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TC Electronic adds new Live and OB tools to System 6000 MKII

The new ‘Live Aid’ license for TC Electronic’s System 6000 MKII allows for absolute compliance with loudness-based broadcast standards, even under live and OB conditions.

The new ‘Live Aid’ license for TC Electronic’s System 6000 MKII allows for absolute compliance with loudness-based broadcast standards, even under live and OB conditions.

With the Live Aid license, two loudness processing algorithms and a host of new presets become available to System 6000 MKII. Developed for broadcasters covering no compromise live events such as the London Olympics, one System 6000 MKII is now all it takes to upgrade an entire studio or OB truck with low-latency, high-resolution loudness processing for multiple platforms; at the same time metering adhering to American, European or Japanese standards on all outputs. Live Aid includes two powerful algorithms, ALC6 and DMix, as well as a host of presets targeted to the loudness and true-peak requirements of most of the world.

ALC6 offers BS.1770 compliant Loudness Correction and True-peak limiting for mono, stereo and 5.1 programmes. This low latency, 48-bit resolution processor may be used as a loudness safety belt for easily hitting a -23 or -24 target directly from a live studio or an OB truck. Unlike compression or limiting type of processors, ALC6 only adjusts when needed – the rest of the time, audio is passed untouched.

Measuring the loudness of a 5.1 programme can give significantly different results from measuring a stereo or a mono downmix of the same programme. These differences are systematic because measuring loudness according to BS.1770 is insensitive to inter-channel phase differences, while a downmix is not. Tight tolerances on programme loudness therefore present a dilemma when it comes to mono or stereo listeners, generally the vast majority of a station’s audience.

ALC6 introduces a new way of dealing with this issue: A 5.1 programme may be adjusted based on what it measures in 5.1, or on what it measures using a specific set of downmix coefficients.

It also helps getting a higher audio quality and more headroom out of AC3 data reduction. The downmix part of the decoder is prone to overload, especially when AC3 DRC is set to Off. On the other hand, enabling DRC inserts a crude processor that is impossible to get rid of again. Using the new ‘AC3 Codec’ setting with ALC6’s true-peak limiter to prevent downmix clipping while preserving headroom makes it safe to switch off DRC and AC3 becomes more transparent.

TC’s Trickle-down processing is now available for System 6000 MKII. DMix is perfect for converting a 5.1 programme to a great sounding mobile platform stereo version in a one-step process; at an impeccable audio quality, and at almost zero latency (0.8 ms).

DMix packs on-the-fly Downmix, Loudness Range conversion, EQ, MS Processing, 5-band Processing and True-peak Limiting into one single, powerful Engine. Consequently, the user may concentrate on a 5.1 mix while DMix takes care of stereo simulcast for mobile or web platforms.

Three new ALC6 and DMix preset banks targeted to ATSC A/85, EBU R128, ITU-R BS.1770-2 and TR-B32 requirements are included with the Live Aid license. DMix presets include acclaimed iX types with image enhancement for listening in headphones or to desktop speakers.

With the new software, System 6000’s integrated Radar Loudness Meter, LM6, also gets two new functions: The meter may now show loudness units in ‘LKFS’ rather than ‘LUFS’, and a Momentary loudness warning threshold may be set. Real-time loudness warnings are visible in the remote application on a Mac, a PC as well as on the TC Icon hardware unit.

The new software version 5.50 for System 6000 MKII can be downloaded free of charge from TC’s website. With this software update, users can try the Live Aid license, including ALC6 and DMix, for 200 hours free of charge.