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   Home   Help Search  
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Author Topic: Enhancing audio  (Read 9586 times)

Posts: 1209


« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2012, 12:44:06 PM »

....I suppose, based on the observation from the above quote, that having noisy, crappy background along with untailored non-optimized audio is SO much better than clean background, tailored audio to match the human speech envelope to the radio mic input response and we should all just do it this way to avoid the appearance of 'commercial radio' audio?....

So it seems that what you're implying is that everybody should shell out for the latest audio processing equipment and state of the art mikes so everybody can sound as good as you want them to?  You don't really mean THAT do you?

There has got to be a happy medium here.  Hams should first learn how to use their equipment, and one of the most neglected lessons is how to speak into a microphone!  That one skill, if taught, would eliminate the lion share of audio complaints.

That reminds my of something one old ham always used to say to beginners when he saw them 'swallowing' their mikes--"Would you like some salt and pepper to go with that mike--or maybe some butter to help it go down better?"  That one thing said in the presence of other hams cured more of the 'mike too close to the mouth' problem than you'd care to know!

No sir, I was NOT suggesting anyone go and buy anything. What I was saying is that just because someone DOES decide to add a little preprocessing to their input audio PRIOR to the mic input, that they should not be hammered by the 'I run all stock so therefore I am the best' crowd and detested and labeled as 'HI-FI Freaks' or anything like that. Using a simple yet VERY effect audio processor like the W2IHY EQ-Plus correctly (and I emphasize 'CORRECTLY') makes the 'eating the mike' condition a non-starter in my opinion. And it is a known fact that hand mics are GENERALLY notorious for poor audio response and each as a 'sweet spot' where the best response is obtained, whether it be close talked, side talked, eating the mic, whatever. I have used many different type of microphones in nearly 40 years of operating and each has its own personality. I personally find the audio response from my Heil microphones much easier to 'calibrate' to my voice than a stock hand mic, regardless of the manufacturer.

I could not agree MORE with your statement about learning to use the equipment. I am a staunch believer in RTFM!!! I realize that not everyone is maybe as technically capable as the next person, but we see all the time where people buy gear and then come on the forums and not simply ask a couple of questions to get started but make it appear the want someone else to hold their hand and walk them through the ALL steps in using said gear. Don't get me wrong - I think hams should help one another but also a ham should be able to take the info provided and so some experimenting on their own to solidify that info and learn from it. When buying gear, I will obtain ALL manuals and tech papers on said gear to use while I own it and when I sell it, all the pubs go with the gear.

If you listen to the bands, you can hear the examples of signals where, most likely but not always, the opertor took said gear out of box, tossed the manual and started using the radio with little to no idea what controls do or how to set them properly. If I, for one, hear a person on the air that has a definite issue with audio or signal quality, I try to point that out to them in a way not to belittle or embarass them, but to inform them. If I am not in the QSO with them, I do a quick lookup and see if they have an email. I will try to capture a little of the audio or at least an image off the scope for them to start troubleshooting with. I would hope that others would do the same for me. I monitor my signals, both as audio and visually on a scope when I transmit.

On the topic of buying gear, if more money was spent on creating a top quality, clean, within specs signal and optimizing what is currently being used instead of rushing to buy an amplifier, the signals we hear would be much better I believe. Many appear to think that if they are having problems getting contacts it must be because they operate barefoot instead of 'Wow, maybe my audio sounds like crap and people can understand (or decode) me'.


Gene W5DQ

Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp

Posts: 6252

« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2012, 06:38:50 PM »

No sir, I was NOT suggesting anyone go and buy anything. What I was saying is that just because someone DOES decide to add a little preprocessing to their input audio PRIOR to the mic input, that they should not be hammered by the 'I run all stock so therefore I am the best' crowd and detested and labeled as 'HI-FI Freaks' or anything like that....

Whoa!  Hold on there.  I never intended to imply that "all stock" was the best at all.  What I said (or tried to) is that the stock mike should be perfectly adequate and the near equal of higher priced mikes if they were used properly.  Apologies if my statements weren't clear enough.

