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Orban Introduces Optimod FM 8600S

Audio processor is compact, more powerful than predecessor

The Orban 8600S offers the company’s 8600 “MX” audio processing technology in a one rack-unit package.

The 8600S is available in two models — 8600S-FM (for analog FM transmitters) and 8600S-HD (for both analog FM and digital distribution channels). The8600S-FM can be upgraded to an 8600S-HD at any time without removing it from the rack through an upgrade kit, says the company.

The 8600S uses a 2×40-line LCD display for basic functions, but sound designers can also set custom presets via its PC remote software and Ethernet connection. According to Orban, the 8600S’ MX processing provides 2-3 dB more high frequency energy, greater transient impact and lower distortion than the Optimod-FM 8500.

It also features a “ratings-encoder loopthrough” that enables a ratings encoder to be driven from one of its AES3 digital outputs, while its sync input can be repurposed to receive the ratings encoder output prior to the built-in stereo encoder. Running the processed signal through the ratings encoder also minimizes the number of “low audio level” alarms.

The firm points out that the 8600S can lock the 19 kHz pilot tone frequency to the reference through a 10 MHz GPS or rubidium reference input, minimizing areas of mutual interference in single-frequency networks.