Side by Side: Mic Processors
May 1, 2013 3:25 PM, By Chriss Scherer, editor
The human voice is capable of a wide dynamic range. While a station's main processor can handle the task, it makes sense to apply processing to the voices separately since the music is already pre-processed. Some audio networking systems provide mic processing within the system. But if your need is something external or something different, here are a few popular options to take control of what those voices project.
AirTools Voice Processor 2x
This microphone processor offers a comprehensive set of voice enhancement tools. The 2x's Windows software application enables total control of all essential parameters. Once a desired sound is dialed in, all settings are saved as named presets for later recall from the front panel or remotely. Any mic can be optimized for a diverse air staff. The device has two inputs selectable as line or mic level with phantom power and four outputs. All signal processing is controllable via software. Audio inputs and outputs are accessed via rear panel XLR connectors.
Aphex Project Channel
Project Channel is a channel strip loaded with Aphex's patented audio processing technology. It is a streamlined version of the Channel processor and has an Aphex Class A microphone preamp, Aphex optical compressor, Aphex Aural Exciter processor and BigBottom low-frequency processor; analog and digital (SP/DIF) inputs and outputs; and LED metering. The rear panel includes an XLR mic input with 48V phantom power, XLR analog output, 1/4" analog output, and S/PDIF RCA output. A front-panel sample rate selection chooses the range from 44.1kHz to 96kHz.
This 1RU channel strip processor provides a mic preamp and four processors that can be used independently or in any combination. Switchable 48V phantom power, an 80Hz high-pass filter, DBX OverEasy compressor, de-esser, low-frequency and high-frequency detail enhancement, and an expander/gate round out the processing features. LEDs and meters show how much processing is being applied. An additional 1/4" TRS line input is provided. An insert allows external processing to be added, and detented controls simplify setup.
This 1RU analog channel strip has six processors in one unit: mic preamp, de-esser, downward expander, compressor, three-band EQ and voice symmetry. Rear panel patch points allow re-ordering of the processing elements or to insert external effects. 48V phantom power is supplied. The input is mic or line selectable with an XLR output. multi-segment LED bar graphs display level settings.
The M1 microphone processor is equipped with a Super-Quiet (SQ) microphone preamplifier, very wide dynamic range, faithfully accurate transient response, and ruler flat frequency response. Operating in harmony with high quality 24-bit A/D converters and a 96kHz base sample rate, the M1 faithfully preserves the sound of any microphone and talent combination. Adjust settings with the front-panel controls or via the Vorsis remote control software, which can also recall presets. The unit provides 48V phantom power, and has a mic or line analog output and an AES3 output.
This processor has two selectable mic inputs that feed a 24-bit digital converter. With 48V phantom power, the processor provides up to 54dB of gain. Processing functions include a compressor, expander, AGC, de-esser, four-band parametric EQ, a phase rotator, reverb (VIPverb), delay and a subsonic filter. The Sound Control software allows any processing module to be placed in any order in the chain. GPI/GPO allows for setting recall. Settings can be saved to a SmartCard that individual announcers can keep and load.
WKSU designs to handle noise, wireless site connectivity, Field Reports from Deva and Worldcast APT, 20 years of Radio magazine and some NAB review....