The rest of your statement mirrors my own beliefs.  73! 
« Last Edit: August 14, 2012, 06:41:35 PM by K1CJS » Logged

Posts: 10

« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2012, 01:17:13 AM »

 The word   crappy that I used was incorrect,   I hastily threw  that in without much thought. I should have said that they are not all created equal, and to me they do not sound very good.    In my 35 years of listening to thousands of QSO's  I have grown to appreciate the audio that is very pleasing the my ears.   Having been a musician all my life I also appreciate tonal quality.  I agree that often times the operator has no clue to how he/she is using the mic,  some  chew on their mics, others talk at it from a foot or so away, and in a lot of cases the audio system of the unit is just below par and we end up  with low audio, fuzzy audio, tinny audio,  etc,  I think you get my point.   Personally for me I really like to hear someones audio that has a very clean clear, crisp sound to it.  Very natural sounding is nice, and  I dont know if you can just slap a Heil mic or other pre processing device  onto some of these newer radios and get better sounding audio.   I will also say that to a lot of people the audio means nothing as long as they can understand what is being said, and thats perfectly fine for that individual.   We are all different in that we have our likes or dislikes in sounds.   I will also say that I have heard some stations,  that had such rich broadcast like sound that I often said to myself      damn, I wish my rig sounded that good.. and of course the voice itself is at the root of such good sounding stations. 

Just for fun I wish there were tiny micro sized units that could be put into these cheap speaker mics such as I have for my HT's that would offer a little  " punch " to the audio and give them that   " big band"  sound, that would be awesome....  I use preamped mic's on my Kenwood, and my Icom rigs and have been told they have a fantastic full robust sound.  I use an MC 60A with my TS 940 SAT, and I love it...

Also agree on the proper use of the mic by reading the book and speaking clearly into it as well...


Posts: 6252

« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2012, 12:40:47 PM »

...Having been a musician all my life I also appreciate tonal quality....

People who are used to hearing such quality do look for it, and that is something that can be understood when some of the audio coming over ham radio are heard.  Sometimes I think that a room full of trumpeting elephants can sound better with some of those!   Roll Eyes  73!

Posts: 816

« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2012, 12:15:56 PM »

At the mention of external EQing, there seems to be ops on the left and ops on the right of the subject.
Those on the left allow no room for those who want to improve audio to some small degree.
Those on the right feel they need it to compete with other who have it.
Neither side seldom ever hears there own (RF) audio not  the radios's internal monitor, to make their own judgement and setup..
Most decent modern HF radios have adjustable EQ built in and left in default setting.
There is little difference between having built in and external EQ as far as any ops position so why make an issue of it.
On the noise gate, the IHY uses sharp on/off control.
The only time it has much value is in a noisy shack with high blower noise or some other source.
Otherwise it's just as bad as being in a round table with some ops VOX setting too low in sensitivity coming on and off. It's not good to listen to just because of the way the roundtable is conducted as a free for all where half the time they talk over each other.
For these functions, the gates and VOX need to be able to be soft working.
The IHY noise gate is somewhat hard, can't be modified and needs downward expanding to soften it up. It's only an on/off switch with a sensitivity setting.  I don't use it for that reason.
Biggest problem is many ops don't fully understand the uses of equipment and compatibility with mikes, setup and when to use them.
I actually found that my IHY is not really needed for very much improvement. The gain settings between 100 and 2400 hz ended up looking much the same as the frequency response of the mikes used which means the mikes are pretty close as is.
One benefit is the frequency response can be reset for DX use to cut the lows, accentuate the mid range and cut the highs for the best copy at the receiving end.
Listen to the DX station and see who he has trouble copying and what their audio sounds like. It's very telling if paid attention to.
Same general  things go for audio processor use. Know when to use it and how much you can use when you need it.
Bottom line is to know your equipment.
I know I will not satisfy everyone  so they either accept it or they don't.
 I can not change their positions.
If I never say an IHY is in use, they cannot tell it either so thre is no issue about it.
Good luck.
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