Processing by Omnia spices up the airwaves
Tejas Broadcasting Ltd. is committed to Omnia audio processors. The guy behind it all is Director of Engineering Mark Earle. Working from company HQ (located in the Corpus Christi, Texas area), Mark manages engineering for all of Tejas’ stations in Texas, New Mexico and Louisiana.
Mark's first encounter with Omnia processors was, in fact, a happy accident. “In early 2013 I had a failure of an older processor at KLHB here in Corpus Christi.” he recalls. “I borrowed an Omnia-6FM from another broadcaster.” The improvement in the station's sound was noticeable and blew Mark away - and, just as important, the station’s Program Director, too. After that, it wasn't too long before Omnia processors began popping up all over within the Tejas stations.
In fact, Tejas Broadcasting now relies on no less than seven Omnia processors: four Omnia ONE FMs at KMJR and KLHB in Corpus Christi, at KBZD in Amarillo, and at KICA in Clovis, New Mexico. Omnia ONE AM processors are installed at KTNZ in Amarillo, and at WFNO in New Orleans. An Omnia-3.fm, was already installed at KQFX in Amarillo when Tejas acquired the station.
Omnia Audio: Quality and Flexibility
What makes his Omnia gear so special to Mark? Audio quality, for sure. During a visit by the Broadcast Audio Fanatics, Mark told our Jared Given “You can't get any better until you hit the five-digit price range.” In addition to the clean, clear sound, achieving those results easily ranks high. Mark, himself, says he’s a “set it and forget it” sort of guy when it comes to audio processing, but that his PD makes frequent tweaks.
Flexibility is another key for Mark. Omnia ONE processors deal with a variety of formats at Tejas Broadcasting, from Hot AC at KBZD and KICA to Regional Mexican LaCaliente at KMJR, to Exitos (Spanish Pop) at KLHB, and ESPN Sports at KTNZ. Mark’s Omnia ONEs do it all.
The key to this flexibility is the Omnia ONE’s flexible software architecture: they come from the factory in FM, AM and Multicast applications, but if you want to change applications in the future, a free software download from OmniaAudio.com does the trick.
By far the most challenging format for audio processing at Tejas is Regional Mexican. “The way the music was originally recorded makes the levels vary considerably,” adds Mark, but Omnia ONE packs a lot of processing tools into a budget-friendly unit. Wide-band AGC imparts smooth gain riding, while a four-band AGC gives dynamic EQ enhancement for consistency, and builds density before the limiter stages.
Mark has found that the Omnia's “Classic Rock” preset is a good jumping off point when setting up the processors. “I need to make the AGC settings a bit more aggressive at some of our stations,” he adds, “but that's probably a function of the way our music library was recorded.” From unboxing to running in the rack took about 30 minutes — impressive, especially given the time limitations station engineers typically face.
Multiple Processing Options
Now that Mark has converted Tejas’ stations to all-Omnia houses, what’s next? One of his next projects is to set up the Omnia ONE fleet for different processing styles based on dayparts. “We want to develop a different preset for our morning show, which has a narrower range of music.”
Whatever format comes down the pike next, Mark and thousands of fellow Omnia ONE owners can rest assured their favorite audio processor is up for the challenge — whether that format is Active Rock, News-Talk or Hot Polka. And Omnia welcomes submissions of user-created presets, too: check here to see what’s available. Then, send us yours!