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Boost classical music on radio

The commercial trick
  (+8, -1)
(+8, -1)
  [vote for,

In my country, the Netherlands, it is illegal to play the sound of commercials on tv or radio louder than the programs.

Somehow commercials still seem much louder than they ought to be.

I have had it explained to me how this is achieved and I will now try to tell you. This being the halfbakery, some of you will know more about it then I do, so feel free to help me out here.

The louder commercials do not actually exceed the allowed decibels (sp?) but the softer parts are boosted so that allmost all sounds are at peak levels. Perfectly legal, still annoying.

In my workshop I listen to a classical radio station, you know the type, light stuff in the morning, concerts at lunchtime, beethoven in the afternoon.

With all my woodworking machinery I make some noise and I am often tempted to turn up the volume to be able to hear the soft and subtle parts. The downside is I then get seriuosly starled by the louder parts and have to rush over to the radio to turn it down again, only to find that we have entered another soft part.

So I would like a radio station that broadcasts the same program but adjusted like the commercials, so that I can follow and enjoy all parts equally.

zeno, Nov 24 2008

Wikipedia: Dynamic Range Compression http://en.wikipedia...c_range_compression
"Classical stations hardly use any, which explains why a classical listener, particularly in the car, must keep turning the volume up and down, constantly fighting the ambient noise prevalent in car listening." [jutta, Nov 25 2008]

Dolby Volume http://www.dolby.co...y-volume-works.html
Much as requested, but in the receiver. [csea, Nov 25 2008]


       Since the need for DRC depends on the situation of the listener, why not make it a feature of the radio player rather than of the station?   

       I've added a link to the Wikpedia entry on the technique, which has a pretty good discussion of its historical application by broadcast stations.
jutta, Nov 25 2008

       Surely this will start another loudness war.
Spacecoyote, Nov 25 2008

       "Processing" as it is generically known is applied to many audio signals. It is effectively the use of programmable non-linear filters and amplifiers. It could be done; it could even be done at the receiver end.   

       Nice idea, practical, useful, technically possible to implement. What's it doing in the HB ? [+] anyway.
8th of 7, Nov 25 2008

       See [link].
csea, Nov 25 2008

       //I then get seriuosly starled by the louder parts and have to rush over to the radio to turn it down again//

Should you really be doing this whilst operating industrial machinery? I foresee a strong likelihood that your listening enjoyment will be interrupted by loud screaming, fountains of blood and desperate attempts to locate mis-placed extremities.
DrBob, Nov 25 2008

       That's right, I just stopped listening to classical music in the car.   

       Better to do this at the receiving end. Dolby can do it, nice.   

       [DrBob], I'm living on the edge.
zeno, Nov 25 2008

       //[DrBob], I'm living on the edge//
<nanny ticking-off voice>You won't be saying that when you've no fingers left to operate the volume control. </ntov>
coprocephalous, Nov 25 2008

       Could make for popular web-cam viewing though.
DrBob, Nov 25 2008

       Head to your neighbourhood pro-musician shop and ask for a stereo compressor that can do native -20db (consumer audio) levels... now patch that in between your receiver and amplifier. I'd suggest renting first.   

       No guarantee that it will actually sound good; never tried that, myself.
FlyingToaster, Nov 25 2008

       This is surely the wrong way around. After all, if you want to apply DRC to the music on radio, you'd also need to apply it to any TVs, telephones, or indeed fellow human beings. More sensible, surely, to apply DRC to the woodworking equipment itself? Then you will have a constant level of background noise, and all other devices can operate a constant volume sufficient to be heard over it.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 25 2008

       Music in general is already way overcompressed, especially on the radio. Classical stations don't use much because it makes the music sound like ass. The "soft and subtle parts" are quiet for a reason. I know some engineers take dynamics to the extreme, but that's just bad mastering.   

       If you apply more compression in the reciever, pop music would be indescribably bad (instead of just unbelievably bad), classical music would lose its dynamics, and commercials would sound like a really loud, solid noise.   

       All in all, this idea is baked to a crisp. It's a shame you can't untoast.
Laimak, Nov 25 2008

       What [Laimak] said, you could do this but you don't want too. A better and simpler solution is to do what new car stereos do, adjust the music volume based on background noise. In your case you could have powered speakers that kick on with each machine.   

       Or even easier and better for your hearing, get a nice pair of noise cancelling headphones. I got a cheap pair for $50 and even they are phenomenal.
MisterQED, Nov 26 2008

       Sorry, those won't do for me. Noise reduction is one thing but I really need to hear the noise the machine makes. It tells me if it is working properly.
zeno, Nov 30 2008


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