quality, calibrated speakers as your reference will dramatically improve your on-air sound, save you valuable time — and help preserve your sanity, too!
Dry Voice Detector
The human voice can often present a real challenge. Even Omnia.7AM’s psychoacoustically controlled distortion-masking clipper, which dramatically minimizes the dreaded “clean / loud” tradeoff, can reveal some distortion on voices when overall loudness is the goal.
To ensure clean voice quality in these situations, the Dry Voice Detector listens for speech, then automatically and inaudibly adjusts the compressor and limiter sections, reducing the amount of overall clipping needed to maintain the same level of loudness.
Remote control is a must — especially when your processor is miles (and often mountains) away from the studio. Omnia.7AM takes remote control to a new high, with a high-performance Web interface that eliminates interface lag. And, if you have multiple Omnia.7AM processors, its single connection window enables you to manage multiple remotes simultaneously.
Provided your network has sufficient bandwidth, you can even stream audio from various patch points within the processing chain back to your computer, so you can hear the effect of your adjustments in the quiet of your office — not inside a noisy transmitter building.