Miss Orange Helps with Your Audio
by Tom Morton
Miss Orange, in spite of her outstanding beauty and fame, helps Hams the world over with their audio.
With the growing popularity of great sounding audio, many Hams are attempting to make their stations sound better. Some are using more than one piece of equipment between the mic and the radio. This gives the Ham several, if not many adjustments to make correctly before his audio is where he wants it. Even the W2IHY box has eight adjustments, and then the radio probably has a couple more. They all interact and compound each other. And, of course there's the question of what mic to use. Needless to say, this can be a daunting job, and one can easily get "whacked out" with an audio spectrum that is so far off the mark satisfaction is impossible. Listening to your own audio through monitor circuits is misleading and frustrating, and you will get 10 different evaluations from 10 different Hams.
I, like a growing number of Hams, have been running a spectrum analyzer connected to my radio to visually observe received audio. Mine is a SpectraPLUS connected from my computer to the line-out jack on my Ten Tec Pegasus. This makes a spectrogram that shows the pass band and the relative level of each frequency. When viewing a signal, it is easy to see where the deficiencies are, and the Ham can make specific changes until the trace is relatively flat. Radios that don't pass a low enough frequency can be determined. Mics that have poor bass or highs can be seen immediately.
Your voice is made up of many sounds that are used to form words. You don't use them all for any given word, however over a period of time and many different words, they are all used. "Sister Suzie" and "Big Bad Bomb" make very different sounds at different places in the audio spectrum. It is important to run the trace long enough so the voice hits all it's sounds and diction elements. Sometimes I have to run the trace a long time until the voice achieves this. I.e. until the Ham uses all the elements of his speech. I recently discovered a phrase that probably was designed by a speech therapist or audio engineer, that when said, contains all the elements of your voice. I added a couple of words to make it easier to remember. It is:
"Please, Miss Orange, I insist that you remove the brown zipper from the blue microphone boom."
If you say this, you can see that all the vowels, consonants, and sibilance in your voice are there. If some one is running a spectragram on your audio, this is the best thing to say to fill out the trace quickly. A few Hams that I have requested do this, think it is a joke, and refuse to do it. Not that I am above that sort of thing, but it really works. So, if you are being analyzed, let Miss Orange help you get the audio you want.