WHEATSTONE AUDIO PROCESSING:
DEFINING 'CLEAN' & LOUD
Audio processors come and they go, but few have staying power like Wheatstone audio processors. The secret? Wheatstone audio processors have Vorsis inside. Unique to Wheatstone, Vorsis tools help you get the most out of your content, whether it’s a minor bass adjustment or a format change requiring an entirely new sound.
SST Sweet Spot Technology:
Bass Tools is another Wheatstone exclusive Vorsis tool designed to achieve a level of smoothness in bass not possible with other bass enhancement systems. Enhancement is done in conjunction with our 31-band limiter system and the Bass Tools platform is side-chained so you can easily create the type of bass you want and then mix it back into the main program signal. This way, the bass is accurate, consistent and since it is well controlled, it does not add any amplitude to the overall signal. This bass toolset is available as VBMS in the FM-4, VP-8 Plus and AM-10HD, and as Bass Tools in the FM-531 HD and AirAura X3.
SQ (Super Quiet) Mic Preamps:
Found in our M1, M2 and new M4-IP microphone BLADE processor, our Super Quiet (SQ) mic preamps ensure that the audio generated by your talent begins its journey to the listener in the cleanest environment possible. Super Quiet preamps are the result of Wheatstone’s 30-plus years making clean microphone preamps for its console line combined with its new Vorsis tools for audio EQ, expansion, compression and de-essing of microphone sources.
31 Band Limiter:
Another Wheatstone exclusive is our 31-band limiter found in our AirAura X3 FM and HD audio processor and our FM-531 HD audio processor. Tested over time by our legacy AP2000 processor, the 31 band limiter takes advantage of the way humans hear to limit audio in very few bands at a time. The result? Pinpoint accuracy, audio limiting only where needed, and an overall audio signal that actually has LESS limiting going on at any one time than that found in other processors. Uniquely Wheatstone, the 31-band limiter can operate in Wide (10 band mode), Wide & Timbral (limiters auto-adjust between 5 and 10 band mode, depending on content) or Timbral (limiters adjust to deal with harmonics in the limiter and not in the clipper).
The Multipath Limiter is designed to reduce excessive L-R (difference) transmission by creating predictable stereo enhancement from one source to the next. Found in most of our FM processors*, the Multipath Limiter offers a single user control that allows the end user to limit the maximum amplitude of the L-R signal as a percentage of the L+R signal. The Multipath Limiter has been shown to help reduce multipath blend in car stereos and gives the listener a predictable soundstage.
More and more broadcasters are taking advantage of WheatNet-IP audio-over-IP networking to stream audio to and from their Wheatstone audio processors. First available in the AirAura 2.0, WheatNet-IP connectivity is now included in our AirAura X3, FM-531 HD, Aura8-IP BLADE audio processor, and the M4-IP mic processor BLADE. WheatNet-IP networking allows you to easily manage audio to and from your processors, adding the power of Vorsis processing tools to your IP audio system and making them just as flexible as your WheatNet-IP surfaces and controllers!
Now it’s easy to SEE what you’re hearing. Vorsis Analysis Tools give you the ability to visualize the audio created in your processor. For the FM-531 HD, these tools include an FFT display as well as our popular 3D Time vs. Frequency vs. Amplitude display and many others. For AirAura X3, these displays are expanded upon to show MPX analysis of your AirAura as well as the option of inserting an external source to display.
Each Wheatstone broadcast audio processor comes packaged with our powerful GUI Guru software. It’s as if we sent a processing expert with each box! GUI Guru makes the tough, behind-the-scenes decisions based on simple-to-use controls for setting AGC, compression, density, loudness, bass and treble. The GUI Guru is available for the FM-25, FM-55, AM-55, Aura8-IP, VP-8 Plus (all modes), FM-531 HD and AirAura X3 audio processors.
Wheatstone Processing Videos
In January 2017, Mike Erickson sat down with Scott Fybush to talk all things processing. We shot video of the conversations and got some exceptional stuff. Learn about what it takes to provide modern, airwave-dominating clean sound that listeners rave about.
Wheatstone Baseband 192
Wheatstone Corporation equips its FM audio processors with Wheatstone® baseband192 technology for direct AES/EBU output into any FM transmitter equipped with a digital baseband input, such as those from Nautel and BE.
Wheatstone® baseband192 uses open standard technology that eliminates the need for an analog composite interface between processing and transmission — clearing the last obstacle to a 100% digital air chain.
A single AES/EBU cable between a Wheatstone processor and the transmitter carries the baseband signal, bypassing the need for multiplexing in the exciter and eliminating the resulting signal overshoot with associated loudness tradeoff.
“We simply digitize the entire multiplex spectrum up to and including the RDS, then send that digitized signal directly to the modulator of the exciter," explained Jeff Keith, senior Wheatstone product design engineer.
The baseband192 interface is now available as a standard feature in Wheatstone AirAura X3, FM-531HD and VP-8IP audio processors.
Last Hurdle Cleared to 100% Digital Air Chain
Overcoming hurdles is something we’re good at here at Wheatstone. And we’ve cleared a big one recently – the last obstacle to the all-digital air chain.
We just started shipping select FM audio processors with new Wheatstone® baseband192 for direct AES-EBU output into any FM transmitter equipped with a digital baseband input.
Wheatstone baseband192 uses open standard technology that eliminates the need for an analog composite interface between processing and transmission, making the 100% digital air chain possible at last.
A single AES-EBU cable between a Wheatstone processor and the transmitter carries the baseband signal, bypassing the need for multiplexing in the exciter and eliminating the resulting signal overshoot with its associated loudness tradeoff.
As our own Jeff Keith explained, “We simply digitize the entire multiplex spectrum up to and including the RDS, then send that digitized signal directly to the modulator of the exciter."
The baseband192 interface is now available as a standard feature in our AirAura X3, FM-531HD and VP-8IP audio processors.
Wheatstone Baseband 192 White Paper
This informative white paper by Jeff Keith is a featured story in the September issue of Radio World Engineering Extra. It goes into the development of baseband192 and talks about the technical details.