3rd Party software that creates near broadcast audio (Protools ...ie. (replace rack gear)

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Can software, such as protools or less expensive software enhance your audio for AM mode. Can someone direct me to a website to allow me to figure this out?
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Mike Manning

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Posted 4 years ago

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Carmine Iannace, W1EQX

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There are a lot of free and not so free software tools out there. If you are planning to run AM and want to keep things simple you may want to look at Claesson Edwards Breakaway Audio Processor http://www.claessonedwards.com which supports adjustable asymmetrical limiting up to 150% positive or Stereo Tool http://www.stereotool.com/ Both of these "devices" are completely implemented in software and are good alternatives to the rack and stack audio equipment.

Carmine W1EQX
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Barry N1EU

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I've done some work using AudioMulch with various VST plugins (iZotope Ozone 5, etc) with very good results. I used freeware JB Broadcast Processor plugin instead of Breakaway Audio Processor.

You can google for a ton of info as well as search on YouTube.

What is really needed is native support for VST plugins within SmartSDR and PowerSDR.

Barry N1EU
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Carmine Iannace, W1EQX

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Barry, the reason I had suggested the Breakaway Audio Processor and Stereo Tool is that they are relatively stand alone and don't require the complications of adding a VST plug in framework like LiveProfessor with AISO drivers and simply can be patched into a Flex via virtual audio cables.

Sure, you can go full bore and add EQ plug ins and other effects in a VST framework, there a lot of great free audio production plugins available, but it does increase the complexity of the audio chain.

Both Breakaway and Stereo Tool are designed to be used as broadcast audio processors for broadcast service. The Breakaway Audio Processor has specific asymmetrical limiting capabilities that would add loudness in AM mode transmission by allowing for modulation above 100% positive.

Carmine W1EQX
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Are you talking about Breakaway Audio Enhancer? ($29) or Breakaway Broadcast Processor? (A whole lot more, $199)

They seem to be similar, but the Broadcast processor has a lot more functions.

I might play with the former, but the latter is a bit out of my range for just playing around.
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Carmine Iannace, W1EQX

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Claesson Edwards has a whole array of products that overlap. All appear to have fully functional demos that insert an ad in the audio every half hour so you can do quite a bit of experimentation.

As you step up through the products the amount of latency and control of your audio increases. The broadcast product designed to feed a AM, FM, SW broadcast transmitter. I have tested that version quite a bit and it does appear to perform the functions and have the sound of a standalone broadcast processor costing over $10K. It depends what you want out of it and how much you want to spend. Remember, all these products (including Stereo Tool) need a relatively fast computer processor to do their DSP job to manipulate audio. If you are marginal with PowerSDR you may introduce noticeable artifacts into your audio if the CPU is running out of steam.

The lower end products may achieve your the goals especially if you keep the PowerSDR leveler control enabled as the final limiter. Breakaway Live looks like a good all around candidate to me outside of the broadcast version. They all patch relatively the same way with VAC.

To get back to the original discussion, there is a whole universe of different products out there to manipulate your audio inside your computer without external rack hardware before it goes into your rig. Prices start at free and go up. Also, the built-in level in PowerSDR actually does a fine job on its own, especially when you adjust it properly. See Rob, W1AEX's website: http://www.w1aex.com/psdrgain/psdrgai...

I have had particular success using a Logitech gaming headset with an integrated USB connector that plugs into the computer's USB port. The headset's USB jack itself has it's own sound card - no external equipment needed at all as all the audio is patched virtually from the headset to the software based audio processor and then to PowerSDR. No real cables outside of the wire from the headset to USB jack. The built-in condenser mike has very good audio quality too.

Carmine W1EQX
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Ed baker

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Have been running pro tools . Scarlet 2I2 , VST's There are so many out there that it takes a while to sort out what you want to use

The answer is YES

One fantastic advantage is you can "E" mail your file for another to use / try .

There so many platforms out there you can pick and choose . Usually getting what you desire from any of them.

See if you can find a "BUDDY " who you can compare notes with .
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Barry N1EU

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Carmine, my experience is that for best results, Broadcast Breakaway requires carefully EQ'ing your mic audio before feeding it into Broadcast Breakaway. If you do that, you get fantastic results. If you don't do that, not so great. One thing that I like about JB Broadcast Processor is that it exposes ALL the controls for you to precisely adjust the audio. Broadcast Breakaway relies on finding a preset that achieves your goal.

