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Orban to Unveil Its New Flagship FM Processor

'The FM loudness wars were so 20th-century'

Orban will unveil the Optimod-FM 8600 processor at April’s NAB Show.

“The 8600’s dramatically improved peak limiter technology decreases distortion while increasing transient punch and high-frequency power handling capacity,” the manufacturer promises.

“Compared to the FM-channel peak limiter in Optimod-FM 8500, the new peak limiter typically provides 2.5 to 3 dB more power at high frequencies, which minimizes audible HF loss caused by preemphasis limiting. Drums and percussion cut through the mix. Vocals are present and up-front. Speech is very clean. Highs are silky and airy. ‘Problem material’ that used to cause audible distortion is handled cleanly.”

According to the company, the design offers about the same loudness as 8500 processing, but “its main goal is to make FM analog broadcasts more competitive with the cleanliness, punch and open high frequencies of the digital media against which FM analog transmissions now battle.”

Beyond the clipper, features are similar to the 8500 including parallel processing for digital channels like HD Radio that simulcast the program material on the FM analog channel. “Except for the AGC, the analog FM and digital radio channels are independent and separately adjustable. The digital radio channel features a new peak limiter that uses some of the same new technology as the peak limiter in the FM analog processing channel.”

Users can run 8500 presets. “Because the input/output delay of the new peak limiter is too long to permit talent to monitor off-air on headphones, 8500-style processing is useful for remotes and outside broadcasts where off-air headphone monitoring is desired and the 8600’s low-delay monitor output cannot be brought to the talent.”

Users affected by ITU-R 412 MPX power limits can apply MPX power gain reduction after the clippers so that the texture of the processing can include more “clipper sound.”

An 8600FM model without digital radio processing is available at lower cost.

A Peek at the Newest FM Optimod

NAB Booth: C1657