Optimod-FM 8500 v3.0.1
HD FM Optimod Audio Processor
Featuring versatile five-band and two-band processing for analog FM transmission, the 8500 provides consistent sound, track-to-track and source-to-source. This consistency allows you to create a sonic signature for your station with the assurance that your signature will stay locked in, uniquely branding your sound.
The 8500 provides stereo enhancement, equalization, AGC, multiband compression, low-IM peak limiting, stereo encoding, and composite limiting-everything that even the most competitive major market station needs to stand out on the dial.
More than 20 excellent sounding, format-specific factory presets get you started. Although the factory presets are fully competent “out of the box,” you can customize them with easy one-knob LESS-MORE control or with more than 60 advanced controls, whose versatility will satisfy even the most finicky on-air sound designer.
If you choose to use the 8500's superb DSP-based stereo encoder and composite limiter, be assured that they deliver an FM analog signal that is always immaculately clean and perfectly peak limited, with full spectral protection of subcarriers and RDS/RBDS regardless of the amount of composite limiting.
For HD Radio broadcasters who prefer using a separate processor for the HD channel, the 8500FM's built-in delay (up to 16 seconds) in the analog processing path vastly improves installation versatility in HD Radio facilities, freeing you from the need to use the delay line built into the HD Radio exciter. This allows you to use the 8500FM's built-in stereo encoder and composite limiter to drive the analog FM transmitter, ensuring no-compromise analog-channel loudness.
Ethernet connectivity is standard, as is an easy to use PC remote control application that can control many 8500s on a TCP/IP network. In addition, RS232 serial control and programmable contact-closure (GPI) control give you total freedom to interface the 8500 with your facility's remote control infrastructure, whatever it might be.
An intuitive user interface round out the package. Features include an easy-to-use joystick, knob, and button navigation system and a bright, active-matrix color LCD that makes it easier to program the 8500 from its front panel. The panel's eye-catching metallic blue styling makes the processor look as great in your rack as it sounds on the air.
There are two versions of Optimod-FM 8500. Model 8500HD is the full HD radio version and the analog FM-only version is 8500FM. Both models can be upgraded to Optimod-FM 8600 functionality.
New Version 3.0.1:
• Supports 8500V2 hardware, which is now shipping. The DSP board of pre-V2 8500s contains 12 Freescale (formerly Motorola) DSP56367 24-bit fixed-point DSP chips that execute DSP software code to implement digital signal processing algorithms. With V2 hardware, the DSP board contains nine Freescale 250 MHz DSPB56724 dual-core 24-bit fixed-point DSP chips. This is the same as the DSP board used in Optimod-FM 8600 and allows 8500V2 units to be upgraded to 8600 functionality (via a purchased upgrade kit) without replacing their DSP boards. Pre-V2 8500s can also be upgraded to 8600 functionality, but with these units, it is necessary to replace the DSP board.
The upgrade kits can be installed in the field. Orban offers three versions of the upgrade kit at prices that are commensurate with the features that a given kit adds. These three versions upgrade 8500FM to 8600FM, 8500FM to 8600HD, or 8500HD to 8600HD. A given kit is compatible with all versions of 8500 hardware and includes a V2 DSP board. If your 8500 has a V2 board already installed, upgrading is more convenient (there is no need to remove the 8500 from the rack) and you may retain the DSP board in the upgrade kit as a spare.
• Diversity Delay Considerations: Unlike some older pre-V2 8500s, all V2 hardware offers up to 16 seconds of diversity delay. If you have an 8500 that requires an 8-second to 16-second upgrade, it is wise to consider spending the extra money to upgrade to full 8600 functionality at the same time.
• A new SPEECH DETECT control allows the 8500 to be forced into Music or Speech modes, overriding the automatic Speech/Music detector. This control is contained in the processing preset. Creating pairs of “Music” and “Speech” user presets gives you the ability to switch between Music or Speech modes by recalling one of the pair via the 8500's API, GPI, clock-based automation, PC Remote, or the 8500's front panel.
• The stereo/mono status of the digital radio processing chain can now be independent of the status of the analog processing chain and stereo encoder. It is useful when a station is transmitting its FM analog signal in mono (to minimize noise in receivers), yet wishes to transmit its program material in stereo on the HD1 channel (because doing so creates no noise penalty).
• The audible action of the Multiplex Power Controller is now more subtle because it has been moved after the Optimod's left and right peak limiters. Previously, the controller was located between output of the Optimod's multiband compressor and the input of the Optimod's peak limiters.