SOUND4 FIRST offers a full set of the most important features required from an FM/HD processor in a small, compact PCI Express card. Powerful, yet affordable, it produces clear audio of unrivalled quality. It is 100% autonomous in terms of resources and only requires power from your PC. This PCIe card gives you intelligent and highly efficient 2-band processing, a digital stereo generator and an IMPACT Clipper in one single product.
Among its most important advantages are an HD Limiter, a Low Distortion Bass Clipper and a Low Distortion FM Limiter. SOUND4 FIRST comes equipped with Analog, Digital and AES-67/Livewire inputs and outputs, as well as an MPX FM output and a streaming output fully compatible with all standard servers, including HLS. Additionally, it solves the so-called “blending problem” resulting from the switch of receivers from stereo to mono, bringing you a constant level of clear audio. The product is fully BS-412 compliant and has a reliable backup source which ensures an uninterrupted audio stream.
What is especially worth mentioning are the software options that customers can choose from, depending on their specific requirements. These options include Basic and Full RDS, PCI Radio Driver In/Out, Streaming Extension, IP TX + RX and Dual IP TX + RX.
All of this makes SOUND4 FIRST your essential PCIe card and a guarantee of superb performance.
SOUND4 FIRST Fields of Application
The SOUND4 FIRST is a three-band processor and the smallest device in the FM product line. It is particularly well-suited to the following uses:
- For small radios, as a principal processor. It is fully compliant with radio broadcast standards while at the same time having a strong, clear and balanced sound.
- For transmitter finalization, with a SOUND4 FIRST located in the studio. All radio standards are met.
- For radios seeking natural but powerful tonalities.
- As a web radio processor, thanks to its algorithms, specially optimized for this kind of application. Furthermore, its low cost makes it affordable for any radio station wishing to set itself apart from other stations.
- As a small standby processor.
The SOUND4 FIRST can thus be used as an audio broadcaster thanks to the PCIe entry driver, as a processor thanks to the processing functions and as an Audio streamer thanks to the streaming option.
A Highly Versatile Processor
The SOUND4 FIRST is the first small processor that has been specifically developed for new radio markets. The outputs can thus be used simultaneously for FM and HD, DAB, DRM or, of course, WebRadio.
An Integrated Backup Solution
Much more than a mere processor, the SOUND4 FIRST has Audio Backup functionalities. Due to the capacity of its hard disk to store audio files, it is the first processor that guarantees continuity of the on-air program, solving the problem of radio silence.
An Integrated Basic RDS Encoder
In addition to being a high-quality processor and offering a backup audio source, the SOUND4 FIRST also provides the option of a basic or a full RDS encoder, the latter being UECP-compatible.
Fully Compliant with All Standards
With the SOUND4 FIRST, clients can be sure that they have a product which meets the various radio broadcast standards worldwide. It thus fulfills the following criteria:
- Excursion in frequency - once the output level is fixed at 75kHz, it will never go beyond this maximum limit.
- Multiplex Power - valid mainly in Europe, the ITU-R 412 recommendation is applied perfectly in accordance with the requirements of the radio broadcasting authorities.
Software Options Available *
- Basic RDS Encoder
- Full RDS Encoder
- PCI Audio Driver In
- PCI Audio Driver Out
- Streaming Extension
- IP Tx
- IP Tx2
- IP Rx
- IP Rx2
- IP RX + Tx
- Dual IP Tx + RX
- IP Pass Through
- Breakout cable for FM/HD processors and IP CONNECT (PCIe In-Card)
* All Software Options are subject to an additional payment. For pricing please Contact Us.
The SOUND4 FIRST PCIe card
- 100% autonomous in terms of resources - the card only requires power from the PC.
- 4 inputs - AES from 32 to 192 kHz, analog, IP (Livewire or SOUND4 IP CONNECT) and PCI (audio driver).
- Mixing of inputs and automatic safety function.
- 5 simultaneous and independent outputs - TX1, TX2, AES, Analog IP (Livewire or SOUND4 IP CONNECT) and PCI (audio driver).
- Routing of signals for outputs.
- Relay switch for automatic by-pass.
- Digital AES/EBU synchronization input.
- DSP computing power - 4 Giga Flops (Sharc 40 bits with floating point).
- GUI and driver compatible 32 & 64 bits - Windows 7, Windows 8 & 8.1, Windows 10, Windows 11, 2008 R2, 2012 and Linux (Debian)
- Multicard driver (the quantity of PCIe slots will be equal to the number of cards admissible in the same PC).
