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  #11  
Old 02-04-2011, 04:49 AM
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MIKEROPHONICS MIKEROPHONICS is offline
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Default Re: Metering LKFS Options

Don't quote me - I am not an authority, but isn't dialnorm referring to Dolby's own algo for detecting dialogue presence?
This has been superseded by the whole LKFU metering system as spec'd by the EBU and the ITU - hence dolby having to issue DMM2 which does LKFS as well

Where are you based Garnoil?

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  #12  
Old 02-04-2011, 06:39 AM
tom_lowe tom_lowe is offline
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Default Re: Metering LKFS Options

Quote:
Originally Posted by MIKEROPHONICS View Post
Don't quote me - I am not an authority, but isn't dialnorm referring to Dolby's own algo for detecting dialogue presence?
This has been superseded by the whole LKFU metering system as spec'd by the EBU and the ITU - hence dolby having to issue DMM2 which does LKFS as well

Where are you based Garnoil?

cheers
My understanding is that DMM(2) will do LKFS for the whole program material as well as DialNorm. This can be measured in Leq(A) as per LM100 or ITU.1770 (LKFS). I believe that when in the latter mode, DialNorm will be measured to those standards. I know the EBU and ITU specs don't mention DialNorm, Dolby added it to make DMM a potential LM100 replacement and obviously still want people to use DialNorm so have added it alongside the standard LKFS measurement. Seems some broadcasters (mainly US, I think) still want DialNorm alongside LKFS levels.
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  #13  
Old 02-04-2011, 06:58 AM
EarHole EarHole is offline
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Default Re: Metering LKFS Options

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Originally Posted by Nathan W. View Post
Why's that earhole?
I've been mixing w/ PT since PT 3. In that time I've bought so many plug ins from companies that have gone the way of the dodo that I'm just skeptical. $500 for a meter plug in from a company that for all I know won't be around for PT 10 isn't worth the savings to me anymore. I'm trusted by my clients to deliver and trying to save a few hundred bucks isn't worth the doubt about a products reliability either. I Know Dolby has been around a long time and chances are they will continue to provide support for the DMM.

I also know that whenever I've had a technical question about anything, Dolby has always been more than accessible to me for a Tech Chat.
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  #14  
Old 02-04-2011, 07:03 AM
Postman Postman is offline
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Default Re: Metering LKFS Options

You have to decide what your workflow needs, how much you can trust a non-Dolby name, and what your budget is. Here is my take on things, because you DID ask

At the moment, Nugen's has the most options relevant to loudness, because it is the only one that already supports "EBU Mode", along with graphing and excel history, non-realtime file measurement, and 1/10th LU display resolution, with leqA and LKFS type of weighting. Since EBU Mode is extremely new and Nugen is a member of PLoud, they had a head start on it. Others must now play catchup, but it probably won't show up on spec sheets for a year or more, if ever. If you need logging history, you'll pay accordingly. I do not have this one so I cannot comment on how cpu hungry it is.

Dolby Media Meter has Dolby's brand, so you can trust it, but does not (yet) have EBU Mode and also does not have 1/10th LU display resolution, but it has the other good features like file-based metering, leqA, leqM, LKFS, graphing history, logging to excel spreadsheet. Probably it will get EBU Mode as an update, seems like it MUST, but Dolby can be slow with updates. I do not have this one so I cannot comment on how cpu hungry it is.

Of the realtime only options (no file based measurement), Vmeters is by far the least expensive and has just about every realtime level meter you could want, including leqA, leqM, LKFS, VU, BBC, DIN, peak/true peak, most with upper/lower "alarm" setpoints, and those alarms can be logged. Very configurable plugin! It has no file based ability, which is reflected in its low price. It is accurate for peak, RMS, LKFS, leqA and I think it is a fabulous value, but as I said, has no file-based capability. It can be cpu hungry when you chain many meters together (you can put many types of meter functions together on each instantiation, in any order you wish), especially its peak metering and alarm logging. If you've got a PowerPC, stay with more simple stereo meters or you may run out of RTAS headroom quickly.

