At first, the web stream seemed to be little more than a gimmick. But now we have come to realize that the station’s webstreams are valuable parts of the overall package of programming options available to your listeners.
– Listeners that haven’t purchased an HD radio can hear your HD2 and HD3 programming on-line.
– If a listener missed a significant program when it aired “live,” they can listen to an archived copy on-line.
– AM listeners with poor reception can hear the station clearly on-line (with improved quality).
Whether the listener hears your station on a conventional radio, or from a web stream, the quality of the presentation needs to be as high as possible.
The techniques used to process for an AM or FM transmitter are different than you would use for streaming audio. Simply sending a copy of the “air” feed to the streaming computer can give poor results. This is especially true with the aggressive processing used for AM stations, and high-energy talk programming such as News or Sports.
Several processors designed specifically for streaming audio are available. They will give your web signals the same polished quality that you have worked so hard to achieve on the air. And they avoid the annoying “swirly” effects often heard on web streams that have over-emphasized high frequencies.
Orban 6300, Omnia1Multi, Vorsis VP-8Plus, and AirTools 2M are excellent choices from the top names in broadcast audio processing. They include powerful multi-band compression and limiting, and several presets to make initial setup easy.
Put some effort into making your web audio sound great. This “internet” thing looks like it may be around for a while.