In response to the recent publication of the EBU’s Loudness Recommendation EBU R128, DK-Technologies has ensured that every product in its PTO700 series of audio and video meters and waveform monitors now complies to both the ITU and EBU specifications.
New customers will automatically have both specifications included in their products, allowing them access to multiple, simultaneous measurement and logging of all data related to loudness. Customers who already own a DK PTO700 series meter are being offered a free EBU R128 software upgrade. To request an update, all existing customers need do is contact their local DK-Technologies dealer or visit the company’s website at www.dk-technologies.com.
The long awaited announcement about EBU R128 came at the IBC Convention in Amsterdam last month. The Loudness Recommendation explains how broadcasters can now measure and normalise audio using Loudness meters instead of Peak Meters (PPMs), which had previously been common practice.
EBU R128 is the result of two years of intense deliberation by the audio experts in the EBU PLOUD Group, chaired by ORF Senior Sound Engineer Florian Camerer. The core R128 recommendation and the four technical documents that support it build on the foundation of the ITU BS 1770 algorithm and specifications, introduced in 2006. R128 adds a number of new developments, including a gating method.
R128 specifies loudness normalisation and permitted maximum level of audio signals. According to Camerer, it is designed to be “short, precise, and simple.” Basically EBU R128 recommends that broadcasters normalize audio at -23 LUFS +/- 1 LU, measured with a relative gate at -8 LU. The metering approach can be used with virtually all material. To make sure meters from different manufacturers provide the same reading, EBU Tech 3341 specifies the 'EBU Mode', which includes a Momentary (400 ms), Short term (3s) and Integrated (from start to stop) meter.
Richard Kelley, Sales and Marketing Director of DK-Technologies, which was among a number of manufacturers contributing its expertise in metering to the PLOUD Group, says: “All of our PTO700 family of audio meters have been ITU compliant for some time, therefore incorporating the new EBU Mode was relatively straightforward because we had already anticipated the conclusions the PLOUD Group would come to.
“We have always believed that the best way to deal with the Loudness issue is to simplify it and allow audio engineers to literally see what they hear. Our software already incorporates 400Hz and 1kHz reference frequencies and our meter displays show ITU and EBU Loudness scales in a clear and easy to read format, while still showing any of the usual DK metering scales.”
Many influential broadcast and post production facilities, including C4, RedBee, Independent Media Distribution (IMD) and Grand Central Studios, have chosen DK-Technologies audio metering as their de facto standard because it offers simple and effective features to evaluate audio levels in line with the latest recommendations.
DK’s Loudness software provides accurate loudness matching of audio from a number of different sources and offers a selection of working modes, including Fast mode for real time viewing of loudness, Integrated mode for measuring the loudness of a recorded section or the complete recording and Gated mode for viewing loudness of audio material with long pauses. With selectable digital and analogue stereo inputs, the software displays left and right channel loudness as well as the summed loudness. It also delivers the information as a numeric readout.
“Because our PTO700 series products are software-based, the upgrade path is very straightforward and can accommodate not only this latest Recommendation but also any other changes that might be introduced,” Richard Kelley adds. “We believe this is the best way to future proof our products and give customers the easiest and most cost effective solution to the Loudness problem.”
DK-Technologies develops and produces audio meters, video sync and test signal generators, as well as video waveform monitors and colour analysers both for LCD and CRT monitors. Alongside its worldwide distributor network, DK-Technologies also operates branch offices in Denmark, Germany, UK and USA. www.dk-technologies.com