Singapore-based MediaCorp has installed two Jünger Audio D06 LEVEL MAGIC™ processors to help achieve loudness consistency for its 938LIVE English news and talk radio station.
The broadcaster started looking for a means of controlling loudness after listeners tuning in to 938LIVE began complaining about the sound. The negative feedback, which was particularly prevalent among people listening in their cars, focused on loudness levels. Listeners stated that they constantly had to adjust the volume of their radios in order to maintain a comfortable level of loudness between the various audio segments contained in its news radio programming.
938LIVE transmits round the clock with a spread of programmes on current affairs, health, business and lifestyle as well as news every half until midnight. The station is available on FM frequencies and also on DAB Channel 7B.
Because of the nature of its programming, 938LIVE incorporate sound bites and audio segments from many different sources (from outside broadcasts, studio recordings and continuity live announcers). The station’s difficulty in maintaining loudness consistency was mainly due to variations in the loudness levels between these different sources.
Jibby Jacob, Manager (Radio Studio Operations), MediaCorp Pte Ltd, says: “We needed a loudness control device that would work in conjunction with our multiband on-air processors, which include Optimod and the Telos Omnia processors. Our search for a solution led us to last year’s IBC Convention, where my colleague, Ms. Lye Foi Lieng Senior Manager (Radio Technical Support), discovered Jünger Audio’s LEVEL MAGIC™ system.”
LEVEL MAGIC is a series of automated Level and Loudness control devices that rely on an adaptive level control algorithm designed to adjust the level from any source at any time, with no pumping, breathing or distortion. It works by simultaneously combining an AGC, a Transient Processor for fast changes and a “look ahead” Peak Limiter for continuous unattended control of any programme material, regardless of its original source.
Kim Poh Tan, head of Jünger Audio’s Asia office, arrange for MediaCorp to demo a stand-alone 2-channel D06 Level Magic processor offering both analogue and digital inputs and outputs. After thorough evaluation and on-air testing, MediaCorp bought two units – one for the primary broadcast chain and the other for the secondary (backup) chain. Both have identical settings so that the station can switch between the two chains during periods of routine preventative maintenance.
“During the evaluation period, we tried locating the unit in just about every conceivable position on the signal chain – and with every possible setting,” Jacob adds. “Eventually we found the best position for it was in our transmission centre in Bukit Batok.”
Jibby Jacob adds that MediaCorp and 938LIVE are very pleased with the units and feel that they have solved the station’s loudness problem.
“It is obvious that loudness consistency has been achieved, especially for our radio listeners who are receiving 938Live in their vehicles where the ambient sound tends to vary because of so many external factors, including engine noise,” he says.