sowny.net | The Southern Ontario/WNY Radio-TV Forum


You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?

February 9, 2020 1:17 pm  #1


AM “Reverberations:” Why I Wish Some Stations Still Used Echo

If you go back far enough, you’ll remember when almost every Top 40 station had some kind of echo effect, either on their announcers’ mics or on the records – or both. I always loved that slight reverb and thought it added a lot to the overall sound and presentation of a radio station.
 
It also added a lot to an AM radio signal, even before the advent of FM’s smoother sound. I’m not entirely sure when it went out of style (possibly when the FM music migration started) or why it’s no longer really used much on either band. It’s one of those artificial tricks that can really add excitement to a station’s sound – provided it’s not overdone or overused.
 
Does anyone still employ this audio trick anymore? I think maybe Sirius XM’s 60s on 6 does, but I’m not aware of any over-the-air broadcasters who still do.
 
Probably the most famous example was on WABC in the 60s, when it was over everything. That’s one of the reasons the place is so well remembered. (Back in those pre-computer days, the machine that made it happen was described as being the size of a mattress. Now it’s on a chip.)
 
There’s a great paragraph or so description of how the great 77 used it here, but you’ll have to scroll down to the section called “The Big Sound! How Was It Done?" You can also see one of these legendary monstrosities (as well as see the manual that came with it) here.
 
I once recall listening to the great and now sadly late Dan Ingram on WCBS-FM, which used the technique for a while. He stopped himself in the middle of a sentence one day to comment on that special sound. “I love echo,” he stated as his voice reverberated on air. “Life without echo is really no life at all.”
 
His comment really reverberates with me. And if used in the right circumstances, I still echo that feeling.

 

February 9, 2020 2:12 pm  #2


Re: AM “Reverberations:” Why I Wish Some Stations Still Used Echo

Back in 2003, KB 1520 was a good example of the echo:  (4:44 in) 
https://formatchange.com/wwkb-flips-to-oldies/

 

February 9, 2020 2:15 pm  #3


Re: AM “Reverberations:” Why I Wish Some Stations Still Used Echo

WCBS-FM in NYC does. You can hear it on Broadway Bill Lee's video airchecks he posts on Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/broadwaybilllee


 


 
 

February 9, 2020 8:41 pm  #4


Re: AM “Reverberations:” Why I Wish Some Stations Still Used Echo

RadioActive wrote:

If you go back far enough, you’ll remember when almost every Top 40 station had some kind of echo effect, either on their announcers’ mics or on the records – or both. I always loved that slight reverb and thought it added a lot to the overall sound and presentation of a radio station.
 
It also added a lot to an AM radio signal, even before the advent of FM’s smoother sound. I’m not entirely sure when it went out of style (possibly when the FM music migration started) or why it’s no longer really used much on either band. It’s one of those artificial tricks that can really add excitement to a station’s sound – provided it’s not overdone or overused.
 
Does anyone still employ this audio trick anymore? I think maybe Sirius XM’s 60s on 6 does, but I’m not aware of any over-the-air broadcasters who still do.
 
Probably the most famous example was on WABC in the 60s, when it was over everything. That’s one of the reasons the place is so well remembered. (Back in those pre-computer days, the machine that made it happen was described as being the size of a mattress. Now it’s on a chip.)
 
And if used in the right circumstances, I still echo that feeling.

Appropos puns indeed. On the Canadian side I know CFOX  Montreal used the technique in the late 60's.
 

 

February 10, 2020 12:39 am  #5


Re: AM “Reverberations:” Why I Wish Some Stations Still Used Echo

I'm surprised more oldies stations don't use it. It would give them a bigger sound, a retro sound.

Locally, WGR 550 used reverb in the days of Shane Brother Shane in the '70s and '80s. And they were great days...

http://rockradioscrapbook.ca/wgr-shane-apr-28-80.mp3

http://rockradioscrapbook.ca/wgr550.jpg

 

Last edited by Dale Patterson (February 10, 2020 1:14 am)


"The radio craze ... will soon fade." - Thomas Edison, 1922
 

February 10, 2020 9:30 am  #6


Re: AM “Reverberations:” Why I Wish Some Stations Still Used Echo

My first on air job was at CKPR Thunder Bay, a top 40 station and we had echo on everything. Not a lot but you would notice it during newscasts and anything with straight voice. The echo made the station sound a little more major market. Our unit didn't look like what was shown at WABC. The unit we had, featured some electronics and equalization and a 4 ft. cylinder which made the echo effect. 

CFTR used echo for a few years in the 70's and CHUM may have but not as much as TR. A lot of stations dropped the echo in the late 70's and went for a punchy equalized processed sound.   A few ethnic AM stations still use " voice reverb" in their programming.  

 

February 10, 2020 2:29 pm  #7


Re: AM “Reverberations:” Why I Wish Some Stations Still Used Echo

In an interview that aired last Sunday on a local show on WNBC-TV in New York, Cousin Brucie of Sirius XM and WABC fame, told the story of people coming up to him and asking him why he sounds so different in person. He says they wanted to know where his echo went. And some of them were serious! (Sirius?)  

He told them he doesn't take it with him on weekends... 

     Thread Starter