- Start-up time of the SOUND4 FIRST card - 2 seconds max to being on air.
- 100% upgradeable to IMPACT. While updating the card, the sound is interrupted for only two seconds.
User-Friendly Control Interface
- Sound setting from one single screen – you no longer need to open and close windows to go from one function to another.
- Two modes - Basic and Advanced. Basic - provides simplicity and rapidity; Advanced - allows you to explore all of the processor functionalities. There are also ultra-rapid VU meters for true control over modulation.
- Unlimited “Undo/Redo” versioning function for presets with possibility of recall.
- Innovative “compare” function with reference notion.
- Log function for presets.
- A readable and interactive diagram.
- A remote connection manager to control several processors.
- Works with the following operating systems - WXP SP3, W7 32&64 bits, W8 32&64 bits, WS 2008 R2, WS 2012, Linux (Debian).
- Main sampling process frequency of 192 kHz.
- Sound coloring and stereo enhancement effect (Tone FX and Stereo FX).
- 2-band AGC.
- 2-band process with Fidelity and Sound Impact System (S.I.S.).
- 3-band limiter.
- Look Ahead limiter for the HD outlet.
- MPX power controller (BS412 compliant).
- Stereo Matrixing for more stability in loudness and sound tone when the receiver switches from mono/stereo/mono.
- 19 kHz embedded pilot to gain close to 1 dB more in loudness.
- Delay - 30 ms for FM path, 11 ms for HD path.
- Basic RDS encoder (with scrolling PS)
- Full RDS (UECP-compatible)
- IP Codec - SOUND4 IP Connect
- Audio Backup - thanks to the audio driver
- Audio streaming - 6 encoders (MP3, AAC, HE-AAC v1 & v2), compatible with all delivery servers (Icecast, Shoutcast v1 & V2, Flash, Wowza)
- Replication of inputs
- Link & Share - 100% of all parameters are accessible via the telnet protocol
- Panels – the device allows you to create your own panels with unlimited functionality
- Preset Sharing - the ultimate solution to managing an unlimited number of processors. All of them are automatically updated if a one of them is modified.
The SOUND4 FISRT has four inputs - Digital, Analog, IP (Livewire or SOUND4 IP Connect) and PCI.
On the software interface, the input currently in use is indicated by a triangle on the left side of its name.
With the SOUND4 FISRT, the first processing function is the 2-Band AGC - automatic gain control whose main purpose is to stabilize the loudness level applied to the input of the processor and prevent noticeable level differences between recent and old titles.
The Tone FX makes coloring of sound before dynamic processing possible. To do so, it groups together two types of processing functions:
- A 4-band parametric equalizer;
- An effect system making it possible to strengthen low frequencies and high frequencies.
The two functions offer results that are entirely different, which is why they are gathered on one single screen.
In Basic mode, use of the four parametric equalizers is simplified to the maximum. Only the gain for each correction is accessible. For FX Bass and FX Treble, dosage of the effect is also made accessible.
In Advanced mode, users have access to all equalizer parameters (gain, frequency and Q factor).
SOUND4 FISRT has a true stereo enlarger, 100% mono-compatible. Its role is to sublimate the existing stereo image. It will thus never create stereo in mono sources.
In addition to embellishing the stereo image, it also has a 3-band stereo image limiter acting on the control of the energy transmitted by the stereo sub-porter at 38 kHz. This unique functionality limits issues currently caused by the traditional enlargement processes. The stability of reception in areas disturbed by multiple routes is thus greatly optimized.
The 3-Band Process
The 3-band Process is the heart of dynamic processing. With SOUND4 FISRT, a single algorithm guarantees the gain in each of the bands in order to complete sound stabilization. “Coloring” is controlled by the Fidelity parameter. Thus, it is possible to have a purist and a colored sound texture.
The 3-band Process is achieved through the revolutionary algorithm S.I.S. (Sound Impact System), which makes it possible to maintain the authenticity of the original sound attacks.
The 3-Band Limiter
The main purpose of the 3-band Limiter is to prepare the work of the final limiter. It is also provided with a very powerful predictive algorithm, which has been simplified to the maximum, so that it is not encumbered with useless parameters.
The Final Limiter
The Final Limiter comprises two sections - one for FM applications and one for HD applications.
The FM Section consists of a Bass Clipper, guaranteeing powerful bass without distortion, an FM limiter and an MPX limiter.
