Great sound quality for a DAB station.
By Art Grainger
Posted 11 January 2016, 7.43am est
Aye. At a time when some radio groups are squeezing every last bit out of DAB bitrates and ensuring that their station is best heard trough a mono speaker, I have found myself being quite impressed with the sound quality of one station.
Unfortunately it's on Glasgow's mini-MUX that has yet to switch on its second transmitter and it might not be around after its 9 month trial (who knows?) but it's worthy of a mention.
YOUR Radio (don't you just love that word and that name for a radio station?) was really pleasing my ears as I was driving into work this morning. Great stereo imaging. Nicely balanced treble and bass. Correct volume level (some other stations on the same MUX were either too loud or too quiet). Just a pity that some tracks were in mono for some reason.
When I compare it to other stations, this one is up there as being one of the best for sound quality.
Clyde 2, whenever I catch it, tends to have splashy, slurry sound at times during networked shows (but good sound quality during shows that actually come from Glasgow).
Radio 2 is good. Gold is very good. Unfortunately most of the stations (even the ones in stereo) could do with better balances of treble, bass and an effort to sound less slurry.
I'd be interested to learn of the bitrates of the above services. Can anyone help? Because - as you might guess - I think it's got more to do with the way stations encode their output.
According to Wohnort.org, Your Radio is at 128 kbps Joint Stereo. Clyde 2 is also 128 kbps Joint Stereo.
They might be the same but I do hear a small difference when Clyde 2 is networking from Englandshire as opposed to its home studios. Even more so when it's Tony Blackburn on air - his show has the very best sound quality, yet the slurry sound is more obvious when programs are coming from Manchester (or even Dundee).
The "soft launch" stream from Go! Radio is also 128 but sounds like it started off as 32k......
Tony Blackburn's '2' show on a Sunday comes from One Golden Square in London.
Hmm! That might explain it.
As for Go! Radio sounding quite ropey, I do hope that gets improved quite soon because right now its quite unlistenable with low quality audio and low volume.
The "soft launch" stream from Go! Radio is also 128 but sounds like it started off as 32k...
My point entirely. So good to hear that from someone else!
Oh yeah, a great name for a station. Just remind us who claims to have come up with the station name. It wouldn't be the author of the post would it??? Talk about self promotion.
''Great Sound Quality For A Student Radio Station''
UWS Radio, Ayr (Scotland) enhanced their streaming profile yesterday to 320 kbps stereo (MP3).
The channel is based at University West Of Scotland in Ayr and includes community programmes on its schedule.
UWS Radio is also carried on the Ayrshire DAB multiplex at 80kbps, for all you monaural enthusiasts out there...
I think we might be at a turning point for sound quality again.
For quite a few years, since the advent of MP3 and its associated technology such as i-pods, we have generally seen a reduction in sound quality for music. Even recording studios have tried to compensate for it by over-processing recordings, just so the various sounds could be heard. Then along came internet radio streaming with some stations barely offering anything above medium wave quality, whilst DAB eventually ended up offering quite a lot of stations in mono.
Guilty as charged, me. I ended up ripping my entire CD collection (which took a few years) onto any hard-drives and CD-rom's that were available. Due to the limited (but expensive) space, my MP3's started off at 128K. As hard drive space got larger and more affordable, I ripped them all again at 192K.
Now in 2016 I am going through all my CD's again - but this time they are as .wav files. You can't get better than that, unless you go for the super-HD recordings that specialist record labels and a tiny minority of artists offer.
I have 2 PC's, both of which have 12TB of hard drive space each so that gives me plenty of room for my rather large music collection, which is also backed-up again on 20 portable 1TB and 2TB hard drives.
Meanwhile, after a few years of something else, music download and streaming sites are now offering high sound quality. Spotify typically features songs at 320K (MP3) for subscription users like me. Other streaming sites offer FLAC's and even WAV's. The Scottish record label Linn offers downloads of its catalogue as WAV's, whilst some download sites have FLAC files to be paid for.
By the way, if you're ripping your music from CD, get a Blu-ray CD-drive. If you have damaged CD's that skip or the finished file jumped when you played it back, Blu-Ray's are much better at ripping through the scratches and cracks, compared to other types of CD-ROM drives. Blu-Ray drives and Blu-ray players are also backwards compatible and can play almost every format that has ever been put to disc. My wife has a small collection of VCD's, which was an early video disc format that was popular in Asia, whilst the rest of the world adopted Laserdisc before moving onto DVD and then Blu-Ray. She wasn't able to play them on anything but a VCD player until now.
A fine sunny weekend was had in Scotland - and I couldn't help but notice that Clyde 2 has had a bit of a change for its sound quality. The songs sound much better and they seem to have got rid of that slurriness that I was hearing with many songs, especially during programs that were not coming from Glasgow or Tony Blackburn's studio.
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