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Worst-sounding radio stations of all-time.

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HGR1290
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Re: Worst-sounding radio stations of all-time.

Post by HGR1290 » Fri Nov 13, 2020 8:01 pm

Going back a decade or five, WCRM AM and FM Clare, in the mid 70s. The FM Side sounded like it was taken off the AM modulation monitor. Quite bright, quite gritty, quite difficult to listen to. This may have been just after they came on the air.

WCEN-FM Mt Pleasant, back when it was on Bluegrass Rd at 16kW. It would light the stereo light, but had a funky sound in stereo.



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MWmetalhead
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Re: Worst-sounding radio stations of all-time.

Post by MWmetalhead » Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:52 am

Worst sounding radio station as we sit here today - 1160 WCXI. All content off the bird sounds brutally distorted.


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bmw
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Re: Worst-sounding radio stations of all-time.

Post by bmw » Sat Nov 14, 2020 3:23 pm

102.5 WIOG during first decade of the 2000s. They sped their music up by as much as 6 percent and the bass was very distorted (had a distinct sound that I can't describe). For a brief time afterwards they sounded much better, though today I note that they are once again way over-processed.

760 WJR today. HOLY COW are they over-modulated!

Several honorable mentions today - 106.3 WGER and 106.1 The Point (Tawas) - both way over-processed.



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Re: Worst-sounding radio stations of all-time.

Post by MWmetalhead » Sun Nov 15, 2020 7:11 pm

Yup - WJR has been severely overmodulated since last winter. They sound like shit aurally.

I also agree re: WIOG.


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Rich F.
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Re: Worst-sounding radio stations of all-time.

Post by Rich F. » Tue Nov 17, 2020 1:43 am

...- WJR has been severely overmodulated since last winter. ...
Is there accurate, reliable, measured evidence that they are truly overmodulating their AM carrier — as would be true if their negative-going program audio modulation peaks produced carrier-clipping "splatter" radiated well beyond the nominal 20 kHz r-f spectrum they would occupy without such overmodulation?



djb
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Re: Worst-sounding radio stations of all-time.

Post by djb » Mon Nov 23, 2020 7:15 am

bmw wrote:
Sat Nov 14, 2020 3:23 pm
102.5 WIOG during first decade of the 2000s. They sped their music up by as much as 6 percent and the bass was very distorted (had a distinct sound that I can't describe). For a brief time afterwards they sounded much better, though today I note that they are once again way over-processed.

760 WJR today. HOLY COW are they over-modulated!

Several honorable mentions today - 106.3 WGER and 106.1 The Point (Tawas) - both way over-processed.
I was at the Citadel cluster at that time. Corporate had just schmoozed a nice deal with Telos/Omnia, and had switched both WIOG and WHEELZ from Optimods (8100's) to the (then brand spanking new) Omnia3. In talking with the PD (my boss) of WIOG at the time, it was the engineers from Telos (I believe) that originally configured the Omnia, and they could never quite get it just right. Numerous software patches were delivered over time until WIOG moved into the new facilities on Champagne drive. Probably the aging Compellor that was first in the chain driving the shit out of the Omnia.

The Denon CD-Cart players were all pitched up 2%. Even when we moved to the new Champagne drive facilities and went Scott Studios, the music was still dumped out analog via the 2% pitched up CD players, and recorded to WAV files in the SS playout PCs. On remote broadcasts where music would be delivered remotely, we always had to make sure we had the pitched up decks with us - so that playout wouldn't sounds different between studio and remote.

WGER used to be nice and clean with their old Compellor/8100 combo (62nd street days). That was damn near 20 years ago.



bmw
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Re: Worst-sounding radio stations of all-time.

Post by bmw » Wed Nov 25, 2020 4:10 am

Interesting stuff djb.

From a technical standpoint, radio certainly sounded better in the 1980s and 1990s before music was sped up, before the original source material was compressed to the max, and in the days of analog signal processors (and I do remember a time when WIOG sounded MUCH better than they did post-year-2k). While most stations have moved away from speeding up their music (thank God), now-a-days we have source material that is already over-processed, then being rammed through cranked up digital signal processors, and the end result is utter garbage.

One station in the Tri-Cities that actually sounded good fairly recently (technically anyways) was 96.1 WHNN when they first switched over to their current format. Sometime in the last year, however, they have succumbed to cranking their audio processing to unbearable levels.

Oh, and on a side-note about WIOG - I remember for certain measuring a song by Pink (I'm thinking in 2006-2008 or so) and it was sped up over 4 percent (I'm thinking it was at like 4.5% ) . Was there ever a time before they stopped speeding up their music altogether when they maybe stopped dumping their music into wave files at 2% and instead just sped it up at the PC stage, possibly double-speeding up some older music in their library? Because I could swear I've also measured music sped up by 2.5 percent (perhaps at the PC stage, would also explain 4.5% measurement).



djb
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Re: Worst-sounding radio stations of all-time.

Post by djb » Wed Nov 25, 2020 6:21 am

BMW...

I was out of there by 2001 or so, so not quite sure what happened beyond then. I wouldn't doubt that some songs may have been pitched higher (songs 128bpm or so) - but I'm not entirely sure. If I remember correctly, Scott Studios had the ability set the pitch within the software as well. Perhaps an unknown intern added another 2% post-prod, within the software - not realizing the Denon's were already set at 2%?

Back when I was there, WHNN ran an Optimod 8600. Nice unit, and they had it REALLY clean. I'm sure that's since been replaced in the past 20 years.



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