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Audio Signal Processing PCI Sound Card

OPTIMOD-PC is a PCI sound card with on-board digital signal processing that’s suitable for both live streaming and on-demand programming. The DSP provides a loud, consistent sound to the consumer by performing stereo enhancement, automatic gain control, equalization, multiband gain control, and peak-level control.

OPTIMOD-PC tailors your audio signal to help you compete in audio netcasting, HD Radio® (both primary and multicast digital channels), Eureka 147, DRM, and other dedicated digital radio services, FMExtra and other digital subcarriers, mastering, audio production, and many others. Additionally, video-oriented presets make OPTIMOD-PC an excellent processor in mono or stereo sound-for-picture applications, including HDTV and DVB-x digital television and audio/video netcasting. While primarily oriented toward “flat” media, OPTIMOD-PC can also provide preemphasis limiting for the two standard preemphasis curves of 50 µs and 75 µs. This allows it to protect preemphasized analog satellite uplinks and similar channels where protection limiting or light processing is required, and makes it ideal for use as a studio AGC driving transmitter-located OPTIMODs.

Without OPTIMOD-PC processing, audio can sound dull, thin, or inconsistent in any combination. OPTIMOD-PC’s multiband processing automatically levels and re-equalizes its input to the "major-market" standards expected by the mass audience. Broadcasters have known for decades that this polished, produced sound attracts and holds listeners, and Orban has long been the number one vendor of stand-alone transmission processing to professional broadcasters worldwide. Commercial broadcasters think nothing of spending upwards of $10,000 to sculpt their audio with an OPTIMOD! A broadcaster’s revenue depends on audience share, and broadcasters know that compromising their processing is false economy.

Now, thanks to OPTIMOD-PC, a netcaster who wants to maximize audience no longer has to make do with toy processing, ineffective CPU-hungry plug-ins, and inappropriate recording studio plug-ins. OPTIMOD-PC offers full broadcast-quality OPTIMOD processing on a PCI card-an economical, space-saving alternative to conventional stand-alone boxes. But thanks to its tight integration into the PC, OPTIMOD-PC offers more features than any stand-alone processor. Among others, these include two digital inputs with mixing of asynchronous sources, and sound card emulation that allows OPTIMOD-PC to talk through the operating system to applications running on the host.

Orban’s new PreCode technology manipulates several aspects of the audio to minimize artifacts caused by low bitrate codecs, ensuring consistent loudness and texture from one source to the next. PreCode includes special audio band detection algorithms that are energy and spectrum aware. This can improve codec performance on some codecs by reducing audio processing induced codec artifacts, even with program material that has been preprocessed by other processing than OPTIMOD. There are several factory presets tuned specifically for low performance, low bitrate codecs.

Unlike some other codec preprocessors, PreCode does not suck the punch and life out of music. Instead, PreCode strikes an artistic balance between liveliness and artifact reduction, ensuring that the cure is never worse than the disease.

Digital mixing is crucially important to a netcaster who needs to control commercial content and insertion. Unlike most sound cards, OPTIMOD-PC allows you to mix an analog source, two digital sources, and your computer’s WAVE bus. For example, you could run a playout system on your computer while using the three hardware inputs for a live microphone feed, commercial insert, and network insert. In most cases, an external mixer isn’t needed, making OPTIMOD-PC a more economical system solution than a low-priced sound card combined with a bunch of external hardware.

For applications like commercial insertion, an API provides complete remote administration over TCP/IP. The OPTIMOD-PC Service application hosts a TCP/IP terminal server to allow external control of the OPTIMOD-PC cards from either a Telnet/SSH client or a custom third party application. All OPTIMOD-PC Mixer and System Controls are accessible and all commands are simple text strings. You can adjust and monitor levels, tweak the processor’s sound, save and recall presets, and more. Password security is provided.

OPTIMOD-PC comes with over 20 great-sounding presets that make it easy to create a sonic texture that’s just right for your target audience. If you want to customize a preset, you can start with an easy LESS-MORE control, and, if that’s not enough, tweak over 50 parameters to hone your sound to perfection. OPTIMOD-PC’s deep interface will never hold you back as your processing expertise increases, yet its carefully crafted design insulates you from the details if you need great sound right now.

Last updated:
Jan. 2010
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