Think about the amount of program source material that comes through your telephone hybrid… news reports, traffic updates, local sports events, and the callers that make up the bulk of your local talk programs. Does your telephone audio sound the best it can?
If the Governor came into your studio to be interviewed, you would use a quality mic and the best mic processor you have. Important voices deserve to sound their best whether they originate in-studio or on the phone.
By using the same techniques that apply to studio mics, you can make a noticable improvement to a phone caller’s sound. Any of the popular voice processors (Symetrix 528E, Vorsis M1, Aphex 230, and dbx 286A) are well-suited for telco use. Just place it between the hybrid’s “caller” output and the console’s line input.
The particular functions that improve telco sound are:
Downward Expander – Reduces the background noise when caller is not actually talking
Compressor – Keeps the level consistent whether the caller is local or from the next planet.
EQ – Emphasize the upper and lower frequencies and shape the sound to something more pleasing. Parametric EQ is especially versatile. Aphex 230’s Aural Exciter and dbx 286A’s HF Enhance circuits both do a good job of adding some “sparkle” to the caller’s voice with no negative effects.
The callers won’t suddenly sound like they are in-studio. But they will be more detailed and consistent.
“Now let’s go to Bill in Kansas City. You’re on the air… what’s on your mind?”