By K5PO, on the scene
BOSOKIN, Maine — The Ham-EQ company announced today a new game- and gender-changing product.
Ham EQ, long known for their popular line of microphone equalization products allowing amateurs to fine-tune their voice sounds from razor sharp “DX” audio all the way to robust “broadcast” audio popular with rag chewers, has ventured into a new territory with their latest product.
The YL-A-Nator EQ is designed to make husky-voiced male amateur radio ops sound eerily similar to their fairer YL counterparts. Ham-EQ Chief of Engineering Robert Bonk said that he got the idea when he heard a YL in the WPX SSB contest running a frequency with a consistent stream of callers. “She didn’t have a rare prefix,” said Bonk. “She didn’t even have that great of a signal, but she held that frequency for hours, with nary a break of callers! I realized the contest ops calling were predominantly male. They didn’t care about the prefix; they just wanted to work that lovely sounding YL!”
Bonk set out to design a custom EQ processor to create that lovely YL sound for even the most bassy-voiced ops. “We started with some of the technology used in popular music to perform the ‘Auto-tune’ popularized by Cher and T-Pain. This processor proved to be the key,” said Bonk. “We then designed a proprietary post-processor to smooth and ‘naturalize’ the tones toward common feminine speech patterns.”
Ham-EQ Director of Sales Mark Moody said that Bonk has designed a winner. “We sold out of our beta units in three days!” said Moody. “The hams are loving these things!”
Beta tester Wilson Qinto said that he wouldn’t give up his unit at any price. “Before the YL-A-Nator, I could call CQ for hours and no one would answer my tiny signal. Now I flip the YL-A-Nator switch, turn the “Southern Belle” potentiometer to 10 and I can work DX all day!” tells Qinto.
Qinto says that the ops on the other end are none the wiser to his vocal ploy. “They are all so courteous and considerate,” he says. “I’ve even had a few ops ask me out over the air! I usually chuckle and tell them I’m already in a relationship. No one would ever know I actually had a rich baritone voice and a long grey beard by hearing me on the air!” said Qinto. “But I’ve sure confused some folks when they pull up my photo on QRZ!”