Audio level

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R8000

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Joined
Dec 19, 2002
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673
Hi folks,

Was having a browse this evening of some audio feeds, and noticed quite a few feeds that are way way over driven with audio.

A few rattled my pc speakers, and peaked out the level on the web player.

Just a friendly reminder , after you setup your feed..............listen to it via the net.

The VU meters in Oddcast should peak into the yellow area, red area should rarely if ever be seen. The instructions that Radio Reference proved are really easy to follow, and spot on. Too loud and it's annoying to listen to, and too low and it's just as annoying as people have to crank up the speakers to hear it, then forget about it. Next thing you know, a new email comes in, and your email client plays a sound and blows your ears off.

It's true that not all radio systems have their audio levels set the same. And some just seem louder than others. If you find this is the case, monitor your VU meters live with a second receiver and adjust it to only allow the audio to go into the yellow.

The input to your pc normally doesn't need much drive, so be careful on where you set your volume level if you using a speaker output.

0db is loud. Real loud.

Please please please monitor your own feed when setting levels. Distortion and clipping is bad.

Also in case this is your first time working with scanners, be aware that most/all computers will raise the noise floor around your scanner/receiver. Best to try and keep it away from your pc, especially the antenna. Try to use a receiver that has a CTCSS/DPL decoder.

I run a rather old Motorola Maxtrac mobile radio here at my setup with a indoor home made J pole antenna. To avoid PC noise, the J pole is on the other side of the room. I use the Motorola's pin 11 on the 16 pin acc plug, which is a fixed level receiver output that is not controlled by the radio's volume control. There is a jumper inside the radio which selects filtered and non filtered audio. You want filtered.

For me this setup works well since my county is all on VHF. If you need to cover multiple bands, then yea you need a scanner. But for single band operation, a used commercial radio makes a super nice receiver. In my case I had a few laying around.

While it's not Dolby surround sound, proper audio level is a good thing :)

Happy net scanning !
 

PeterGV

K1PGV, ScannerCast author
Joined
Jul 10, 2006
Messages
753
Location
Mont Vernon, NH
The technique I use to adjust the audio on my feeds is pretty simple: I start my feed, attach to it with WinAMP, and use Winamps multi-frequency "spectrum analyzer" display to watch some of the channels that I know to be louder.

The audio should peaks never hit the very top (this is called "clipping") -- So, I adjust the scanner's audio level so that I can see the loudest sounds come to just below the very top.

I've found that a little LESS audio is usually much better than a little MORE audio... So, when in doubt I turn it down.

Hope that helps,

Peter
K1PGV
 

richtidd

Live Audio Administrator
Database Admin
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
1,139
Location
San Mateo, Ca
The technique I use to adjust the audio on my feeds is pretty simple: I start my feed, attach to it with WinAMP, and use Winamps multi-frequency "spectrum analyzer" display to watch some of the channels that I know to be louder.

The audio should peaks never hit the very top (this is called "clipping") -- So, I adjust the scanner's audio level so that I can see the loudest sounds come to just below the very top.

I've found that a little LESS audio is usually much better than a little MORE audio... So, when in doubt I turn it down.

Hope that helps,

Peter
K1PGV
Where is the "spectrum analyzer" located?
What Skin or other location?
 

GTR8000

Well Known Member
Database Admin
Joined
Oct 4, 2007
Messages
7,533
Location
BEE00
Free, easy to use, very accurate

Audio Level Meter

Both the Peak Level Meter 1.7 and Digital Level Meter 1.4 work fine. To change the settings, right-click on the window while it's running. I suggest changing the Decay Rate to 10 for real-time monitoring. You can select which input you want to monitor, which is a nice feature for checking multiple streams.
 

PeterGV

K1PGV, ScannerCast author
Joined
Jul 10, 2006
Messages
753
Location
Mont Vernon, NH
Where is the "spectrum analyzer" located?
What Skin or other location?
On the Modern skin... it's part of the default display. In fact, you can't get rid of it.

Both the Peak Level Meter 1.7 and Digital Level Meter 1.4 work fine.
Chris... that's about the best link I've seen in ages. VERY helpful, thanks.

Peter
K1PGV

(P.S. Now if I can only get that damn VU meter implemented in ScannerCast... Ugh!)
 

hacksaw

Member
Joined
May 16, 2006
Messages
49
Location
Broken Arrow, OK
Levels!


I know I have to watch my levels since I do track a couple systems. Even though the scanner I use (BCT15) has some volume leveling, I find it isn't enough. I am just about to put a audio compressor inline to level things out. Some of the systems here sound horrid.
 
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