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“Cool Stuff”: Sound4 Sound4 x8

A multi-channel processor for Web radio operations

One in a series about recipients of the 2012 Radio World “Cool Stuff” Award.

Shown are Vincent Defretin and Camille Gonnet with RW U.S. Editor in Chief Paul McLane. Photo by Jim Peck. The Sound4 x8 is a multi-channel processor for Web radio operations that can process eight radio streams on one PCI express card; it includes metadata management and is compatible with radio automation servers.

It provides eight I/O through an Audio Driver (WDM/Direct Sound), Livewire and/or Ravenna. The engine can provide five streams per channel (for 40 streams total). Each processed output may be encoded into five streams; each stream can deliver MP3, AAC and HE-AAC v1 and v2 formats. A Predictive HQSound algorithm optimizes codec performance and reduces compression-induced sound artifacts.

Adaptive processing can correct each stream independently in order to compensate for differences due to encoding. “Thus a radio station can easily generate different streams that suit the targeted audience: low rate for mobile phone, high rate for home device, with homogeneous sound whatever the encoder used,” the company states. The processor adapts to streaming delivery standards like Flash, Darwin, Helix, Icecast, Shoutcast and Wowza; and it can interface to various automations systems via its XML-based gateway.

Retail price $490 per channel, sold by four or eight channels.