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OT: Why does music sound so good on NPR?

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  • OT: Why does music sound so good on NPR?

    I've been curious about this for a while. Our local National Public Radio FM station (and others I've heard) plays jazz all night long and various forms of music during daily broadcasts. The music sounds very, very nice. Almost CD quality.

    The music on all our commercial FM stations, by contrast, sounds like trash. Very limited frequency response, far too over-compressed.

    Why is this the case?

    GeeDeeEmm

  • #2
    Re: OT: Why does music sound so good on NPR?

    Listening to my local NPR station, the music seems especially good because there's no commentary while it's playing

    .
    Ed Henderson

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    • #3
      Re: OT: Why does music sound so good on NPR?

      Less compression and limiting and less FR restriction in order to get more "juice" from the transmitter. I have Sirius in my truck and several of the stations have horrible compression, limiting and FR (high and low cuts). Several of my local FM stations use a 6dB/octave bass boost from about 50Hz. Broadcast engineers today know less than recording engineers about quality sound.

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      • #4
        Re: OT: Why does music sound so good on NPR?

        They have the best equipment your money can buy.

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        • #5
          Re: OT: Why does music sound so good on NPR?

          Whenever I listen to music on NPR it only comes out of the left channel. :p
          1: Sony DVP-S7000 | Denon DVD-2900 | Laptop > Parasound Zdac > Denon AVR-5700 > Focal 826V | Def Tech BP2000 | (2) DIY 15" Subs powered by Crown XLS2500
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          • #6
            Re: OT: Why does music sound so good on NPR?

            Originally posted by doctormorbius View Post
            Whenever I listen to music on NPR it only comes out of the left channel. :p
            lol:D:D:D:D:D

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            • #7
              Re: OT: Why does music sound so good on NPR?

              Ours isn't so great. It sounds a lot like they deliberately optimized the compression and EQ for speech. It's very clear and easy to understand during talk broadcasts, with exaggerated attack and a bump in the mids. Doesn't exactly flatter music though.

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              • #8
                Re: OT: Why does music sound so good on NPR?

                Originally posted by ejh2854 View Post
                Listening to my local NPR station, the music seems especially good because there's no commentary while it's playing

                .
                I was going to say that the commentary is so bad that anything would sound good afterwards.
                craigk

                " Voicing is often the term used for band aids to cover for initial design/planning errors " - Pallas

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                • #9
                  Re: OT: Why does music sound so good on NPR?

                  I would say because they don't play the same garbage that the big stations force down our throats over and over on repeat. How people can stand listening to KSHE and the Point these days is beyond me. All talk in the morning and ads during the day Oops, rant over.

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                  • #10
                    Re: OT: Why does music sound so good on NPR?

                    Originally posted by doctormorbius View Post
                    Whenever I listen to music on NPR it only comes out of the left channel. :p
                    I sometimes think NPR is short for National Propaganda Radio

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                    • #11
                      Re: OT: Why does music sound so good on NPR?

                      Didn't know the N was for national. I was thinking about local public radio such as KDHX in STL. They are all about music and local music events. They don't say much about politics.
                      As for propaganda it is everywhere left, and right. It is usually used to distract from the real issues. Anyway the politics thing is not an answer to the OP and should be taken somwhere else.
                      I wonder if perhaps the money they get is used more effectively since public radio uses donated money. To keep people donating you have to deliver decent content. The big stations get paid for advertising and the advertisers don't really care about the music quality as long as they play "popular" music.

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                      • #12
                        Re: OT: Why does music sound so good on NPR?

                        Originally posted by mike s View Post
                        I sometimes think NPR is short for National Propaganda Radio
                        I think we can all raise a glass and say RIP to independent and factual journalism. It's not only NPR, every channel is.
                        Oh Dear!

                        Having said that, the reception in Brooklyn is excellent and I usually pick on slight nasal character of the sound during interviews.
                        The programing is generally much more interesting then other stations.
                        http://www.diy-ny.com/

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                        • #13
                          Re: OT: Why does music sound so good on NPR?

                          Originally posted by killa View Post
                          ... To keep people donating you have to deliver decent content. The big stations get paid for advertising and the advertisers don't really care about the music quality as long as they play "popular" music.
                          This right here. I usually don't listen to much music, rather the programming. It's nice to listen to actual programming on the radio among all the talking head shouting contests that plague other stations. Of course this is my local experience and each locality has it's own mixture of programming.

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                          • #14
                            Re: OT: Why does music sound so good on NPR?

                            NPR's youtube channel has some really bitchin audio videos. Excellent recordings.

                            I tend to vomit in my mouth a little when they start talking about anything else....

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                            • #15
                              Re: OT: Why does music sound so good on NPR?

                              I think that they're generally not attempting to compete for LOUD to drown out anything else, so they actually have some dynamic range left. That, and FM is a reasonably good way to transmit. I'm not sure about NPR, but the local (also public) Classical station still plays a lot of vinyl.

                              Originally posted by doctormorbius View Post
                              Whenever I listen to music on NPR it only comes out of the left channel. :p
                              As I noted above, most stuff is just too-loud noise - I suspect that's damaged your hearing on the right.
                              diVine Audio

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