Profanity Delays Keep it Clean

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All broadcasters should be aware that nearly a year ago at the end of April 2009 the FCC effectively upheld its policy (from 2004) establishing heavy fines for TV and radio for the broadcasts of fleeting expletives. These fines are substantial -- up to $325,000 per instance -- and so it's clear this issue needs to be taken very seriously.

In response to the new fine structure, many audio equipment manufacturers introduced new delay units to their product lines, or updated versions of products already out there.

When delay units were first introduced, the audio quality through them was not that great and so for the most part, they were actually only inserted in the airchain when necessary (that is, for any show primarily based on spoken-word). The technology involved has come a long way in the last 20 years and so all the delay units I know of in use today are left on-line and in the airchain on a 24/7 basis.

The standard

Eventide BD960

Eventide BD960

Eventide has been making delay units as long as I can remember. They currently offer two different units, at different price points, and of course different levels of capability. The Eventide BD960 is a single rack unit device, analog in and analog out, with audio specs that allow you to insert it in the airchain on a full-time basis (two channels with +25dBm level capability, less than 0.008 percent THD and ±1dB flatness from 10Hz to 22kHz). It provides delay up to 8 seconds in length, with one-button control. A contact closure after the dump button is pressed can be used to play a filler -- audio that goes out while the delay rebuilds. Alternately, the unit has the capability to store, in non-volatile RAM, an audio cut that can play during the delay rebuild.

If you need even more capability than the BD960, you could consider the BD600. This 1RU delay features analog inputs and outputs in addition to AES inputs and outputs, and can be set for up to 80 seconds of delay (4-second increments, from 4 seconds up to 20 seconds, and thereafter 10-second increments up to 80 seconds total). The user can program the length of the dumped segment. The optional "extended" remote control capability allows the user to send serial data (RS-232) through the unit, with the data output being delayed. (This will be important if you are originating any kind of network show.)

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