TC Electronic LM5D is the best realtime-only loudness meter (IMHO) with graphing and 1/10th db display resolution, which is actually extremely helpful. (Nugen's is the only other 1/10th resolution display.) LM5D has a nice configurable radar-like graphing function that gives history as well as quite a bit of realtime loudness information. The radar history would be even more cool if it was sync'd to your timeline location, but TC has told me there is no plan to do that anytime soon. I really like using LM5D while I mix. I run it on hardware (System 6000) so I cannot personally comment on how much cpu power it needs, but I understand it is not excessive, since it is tdm.

Added June 2011: LM5D is updated to version2. For System 6000 it is updated to LM6. Both bring -10LU gating for full EBU standards support. LM6 also brings logging capability with a 1 week buffer. At this time, though, LM6 is System 6000 only.

LM100, being the most expensive and least flexible, is pretty much retired to ebay these days. It is great with 2 channel PCM, leqA or LKFS, with or without "dialog intelligence" (which has fallen out of favor these days, and frankly I have NEVER seen it required on a spec sheet!) but does not handle surround loudness properly without a realtime AC3 or Dolby E converter feeding it, and obviously does not have file-based workflow. It has logging to excel spreadsheet history and has good peak metering (digital peak, not true-peak, I think).

AudioLeak Great file-based metering! Free and paid options. Not a Pro Tools plugin, though, so I don't think it can be your only loudness meter. Also, I don't see anything about gated measurement.

There are tons of meters showing up now. For instance, Orban has a free download that is only stereo, uses the computer hardware inputs and is for windows only. From what I've seen, most of them, like Orban, are not really useable for realtime mixing in Pro Tools.

Last edited by Postman; 06-14-2011 at 05:10 AM. Reason: added news
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  #15  
Old 02-04-2011, 07:09 AM
garnoil garnoil is offline
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Default Re: Metering LKFS Options

Quote:
Originally Posted by MIKEROPHONICS View Post
Don't quote me - I am not an authority, but isn't dialnorm referring to Dolby's own algo for detecting dialogue presence?
This has been superseded by the whole LKFU metering system as spec'd by the EBU and the ITU - hence dolby having to issue DMM2 which does LKFS as well

Where are you based Garnoil?

cheers
I am in Canada. I like the idea of Nugen but I am thinking that since Dolby "is" Dialonorm (as far as I understand it but I am not certain of how it really works), and Dolby licenses their specific technology to Theatres, broadcasters, and even home theatre decoding equipment, they may insist that "dialnorm", the actual reading that comes from their meter, is the only accepted technical standard. I recently looked at a spec sheet of deliverables for a show and it said "dialnorm to be +1, -1 from the reading of the DMM". I don't know if this broadcaster would accept a reading from Nugen, they specifically said DMM. If Nugen can measure Dialnorm (just like Dolby and it is recognized/licensed by Dolby) the Nugen looks very good to me.
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  #16  
Old 02-04-2011, 07:29 AM
Postman Postman is offline
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Default Re: Metering LKFS Options

Dialnorm as used by Dolby was leqA, with or without dialog intelligence gating. Dolby's marketing idea was to link loudness specifically to dialog level, and they just happened to have some proprietary software that could figure out if dialog was present or not in a given area of a mix. Thus, it was critical to their marketing that loudness of dialog was measured, not just loudness of program, but loudness of dialog. I said then, and many times since then, it was a flawed idea. Dolby no longer "owns" loudness measurement, and they never did. They were early into the standards and got their licensing ideas intertwined with those standards. Now, the international community, including America's ATSC, has moved beyond Dolby-proprietary schemes into more accurate schemes.

Late last year I noticed "dialnorm" used on a spec sheet that required measurement as per ITU-R.BS1770, but used "dialnorm" in one paragraph and "LKFS" in another. So I think people who write spec sheets can be understandably confused.

