-Universal transmitter protection & audio processing for FM broadcast
-Tight peak control at all its outputs
-Stereo encoder integrated with audio processingIn the toughest competitive environment ever, a winning strategy includes OPTIMOD-FM/HD 8600. Featuring versatile five-band and two-band processing for both analog FM transmission and digital media, the 8600 provides the industry's most consistent sound, track-to-track and source-to-source. This consistency allows you to create a sonic signature for your station with the assurance that your signature will stay locked in, uniquely branding your sound.
The 8600 provides stereo enhancement, equalization, AGC, multiband compression, low-IM peak limiting, stereo encoding, and composite limiting — everything that even the most competitive major market station needs to stand out on the dial. More than 20 excellent sounding, format specific factory presets get you started. You'll find all of your favorite 8500 presets, plus "MX" presets designed by Bob Orban and Greg Ogonowski to exploit the exciting possibilities inherent in the 8600's new peak limiter technology. Although the factory presets are fully competent "out of the box, you can customize them with easy one-knob LESS-MORE control in Basic Control, with 50 parameters Intermediate control or with more than 120 in the Advanced controls, whose versatility will satisfy even the most finicky on-air sound designer. The new added phase skew corrector maximizes the quality of a mono mixdown or blend that might occur in a receiver.
Improved Peak Limiter Technology. Dramatically improved peak limiter technology decreases distortion while increasing transient punch and high frequency power handling capacity. Compared to the FM-channel peak limiter in OPTIMOD-FM/HD 8500, the new peak limiter typically provides 2.5 to 3 dB more power at high frequencies, which minimizes audible HF loss caused by pre-emphasis limiting. Drums and percussion cut through the mix. Highs are airy. "Problem material" that used to cause audible distortion is handled cleanly.
While this design offers about the same loudness as 8500 processing, 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. The FM loudness wars represent 20th-century thinking; in the 21st century, the new competition is digital media. Thanks to its fresh, crisp sound, the 8600 helps level the playing field between analog FM and its ever more aggressive digital-only competitors.
For Digital Radio broadcasters who prefer using a separate processor for the digital channel, the 8600's built-in delay (up to 16 seconds) in the analog processing path vastly improves installation versatility in HD Radio facilities, freeing you from the need to use the delay line built into the Digital Radio exciter. This allows you to use the 8600FM's built-in stereo encoder and composite limiter to drive the analog FM transmitter, ensuring no-compromise analog-channel loudness.
The 8600’s x HD ("Digital Radio") output is designed to feed streaming, netcasting, and digital satellite or cable radio channels, which can be Eureka 147, DRM, DAB + or the iBiquity® HD Radio system (formerly known as "IBOC" - "In-Band On-Channel"). The equalizer and five-band compressor/limiter in the HD processing chain have their own sets of user-adjustable audio controls that are independent of the controls in the FM analog transmission chain's equalizer and five-band compressor/limiter. The bottom line? Processing that optimizes the sound of your FM channel while punching remarkably crisp, clean, CD-like audio through to your digital channel audience.
Loudness and True Peak control:
The Digital Radio and analog radio processing chains offer ITU-R BS.1770-3 + Loudness Meters and Safety Limiters for use in countries that enforce a BS.1770 loudness limit on digital and/or analog radio broadcasts.
The 8600 implements "true peak" control in the HD processing kHz. This allows the 8600 to prevent clipping in a playback device's analog signal path by predicting and controlling the analog peak level follow the playback device's reconstruction filter to an accuracy of better than 0.5 dB. For typical program material, accuracy is 0.2 dB. Without true peak control, analog clipping can occur even if all peak values of the digital samples are below 0 dBFS. This phenomenon has also been termed "0 dBFS+." Thanks to true peak control, sample rate conversion, unless it removes high frequency program energy or introduces group delay distortion, cannot cause sample peaks to increase more than 0.5 dB.
-Frequency Response(Bypass Mode; Analog Processing Chain): Follows standard 50μs or 75μs pre-emphasis curve ±0.10 dB, 2.0 Hz - 15 kHz. Analog left/right output and Digital output can be user configured for flat or pre-emphasized output.
-Samplerate:64 kHz to 512 kHz, depending on processing being performed.
-Noise:Output noise floor will depend upon how much gain the processor is set for (Limit Drive, AGC Drive, Two-Band Drive, and/or Multiband Drive), gating level, equalization, noise reduction, etc. It is primarily governed by the dynamic range of the A/D converter, which has a specified overload-to–noise ratio of 110 dB. The dynamic range of the digital signal processing is 144 dB.
-Total System Distortion (de-emphasized, 100% modulation):<0.01% THD, 20 Hz - 1 kHz, rising to <0.05% at 15 kHz. <0.02% SMPTE IM Distortion.
-Total System Separation:> 55 dB, 20 Hz - 15 kHz; 60 dB typical.
-Polarity (Two-Band and Bypass Modes): (Two-Band and Bypass Modes): Absolute polarity maintained. Positive-going signal on input will result in positive-going signal on output when HD Polarity and FM polarity controls are set to POSITIVE.