Radio sound vs. TV sound, recording methods

I was listening to the Howard Stern show on the radio today, broadcast from the playboy mansion :smiley: , and noticed the sound seemed kind of tinny, like they were in a cave. From watching radio shows on TV like Howard Stern and Imus it seems they go to great lengths to get the sound right. Everyone needs headphones and their own microphone, if someone doesn’t talk into the microphone you can’t here them, and the radio studio seems pretty elaborately designed for better sound. Yet actors on TV shows can walk around and talk normally and still get good quality sound.

I realize on a TV show all the sound equipment is hidden off camera but it still seems like radio shows go through a lot more effort to get the same quality sound. Why?

UMM, please replace ‘here’ with ‘hear’ :wally

This is a total WAG, but does TV have more bandwidth for sound than radio does. If so, that would explain the tinnyness that you hear; it doesn’t matter how good the microphone is if you can’t broadcast all that data.

Maybe they go to such elaborate lengths because, with their restrictions, it would be even worse to have static and bad sound quality at the source.

TV sound is transmitted as FM with a ±25 KHx maximum frequency deviation, or a 50KHz bandwidth. FM radio stations are allowed ±75KHz for a total bandwidth of 150KHz.

Were you listening to Howie on your el-cheapo Craig car stereo by any chance? I suspect that has more to do with it than anything else. Car stereos usually have sub-standard bass output, either because they are built with less expensive low-end output chips or because they can’t draw the current needed to drive woofers. Your television, by contrast (har!), has a fairly beefy audio amplifier in it, powered by your friendly neighborhood electric utility company.