Wheatstone Preps X5 Showcase At IBC

A “new approach to dynamics control and pre-emphasis management” is fueling the arrival of the X5 FM audio processor from Wheatstone, which is getting its official rollout at the annual IBC conference in Amsterdam.

“Traditionally, pre-emphasis has been either managed by specialized limiting or carefully designed clipping that merely tolerated the pre-emphasis curve,” Wheatstone says. “This has been the norm for decades, until now.”

Enter X5’s Limitless FM peak control technology, which reconstructs the audio after pre-emphasis has been applied. The result is a cleaner, clearer high end, removing dull, “smeary” highs or “spitty” audio.

X5 features also include Unified Processing, which allows the processor to share critical information between all processing stages. In the X5, the iAGC gain control, Dynamics and Limitless Clipper stages work together no matter which control a user adjusts. Changes are made automatically, in real time.

The X5 also includes a redesigned limiter. As part of the Unified Processing system, this unique limiter, designed as 31 independent filter banks with no crossovers to colorize the audio, works directly with the X5’s Limitless Clipper.

The X5 adds a number of other innovative features, including Live Logger, which documents X5 settings and activities, from remote logins to audio failover to preset changes. A redesigned bass processor and enhancement controls in the iAGC allow the operator to safely equalize audio for maximum consistency.

Additionally, broadcasters can now keep the processor at the studio and still maintain HD and FM audio in perfect alignment to the transmitter with the optional MPX SyncLink receiver.

AES insert points are also available via X5’s PPMport. Users can now insert their ratings encoder into the processing system instead of placing it in front of the processor. This allows the X5’s specialized front end to deliver a steady audio diet to the encoder and increase the instances of watermark embedding. What’s more, the sonic transparency of the Limitless Clipper preserves the watermark for more reliable detection at the meter.

Many of the features Wheatstone has pioneered in previous models have been incorporated and improved upon in the X5 as well, including the legendary Multipath Mitigation algorithm, composite processing system with selectable look ahead limiting or clipping, baseband192 composite AES connectivity, and a full set of analysis displays.

The X5 FM/HD audio processor will be demonstrated at Wheatstone stand 8.C91 during the IBC conference in September.