News Production & Post

RTW in tune with loudness

21 September 2009

RTW has announced its full Loudness Family product line is now available and will continue to be in tune with the latest ITU loudness directives, writes David Davies.

Among the members of the P/Loud Group of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) currently working to finalise the loudness metering directives is RTW Head of Engineering, Michael Kahsnitz.

From DigitalMonitor budget units to the SurroundControl 31900/31960 flagships, RTW says that it offers tailor-made solutions for every market segment – from production and quality control to broadcast and documentation. These allow for consistent and functional loudness metering of stereo, multichannel, and surround audio, either alone or with conventional peak meters.

The members of the EBU P/Loud Group – dedicated and competent experts from Europe as well as from the United States, Japan, and Australia – are currently developing a method for measuring and controlling loudness. The methods will be obligatory for broadcasters in the future. The Group is also defining a numerical loudness-normalisation standard to be applied to all programming. This will enable elimination of annoying loudness changes between programmes broadcast by the same station as well as between different stations.

In addition to the weighting filters required for loudness metering, there are many other parameters that need to be defined, including appropriate integration times or suitable thresholds for the gates indispensable to long-term measurements. Due to the complex subject matter, the guidelines and recommendations of the P/Loud Group and the ITU are not yet finalised. Once the guidelines are finalised, they will be implemented into development of loudness-metering products by RTW.

The ITU is still working on developing mandatory standards for the variables that have yet to be defined, which will do much to simplify the loudness measurement process. Until these ITU standards are finalised, users of the RTW Loudness Family can continue to apply their own individual or internal criteria, which can be implemented using the instruments’ configuration menus.

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