RTW, the German firm specializing in audio signal visualization, brought its next-generation TouchMonitor Series displays to the recent AES Convention in San Francisco. The TM7 and TM9 are freestanding displays capable of displaying a wide variety of audio parameters in a user-configurable, 16:9 high-resolution display. Both are scheduled to ship by end of year.
Speaking on the show floor, RTW technical director Mike Kahsnitz explained the company’s modular design approach to the TouchMonitor line. “This is a flexible tool, on both the hardware and software levels,” he said. “The basic unit has 16 inputs available in blocks of eight, with seven different hardware interfaces available. For broadcasters, the TM9 has an option that allows a 3G SDI interface, which allows up to 32 channels on the display. But it is the modular software available that really makes TouchMonitor a flexible tool.”
RTW’s TouchMonitor units offer seven different hardware versions, providing various combinations of analog (D-sub) and/or digital-audio interfaces. Digital ports are available in the AES3 (D-sub) or AES3id (BNC) formats. All versions feature an Ethernet (LAN) port, a VGA output for connecting external screens, GPIO interfaces and two USB ports.
The base version of TouchMonitor is stereo and comes with RTW’s PPM metering. Software licenses are available for a wide variety of metering and monitoring needs. Loudness metering is available for all common standards, including ITU, ATSC and EBU, all available at the touch of a button. Additional options include RTW’s 5.1 surround-sound analyzer, stereo downmix and vectorscope.
Through cooperation with TC Electronic, RTW will also offer that firm’s LM5D Loudness Radar Meter, which allows the user to track and log loudness levels across time, as a software option on TouchMonitor displays. TC Electronic and RTW have agreed to continue their partnership in developing new audio monitoring products.
The TM7 and TM9 are also available as OEM items, as evidenced by the availability of the TM7 within the Lawo mc2 range of digital consoles, where it is fully integrated on the face of the console, especially useful for surround mixing.
According to Kahsnitz, these examples demonstrate the flexibility of the modular design approach to the TouchMonitor Series. “Our customers like having the ability to display exactly what they want on the screen, of course,” he said. “But the big benefit is to have a product that works equally well for a broadcaster, for post production, for a recording studio — any environment that needs precise metering of audio.”
Concluding, Kahsnitz said that the AES show floor proved fertile ground for RTW. “Attendance at the show has been great, and it’s a really good audience,” he said. “These are audio specialists that understand the TouchMonitor concept. That is why we came to AES, to have these good discussions and raise awareness of RTW in the U.S. market, where there is really a need for this type of product. We are very well known in Europe and hope this will help expand on the success we are having over here as well.”