Why does 1059 The Brew speed up it's music???

feedback.pdxradio.com forums feedback.pdxradio.com forums Portland Radio Why does 1059 The Brew speed up it's music???

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 30 total)
  • Author
  • #11584

    We used to speed up cassetts on sermons at KPDQ to fit in spots when oversold

    As if pastors don’t speak fast enough already.


    Since it is easy to speed up a tune *without* changing the pitch…

    Yes easy, but crappy. There are already a lot of audio artifacts out there that used to not be out there. Doing this just adds to them, and you can hear the impact on the higher formant and noise frequency components of vocals as well as higher frequency instruments and effects.

    Then again… stuff it through the Ibiquity stuff, and most of that gets mangled and then massaged to sound better. It’s actually a feature in the case of time changes! Didn’t think I would say that ever, but it’s true.

    Recently, I was reading some stuff on music trends and the most loyal audience there is happens to center on metal. Very interesting! The culture seems to be able to survive generations, with the older ones passing it on to the younger ones largely intact, right along with the usual metal canon we are all familiar with.

    Stations could run that canon, some deep cuts + currents and do pretty well I would imagine. Broad demographics in play with metal. I had no idea. Of course, I really only like a few metal tunes, but interestingly, those I do like I really like, or I dislike ’em. Very little middle ground for me.

    The idea that a higher pitch is a bit more exciting is valid. I suspect it may help a little tiny bit to bring in younger listeners. Actually engaging them would do that too, and the music could be left alone.

    But that takes people doing stuff, not just some gimmick plugged in.


    Test to see what Andy posted. Nevermind.

    Andy Brown

    It disappeared. Basically it was about discrepancies in terms used in the thread. Changing the length of a track does not necessarily change pitch and vice versa. It depends on how you do it. The tenor of the thread seems to overlook the various options available in DAE.

    Also, when a station is playing songs that are clearly well known (polite for worn out) to the point that the audience that enjoys hearing them (albeit for the umpteenth thousand time), you run the risk of alienating the listener if you do not play it the way those listeners are used to hearing it as in the case of any classic track. That is basic psychoacoustics. For newer less well known music, it is an easier sell. It does, however, have a back edge. If people glom on to this music upon first hearing it “pitched up,” when they download (or purchase it in any form) and hear it the way the artist intended it to be, that does present a conundrum. Radio consultants and their lemmings apply a one size fits solution to all of their tracks, and that is truly a shame.

    Technically, when you do this you are resampling the track and that can lead to more errors and definitely is an additional lossy step. Sure, if done with care it could be perceived as transparent, but I doubt that is the case.

    If you read through the sections of the Audacity manual about Time Warp and Speed Change, you can see how length, pitch and frequency content are all affected when you operate on a track in these processes.

    Also, although pitch may be quantified as a frequency, it is not a purely objective physical property; it is a subjective psychoacoustical attribute of sound. Claims to making a track better are purely subjective and artists and producers have this option before releasing it. Haven’t you ever tried to play your guitar along with some classic track but find yourself not sounding exactly correct? That’s because they mastered up or down a half step for effect. Every instrument is effected with that method. Unlike Hendrix who played mostly with his guitar tuned down a half step to Eb. That’s different, but a lot of tracks back then experimented with playing in standard tuning, and then taking the tape and slowing it down or speeding it up. Unfortunately, radio is not doing this for any reason but ratings and money. It’s tantamount to colorizing old movies in a way.

    I know that when radio stations used turntables and cart machines, as alluded to above, it was often the case that they were not well maintained and did not run on speed and even small discrepancies generated a lot of phone calls. Of course that’s back when radio was live and interactive and clearly much better than the automated slop they deliver today.


    The original KISN used to do that too.

    Paul Tilton

    “corporate owners have not used time compression to abuse the music in decades past”

    Not true. KGON (under Ackerly at the time) sped up their turntables in the 80’s. I’m not saying I agree, but they did do it. As far as radio edits vs. album tracks, we had the edits available to us, but rarely did we use them. If we did, it was because the album version was on the same disc already being played (2-fers, rock blocks, etc.) and we didn’t have a second copy of the album. As such, the increased record speed was obviously done to “brighten” the songs, where if Brew is both speeding up AND using the edits, it’s likely to play “more music” per hour.

