Loudness Solutions Proliferate at the NAB Show, Part 2
Loudness monitoring and measurement might just turn out to be the most fecund digital-audio product category since the microphone. The NAB Show has seen multiple new entries into an already crowded field. On Tuesday, we looked at some of them. Here are more new products.
Apollo and Artemis consoles now have integrated loudness metering, which can be assigned to main outputs, groups, auxes, tracks, external inputs, and PFL busses. Each meter displays target loudness (as defined by technical or user-selected standard), momentary loudness, short-term loudness, integrated loudness, loudness range (LRA), max true-peak level, and elapsed integration time. www.calrec.com
SpotCheck monitors an IP, ASI, or transmitted over-the-air MPEG stream at the transmit (emission) encode point and provides access to loudness records for all programming initiated from a broadcasting facility. Segments can be searched via the intuitive display of loudness plots along with date/time-stamped thumbnails of the actual corresponding programming or can optionally be queried and correlated via a database relationship with the facility as-run automation list. SpotCheck pinpoints all segments that are outside of CALM/R128 compliance, providing documentary proof of compliance in case of an erroneous complaint. Ethernet control enables integration with facility IT, providing long-term logging/thumbnail storage.
A second product, LMNTS (Loudness Management for n-Transport Streams), integrates multistream loudness processing. Operating at the MPEG transport layer, LMNTS provides a practical loudness-management solution for MVPD operators without the need for or complexity of external codecs transferring between baseband and MPEG interfaces. Using unique depacketing/repacketing processing and decode/re-encode, LMNTS extracts and decodes audio codec packets from the program stream, performs PCM loudness processing, and then re-encodes and repackets the audio with its stream. LMNTS is available in both IP and ASI versions. Physically, all data connection to LMNTS is via GigE IP or ASI interfaces using an industry-standard IT hardware platform with no intermediary breakouts. LMNTS is fully scalable, with licenses available to progressively add the number of audio programs accommodated up to the maximum capacity of each 1RU engine (standard capacity is five audio programs). www.cobaltdigital.com
The D*AP LM4 four-channel digital audio processor is aimed at television broadcasters and video-production and postproduction companies that need to control audio loudness while creating and editing broadcast content. Similar in concept to the Jünger Audio B46 processor, which it replaces, the D*AP LM4 features onboard AES/EBU digital I/O, along with optional 3G/HD/SD-SDI I/O or analog I/O. The D*AP LM2 two-channel digital audio processor replaces Jünger Audio’s D06 unit, offers a combination of dynamics and loudness control, can handle both analog and digital (AES/EBU) audio, and features an automatic input switchover with parallel output formats. Both the D*AP LM2 and D*AP LM4 come with optional redundant PSU and a power-fail bypass to ensure maximum operational security. The two processors also feature Jünger Audio’s Adaptive Dynamics as standard, allowing customers to incorporate additional processing blocks, such as compressors and expanders.
The RTW TM7 meter implementation in Studer’s Vista 9 console was chosen because it complements the Vistonics touchscreen user interface. Custom presets provide loudness metering to EBU R128 and ITU BS.1770, as well as traditional bar-graph and moving-needle metering to many international standards. This loudness meter may be retrofitted to all Vista 9 consoles. www.harman.com
The LM6 Radar Loudness Meter plug-in works on Avid Media Composer, Apple Final Cut Pro, Avid Pro Tools, Apple Logic Pro, Nuendo, Wavelab, Cubase, and Sequoia on a Mac or PC for all mono, stereo, and 5.1-surround productions. LM6 shows loudness history in a single, easy-to-read, radar-like view. Each radar revolution can span from one minute to 24 hours. Two numbers may be selected for display below the radar — for instance, loudness range and program loudness — and all measurements are retained on the Stats page. Loudness history and other key information can be logged as a standard-formatted text file that may accompany a program for proof-of-delivery spec compliance. LM6 employs a fully synchronous, high-headroom design in order to also display true-peak warnings and true-peak bar graphs correctly; and it conforms with all the major broadcast standards based on Leq(K) — e.g., ITU BS.1770-2, ATSC A/85, and EBU R128 (August 2011 update). The LM6 Radar Loudness Meter plug-in is available for DAW platforms supporting Audio Units, RTAS, AAX Native, or VST plug-in formats. No additional hardware, such as Pro Tools TDM or PowerCore, is required; the only piece of hardware needed is an iLok 2 USB Key for holding the plug-in license. www.tcgroup.tc