Are you EQ'ing the audio that you feed to Broadcast Breakaway? If so, are you doing it with hardware or software EQ?

After using Audiomulch Plus VST Plugins for a while, I changed courses. I take my mic audio directly into my computer with Focusrite 2i2 USB interface and then into PowerSDR with VAC. I just use the Leveler and EQ in PowerSDR along with an REA Modulation Monitor and am happy with the results. I regular see +125% and -100% modulation. I find that the result is noticeably cleaner sounding tx audio than when I use the software processing, even using top shelf ($$) software.

Barry N1EU
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Carmine Iannace, W1EQX

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Barry, yes the limiter built into PowerSDR performs well. W1AEX has an excellent tutorial on his website on how to set the leveler properly. I had been using the leveler exclusively until a few months ago. It is still inline as the final limiter but I am now doing multiband processing on the remote end and feeding the audio to the Flex via Skype or Mumble. I have some details on my QRZ page. I will checkout your recommendations regarding the JB Broadcast.

Carmine W1EQX
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Mike Manning

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I am trying BB I see the audio processing, but it seems not to be connected. I m using VAC's and a Fast Track solo...it's going back had no ilok key. Just ordered Focusrite 2i2....maybe the drivers for BB has problems..don't know...so what am I doing wrong?
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Barry N1EU

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If it's any consolation Mike, I know of at least two other people who were also unsuccessful connecting the BB output via VAC and ended up cabling the soundcard output to the SDR's line in.

One tip on the Focusrite 2i2 that tripped me up - you need to advance the output control (big knob on the right) as well as the mic level control.
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Mike Manning

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makes sense, did not give that a thought.
Thank you Barry
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Mike Manning

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I am still trying to connect Breakaway Broadcast. I see the wave forms but hear no processing. I bought the Focusrite 2i2 and currently evrything is going through the USB wire with exception for audio out on the soundcard to balance input on flex....somebody has to know the key. I see my Focusrite drivers...WTH

Thank you to who can rescue me from my computer

Mike
KB3IUL
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Carmine Iannace, W1EQX

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Which version of Breakaway Broadcast Processor are you using? ASIO or non-ASIO? Check your settings under I/O Configuration - ensure the output of 2i2 is feeding the input of the processor, next ensure you have a virtual audio cable (NOT a physical cable to the Flex balanced input) tying the output to the input on the Flex. The output is labeled FM Audio out on the ASIO version and Output on the the non-ASIO version. The Breakaway Broadcast Processor installs virtual audio cables for you during the processor software install and calls them Breakaway Pipelines. Use one unused Pipeline (such as Breakaway Pipeline 2 or 3) to tie the processor to the Flex "virtually". The virtual connection on the Flex is done under Settings, Audio, VAC1 on PowerSDR. The input on the Flex will be the same Pipeline cable you used on the output of the Breakaway. That should get you going.

Carmine W1EQX
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Barry N1EU

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As I commented previously, I was never successful connecting via VAC and therefore recommend hard cabling as Mike did.

There's a Direct Monitor switch on the front panel of the Focusrite 2i2 that sends mic audio directly to the line outs - make sure that switch is turned OFF. Make sure the Monitor level control is full clockwise.

Barry N1EU
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Ed baker

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Get it working first using cables . Forget the VAC until you accomplish making it work.

Do not rely on someone else reading the instructions
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Carmine Iannace, W1EQX

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I see. The connections using Breakaway Pipeline and actual VAC works for me. It is a bit of struggle using ASIO as the cables have to be "turned on" in the ASIO for all control panel. I find the non-ASIO version of Breakaway easier to configure for patching audio.

I have been testing both Breakaway Broadcast Audio Processor and Stereo Tool. Stereo Tool now features asymmetrical limiting for AM too. I find Stereo Tool very complicated and it seems to require a lot of tweaking if you don't use the established presets whereas the Breakaway is very easy to configure along the lines of Optimod 9100 as they narrow the configuration available to the "meat and potatoes" so to speak.

Carmine W1EQX
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Carmine Iannace, W1EQX

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Here are two screenshots of my Breakaway configuration using virtual and not physical cables. They may be of some help.

Carmine W1EQX


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