I am pretty sure that AC-3's metadata parameter still uses "dialnorm" to denote the slot that LKFS is stored in, even though LKFS is not Dolby's original idea of "dialnorm".

And now we have LUFS!
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  #17  
Old 02-04-2011, 07:47 AM
tom_lowe tom_lowe is offline
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Default Re: Metering LKFS Options

LUFS and LKFS are pretty much the same thing, apart the latter has K-weighting, the EBU actually have asked ITU to rename it LUFS.

As for the LM5D, this actually offers no advantage over Nugen, it requires TDM hardware (let's face it, it's dead and won't be updated), costs more, doesn't offer EBU mode and won't show a log linked to your Pro Tools timeline (Nugen will support this soon).

Yes, the radar looks nice, but having a graph is actually exactly the same and loudness over the duration of a programme can easily be read. I also believe it's cheaper.

Also of note, zPlane intend to update their fantastic PPMulator+ with loudness metering.

And garnoil, Nugen doesn't do DialNorm. The LM5D does "centre of gravity" which apparently equates to DialNorm, but none of the others do, including DK hardware meters.
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  #18  
Old 02-04-2011, 07:57 AM
hummerZ hummerZ is offline
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Default Re: Metering LKFS Options

Postman said it well, but just to reiterate...

LKFS is LKFS, no matter who's making the meter. Same goes for LEQ flavors. They're standardized measurements that should be implemented identically.

Dialnorm just refers to a metadata field that denotes an absolute gain scaling factor. Historically, it was measured using LEQ(a), with or without Dolby's proprietary gating, called Dialogue Intelligence.

Most specs are moving to LKFS, but the term Dialnorm has remained in use on some spec sheets, and remains as a metadata field in the AC-3 stream. For all intents and purposes, generic LKFS measurements can be used in place of LEQ(a) Dialnorm, save for specs that still require measurements incorporating Dialogue Intelligence, which is becoming exceedingly rare.

Dialogue Intelligence and Dialnorm are NOT the same thing.

If your specs call for Dialogue Intelligence or Dolby logging, you need the DMM.

Otherwise, if your specs simply call for LKFS, LEQ(a), or Dialnorm targets, any of the alternative metering products will do just fine, and can save you a considerable amount of dough.

Vmeters looks cool and is very cheap. I'm looking forward to checking it out.

AudioLeak is great, and you can run it in realtime if you have a second computer that you can send a multichannel digital feed from the pro tools output. It has nice graphing functionality, offline analysis, and the price is right.

The Dolby does everything you need, but it does hog CPU, and I've noticed that it can glitch playback if your hardware buffer is low.

As for the TC meter, I haven't tried it, but this looks very cool: http://www.tcelectronic.com/touchmonitor.asp
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  #19  
Old 02-04-2011, 08:00 AM
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MIKEROPHONICS MIKEROPHONICS is offline
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Default Re: Metering LKFS Options

I think Z plane are a little late coming to the party here ?
Shame I liked ppmulator nearly as much as my chromatec in vision ppms (for surround)

cheers
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Mike Aiton BSc (hons)
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  #20  
Old 02-04-2011, 08:22 AM
garnoil garnoil is offline
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Default Re: Metering LKFS Options

Yes I agree with everything Postman says including that dialnorm was a failed idea. Thankfully I don't do that much television (I do mostly film) but I had to do a quote for a tv series and the specs referred specifically to "dialnorm". At the time (6 months ago or so) I wanted to find out more option so I spoke to someone at Dorrough meters (I have Dorrughs) and asked if I could use the Dorrough to approximate the DMM dialnorm readings. Dorrough advised me this was not possible but that they were working on or considering making a new version of the Dorrough that would either have a dialnorm component or be "compatible" for the measurement. This information was sent o me via e-mail directly from Dorrough so I am not disclosing anything that Dorrough would consider "secret private information" (for all I know their meter may be out by now)
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