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  #1  
Old 07-06-2011, 12:30 PM
apoc64 apoc64 is offline
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Default Broadcast mix on lower cost system

I have a system with PT9 and an MBox which I have used for short films and corporate videos. If I were to do a job which was going to television and would have to pass QC, what would be the best way to go about that?

I think I could get close to spec using tools like BF essential meter bridge and AudioLeak. When I'm done, could I go to a larger facility with an HD system and an LM100 for a few hours have them give it a once over and make sure it passes QC?

How effective are some of the lower cost solutions for measuring loudness and QC?

For separate M&E should I just route tracks to different outputs and do multiple bounces?
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  #2  
Old 07-06-2011, 04:12 PM
Doug the Brit Doug the Brit is offline
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Default Re: Broadcast mix on lower cost system

I'd vote for the Dolby Media Meter plug-in. It allows real time metering, or faster than real time file analysis of all the parameters that are likely to be included in a broadcast spec.

In file analysis mode it can give you a report with time code addresses for the out of spec areas which allows you to quickly go back and make fixes.

Full disclosure, we use it in conjunction with a Dolby DP600 to guarantee compliance but the metering plug-in on it's own is still a useful tool.

-Doug
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  #3  
Old 07-06-2011, 06:59 PM
Postman Postman is offline
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Default Re: Broadcast mix on lower cost system

Quote:
How effective are some of the lower cost solutions for measuring loudness and QC
Some of them are very effective. AudioLeak is great at the things it does and is priced well! I prefer Vmeters, though, for a solid balance of features vs. cost, with reliable accuracy. For the record I have no interest in the company, nothing to gain from a thumbs up. I've compared the Vmeters pack to higher priced equipment (I own LM100 and LM6.) Vmeters is accurate. As a benefit you also get just about every meter type out there, which you can combine together as you see fit. In return for its low cost you do not get offline measurements. I don't consider that a terrible loss because I do most of my loudness adjustments while mixing in realtime. Others here may not agree with me.

One detail that the lower cost meters have not kept up with is a metering option called "gating", first included in an EBU recommendation last year and catching on everywhere. It is not a part of most (or of any) current specs but will inevitably be incorporated into them over time. I have no idea if the low cost meters will keep up. The higher cost pro meters have already included it, or will very very soon. The low cost solutions will either catch up or give up. It is a risk you take when you spend your money.

Understanding and measuring for broadcast specs is not difficult. Editing, sound design, and performing a good mix, those are the challenges. Broadcast specs are crazy, they change yearly or more often and they are often poorly written, which makes understanding them even more difficult. The reason broadcast specs are so messed up is because for the past 6 or 8 years, very many "mixers" have been feeding inappropriate work to the broadcasters. Mixers usually want to make awesome mixes that have no validity outside a cinema. Broadcasters want something they can plug into their transmission lines and not get complaints. They write specs that try to wrangle the mixes they receive into a tiny box of acceptability. They write badly. For broadcast, forget about dynamics as a tool. For broadcast work in this age, meters are everything. I am sad. Sorry, I digress.
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Old 07-07-2011, 04:24 AM
tom_lowe tom_lowe is offline
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Default Re: Broadcast mix on lower cost system

I would recommend strongly that you the Dolby plug-in, yes it's great if you want Leq(A) measurements, but ITU.1770 and 17711 have replaced those and the Dolby plug-in doesn't do a great job of implementing them. DMM only offers a 10 second short-term window (EBU R.128 says this should be 3 seconds) there are no EBU or ATSC loudness modes and it is a CPU hog, especially when measuring dB True Peak too.

If you want a cheaper, better alternative, I suggest VisLM from Nugen. VMeters is OK, but again it misses the EBU and ATSC loudness modes, it is, however, cheap.
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Old 07-07-2011, 06:14 AM
Audio_Vision Audio_Vision is offline
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Default Re: Broadcast mix on lower cost system

Another +1 for Nugen VisLM. If you were considering the Dolby Media Meter, I would spend a little more and go with the TC Electronic LM5D. Adheres to all current standards, and TC Electronic is very good about updates (free usually).
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  #6  
Old 07-07-2011, 06:19 AM
Postman Postman is offline
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Default Re: Broadcast mix on lower cost system

More information...

Dolby Media Meter 2, the only one they sell these days, is compliant with BS.1770-1, That is much different than leqA, which it also does. Many people use DMM2 now and trust it but I agree with Tom that I would not purchase it unless/until Dolby updates it to include the option of gated measurement. Since gated measurements do not seem to be on spec sheets yet, this is not an immediate concern but will probably become one on some sheets.

DMM2 and Vmeters are fully compliant with ATSC recommendations, which are based on BS.1770 measurements. BTW, ATSC updated their recommendations last month, June 2011, partially because America's CALM Act cites ATSC documents as the law's guidelines. Gating is only mentioned by ATSC as an optional process. It is acknowledged but not included in their recommended practices.

What is "ATSC loudness mode"? Is that a preset on VisLM? "EBU Mode" is well defined as instantaneous, short term, and integrated (program or segment length) simultaneous measurements. Gating is only used for the integrated measurement, the longest, and all three are based on BS.1770-2, which is practically the same as BS.1770-1 with terminology updates and definition of a gating function (when used). BS.1770-1 or BS.1770-2 is the foundation used by most if not all current loudness meters.

DK Meters, Nugen, TC Electronic, Pyramix, Media Valid, are some manufacturers who offer loudness meters with "EBU Mode" compliance.

To go back to the original question, you can save some money if you know exactly what a cheaper meter is NOT telling you but at this moment in history, loudness specs are a moving target and regular meter software updates are important. I'd write to Vmeters and ask when/if they are going to update for EBU Mode. I feel sure they will. Vmeters can do everything now except gating.
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  #7  
Old 07-07-2011, 05:01 PM
apoc64 apoc64 is offline
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Default Re: Broadcast mix on lower cost system

Thanks for all the great info everyone. I'm going to download the Vmeters 7 day trial and see how I like it. I'll probably end up going with one of those solutions. Thanks.
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