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Field Report: BW Broadcast DSPX-AM
The input menu contains all the controls that affect input selection, level control and signal conditioning. The process menu contains all the controls that affect the processing. The output menu has all the controls that affect output selection, level control and signal conditioning. The schedule menu contains all the real time clock controls for switching presets (dayparting).
Once a setting has been made, it can be saved as a preset; the unit can store up to eight. Presets are loaded via the front-panel control. While presets can be loaded as needed, it's also easy to compare between two presets. When a setting is loaded, one of the softkeys allows you to toggle between the current settings and the previous settings. In this way, small changes can be quickly compared.
Settings can also be accessed via the remote control software, which runs on a PC and connects to the processor via the RS-232 port, the USB port or the LAN port. The eight user presets can also be recalled with the trigger contacts on the rear panel.
I chose the rock preset as a starting point to get good loudness. With some very minor tweaking, I achieved a sound we are very happy with. The DSPX allows the envelope to be pushed, but still presents very clean and crisp audio that is pleasant to listen to. The compressors and limiters do their job very well and keep the average level high without the perceptible negative effects often heard when trying to drive the audio hard. Overall, the performance exceeds expectations for the price point.
The manual has a complete overview of the processor's functions, including how to access all the parameters within the menus. One helpful section provides tips on achieving certain processing goals with the unit. With section titles such as "Need more bass?" and "Need more clarity?" it should be easy to find the station's signature sound.
I found the DSPX-AM has a feature set formidable to any processor, at any price. The unit offers four-band limiting and a four-band window-gated AGC processor. The tri-band look-ahead path allows the simultaneous full 20kHz digital radio processing. Of course, we use the asymmetrical clipping to optimize the sound for voice. Add this to the tilt equalization and we have a bright and energized sound unmatched in this market. It has a real-time clock for preset scheduling. The DSPX-AM offers dual processing paths if we ever decide to transmit HD Radio.
We liked the processor so much we bought it. We are very pleased with the sound we've achieved and the minimal work required to do so. I'd highly recommend the DSPX-AM to anyone looking in any size market. I've used processors that cost much more and have not been able to get these results. I can't wait to try the BW Broadcast DSPX-FM on my next project.
Jewusiak is chief engineer of KSRM, Kenai Peninsula, AK.
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