Radio stations sound like the Gong Show (Durham, NC)

Discussion in 'Tuners' started by ChopperChas, Oct 13, 2017.

  1. ChopperChas

    ChopperChas Super Member

    Messages:
    1,195
    Location:
    Durham, NC
    Pretty much every radio station out there now except the local college stations sound absolutely terrible. It's like there's a gong or something lightly discernible in the background. It's more pronounced on some tuners than on others. My 2014 Wrangler's OEM stereo does the best at minimizing it, but even there I can hear it. It reminds me of low-bitrate MP3 artifacts from a file encoded in the late 90s. What gives? It's all my tuners, and it doesn't matter if I drive to Raleigh, I can still hear it on most radio stations, so it's not location dependent.

    Thoughts?

    Charles.
     
  2. NAD80

    NAD80 Super Member

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    1,293
    Location:
    Carlisle PA
    Wonder since everything is now networked computers, for all music playback. Who knows what the bitrate is? It could be artifacts. So much of the "music" being compressed, no dynamic range. All set to the highest "volume" they can get away with. With terrible sounding audio as a result for the listeners.
     
  3. ChopperChas

    ChopperChas Super Member

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    1,195
    Location:
    Durham, NC
    It's more than that. Something is really off lately.
     
  4. musichal

    musichal poet emeritus Subscriber

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    Tinnitus?
     
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  5. scoloheros

    scoloheros Active Member

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    I thought it was only me, I started this thread a while back http://audiokarma.org/forums/index.php?threads/wind-chime-phenomenon.778038/#post-10678081 Then I started thinking it was my ears but I only hear it with music from radio stations, not CDs or other recorded music I have over here. Does my description sound like what you hear? I can hear it best if I really focus on it. It's kind of like getting somebody to hear an extremely high note but they aren't tuning into it and then finally they say, "Oh yeah, I hear it now." Ching, chong, ching, chang, etc. haha, heard at different tones. I here it on different stations and not all the time, not every song.
     
  6. AudioGeek

    AudioGeek too hip to function

    Messages:
    973
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    some bi-radial universe
    That's corporate radio for ya.
     
  7. vwestlife

    vwestlife Active Member

    Messages:
    438
    You may be hearing PPM encoding artifacts. It's a system that uses "hidden" audio tones transmitted by radio stations together with portable devices that detect those tones and use it to measure radio ratings. Unfortunately the tones are not always masked by the station's audio, and some stations actually use special processing to boost the PPM encoding, making it even more audible.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portable_People_Meter
     
  8. Erik Tracy

    Erik Tracy Super Member

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    1,259
    I noticed this on one of my favorite FM stations, KSDS 88.3 back in May of 2016.

    It was a very low level constant tone, barely discernible, but to me audible and distracting. I found an on-line tone generator and came close to matching what I was hearing - a 780Hz constant tone.

    I contacted the radio station and got an acknowledgement that there was an 'issue', and their engineer was working on it.

    About two weeks later, the tone was gone. Never did get an explanation though.
     
  9. invaderzim

    invaderzim Active Member

    Messages:
    232
    Location:
    California
    It's mind control. I mean, it is nothing, just pretend it isn't there and go on about your day.
     
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  10. electrode101

    electrode101 Member

    Messages:
    68
    It's an audio processor called Voltaire, that raises the volume of the audio watermark of the PPM system so it more reliably gets received by the decoders. Unfortunately, a lot of stations have been "cranking it to 11", and the results mimic what you describe. This could also be this watermark modulating with the Universal Music watermarking which really creates a mess in some instances.

    jdiamantis
     
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  11. Beatnik

    Beatnik What's this ?

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    I can only hear it when I take off my foil hat.
     
  12. ChopperChas

    ChopperChas Super Member

    Messages:
    1,195
    Location:
    Durham, NC
    okay, so I'm not insane. That's nice. So, if I were to call one of these radio stations, how would I tell them about the problem, and ask for them to knock it the hell off? Nicely, of course :)

    Charles.
     
  13. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Gimpus Stereophilus!

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    Won't happen. Voltair is necessary because of Nielsen because of ratings encoding for automatic people meters used by Nielsen in larger markets. Level of the encoding might be adjustable to be a bit less obvious, might direct that to the station engineer. I wish Nielsen would ditch Voltair or any encoding, and go back to paper diaries.
     
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  14. Erik Tracy

    Erik Tracy Super Member

    Messages:
    1,259
    When I contacted KSDS, I simply said that I was hearing a constant tone over part of their programming; DJ intros, soft musical passages, etc.

    I said it was disturbing and distracting to my listening enjoyment of their station.
     
  15. Pio1980

    Pio1980 AK Member Subscriber

    Messages:
    22,498
    Location:
    Angel Station, Alabama
    Tell the station you cannot listen to it with the constant background noise unless it is made inaudible.
    Press the issue thru social media if its obviously annoying.
     
  16. 911s55

    911s55 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Location:
    Puget Sound
    Cuba!
     
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  17. avionic

    avionic " Black Knights " Subscriber

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  18. avionic

    avionic " Black Knights " Subscriber

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    Or earwax..:dunno: :biggrin:
     
  19. avionic

    avionic " Black Knights " Subscriber

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    Fort Dodge, Iowa
  20. scoloheros

    scoloheros Active Member

    Messages:
    325
    I disconnected my receiver because of the sound thinking the receiver was the problem. Then the sound was coming out of the Dennon in the living room so I thought something was wrong with my ears. I'm just glad my equipment is still good. Does it sound like one tone? It doesn't sound like the same tone to me but maybe so. If it is the same tone, it sounds like a tone with slightly different sound effects, sounds just like gongs in the background with sharps and flats, or as I said in a recent thread, wind chimes.
     

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