How to Fix a Bad Radio Voice

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by N8FVJ, Oct 8, 2019.

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  1. K1VSK

    K1VSK Ham Member QRZ Page

    And along comes the “I can’t” excuse. Some self-inflicted problems are surmountable if one tries but artificially trying to emulate AM quality broadcast audio seems to be a popular pastime. I wonder which is more of an accomplishment.
  2. K8ERV

    K8ERV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Especially if they carry 6 rounds.

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
  3. KE0EYJ

    KE0EYJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    For most modern radios, I don't feel special mics are needed.

    Sure, some people like to play, and that's fine, but needed? No. Not with the limited bandwidth we have. Some rigs can benefit from improved compression, but it seems like all of these audio additions can create more RF trouble, which can be mitigated, but one ends up spending a lot of money getting to where it's all OK.

    I have a very similar voice to the Ops, although I actually WAS a DJ, and also voiced TV commercials for 8 years. I don't have a smooth announcer's voice, necessarily -- I have a decent voice mid-treble voice, and am from Iowa, so upper-Midwest accent.

    My favorite mics have been, and still are the hand mics that come with the radios I own. I just enjoy using them, and I have learned how to EQ each one by listening to myself on WebSDR, as well as a 2nd remote station. I've used XLR mics. I've played with outboard EQ'ing. It's just not needed, unless you're into eSSB.

    I currently run a Yaesu FTDX3000 (a previous radio was the FT-891), and they both use the same MH-31b hand mic. With these settings, I get fabulous reports, and work a lot of DX. There is a sample on-air file from another OP who used these settings, at the end:

    I had the Icom 7300 in the middle of these two radios, and still preferred that hand mic over other choices, for general use. I like the hand mic on my Kenwood TS480SAT, also.

    I mainly DX, though. For rag chew, something like a smoother XLR mic might certainly be to ones liking.
  4. AG4RT

    AG4RT Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I would never use that excuse. At this time, I simply don't want to learn it.
  5. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    For every decent sounding processed audio transmissions there are at least 99, maybe more like 999, bad sounding processed audio transmissions. The vast majority of amateur radio operators do not have the proper test equipment to properly adjust the processor and even more do not have the technical ability to properly adjust the processor.

    At seminars for working DX, one question is always asked: "What can I do to improve my chances of working DX?"

    Where SSB is concerned, one of the first, if not "the" first, answer is: "Turn off your speech processor!"

    Processing "may" increase how "loud" you sound. Unfortunately, the distortion also makes it harder to understand you and more processing adds even more distortion. When the idea is to work as many stations as possible, most operators are not going to spend time trying to decipher distorted signals when, in the same time frame, several non-distorted stations can be worked. When the non-distorted signals are finally worked, then the operator "might" start working the distorted stations.

    Echoes, etc., are reserved for the "CB", or "freebander", operators and do NOT have any place in amateur radio operations!

    The Midwest accent, or, rather "lack of accent", has been taught in broadcast radio / television classes for many decades. One of the reasons, if not the primary reason, for this pattern of speech, is that it does not offend anyone. Regional accents, southern drawl, New England twang, New York or New Jersey twang, etc., almost always are detested by a fair number of people and foreign accents by even more people. However, the Midwest, sometimes called the California, pattern of speech pretty much is neutral and, as such, does not offend.

    Amateur radio is not intended to have audio like have broadcast radio / television stations. Generally, audio frequencies from 300 Hz to a maximum of 3000 Hz are considered proper especially below 52.0 MHz and on the 2-meter band. The wider bandwidth, needed for wider audio frequencies, is much more suited to the 70 cm band and higher frequencies. Of course, there are always going to be those amateur radio operators who do not like this convention and who go through great lengths to circumvent these restrictions.

    Glen, K9STH
    G3ZPF and N2EY like this.
  6. WF4W

    WF4W Ham Member QRZ Page

    is it bad that i've never cared about my audio?

    VK6ZGO likes this.
  7. N8FVJ

    N8FVJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I never use the speech processor on 'local' rag chews. In-between 300Hz ad 3000Hz a speech processor does tune the sound to at least in my case for better sounding transmit audio. For some it is not be needed.
  8. WG8Z

    WG8Z Ham Member QRZ Page

    A little bit of vocal training/exercise goes a long way.
    Throwing accent's, regional differences aside some just
    don't know to use their vocal cords properly.
    Then there is the mental aspect of speaking, confidence goes a long way. 90% of your audio quality is in your brain.
    N7EKU and N2EY like this.
  9. AC1GX

    AC1GX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't get to say this very often: "Trust me, I'm a musician!"
    The answer is to use an audio compressor. A better answer is to use a compressor with a sidechain input. The sidechain allows you to compress only the frequencies that you wish to compress (you hook up an equalizer to the sidechain input). Compressors can be very expensive, but for low bandwidth radio a cheap compressor and an eq should help and can be had for $100 total.
    If you happen to be into sports, compare Dan Patrick's voice when he is on TV (weak, trebley) to his voice on his radio show (big, powerful, exuding confidence and authority). The difference is the huge amount of compression commonly used by radio broadcasters.
    By the way, compressors are notoriously difficult to master but the concept is simple: The compressor reduces the volume of signals beyond a chosen threshold. After those frequencies have been bucked down, you can turn up your audio without overmodulation. The result is more power across the audio frequency range.
  10. WG8Z

    WG8Z Ham Member QRZ Page

    ^ That too^

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