What is it with Radio 3?

Why is R3 so quiet? I have to turn it right up to hear it properly.

I often find that the presenters are louder than the music, is that what you mean?

Not really. I just find the music itself generally very quiet.

I think R3 has very little compression compared to other stations. It certainly sounds very good on FM.

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Probably because the dynamic range for classical music on radio 3 is higher than for pop music on the other channels and the BBC try very hard to not let the peaks ever clip. Commercial pop music is often compressed so as to have more impact and as the dynamic range is lower, the mean signal level is higher.



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Thank you @Richard.Dane and @davidhendon :slight_smile:

I did wonder if dynamic range had anything to do with it. Given your responses, then I am shocked at the extent of the compression applied to popular music!

Oh, and something else - I notice the amount of compression on Radio 2 is greater during the day than it is during the evening, when the quality seems much better, unless I’m imagining it!

Don’t mind me, fella!

And you too :smiley:

Sounds perfectly well balanced to these ears. As some have said perhaps it’s the absence of compression which is why I often forsake my NDS streaming said station for my NAT 01 which is superlative with live broadcasts on R3. Listening to a Prom this evening in fact.

As said before, it’s the compression on other stations which makes Radio 3 seem quiet. If I listen in the car, virtually every radio channel broadcasts with bass-boosted compressed range. Listen to the difference between Classic FM and Radio 3! BBC local radio, and commercial stations are all guilty of this practice.

Slightly off-topic, my apologies, but I hate the insistence on having background bass-heavy “music” intruding on all traffic announcements.

Radio 3 is one of the few audio and TV stations that do not shout at you. I did read some time ago that a degree of compression was applied during working hours to allow car radios to perform better. I would suggest this no longer applies listening to my 01 tuner in the morning.
A bit of a ritual for me.
What R3 can suffer from on FM is the dreaded “birdies”, a twittery background noise often silenced by pressing the mono button. A bit self defeating. Better aerial?
Off topic, but so many OB TV reporters shout into their microphones. Just irritates me. If you are a bit knackered, makes it even worse. Sometimes my wife thinks the TV sounds better with the volume muted through my 500 system. Does she have a point? Time to forward order your giant 8K for the next Olympics.
R3 and R4 are both a bit of an oasis in the ram it down you throat method of broadcasting which prevails these days.

The twittering is caused by on-channel interference. So yes a better aerial pointed carefully at the right transmitter!

The background noise on a good tuner with a good aerial should be pretty well inaudible. The NAT 01 needs plenty of signal but will reward you for the modest expenditure involved.

Douglas, can I help you with your aerial direction & type?
I have information on transmitters & terrain mapping software, all I need is your location, city/town.

This is new to me … could you expand please?

Hello MikeB. Thanks for the info. In the past I have suffered from the “birdies”. My properly set up 01 tuner is a major source in my system. Long may FM continue, especially R3.
Once again, many thanks. Douglas.


Its a terrain profile of the ground (hills & valleys) between the transmitter & receiver aerials. It shows any obstructions in line of sight.

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