The HD Section is specifically designed for high quality digital applications (HD/DAB/DRM). This is a look-ahead type of limiter and in this mode the outputs are not limited to 15 kHz.
Assignment of Outlets
The outlets of SOUND4 FISRT are fully assignable. For example, the analog outlet may replicate the signal which is applied to the analog input, the digital outlet delivers an HD signal, the TX1 outlet delivers the MPX signal and the TX2 outlet drives the 19-kHz pilot signal.
Analog Input Quantity 1 stereo Level 2 ranges (+12 or + 24 dBu - software selectable) Impedance 10k Connector XLR female balanced and EMI suppressed Digital Input Quantity 1 stereo Standard AES 3 Sampling Rate 32 to 192 kHz - 24 bits Connector XLR female balanced and EMI suppressed AES/EBU Input Sync Quantity/Connectors 1 BNC female connector Sync Type Word Clock - 32 to 192 kHz Level 1 to 6 volt SCA/RDS Input Quantity/Connectors 1 BNC female connector Type Adder Analog Output Quantity 1 stereo Level 2 ranges (+12 or + 24 dBu - software selectable) Load Impedance typical 10k - maximum load impedance 300 ohm at 24 dBu Connector XLR male balanced and EMI suppressed Digital Output Quantity 1 stereo Standard AES 3 Sampling Rate 32 to 192 kHz - 24 bits Connector XLR male balanced and EMI suppressed Stereo Generator Outputs Quantity 2 separate outputs which can deliver MPX or 19 kHz pilot Level 2 ranges (+6 or +18 dBu) Load Impedance Typical 600 ohm - Max load : 35 ohm at +18 dBu Connector BNC female - EMI suppressed Audio Performances Processing Delay HD path - 11 ms, FM path - 30 ms Frequency Response 30Hz - 15 kHz +/-0.2dB (de-emphasized measured on Analog output) Noise >90 dB (de-emphasized) Distortion <0.2% THD (de-emphasized) Separation >70 dB Sub to Main crosstalk / Main to Sub crosstalk >75 dB Audio Drivers (Input & Output) Linux (Debian) Alsa Microsoft Windows WDM/Direct Sound compatible 32 & 64 bits: Windows 7 - Windows 8 - Windows 10 - Windows 11 - Windows Server 2008 R2 - Windows Server 2012 PCI Express Card Standard PCI express x1 (compatible with x2, x4, x8x, x16 slots) Board Power Supply Connector type Molex IDE 4 pins male Board Consumption 10 watts typical, 30 watts when all outputs are loaded to max Size 185 x 106mm (without connectors) Compatible Operating System for SOUND4 PCIe Cards Linux Linux (Debian) Microsoft Windows 32 & 64 bits: Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, Windows 11, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2019 Compatible Operating System for SOUND4 Remote Software Linux Linux (Debian) Microsoft Windows 32 & 64 bits: Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, Windows 11, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2019 PC to Client Communication Interface TCP/IP Client (Remote) / Server (hosting PC) Architecture via Ethernet Link & Share 100% of all parameters are accessible via telnet protocol Size And Weight Dimensions (WxHxD) 190 x 21 x 106mm Shipping Weight 54 x 230 x 270mm / 0.930kg HS Code 8473302000
Quick User GuideSOUND4 IMPACT/PULSE/FIRST PCIe Card Quick User Guide (English)Size: 1.21 MB Download
User ManualDB62 AUDIO I/O Connector User Manual (English)Size: 767 KB DownloadSOUND4 FIRST PCIe Card User Manual (English)Size: 5.42 MB DownloadSOUND4 FIRST PCIe Card User Manual (Spanish)Size: 10.79 MB Download
SoftwareUniversal All Products Installer
The Universal Products Installer is the complete installation kit for all SOUND4 Products. Whatever you are using, an In-Box (19 inch racks) or a In-Card (PCIe or PCI cards), the Universal Products Installer installs the software suite for HD/FM products, IP Codecs, Voice Processors and Streaming Processors...The Universal Products Installer includes:
- The Remote Control Software for In-Box and In-Card Products
- For In-Card Products (PCI & PCIe):
- SOUND4 cards Drivers (PCI & PCIe)
- The SOUND4 Server (the service which handles data communication from/to cards)
- Latest upgrade files (for all PCIe & PCI products)
Link&Share is an open command protocol compatible with all SOUND4 Products. Thanks to Link&Share, it is possible to change a product Input, change the On Air Preset, switch an IP Link... Everything is possible with Link&Share!
