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When putting together my station, matching levels from the automation to processor to transmitter and combining stereo into mono for AM became a small challenge.
The first challenge, getting the best quality audio out of the computer, was accomplished by experimenting with audio processor plugin settings in the software. Once these settings were discovered, and set for the desired sound (including EQ), the soundcard output was set for the optimum level (best signal to noise ratio) of the “on air” mixer; a Mackie VLZ 1402 Pro with a Broadcast Tools CC IIA studio controller. This give me total control over the studio monitor, studio on-air light and the host and guest microphones.
Next, combining left and right channels to produce a monoaural signal that is not distorted or out of phase to feed the Innovonics 222 final processor, Trango microwave and AM1000 transmitters. This is accomplished with a passive network of 22k resistors in a small p-box. The output on the mixer is used to provide the proper audio level needed by the audio chain to the AM transmitters.
The FM transmitter is fed by an independent output (virtual DA) on the mixer dedicated to the FM transmitter. The internet live audio stream is fed by one of the sound buses in the automation computer. The automation computer uses Spacial Audio SAM3/mp3pro, the Music1 programming scheduler streamed to a variety of server platforms for broadcasting.
At times, my stations use as many as three mixers for the purpose of level matching and audio distibution control. They range from a little Radio Shack job to a Behringer UB 1002 6-channel mixer to the Mackie on-air mixer/control system already mentioned.
This kind of flexibility helps the station product be as flexible as the “big boys” and with equal or better quality. One caveat: to set up a system like this takes some test equipment, patience and a really good ear.
Marshall Johnson, Sr.
Rhema Radio – The Word In Worship