Orban Flagship Processor Optimod-FM 8600 Now Shipping

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Sep 15, 2010 - Scottsdale, AZ - Orban is now shipping its new flagship FM processor, Optimod-FM 8600. According to Orban, the significant update in the processor is the 8600's improved peak limiter technology that decreases distortion while increasing transient punch and high-frequency power handling capacity. Compared to the FM-channel peak limiter in the Optimod-FM 8500, the new peak limiter typically provides 2.5 to 3dB more power at high frequencies, which minimizes audible HF loss caused by pre-emphasis limiting.

Orban further states that while this design offers about the same loudness as 8500 processing, its main goal is to make FM analog broadcasts more competitive with the cleanliness, punch, and open high frequencies of the digital media against which FM analog transmissions now battle.

The 8600 offers parallel processing for digital channels. Except for the AGC, the analog FM and digital radio channels are independent and separately adjustable. The digital radio channel features a new peak limiter that uses some of the same new technology as the peak limiter in the FM analog processing channel.

Presets built for the 8500 can be used on the 8600. Also, using 8500-style processing reduces the peak limiter latency, which is useful in situations where the 8600's low-delay monitor output cannot be brought to the talent, such as during a remote broadcast where the signal must be monitored off air.

Orban notes that some customers in countries enforcing ITU-R 412 MPX power limits have requested the ability to apply MPX power gain reduction after the clippers so the texture of the processing can include more clipper sound. The 8600 offers this option.

Orban Chief Engineer Bob Orban commented, "The 8600's new peak limiting algorithm solves a long-standing technical problem: How to achieve low audible distortion without reducing transient impact. Previously, one had to be compromised to improve the other. The solution is complex and DSP-intensive, but the results are worth it: The 8600 improves every aspect of the big, consistent Optimod-FM sound."

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