......Updated 8/20/09......

This Page Dedicated The The Memory Of Ron Estes, Chief Audio Engineer For "The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson."

He died unfulfilled; unhappy at how awful TV audio had become...including NBC's audio...The audio that he once loved.

KRON-4 (sf) Recorded 7/21/09. First observed 7/01/09. KNTV-11 (sf) Recorded 6/09 - 7/21/09. First observed 6/09.
Since recorded time, viewers have complained about the volume of commercials. And the DTV rhelm makes it possible to achieve commercials & promos louder then anyone has ever imagined!

In this series of 3 recordings, the volume of the promo server appears to increase each time it's used.

Our our Weston analog VU meter, the actual program audio runs at -20db or about 5% modulation. The commercials run at -10db or 10% modulation. The promos run at 0db or 100% modulation, and rise.

On the final recording, the promo server accomplished to send our meter into the red, almost pinning it!

And how much damage is this doing to viewers ears, if not our instruments?
This has been ongoing for several months now, and because it's intermittent, we cannot pinpoint the exact source, but we feel that it's KNTV. Although it's a possibility that it's actually the NBC network feed.

Ever play an old 78 RPM record? Remember all the clicks and pops? Well, that noise defines the audio that comes from all of NBC's late-night talk shows. It doesn't matter whether it's coming from New York or Los Angeles, they all sound the same.

It mainly affects the program and rarely the commercials. We've heard KNTV switch from a network feed to a local feed (server?) with the problem correcting itself instantaneously.

You may also notice that these recordings are very squeaky. That is the fidelity that is coming from the NBC network's late night talk show feed, as any other program from KNTV has much better fidelity.

Below is a series of recordings for your perusal.
Hold onto your hat from 1:20-2:20
KRON's station ID makes a BIG impression at :25
Not responsible for broken eardrums at :18
Conan's guest pops much more than he does
Jimmy Fallon #1
Fallon #2: Not as bad until the last word "Morgue"
Fallon #3: Guest pops; audience is very shrill
Fallon #4
Scope Trace: That's the program audio on the left, and the meter-pinning promo audio in the middle. KRON does this many times each hour. Scope Trace: Note the almost vertical trace "spike" just right of the cursor. There's lots of these in NBC's audio.

And now our favorite: This little ditty, recorded in 2008 from KBWB-20 (San Francisco) has the wierdest sound we've ever heard. If we were trying to come up with an "alien sound effect", this would be it! Listen to how it starts out clear, but then breaks down at the worst possible time for the station---right in the middle of a commercial break!

Click to hear this wonderful specimen of high-end audio

(Corrects itself in middle of the recording, then goes back to weird)

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