Radio World Buyer’s Guide articles are intended to help readers understand why their colleagues chose particular products to solve various technical situations. This month’s articles focus on audio processing.
Compass Media’s Z99.9 in the Cayman Islands has a fiercely loyal listener base. Islanders there had grown up with Z99.9, a heritage CHR that was the first commercial station on the air in the islands almost 30 years ago.
Compass Media Operations Manager Mark Lee didn’t want to change out the audio processor on a station like that without careful consideration; but for a beloved station like this, he also couldn’t ignore notable subsequent product introductions.
Lee said he was cautiously optimistic when racked up Wheatstone’s MP-532, one of the first to do so when the AM/FM/HD multiprocessor came on the market.
He started with the CHR preset and noted the clarity on the high end.
“It is so much brighter than anything we’ve had before, especially on the high frequencies. It’s just much cleaner up there,” he told Wheatstone.
He then began tweaking using the processor’s bass tools, starting with rolling back the clipper a bit, seeking to find that balance that produces a deep, impactful bass and detailed highs.
“It’s the best processor I’ve laid my hands on,” said Lee, who is also now using them on other Compass Media stations in the Cayman Islands.
In addition to Z99.9, Lee is the operations manager for Compass Media’s Gold 94.9, Island FM 98.9 and Rooster 101.9. “For heavy baseline urban and R&B, it definitely copes with the low end much better than the processor we had before. And, of course, it’s just cleaner on the high end.”