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What Happens to My Recording When it's Played on the Radio?

Few people in the record industry really know how a radio station processes its material before it hits the FM airwaves. This article's purpose is to remove the many myths and misconceptions surrounding this arcane art. Every radio station uses a transmission audio processor in front of its transmitter. The processor's most important function is to control the peak modulation of the transmitter to the legal requirements of the regulatory body in each station's nation. However, very few stations use a simple peak limiter for this function. Instead, they use more complex audio chains. These can accurately constrain peak modulation while significantly decreasing the peak-to-average ratio of the audio. This makes the station sound louder within the allowable peak modulation.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society