I was listening to WLYT (Charlotte) HD2 this morning ("The Shuffle Channel" http://www.theproductionroom.net/shuffle.wma), and heard something that truly puzzled me.
If you're familiar with the Bangles song "Eternal Flame", you know it's a lovely ballad in 4/4 time. At the first of the song, and at various points throughout, the fourth beat in each measure is punctuated with a "ding" on a bell. "Close your eyes...'ding'...give me your hand, (ding on the start of the word) Darlin', can you feel my (ding on first of word) heart beating....."
I've heard that song a million times. So imagine my shock and confusion when, listening this morning through headphones to this 48kbps HD2 stream, the "dings" were completely gone. THEY WERE NOT THERE! They were replaced with a very slight high frequency transient, which I wouldn't have noticed if I didn't know what belonged there.
Now I have commented earlier that the processing (audio compression and limiting) are too damn aggressive on "The Shuffle Channel". What I wonder is if this is the work of a Neural pre-processor, or similar device, tweaking the signal to minimize (data) compression artifacts. I know that all limiting softens transients. Cymbal crashes never have the SPLASH after going through the old Optimod (insert favorite processor here). But I have NEVER, in 33 years in radio, heard instruments DISAPPEAR from a mix. Anybody else ever noticed anything like this?