Here is the Link&Share Transmitter which offers you the possibility to send commands by script...Remote Support ToolSize: 4.25 MB Download
You need a dedicated support, you need our assistance remotely on your equipment... No problem, the TeamViewer Remote Tool Support is at your disposal.
When downloaded, run it directly. In the window, you will see an ID number and a password. Please send it to our support team for a dedicated remote support.
Note: this third party tool is provided for free.Alarm Stacker
The Alarm Stacker is a free program used to supervise and send alarm messages by email when something is not working correctly. According to product type, users have the possibility to define alarms on a very complete list of parameters.
To oversee the operations of one or more SOUND4 cards, this program must be installed on the computer that hosts the cards.
This program is compatible with all SOUND4 products.
The Streaming Extension is the Streaming engine needed for SOUND4 STREAM x2 / x4 /x8. Products. It supports encoding (MP3, AAC, HE-AAC, HE-AACv2...), metadada management and pushes to delivery servers (Flash, Darwin, Helix, Wonza, Icecast 2, Shoutcast…).
The Streaming Extension is also available in option for HD/FM Products.Full RDS Extension
The Full RDS Extension gives acess to RDS coding in advanced mode. The Full RDS encoder is running with UECP commands, and is fully remotable through RS232 or IP port.
LinuxLinux Ubuntu OS
SOUND4 proposes you to install the software package under your own Ubuntu.
NOTE: SOUND4 does not offer Linux support. You have to master Linux Management if you plan to use these software packages.
Compatibility with Ubuntu distributions:
- Lucid Lynx - 10.04 LTS
- Precise Pangolin - 12.04 LTS
- Trusty Tahr - 14.04 LTS
- Xenial Xerus - 16.04 LTS
- Bionic Beaver - 18.04 LTS
- Focal Fossa - 20.04 LTS
Installation For a PC hosting SOUND4 card and running compatible Ubuntu version:
- Click on the following link to add SOUND4 repository - http://www.sound4.biz/repository/ubuntu/sound4-repository.deb
- Then install the driver with following link - apt://sound4exp1?refresh=yes
- Finally, install the SOUND4 server with following link - apt://sound4server
If you also want to install:
- the SOUND4 Remote Control, please use the following link - apt://sound4remote
- the SOUND4 Stream, please follow the link - apt://sound4stream
If you prefer to manage package installation by yourself, please follow the instructions below:
- Add the following source to your Ubuntu repository list (example for Lucid) - deb http://www.sound4.biz/repository/ubuntu lucid non-free
- Then get the SOUND4 GPG signature key - wget -q http://www.sound4.biz/repository/sound4.gpg -O- | sudo apt-key add -
- Install required packages - sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install sound4exp1 sound4server sound4remote sound4stream
- Add the user to the audio group (needed for Alarm Stacker GUI) - sudo adduser $USER audio
- Log off and on to make the settings effective.
ImagesImagesThis archive contains all images from product's gallery.
SOUND4 FIRST PCIe is offering as an option the Kantar Media Audio Watermarking Technology for audience rating. Today and depending on the countries, radio stations can be listened to on FM, DAB, Streaming, polling companies need to know the audience results for each of the media.
The SOUND4 FIRST PCIe is the most advanced watermarking processor, it can tag up to 2 different feeds:
- 1 for the HD/FM output
- 1 for the streaming encoder
In the SOUND4 FIRST PCIe, watermarking is always carried out at the end of the processing chain to guarantee maximum watermarking quality.
About Kantar Media watermarking technology
SNAP audio watermarking technology by Kantar has been designed for TV and Radio audience measurement. In addition, it can also be used for the synchronization of second screen application. SNAP watermarking carries 2 types of information, a channel identifier and a timestamp for linear content and a timecode for non-linear content.
Audio watermarking technology can be described by 3 main properties which are the inaudibility of the watermarking, the amount of data carried by the watermarking and the robustness of the watermarking.
The SNAP technology remains inaudible thanks to a very complex acoustic model and preserves the quality of the sound. This is a crucial property for TV channels and Radio stations that spend time and money to get the best quality for their sound. Regarding the amount of data, the SNAP technology proposes a single payload for Channel and Content identification. Robustness of SNAP watermarking to broadcast chain is also a key element. SNAP is robust to low encoding bitrates, and to adaptive bitrates. Don’t hesitate to contact Kantar support to get bitrate recommendations depending on the audio codec.