Ask the Omnia Guy: Why Does My Station Sound Distorted?

By Paul Kriegler on May 21, 2021 11:51:22 AM

Newsletter_Ask the Omnia Guy

Dear Omnia Guy,

Why does our station sound distorted compared with a station using an Omnia.11? We’re a Country station and we use analog composite STLs and an Omnia.6.

Dear Programmer,

Thanks for the detail. Shooting from the hip, it could be anything. But you mention your format is Country, so let me dig into the obvious.

Pictured below is virtually 100% of the music that is handed to you by the major record labels servicing the Country format (should you open one in some type of workstation):

omnia dude 4 edit

Some will look even more dramatic than this, appearing much like one giant brick of waveform, beginning to end. I’m showing this to you because your Omnia.6 lacks something you’ll find in the Omnia.11, Omnia.9 and Omnia.7: Declipping or “Undo.” And that’s a biggie.

The folks that master a lot of this music have figured out, for CHR, that leaving some headroom in their mixes allows the bass to come out in the mix much better. Country, however? Not so much. A lot of what I hear released to Country sounds clipped and distorted right in the source file itself.

That said, your Omnia.6 can still deal with this mess. You can try a preset like “Cosmic” in your old Omnia.6 and see if it smooths things out a bit.

Other places in your chain you can look: Check your path. Is there excessive pre-processing taking place before the 6? Is it possible you have levels set incorrectly somewhere, such as clipping in a distribution amp—or node—somewhere? Is your STL shot introducing overshoots or distortion?

I might suggest going step-by-step in your airchain to see at what stage the distortion presents itself.

In the meantime, if you want to try a more modern processor, let me know. We have demo units with Declipping and Undo ready for a free three-week, no-obligation tryout. Contact me here

Further reading: 

Ask the Omnia Guy: How Do I Get the Same Sound from my Omnia.6 on my 9?

Ask the Omnia Guy: How Can I Stream Identical to FM?

Ask the Omnia Guy: How Do I Know if It's an MP3?

Telos Alliance has led the audio industry’s innovation in Broadcast Audio, Digital Mixing & Mastering, Audio Processors & Compression, Broadcast Mixing Consoles, Audio Interfaces, AoIP & VoIP for over three decades. The Telos Alliance family of products include Telos® Systems, Omnia® Audio, Axia® Audio, Linear Acoustic®, 25-Seven® Systems, Minnetonka™ Audio and Jünger Audio. Covering all ranges of Audio Applications for Radio & Television from Telos Infinity IP Intercom Systems, Jünger Audio AIXpressor Audio Processor, Omnia 11 Radio Processors, Axia Networked Quasar Broadcast Mixing Consoles and Linear Acoustic AMS Audio Quality Loudness Monitoring and 25-Seven TVC-15 Watermark Analyzer & Monitor. Telos Alliance offers audio solutions for any and every Radio, Television, Live Events, Podcast & Live Streaming Studio With Telos Alliance “Broadcast Without Limits.”

Topics: Audio Processing, Omnia, broadcast audio processing

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