Meet X5, Wheatstone’s new flagship FM and HD audio processor.
Built from the ground up, it's based on several breakthroughs, including an innovative new approach to dynamics control and pre-emphasis management.
In more traditional audio processing designs, pre-emphasis is either managed by specialized limiting or carefully designed clipping that merely tolerated the pre-emphasis curve. Thinking about this problem, and the fact that it’s been over a decade since there has been a major development about dealing with pre-emphasis, Wheatstone set out, through our work with DSP, to come up with the ultimate solution to the problem.
We have seen what the power of DSP can do to restore audio and video over the years. What if we found a way to apply that thinking to FM pre-emphasis and peak control?
Enter LIMITLESS. FM peak control technology that reconstructs the audio after the application of pre-emphasis. No more dull smeary highs or spitty audio. Just clean and clear high end that’s perfectly matched to the texture of your HD audio.
X5 also leads the way with Unified Processing®, which allows the processor to share information between ALL stages. In the X5, the iAGC, Dynamics and Limitless Clipper work together no matter which control a user adjusts. Changes are made automatically, in real time, in ways never envisioned before.
The X5 also includes a totally 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, providing an audio blueprint for how the clipper should behave.
Additionally, X5 offers a full suite of static and dynamic RDS features along with with multi-stream UECP support.
The X5 adds a number of other state of the art features, including LIVE LOGGER which documents everything from remote logins to audio failover to preset changes. Our redesigned bass processor and enhancement controls in the iAGC that allow you to safely equalize your audio for maximum consistency. The days of “maybe it will sound better on the next song” are over. Your audio signature is preserved cut after cut, element after element.
Wheatstone’s popular HD/FM audio alignment makes the jump to the X5 with our FM&HD LIVELOCK. The system works either with third-party HD/FM modulation monitors or by itself, using the FM/HD tuner built in to the X5.
Additionally, you can now keep the processor at the studio and still keep HD and FM audio in perfect alignment to the transmitter with our optional MPX SYNC-LINK receiver. MPX SYNC-LINK manages multiple audio streams to keep them in perfect sync, preventing any possibility of the FM and HD audio getting out of alignment.
AES insert points are also available via 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.
X5 also offers built-in watermark encoding for the Kantar Media ratings measurement system.
We’ve spoken a lot about what’s new in X5, but Wheatstone processing users will be happy to know that many of the features we’ve pioneered in previous models have been incorporated and improved on in the X5, including our legendary Multipath Mitigation algorithm, our composite processing system with selectable look ahead limiting or clipping, baseband192 composite AES connectivity, and a full set of analysis displays.
The X5. Processing for the needs of radio TODAY!
Wheatstone Processing Videos - X5
At NAB 2019, we introduced the X5 FM/HD audio processor along with our new MPX SyncLink. Here are several videos with Jeff Keith and Mike Erickson taking you through some of the new features. Also, there are several videos of customers who've just heard X5 for the first time...
Processor shares information between ALL stages – iAGC, limiters and clipper all share information and changes can be made automatically, in real time, in ways never envisioned before.
Redesigned bass processor and enhancement controls in the iAGC that allow you to safely equalize your audio for maximum consistency.
Full RDS capabilities.
Works either with third-party HD/FM modulation monitors or by itself, with the new FM/HD tuner built in to the X5.
– an improved Multipath Mitigation algorithm
– redesigned composite processing with selectable look ahead limiting or clipping,
– baseband192 composite AES connectivity
– full set of analysis displays.
MULTIPLEX STUDIO-TO-TRANSMITTER LINK
The available MPX SyncLink extends the X5 with HD/FM alignment from your studio to your transmitter site. It carefully keeps the HD and FM packets in sync so time alignment done with the processor at the studio is maintained straight through to the receiver.
FM & HD LiveLock
FM/HD SIGNAL SYNCHRONIZATION
Integrated HD and FM analog signal alignment keeps listeners and people meters tuned in to your station even during extreme HD/FM blending conditions. No external boxes needed and no more “dip and skip” in reception that can cause listeners to tune out and people meters to reset, affecting TSL.
ZERO DISTORTION CLIPPER
Perfect peak control without a trace of IM distortion, no matter how much HF energy you put into the X5!
We re-thought the relationship between peak control and HF pre-emphasis! Limitless Clipper uses proprietary high-frequency distortion cancelling technology to pass the highs, but not the overshoot. No more “spitty” highs or pops from clipping; no IM distortion whatsoever. This clipper will take all the highs you can give it, and never give you back IMD.
This clipper, along with X5’s Phase Linear dynamics, gives you the most powerful FM processor on earth.
COHESIVE INTEROPERATIVE FUNCTIONALITY ACROSS THE ENTIRE PROCESSING CHAIN
Key to the X5's exceptional sound is its ability to have every function in the processing chain be informed by and capable of reacting to every other function simultaneously.
Each X5 function in the processing chain interacts closely with other functions to deliver just the right amount and type of processing needed, letting you create a sound that’s as close to the original as possible while still dominating the dial.
LIKE THE NSA FOR YOUR X5
Live Logger keeps track of everything happening on your X5. Preset takes? Remote login? Audio failover? Every event is date and time stamped so you can review it. X5 takes audio to a whole new level and, with Live Logger, gives you absolute and complete peace of mind.
INSERT LOOP FOR PEOPLE METERS
X5 features an insert loop to interface your ratings encoder AFTER the processing. This delivers a signal with greatly reduced audible artifacts, which ensures you’ll be moving all those meters out there.
MORE PATH. LESS MULTI.
X5’s multipath mitigation delivers your signal to more listeners while PPM Port’s smart AES insertion points ensure each and every one of those PPMs register. Better sound delivered to more radios – sound that cuts through and sounds amazing.
With WheatNet-IP BLADE-3s, you get a virtual rack room in a 1-rack space box. They handle all the I/O (AES/EBU, SPDIF, AOIP, MADI, SDI and AES 67) and provide full routing capabilities. Each BLADE-3 gives you two 8x2 utility mixers, 12 universal GPI/O ports, 128 software logic ports, silence detection, built-in audio clip player, stereo multi-band audio processing, and much more, assignable anywhere on the network. With it you can create workflows that would require a ton of third-party gear.