Everybody wants good audio. I know we’re not DJ’s and communications grade audio is from 300-3000 Hz according to Bell Labs, blah, blah, blah. Even if we’re not on the cutting edge of high fidelity it’s still important to be clearly understood. I bet even those guys who claim the don’t care are still pleased if they get an unsolicited comment of clean audio. At some point many hams will decided they want to do something a little better than a stock hand mic. There are many good mics out there and inexpensive mixers that can be added into the equation. There are plenty of people out there running full pro audio setups and pushing the limits of the 3 KHz SSB signal, too.
One of the nice features of the Flex Radio and PowerSDR is the ability to tailor the transmit audio. My Flex-5000A has line level and mic level balanced and unbalanced inputs. The software also has a leveler, 10 band EQ, two different compression options and a downward expander. Fortunately, it also has the metering to allow you to set these items correctly. This is quite important as these are digital stages in the radio and will cause distortion if over driven past the 0 dBm level. When each stage of the audio chain is properly adjusted there should be nothing but clean audio transmitted.
Flex Radio has a pretty good internet knowledge base as well as a couple email reflectors to help us out. They also have a pretty good owners manual to assist in configuring the radio. Audio seems to be something of a fuzzy area, though, to many of us who haven’t worked in the business. We kinda know how we want it to sound but not necessarily how to get it that way. We know we shouldn’t over drive or over compress it but we want to be heard over the noise.
Nige Coleman G7CNF has recently posted a few PowerSDR tutorial videos on Youtube since the newest version 2.6.4 was released. It’s fairly long, but I guarantee you’ll learn something from it. Of course it’s geared toward audio setup of a Flex-5000A using all the PowerSDR features. He makes very good examples and clearly displays how and why he’s changing settings. At the end…wow, what a difference! I only hope I have mine setup that good. If you have the time I can recommend it. Enjoy the show.