    Andy Brown

    It’s a fine line between “brighten” and “abuse.” Therein lies my point. And one person’s “brighten” can still be another one’s “abuse.” In the 80’s, at CHR Magic 107 we did not speed up the music and had great ratings until Z100 came along with a ton of promo money and bought the 12+ out from under us.

    “it’s likely to play “more music” per hour.”

    My original point in the thread thank you very much.


    They also dismantled your morning show by stealing Brian Thomas although he didn’t last long at Z.


    As Andy mentioned, in the old days putting a piece of tape around the gear (puck that spun the turntable) would increase the speed, AND pitch, of the song.

    Then came the turntables that had adjustable speed. It became easier but still both the speed and pitch were changed.

    In those days it could be done on a song by song basis on pop stations that put the songs on carts.

    Now days it is a feature in the file playout system. click one box and you increase the speed of all songs equally. The software gives you the ability to select the percent of increase.

    Typically stations now use high end Audio Sciences sound cards.

    It has been a while since I’ve played with them but if I recall correctly this adjustment speeds up the songs but does not retain the original pitch. That would take a harmonizer and I don’t think sound cards do that, though it is possible that may now be a feature.

    I’ll have to listen to The Jet 95.7 to see if that has been implemented there by the same PD who did that to The Brew.


    The reason back in the 70’s for hyping or speeding up records was to give the station a more fast paced, up sound. Also it let you play an extra song an hour. In Grand Rapids, the engineer replaced the capstans in the control room turntables to ones that were over-sized. I think it increased the speed of the record 2.5-3%. For those of us that grew up listening to theses records at a faster than normal speed, they just don’t sound the same on the oldies stations. If I were programming an oldies 60’s and 70’s station, I would definitely speed up the music.

    Andy Brown

    “For those of us that grew up listening to theses records at a faster than normal speed”

    That group is becoming a smaller demographic every day. There is a larger group from that era that bought those singles and albums and didn’t like hearing a sped up version then and won’t listen it to it now. Also, the same applies to younger listeners (what few radio has these days) that downloaded these songs or heard them on a stream played at the speed the artist intended. Just another reason to forgo listening to radio these days.

    “If I were programming an oldies 60’s and 70’s station, I would definitely speed up the music.”

    And you would be as off the mark as the corporate goons directing the show at this time are.

    “The reason back in the 70’s for hyping or speeding up records was to give the station a more fast paced, up sound.”

    No, it was for ratings and money. By sounding like the 45 was on bennies was Top 40’s answer to making themselves sound different then other Top 40 stations they were competing with.

    “in the old days putting a piece of tape around the gear (puck that spun the turntable) would increase the speed, AND pitch, of the song.”

    Often, this was done on aging gear just to bring it back up to standard speed.

    As if this phenomenon wasn’t bad enough unto itself, much of today’s pop shlock music is made with auto tuning software, so the track as released has already suffered through pitch changes. Let’s be absolutely clear, “any kind of pitch correction software, when used on a human vocal, destroys the performance. There are no exceptions.”


    Applying a digital resampling and pitch/speed increase to all of todays material on a station in the here and now digital age is egregious, period. Whereas some material might survive it, most of it will suffer. It’s already been compromised by the producers in many cases.

    This reminds me of the old loudness wars when PD’s and GM’s didn’t care that vinyl had been compressed by the ton and still had their air signals further squeezed and clipped both out of the console and after the multiplexing with a composite clipper just to be the loudest on the dial. I used to say yeah, they are the loudest on the dial as well as the most distorted.

    Music on the main stream pop and rock stations of today don’t sound clean or the least bit dynamic. Somehow if a station gets good ratings, that’s justification for the managers and the lemmings, but it’s only proving that their listener base isn’t listening very close.


    It is increasingly likely their listener base has no other alternative.


    It is increasingly likely their listener base can’t tell and does not know the difference.


    We don’t speed up the songs at KGON.


    Yes radio9965 we understand that. That was the main point of this thread. If you switch back and forth between KGON and the Brew, The Brew sounds like the songs are played at a much faster speed. You can really tell on the slower songs. KGON sounds exactly like a CD you throw in your CD player The brew on the other hand sounds like chipmunks are singing the songs (at times)
    You might be able to get away with this on Top 40 Stations but on a rock station it sounds ridiculous.
    Thank you KGON for not messing with the speed of the music and not playing crappy edited versions of songs.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 30 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.