Happy New Year!
> They insisted that they were interested in tube signal processing gear"Come back when you grow up, kids."When I was in radio, we still had some tube gear. But at that time, I did NOT have to ask anybody for advice about tube-gear maintenance. These kids are looking for fashion and begging for dead-air. > broadcasts solely on the internet. .... facing a quality issue on the receiving end, strictly by virtue of their broadcasting format.Disagree. The quality of good internet radio is ahead of FM and miles above the AM we used to have. True, most PC speakers are crap. But most radio speakers are crap. > compressors for radio broadcast of musicCommercial radio is dominated by a need to be LOUD, so super-compression is the order of the day. Internet radio has less of a problem with that, and non-commercial special-interest programmers do not need SUPER-compression to hold their audience. Over-modulating a radio transmitter not only makes you sound like crap, it can spray crap into OTHER channels. Those licensees will not be pleased. Total non-issue on the internet. AM rarely beats 40dB S/N, FM often only 50-55dB. IF source material has larger dynamic range (most doesn't), compression/limiting allows soft passages to be heard above static. Vinyl levels varied all over the place; vinyl has no hard limit-level, just a trade-off between level and time per side. So with inattentive DJs, limiting was a practical necessity.I don't notice such differences across CDs or MP3s, because these formats do have hard limits, and I just bet they are not broadcasting from vinyl. I would almost say: just set a Rikki Martin CD to not-quite clip the ADC or modulator, and be done. Maybe they don't need a limiter. Maybe they just need to learn to set levels.> radio towersYou mean, actual AM/FM Broadcasting? This is strictly controlled by our Governments. A US transmitter smothered Canadian stations. A Mexican transmitter blew a megawatt up to Hudson's Bay. The NYC news stations beam east to protect some little station in Iowa. Even low-power unlicensed broadcasters are not allowed to radiate harmonics into police or aircraft bands. As a Ham, you know the idea; but Broadcasters are under strict FCC (or Canadian) oversight and regulation. There are Engineering firms who handle compliance. If they are going to spray more than a Watt on an isolated campus, they will need to buy expertise. Including limiters.
Good suggestion PRR, look out for used Orban, CRL or Aphex gear, should be plenty around one thinks with all the new Orban and Omnia models coming out every year ... just make sure you go multi-band compression, minimum 3 bands or preferably 5 to give that little bit of extra control when you need it, it has got to have AGC or Levelling and of course some limiting.
What about used serviced gear like a Dorrough DAP, Pacific Recorders MuiltiMax, or Inovonics MAP?
Thought I might chime in on this one for the following reasons..I am a Ham OpI am DJ (on a couple different levels)...and I have worked both in broadcast and internet radioThe only broadcast station I worked at was actually smaller than what you have and I think we had a maximum 100W output with a small collinear array up about 70 feet. As a ham you should know that when working with low power that antenna height and gain/efficiency is everything. Might be an idea for the EE students to design and build an antenna. Then again I am not sure with your laws if there is anything with maximum effective radiation restrictions.We only compressed the mics as the format was primarily dance music and like it was mentioned before it was pretty compressed to begin with. In short we were able to get by with a minimal amount of processing while still achieving a "decent" sound quality while staying within legal limits. Now my question is why use a turntable(s) to play your media? Unless you will have DJ's mixing dance music this will probably be disaster waiting to happen when dealing with unexperienced college kids. Recording levels are all over the place, record wear, cleanliness play a huge factor in fidelity. I also I have yet to find any one needle that sounds great on all records especially when dealing with very old records back in the 30's and 40's, god forbid if you have acetate or 78's records. To many variables when dealing with that as well due to stylus types and tip shapes. Last but not least when dealing with turntables the other thing to factor in is tonearm height, weight, and skate. These adjustments all change from stylus to stylus and play a huge role in the fidelity and record/stylus wear. Improperly adjusted you can screw up some records and needles real quick.Your best bet is to rip the vinyl down, clean it up and normalize it in a DAW then archive it to a hard drive and access via your station automation software. It will sound better due to the fact you will take DJ error out of the equation. If you must have a deck I would recommend a Technics 1200 MK II or better and do a 78 RPM mod on it and also rip out the crappy cables on it and replace them with very high quality ones. Stay away from USB tables, A/D then to D/A conversion just seems to be unnecessary and lossy just to play a record.