The secret of why radio stations are so loud

June 8, 2021
 by Paul McGowan

7 comments on “The secret of why radio stations are so loud”

  1. That’s not only true in tuning in a station on the radio, but it’s also true when you’re streaming the station online.
    I yoost to listen to Kiss 105.3 WYKS in Gainesville Florida.
    But the very first time I got my hands on an internet connected computer, I went to their website and tried to listen to the station there.
    Boy did I live to regret doing that!
    The station was so loud, that it distorted so badly, you couldn’t understand what was being said.
    And the music sounded terrible!
    So yes, it happens all across the board.

    1. I used to listen to Rock 104 until they went country 🙁

      Back in the ’70s I volunteered at WQSR Quad 102.5 in Sarasota. Great progressive rock station until they also went country.

      I hate over compression, especially classical music, for example, when the oboe solo is louder than the full out brass section. It’s ridiculous.

      1. Dynamic contrast is absolutely fundamental to classical music. Compression of classical music is a significant distortion in many ways worse that high harmonic distortion.

  2. Thanks Paul.

    I did a remodel for a radio station back in the 70s – the manager, when asked why there was so much advertising – his reply, “The music is just there to fill in the space between the ads.”
    Also of note, and still done on TV and Radio is an increase in the levels for the marketing.
    OK, cynic mode: OFF

  3. Radio is so 20th century, compression AM much more so than FM. I knew the classical stations and never listened to anything else, so loudest band didn’t count. Go for streaming, much better. I no longer listen to radio.

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